WORD COUNT: 4300
SUMMARY: What Gilderoy Lockhart wants, Gilderoy Lockhart gets, and what he wants now is a certain Potions master.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for elanor_isolda as part of the Snape Rare Slash fic-a-thon — hope you enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: These aren't my characters; I just like to play dress-up with them.
What He Wants
No one was as surprised as he was when he was chosen as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He thought of the legions of other applicants, poor sods, who'd had no chance once Gilderoy Lockhart deigned to offer his services. They would be understandably comforted when they found out who they'd lost to—after all, who could honestly expect to be selected over Gilderoy Lockhart, five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award? And when Gilderoy Lockhart decided he wanted something, he got it.
It was a warm day in late August when Dumbledore called a staff meeting to discuss a few things for the upcoming school year. It didn't take long for Lockhart to tune out the headmaster's soft voice and scan the room for prospects. Not that he would ever dream of attempting to seduce a fellow teacher—of course, if he did, it wouldn't be "attempting"—no, but he did think it prudent to see how many of them might try to seduce him. When you were as famous as Gilderoy Lockhart, you got used to dealing with people pre-emptively.
The wild-haired Divination teacher was eyeing him already—what was her name? Selena? Lockhart shrugged mentally. Not his type. There was an extremely short man he thought was named Flitward—but that was really too short for Lockhart. The Deputy Headmistress hadn't looked at him more than once, but he thought she might be a possibility, if nothing else turned up in a few months. He'd found that older women sometimes had the most delightful appetites. His eyes skipped past a ghost, a Squib, and a very large man who'd been introduced simply as Hagrid—good God, you'd think he was half Giant or something. Next to Hagrid was a small woman with short gray hair and yellow eyes who was paying close attention to Dumbledore's speech.
Lockhart tuned in for a minute, in case he was missing something important. "…and of course, all of you are expected to be at the start-of-term feast. Now…" Lockhart turned back to the yellow-eyed woman. Athletic, he thought. Now there was a definite possibility. He'd have to listen carefully to catch her name.
Sitting next to her was a sour-faced man, leaning back in his chair with his arms crossed over his chest. Lockhart did a double-take. Why, that was never little Sevvie Snape, was it? He looked over the hooked nose and the shoulder-length, greasy hair, and chuckled inwardly. It certainly was, and little Sevvie was no better about his personal hygiene than he'd been back in their school days. Lockhart decided he'd say hello after the meeting.
He didn't have to wait long. Dumbledore reminded everyone about the start of term the following week, and then everyone was standing up and milling about.
Lockhart turned towards Snape, only to discover the man had slipped out the door already. He hurried into the corridor.
"Snape!" he called out, and the other man paused. Lockhart caught up to him.
"It is little Sevvie," he said with one of his best smiles. "How've you been, it's been ages!"
Snape scowled. "Don't call me that," he said.
Lockhart favored him with a broad wink. "Not to worry, Sevvie, I won't say it where anyone else can hear. Say, I bet you'd like a signed photo!" He reached into his robes for his peacock quill and a headshot.
"As a matter of fact—" Snape started.
"To… Sevvie…" Lockhart wrote. "With love… from…" He signed his name with a flourish and handed it over to the other man, who took it out of reflex.
"Now," Lockhart went on. "What say you come over to my rooms later on for a drink? We can catch up on old times."
Snape opened his hand, and let the photograph drop. The photo-Lockhart opened his mouth in surprise as it sawed back and forth in the air, coming to rest a few feet away.
"Let me be clear, Lockhart," Snape said. "There are no old times to catch up on. You may have been senior to me in school, but I have over ten years' seniority as a professor at Hogwarts, and the chance of me coming to your room later… for a drink… is absolutely zero." He turned on his heel and stalked off.
Lockhart shared a smile with his photograph self. "I think he likes me," he said, and the photograph nodded.
After the first day of classes, Lockhart decided to reward himself with a small glass of Ogden's Old Firewhisky. After the third glass, he decided to reward himself with a visit to Snape's rooms, accompanied by a large bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhisky. He adjusted the position of his gold-trimmed turquoise hat carefully before knocking on the door.
Snape opened the door and blinked at him.
"Hello," Lockhart said smoothly, stepping past Snape into the room. He dropped the Firewhisky on a small table and looked around. "Nice place," he said, waving at the small sitting room. "But do you mind if we light the fire? I find the cold tends to wreak havoc with my complexion."
Snape was standing, staring at him, still holding the door open. "Lockhart," he managed. "Get—"
"Now, Sevvie, I just wanted to visit for a little bit, you know, commiserate on the first day of classes." He walked back over to the door and gently pried Snape's fingers off the handle so he could close it.
"Don't touch me," Snape said, but there didn't seem to be much malice in his voice. He moved to inspect the bottle Lockhart had brought.
Lockhart sat down on the small sofa and took off his hat. He waited until Snape glanced his way before shaking out his golden hair and smiling. "That's better, isn't it?" he said. "Now, do you have a set of glasses, or not?"
Snape scowled in answer. He took two small porcelain thimbles from the mantel above the fireplace and waved his wand at them. Another wave opened the bottle of Firewhisky, and he poured them each a measure before sinking stiffly into the armchair.
"Ah, that's better," said Lockhart, smacking his lips together. "I don't know about you, but I find all this teaching business to be terribly draining."
"Oh?" Snape said dryly. "You should try teaching a subject where the students stand a very good chance of blowing something up. It tends to be rather wearing on the nerves."
"And not good for your hair, either," Lockhart agreed, waving his glass in the direction of Snape's head.
There was a moment of silence. Lockhart looked up at Snape, who was glaring at him.
"My dear fellow!" Lockhart exclaimed. "I've just realized that you probably want me to sign your copy of my latest book!" He hopped up from the sofa and peered around. "I'd be happy to, of course, for an old friend like you."
Snape finished off his glass in one go. "Actually, Lockhart," he said somewhat smugly, "I don't own any of your… books." He refilled his glass.
"Oh! I had no idea," Lockhart said, dropping back onto the sofa. "I knew that the salary they offered me was low—of course, I took the job out of a sense of duty, not for the monetary rewards—but I thought that by now you'd be making enough to afford a few books!" He shook his head. "Not to worry, Sevvie, I'll sign one for you and bring it over sometime this week. No charge." He winked at the other man.
"I told you not to call me that." Snape's low voice was almost a growl.
"Of course, of course," Lockhart said, beaming genially. "Did I ever tell you about the time I single-handedly rescued a team of exploring wizards from a tribe of carnivorous yeti in the Alps? It was an autumn day much like today…"
Snape, much to his own surprise, didn't kick Lockhart out of his rooms for almost an hour. The following week, it was two hours. The third week, Lockhart brought two bottles of Firewhisky.
He didn't really understand why Gilderoy Lockhart was coming to his rooms, when he probably could have had the company of any of the female teachers in the school. But he kept coming back, and Snape kept opening the door, transfiguring up some glasses, and listening to the ridiculous and obviously untrue stories that the man poured out.
Lockhart was no hero, Snape was sure, but he wasn't hard on the eyes either. He didn't seem to require much from Snape, which Snape found refreshing. He also didn't seem to mind (or even notice) the verbal digs that Snape continued to throw at him. He kept score in his head each evening, and it always went very badly for the oblivious Lockhart. Still, he found he welcomed the change of pace from sitting in his rooms alone, as long as Lockhart didn't stay too long and didn't try coming over more than once a week.
The weeks passed relatively quietly, until the catastrophe that was Halloween.
Snape stood in Lockhart's office, fuming. Dumbledore had just dismissed Potter and his friends, apparently deciding that whatever they had been up to was not worthy of further investigation. Filch had gathered up his cat and headed for the infirmary.
"Headmaster—" Snape started.
"Please, Severus," Dumbledore interrupted, "I said 'innocent until proven guilty,' and I meant it." He nodded at Lockhart and left the room, with McGonagall trailing him like a lost puppy.
Snape was left standing alone in the office, except for Lockhart, who was shaking his head.
"Petrified!" Lockhart murmured. "If only I had been there…"
"Oh, shut up, you bloody—nancy-boy!" Snape snapped, and strode out of the room. After a minute, he heard Lockhart behind him, and he quickened his pace.
"Severus," Lockhart said hesitantly as he caught up with him, "I would help you with the Mandrake Restorative Draught, if you—"
"Shut up," Snape said.
"Right," said Lockhart, sounding almost relieved. Snape glared at him out of the corner of his eye. It was a rather tricky glare that he'd been working on especially for Lockhart.
He turned to the stairs leading down to the dungeon, and paused when Lockhart moved as if to follow him. "Why are you following me?" he said.
"Oh, well," Lockhart said smoothly, "I just thought you might not want to be alone after such a stressful—" He broke off when Snape turned and headed down the steps.
They continued on to Snape's rooms in silence. Snape closed the door behind them and frowned at Lockhart, who sat quietly in his usual spot on the sofa.
"I cannot believe this," Snape spat at last. "That miserable Potter is up to something, and I know it, and the Headmaster won't even find out what it is!" He began to pace in front of the fireplace.
Lockhart said nothing. A small part of Snape noticed this, and was surprised. An even smaller part was grateful.
"Potter is breaking the rules, again, and the Headmaster is letting him get away with it, again! It's almost too much to take." Three steps and whirl, three more steps and whirl. He wanted to throw something.
After a few moments, he sighed, and stopped pacing. He looked at Lockhart curiously. The golden-haired man was sitting on the sofa, watching him, still saying nothing. Snape didn't think he'd ever seen the man go five minutes without either winking or complimenting himself somehow. He found the attention somewhat discomfiting.
"Well," Snape said, turning away to keep Lockhart from noticing the heat rising in his face, "I'll just have to keep an eye on the boy, I suppose."
Lockhart had been fascinated to see the anger, raw and genuine emotion, take possession of the Potions master. He still went to Snape's rooms once a week as he had before Halloween, but something was different. He found himself asking questions, drawing Snape out, for no other reason than to hear him talk.
One Monday evening in December, Lockhart showed up at Snape's door without the Firewhisky. Snape raised an eyebrow, but let him in anyway. He waved Lockhart to the sofa and disappeared through a doorway, returning a moment later with two glasses of a dark wine.
"Severus," Lockhart said, "I've got an idea."
Snape snorted. "An idea of your own, or one you overheard and decided to appropriate?" He sipped his wine, still standing.
"Well," Lockhart said judiciously, "I may have got the idea from a book I read. Or wrote. But it is a good idea anyway, I think." He watched the other man's face.
"Oh, go on, Lockhart, what is it?"
Lockhart shined his brightest smile. "I think we should start a dueling club!"
Snape choked on his wine. "What?"
"I heard you," Snape said irritably. "I meant—why?"
Lockhart shrugged. "Well, I thought it would be great fun to show the students the proper way to duel." He stood up and drew his wand, pointing it at the wall in an elaborate en guarde pose, with his knees bent and his non-wand arm held stiffly over his head. "And Dumbledore seemed to think it was a good idea." He shrugged and turned back to Snape.
"So the Headmaster put you up to this?" Snape said. "Fine, then, have your fun. Just don't think you'll actually be teaching the poor students anything useful." He snorted again. "You look like the poofter you are…"
"Ah, well, that's where you come in, Severus!"
Snape dropped his glass, which shattered. "What?!"
"Oh, not the bit about being a poofter," Lockhart said with another brilliant smile. "Though we can try that later, if you like." My, he thought, that is truly an impressive glare on Sevvie's face. I must have hit too close to home. "No, what I need you for is to be my—assistant."
Lockhart frowned. "Really, Sevvie, you keep saying that. Dumbledore thought it would be good if you helped me out a bit. Said you'd had a bit of experience in dueling."
Snape's glare turned thoughtful. "He did, did he?"
"Well then," Snape said, settling into his armchair at last, "perhaps we will be able to teach them something after all."
The dueling club was, more or less, a disaster. Lockhart told himself he'd played it off rather well, but he had difficulty convincing himself of that.
Things had started going downhill when Potter threw that first hex at little Draco Malfoy, but the very worst had been that hideous snake. Lockhart couldn't pretend he was very fond of snakes, Slytherin House mascot or no. He could hardly be blamed for messing up that Banishing Charm—who would be able to concentrate with those beady little eyes staring at you, those fangs ready to sink into your tender neck? Lockhart shuddered and patted his own neck protectively.
He was so glad he'd asked Snape there to help out. The fellow had done a rather admirable job of demonstrating the disarming spell, though he lacked the flair and style that Lockhart himself was graced with. Still, Lockhart couldn't understand why Snape had rushed off afterwards, without saying even a word to him.
Well, we'll see about that, Lockhart thought, and knocked on Snape's door.
After a moment, the door opened, just a crack.
"Severus?" Lockhart said. "It's me, Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Th—"
"Good grief," Snape said, his voice muffled. "I know who you are." He opened the door a bit wider and stuck his head out. "Just—go away, will you, Lockhart? I'm not in the mood for your nonsense."
Lockhart put a hand on the door and pushed gently, moving Snape back. "I just wanted to say thank you," he said, stepping into Snape's sitting room. He nodded in satisfaction at the way his plum robes swirled around his legs as he moved.
Snape gave him a shrewd look. "What for?"
"For helping me with the dueling club, of course!" Lockhart sat down in Snape's armchair. "The way you banished that snake was simply marvelous. Of course, if you wanted some style pointers, I'd be happy to—"
"Lockhart," Snape said, frowning at him, "I have more important things to worry about than how many times I can wave my arms before dropping my wand."
Lockhart's smile didn't waver. "Go on, sit down, Severus, and tell me all about it."
Snape sighed and lowered himself onto the sofa. "It's just… did you have any idea that Potter was a Parselmouth?"
A frown creased Lockhart's brow momentarily. "Ah… no?"
"Neither did I," Snape said. "It bothers me on multiple levels. First of all, how do we know what else Potter is hiding? Secondly, the implications of him being a Parselmouth…"
Lockhart let Snape's words wash over him, listening to the smooth rolling of his voice. For some reason, sitting here letting Snape talk at him made Lockhart feel, well, needed, in a way he wasn't sure he'd felt before.
Snape paused and looked at Lockhart. "Are you listening to me?" he said.
"Oh, absolutely," Lockhart said, nodding seriously. "You were saying?"
"Well, there have been… certain other Parselmouths this century…"
Lockhart didn't have any idea what Snape was talking about, and he found he didn't much care. Still, it was a treat to see the Potions master so focused, so intent on something. Lockhart thought back to the casual way he'd handled the snake in the Great Hall that evening. Snape had seemed so… competent, so skilled. Remembering the smug look on his face made Lockhart shiver.
Snape paused again, eyeing Lockhart suspiciously, but after a moment he continued.
Now or never, my boy, Lockhart told himself, and slipped off of his armchair and onto the sofa next to Snape before either of them could blink.
Snape raised an eyebrow, but continued his monologue, sounding more thoughtful than worried now. Lockhart pictured him as the captain of a great sailing vessel, addressing his crew with that air of competence he'd shown earlier. He could almost hear the cry of the gulls; almost feel the wind whipping through Severus' black hair as he stood there, with billowing sleeves and tight pants…
Snape broke off abruptly. "What are you thinking about?" he asked.
Lockhart gave a little chuckle. "Oh, just what you were saying. Potter. You know." He waved a hand in the air. Snape seemed reluctant to meet his eyes. "Please, continue."
"I get the distinct impression," Snape said softly, "that you are not paying any attention to me."
"On the contrary, my dear Sevvie," Lockhart said. "I'm paying very, very close attention to you." He reached a hand up, slowly, and brushed Snape's hair back from his face.
Snape closed a hand around his wrist. "Do not do that again," he growled.
Lockhart was impressed by the strength of his grip. "All right, all right," he said. "Now, the only thing I don't understand, is why exactly you seem to think that Potter is hiding anything else from us?"
"He's Potter!" Snape said, releasing Lockhart's hand. "He's been acting suspiciously recently. I just know there's more going on than meets the eye." Snape looked up at Lockhart's face and caught his breath.
Lockhart, who had just been imagining a certain hook-nosed pirate captain growling into the ear of his golden-haired, devastatingly attractive cabin boy as he bent him over a table, was startled by the sudden alarm he saw in Snape's face.
"What?" Lockhart said.
"You—I—" Snape stood up quickly and backed away from the sofa, putting the big armchair between himself and Lockhart.
It's a good thing he can't read my mind, thought Lockhart, or he'd really be flustered. "What's the matter?" Lockhart said.
"I want you out of my rooms. This instant." Snape's fists were clenched tightly at his sides.
Lockhart was baffled. Here he was, being nicer to Snape than anyone else had in probably years, even listening politely as he ranted on about the Potter boy of all things, and Snape wanted him to leave? He rose from the sofa slowly.
"Severus," he said, taking a step closer to the other man. "You're trembling." He reached a hand up, but Snape jumped back, knocking the armchair over.
"All right, Severus," Lockhart said, trying to sound hurt and confused. "There's no need to yell. I'll go if you really want me to."
Snape lifted a finger to point at the door. Lockhart sighed.
"If you're going to kick me out anyway," he said, and then closed the distance between them in a single quick step. Snape opened his mouth, but Lockhart kissed him before he could say anything.
Snape didn't respond right away, but that didn't stop Gilderoy Lockhart. There was always the option of an obliviate if things went badly. He lifted one hand to Severus' waist, and let the other one rest gently on the back of the other man's neck. He kissed more insistently at Severus' lips, until at last they moved underneath his.
"Lockhart," Snape said into his mouth. "Lock—mmf!"
"Shh," whispered Lockhart. He stroked his thumb across Snape's mouth, and began to kiss the underside of his jaw, holding Snape's body close to his with his other arm. He reached the sensitive hollow behind Snape's ear and mouthed wetly at it.
Snape's hands were between their chests, now, pushing at him feebly. "Lockhart!"
"Mm, call me Gilderoy." He nibbled Severus' earlobe.
Snape broke away from him then. "What… the hell… do you think you're doing?" He was a bit out of breath, Lockhart was pleased to note.
"You're absolutely right," Lockhart said. "We should go to my place. Tell you what, let me pop over there and get a few things ready, and you come over in, say, ten minutes?"
Snape gaped at him.
"Right," Lockhart said. "I'll be waiting for you."
Precisely nine minutes later, Severus Snape found himself pacing in front of Lockhart's door. He was having a rather rushed argument with himself.
The part of his mind that made sure his lesson plans were always done ahead of time—the part that delighted in rules and propriety and safety—was arguing very strongly for him to turn around and head back to the dungeons, and start planning his revenge against that slimy opportunistic git.
Another part of him was reminding him how gently Lockhart had touched his cheek, and how good it had felt to be pulled close against him. Snape didn't recognize that part of himself. He wasn't sure he'd ever heard from it before.
Finally, he stopped in front of the door and put a hand on his wand in an inner pocket of his robes. Ah well, he thought. There was always obliviate if things went too badly. He knocked.
Instantly, Lockhart opened the door and was pulled Snape inside. Snape had a brief impression of lit candles, framed portraits of Lockhart covering the walls, and garish purple furniture, and then Lockhart was guiding him through a doorway towards a rather large bed.
Snape caught hold of the doorframe. "Wait just a minute, Lockhart."
Lockhart paused. "Yes?" He was standing just behind Snape, head bent down to breathe across Snape's neck, his hands on Snape's waist.
"I—I just want to be clear…"
"It's all right," Lockhart said softly, moving his lips even closer to Severus' neck. Snape closed his eyes. "I understand," Lockhart whispered. "Don't worry about a thing. Just… enjoy the moment."
He reached his arms around Snape's chest, and Snape leaned his head back against the taller man's shoulder, reveling in the strangeness and warmth. Lockhart turned his head to kiss Severus on the cheek, and then stepped around him into the bedroom.
"Now," he said, taking Snape's hand and drawing him forward. "Come with me." He sat on the bed and patted the space next to him. Snape didn't sit down.
"Lockhart," he said, "there is one misconception I need to clear up before we go any further."
"I know, you wouldn't normally do this, you're not really queer, I'll respect you in the morning—really, it's—"
"Shut up," Snape growled, and pushed Lockhart down onto the bed. "What I mean is," he went on, straddling Lockhart's body, pulling his own robes out of the way, "I'm not exactly inexperienced at this sort of thing."
Lockhart's eyes widened slightly. Snape smirked. He took hold of Lockhart's wrists and pinned them to the bed above the mass of blond hair, leaning as much weight as he could onto his arms. He could feel the hardness of Lockhart's erection pressing against his own, and Snape realized for the first time how ready he was for this. He lowered his head until his lips were nearly touching Lockhart's ear.
"And someone's been a very naughty cabin boy," Snape murmured. Lockhart moaned. "I'm afraid I'll have to fuck you for that." He was gratified to feel Lockhart bucking underneath him, pressing his body upward in invitation. "Fuck you very—" he kissed Lockhart's ear— "very—" he ran his tongue around the edge of the ear— "hard," he said, and bit down on the tender lobe, while at the same time thrusting his hips forward against Lockhart, so that the feel of his hard cock would be unmistakable, even through the layers of fabric between them.
Lockhart yelped and struggled weakly against his grasp.
Severus bared his teeth.
Much later, Lockhart snuggled up behind the sleeping Potions master and draped one arm around his thin frame. What Gilderoy Lockhart wants, he thought, Gilderoy Lockhart gets.