valkyriekat_47: (snakes on a snape)
[personal profile] valkyriekat_47
Author [personal profile] valkyriekat_47
Title: Sirius/Severus: Mischief Managed (adults)
Word Count: ~700
Rating: Maybe PG-13?
Warnings: angst, AU Postwar Sirius and Severus are alive

Severus Snape heard a knock on his wooden headboard. He'd been sleeping, but was still aware that more than one set of footsteps had approached him. His ribs were sore on the thin mattress. Mainly because Severus was thin himself.

His head was sore but Nagini's bite was long healed. The Healer had continued to use Snape's own potion on the damage. A slight scarring on the neck. Better than fully whole. He dug his face into his pillow, then thrust his head up and listened to the clacking on the Janus Thickey Ward floor.

Severus sat up in bed. Two sets of footsteps? The ward was barely lit, but night time haze didn't block the outline of a certain profile.

“You!” Snape snarled, spotting the only dog he could ever dislike.

“Yeah, and 'you!' to you, too, Snivellus.” Growling voice like the mangy mutt he was.

No mistaking Sirius Black. Now that Severus' eyes had adjusted he saw Black appeared emaciated as he had been after Azkaban. Well, who cared.

“Shall we spare each other the inane posturing that goes with telling each other how we survived?” Snape sneered as a greeting.

“Like you care. I heard you were suicidal and thought you might need some help.”

“Help to finish the job, one thing I will take gladly from you, Black.” Snape's glittering obsidian eyes flashed at Sirius.

“Thanks to the word of your Healer, and your actions after I disappeared, and the end of Voldemort, and Harry of all people telling me you are highly regarded, well this is a contradiction I burn to see. Dumbledore is the reason you want to die, they say.” Sirius nodded at the trainee Healer, a very stern looking witch with smooth brown skin and deep black hair.

“I'll be back in an hour. Have a pleasant visit, gentlemen.”

Severus listened to her marching off. “The dratted trainee Healer knows Legilimency and how to use it on those who are medicated. I want to go where he can't follow, where I myself can't follow.”

“Wherever you go, there you are. Death is no different. I know that for a fact. What a torture for a snake who wishes to be a lion and fails magnificently.”

“I never wanted to be a kitten. There is nothing intolerable about snakes.”

“Except being you.”

“It is Dumbledore, who used me, who used us all, who demanded everything and gave nothing but snatches of illusion, yet my allegiance is still with him, after death. Because he is the one person who knew who I am, who I was, and cared. He who forced to kill him...and me. Darkness and manipulation are nothing to him, tools in the leading the great life of Potter, who he believed in. And he used Potter all along.”

“Finished ranting yet? He's not deserving enough to take another life is he?” Sirius stuck out a hand. “I always thought you were a remorseless bastard. Don't disillusion me, Snape. Save your neck like a good snake.”

Severus glared at Black's hand. What wast he trick? 'I solemnly swear I am up to no good' was what Black had repeated often, what was the his point?

“A snake already attempted to take my life, and her master had the face of a hideous serpent, nothing like the wise kind who play it cagey.” The two black-haired men stared at their hands. Black would take it back at the last second, no doubt.

Severus thought about the hand, the link, the path away from the edge. He had spent his life on the edge. Now he was no longer useful. Anxiety spread though his chest, his neck, his jaw.

He took Sirius Black's hand.

It was different doing it without thinking of their last, hostile handshake, but something told Severus it was different this time.

“Mischief Managed,” Severus spoke softly. There was something of a hesitant hiss in the word 'mischief' but enough of that had been managed.

He felt something warm in his mouth and realized he had been grinding his teeth so badly he'd bit his cheek.

It wasn't going to be perfect, with Black around, but blood meant life to a Slytherin.
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