Disclaimer: it's Jo's, innit?
A/N: this was a chapter in my fic 'Of Princes and Knights,' but then I decided to take Draco and Snape out... so I decided to post it as a oneshot! Tell me what you think!
Chapter Four: Lemons
Before this whole mess, Draco had hated Muggles on principle.
Now, he hated them for them.
"The bloody ceiling's leaking!" he shouted at the motel manager, slamming his fist into the counter with such force that the pudgy man's half-empty, styrofoam cup of coffee shuddered and nearly fell over. "FIX IT!"
"Why the hell not?" he demanded.
He sighed. "Look, Mr. Sloane. I'm a manager, not a repairman."
"There's got to be someone in this dump with some proficiency in the subject!"
"'Fraid not. Our repairman's on vacation."
"For how bloody long?"
"Two more weeks. Mr. Sloane, I'm sorry, but there are other customers waiting. Is that all you want?"
Ready to tear his dyed-brown hair out by the roots, Draco gave a stifled scream of frustration and stalked away from the front desk, back to the shabby room that he shared with his erstwhile professor. He flung himself down onto his bed, burying his face in the pillow, and screamed. "BLOODY MUGGLES!"
"Really, Draco, if you insist on acting like a child there is no point in complaining about the fact that I treat you like one," came that too-familiar drawl from the other narrow, lumpy bed.
There was a wintry silence in which Draco could feel his elder's stare boring through him. When Snape finally spoke, it was with a degree of cold contempt as yet unrivalled, at least in Draco's experience. "You will refrain from speaking to me so, or I will not be responsible for you any longer. I have completed the task set me by your mother; I would be completely within my rights to leave you here, stranded, in the Muggle world. Would you like that, Mr. Malfoy?"
Draco, his jaw gritted so tightly that he was surprised no teeth had splintered yet, flopped over onto his back. "No, Professor," he said in a strained voice.
"Then I suggest that you learn to control yourself, before I am forced to teach you."
Draco couldn't help but shudder a little; Severus Snape was a dangerous man, with or without his wand.
"What are we going to do?" he asked, for not the first time.
Snape sighed heavily. "Must you ask that every hour, on the hour?"
"Seems like as good a time as any," the boy snarked back.
The Potions Master did not reply—but then again, he never did. For over two weeks, Draco had been asking that question. What now, Professor? Where are we going to go? What did he say? What the bloody hell are we going to do now?
Draco sighed, folding his hands on his stomach and staring up at the little bumps on the ceiling. Snape was watching the Muggle news on the television, a contraption that Draco had become intimately familiar with in the last few days—after all, there wasn't much else to do, stuck in this hellhole. His frown edged dangerously towards a pout, a fact of which he was both aware and indifferent. If anyone had the right to pout, it was Draco Malfoy. After all—not only had he failed to do as he had been ordered by the Dark Lord himself, but he had also been named Public Enemy Number Three (after the Dark Lord and Severus Snape) and had had to flee the only world he'd ever known...
He rumpled his newly-cut hair. Snape had taken a Muggle package of dye and a pair of scissors to it just the previous day, after having decided that the trademark, silvery-blond Malfoy hair was just too much of a giveaway. Now, Draco was a brunette, and he had to agree—blonds did have more fun.
Snape had also cut his own hair, and had taken on a positively horrifying wardrobe consisting of blue jeans and tee shirts, none of which were either black or green. The professor had said that, since he'd worn nothing but black since he was Draco's age, it would help with the disguise. He had also, much to Draco's amusement, gone several times to a Muggle tanning parlor, and no longer resembled a vampire so much.
Draco himself had outright refused a visit to the tanning parlor; after the brunette debacle, he thought that he deserved at least to keep his complexion. He'd always been rather vain about his skin; after all, the fashions of the wizarding world was far beyond those of Muggles. A smooth, perfect, porcelain complexion like Draco's was always admired, far beyond the horrible, fake tans that Muggles subjected themselves to.
Well, it didn't matter anymore. He'd be getting no compliments here; compared to most Muggles, between his ivory complexion and slight stature, he resembled a plant grown in the dark. He wasn't used to not being the handsomest, most charming, most desired boy around. It just wasn't right.
"I'm hungry. Can we go out tonight? If I have to stare at this wallpaper for one more second, I'm going to go loony."
"Do you promise?" ground out Snape, grimacing at the boy. Draco made a contemptuous sound, then proceeded to stare coldly at his professor, who had finally had enough. "By Merlin, you are the most infuriating, immature boy I have ever had the displeasure of meeting! And yes, I am including the Boy Wonder in that statement."
Draco scowled at Snape as the older man clicked off the television and grabbed his wallet from the bedside table.
"Stay here. I will return in half an hour, at the latest. If I find that you have left the room, you will severely regret it."
With this affectionate farewell, Severus Snape slammed the door behind him.
Snape, or so Draco had recently discovered, had a penchant for slamming things.
Severus Snape had never been a man prone to good moods. If anyone who had known him for more than five minutes had seen him stopping to smell the roses, pet a puppy, or otherwise be a sunny-side-up prat, they would have immediately run in the opposite direction, assuming that aliens had invaded the earth and had possessed his body for use in their diabolical plans of spreading sunshine and happiness.
Being forced to spend an indefinite amount of time with a boy whose immaturity had finally come to light was not sweetening his temper at all; neither was having to live like a Muggle.
After the incident on the Astronomy Tower, Snape had fled, dragging Malfoy's brat behind him, to the Dark Lord's stronghold. There, he had informed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named that Dumbledore was dead, and Hogwarts was in the hands of Minerva McGonagall—she was an obstacle to his dark plan, but not nearly so difficult a one as Albus Dumbledore.
The Dark Lord had been disappointed in Draco's failure, but had sensed that the boy had real potential, if only he could grow up and grow a backbone.
Snape, however, had been received warmly and with a hero's welcome, one that left a bitter taste in his mouth. Women, fame, money, security—the Dark Lord offered them all to him, swearing that, lest he should wish it, Severus Snape would never again be forced to do the dirty work. He would be the erstwhile Tom Riddle's right-hand man... once his dominion was settled, that was. Until then, it would be best for Severus to disappear for a while into 'enemy territory,' and to take the Malfoy boy with him. Of course, the Ministry could track the through magic, and while Snape's self-control was not in question, the boy would be a problem... it would be best if both of their wands remained with the Dark Lord, to banish the threat of temptation...
A woman at a roadside stand laden with fruits and vegetables hailed him over to check out her wares, but he ignored her calls, walking on until a subtle aroma caught his attention. It was fresh and bright, and horrifyingly familiar...
Snape felt himself blanch beneath his newly earned tan, and quickened his steps. His pace didn't slow until the moment that he had to pause outside the motel room. He cursed softly as he fumbled with the key, turning it with shaking fingers. He exploded into the room, slamming the door behind him and dropping the bag carelessly on Draco's bed.
"Professor? Are you all right?"
Snape didn't trust himself to look at the boy now—his cold exterior belied the rush of emotions beneath the surface, emotions so powerful that they could very well sweep away something as fragile and inconstant as the Malfoy brat...
Never lifting his eyes from the ugly, peuce carpet, he stalked into the bathroom and splashed cold water onto his face, not bothering to turn on the light. In the dim light admitted by the narrow doorway, he saw a stranger staring back at him from the mirror. His skin had a light glow, the gift of what appeared to be hours in the sun—his black hair was cut into a generic, somewhat messy cut around his ears.
The one thing he recognized were the eyes, staring out at him with cold hatred.