death eaters at the malfoy estate, chapter two

words, words, words

It's not what you said, it's how you said it.

ooo

Severus churned. His teeth ground, he grumbled, carefully dripping a milky purplish poison into a jar of formaldehyde. The mixture turned green and a look of brief hope crossed his face...until it turned brown, then black.

"Fuck!"

He threw his goggles off, lighting a cigarette in the same motion.

"Fuck all."

He stomped off in search of Lucius.

And found him.

The door to the prince's study was open a crack, revealing the bombshell sitting on the couch, his arms spread across the back. His head was tilted, resting against the pillows, eyes closed in an expression of pleased sleepiness.

Severus raised his fist to knock.

"Hmm. Mm," Lucius muttered, shifting on the couch. "That's fucking good, Pink Boy."

Severus lowered his fist, heard Lucius draw a sudden sharp breath from between his teeth. "Gah! What are you doing?"

Severus pushed the door open a mere fraction of an inch more, peered through with one glittering black eye.

Lucius's face was red, glaring down at the gently bobbing, blonde head of Barty Crouch that had taken residence in his lap.

"I thought you liked-"

"Watch the teeth, you twit," Lucius seethed.

"I'm sorry."

"Do I have to tell you everything?"

"I'm sorry."

"Get back to work," Lucius said. Something on the table beside the couch caught his interest. A catalogue. "Oh, the new Bloodworth and Blackchurch. Didn't know this came." He wet his thumb and began to flip through it.

Barty resumed his duties. Severus felt a heat rise in him as he watched, hypnotized, the blonde head working in time with black leather clad hips. His face grew warm. He had to stop looking, watching this. The bobbing head. The tensing shoulder.

He looked away. At the floor. Anything. Don't watch.

Wiped his palms against his pants. No, no, no.

He heard the catalogue drop from Lucius's hands.

"Mmm. Like that, yeah..."

Severus shuddered, his breath catching in his throat. Salivating.

No, he thought. Look away. You're not like that.

He looked at Lucius.

Who was looking back at him.

Grinning.

Severus stumbled from the door as if propelled by a gale and strode down the hall in a panic.

And almost ran straight into Myra Psue.

"Jesus!" she exclaimed, nearly dropping the rolls of parchment she carried. "What the-"

"What are you doing here!" Severus hissed. He wiped his forehead, panted, bent down to help Myra pick up the scrolls. "I thought you were- you were going to Knockturn- here, take this-"

She placed the scrolls in the crook of her arm as Severus passed them to her faster than she could handle. "I was just going to - hey! Drop these off at the Taskmaster's office. What the hell is with you, anyway? You look like you just ran a mile."

He handed her the last scroll. "It's nothing, I'm fine. Nevermind."

"You're not fine, what's wrong?"

"Nothing!"

"Ok! I'm going then. Bye." She pushed past him and started down the hall.

He leapt forward, grabbing her arm. "Wait, I need to talk to you about something."

A slow smile. 'So you're going to confide in me after all?"

"No, it's not about that."

"About what just happened?"

"Right."

"So something did just happen."

"No! Nothing - Myra, just shut up for a second, will you? It's about other things. About business."

"You mean the business you are currently conducting with Lucius?"

"Yes, I-"

She shook her head. "Nuh-uh. No way. I told you I'm not getting involved with that, that's your-"

"Severus!" came a jovial voice from down the hall. "Fancy finding you here. I take it there was something you wanted to discuss with me?" Lucius stopped before them, smiling, clasping his hands behind his back. There was a tinge of pink in his cheeks. True to form, he did not acknowledge Myra's existence.

"We'll talk later," Severus said to Myra.

"Like hell we will." She nodded to Lucius as she walked by. "Mr. Malfoy."

Lucius smiled at Severus. "So, how are things cooking up down in the lab?"

"Not as well as I'd hoped. I just came up here to tell you that this batch may take another day due to some, er, technical difficulties. I can do it in twelve hours but it won't be as good as the last batch."

"Which was really something." Lucius put his hand on Severus's shoulder and squeezed. 'Quite something."

"Um. Yes." Severus said, stepping away from his hand. "Glad you liked it."

"Oh, I did," he replied. "I enjoyed it...quite immensely. As did you, from the looks of it."

"What do you mean, I didn't-."

Lucius stopped him with a chesire grin.

Severus sputtered a bit. Cleared his throat. "Yes. Well. Do you want the twelve hour batch or the twenty four hour?"

"Twenty four, my voyeuristic friend. Only the best for our patrons."

Severus did a double-take. 'Wh-what did you say?"

"The twenty four hour batch, Severus. I'd best be off now." Lucius nodded in dismissal and strode down the hall.

ooo

Two hours later, back in the lab.

"Myra," Severus said. He was at a table next to a burbling cauldron, face resting in his hands. He rubbed his eyes. "Please."

She crossed her armsbv. "I said no."

He sighed. "As a partner, as a friend, please. I beseech you. How often do I beseech?"

"Not nearly often enough."

"I can't do this alone. I can't make shipments for Lucius and procure the dark Lord's potions needs. It's too much."

"Ha! Whose fault is that? Who's idea was it to go to Lucius of all people in a time of need?"

"You didn't seem to have any suggestions at the time!"

"There must have been a better way."

"We-" he suddenly stopped and shook his head. 'What's done is done. What do I have to do to get you to help me?"

Myra cocked her head, adopting a eerily Lucius-like quality. "I want a cut."

He blinked. 'What?"

"Equal work for equal pay. If you want me to help you with this little project I want a piece of the take."

"You realize I only get thirty percent as it is."

"Then I want fifteen."

"You must be joking."

"Not." She snickered. "What do you think I am? The drug samaratin? That I give away my precious services for free?"

"Half the take is a bit much for what I'd need you for-"

"Then get Barty to do it," she snapped. "He could use the extra money, I hear the paper route doesn't pay well. If you want an expert you pay for an expert."

He averted his eyes from hers and took a breath, as though he were considering something, then made sudden eye contact to see if she flinched. If her resolve was really strong as it seemed.

There was no flinch. She regarded him just as coldly as before.

Which, coming from Myra, he found strangely unnerving.

"Fine," he sighed. 'If that's what you want, that's what you'll get. You realize this won't make you rich beyond the dreams of avarice. We'll probably only pull in a couple hundred extra galleons a week each."

She shrugged. 'It's a couple hundred galleons more than I had. We can start getting real food for lunch instead of McCaligula's, it'll be grand."

"Grand," Severus said.

ooo

Myra had gone to bed an hour or so earlier. Severus had been on his way to his own bed, but had inexplicably made a stop at the green couch and there he remained, limp, immobile, to tired to move properly, so why move at all?

Lucius's mixture simmered softly away in cauldron B, providing pleasant, gurgling background noise. He let his head drop a little, spying a powdery mess on a counter. It was borax, he realized, and should be removed in case one of the house elves wanted to see if it was powered sugar. No big deal. The rest of the lab could use a swift picking up as well

He sighed. But that would mean he'd have to take out his wand and wave it around ... he shifted a little on the couch, getting comfortable. He's clean it up tomorrow. Fuck the fucking elves...and their little pointy shoes...

...no no, house elves didn't wear shoes. They...they hate shoes.

He needed some new shoes...Severus felt himself sinking below consciousness, into the deepest, warmest, silkiest sleep. He brimmed with the last remnant of wakeful pleasure, for he knew this was to be the finest and most delicious sleep ever, the sleep his body had been craving for weeks, the sexiest sleep in the in the history of all manki-

"Hellllleeeeeuuuuuuuu!"

The sudden supersonic shrill hit him like a sledgehammer. Severus yelped, jumped.

"Narcissa!"

Her blonde head was poked in the door. Her hair was down, yet still fell in perfect, fascist waves. She tucked a strand behind her ear and said sweetly, "Oh, did I wake you?"

"No, I was asleep anyway. Awake. Anyway. You simply startled me." He got to his feet, trying to keep his displeasure at the lost sleep of heaven from reaching his voice. "I was just about to close up, was there something you needed?"

"Why yes. Yes there is, Severus."

He waved his wand at the pile of borax on the counter as he heard her come in; it disappeared with a tiny pop. He chided himself - he should have scooped it in with the rest, why was he wasting materials? This was stupid, it was late, and this platinum bitch-

-was perched on the arm of the couch behind him, barley wearing a black silk kimono. It was open enough on the top to reveal the curve of one perfect breast, enough on the bottom to reveal a smooth leg to the upper thigh. She was smiling with closed lips, eye sparkling.

That was strange.

"What did you...need?" he asked, hesitant.

"Sit down," she said silkily, patting the cushion of the couch nearest to her.

"I...um, really, I should be-"

"Severus. Sit."

He froze for a moment but did as he was told, sinking into the cushions with Narcissa watching his every move like a bat. From his vantage point she was staring down at him, dominant, so easy on the arm of the couch.

Unknowingly he folded his hands in his lap, elbows flush against his sides, tense. "A bit late for a..um...chat, isn't it?"

"It's never too late for a chat with you, my old, dear friend." She grinned. "You asked if there was anything I needed. Well, there is."

Severus was silent.

She made a summoning sort of gesture with her hand. When she spoke there was no silkiness, it was more as though she were a director. "This is where you ask what I need."

"Oh. What do you need?"

Her voice resumed silkiness. "I want more of your words, Severus."

"My...words?"

"Don't you remember the beautiful things you said to me? 'Narcissa, you are a flawless vision of crystalline, unchangeable beauty. You're a china doll, Aphrodite herself, the breath of spring after a long and frigid winter. Your very presence would induce a long-dead corpse to rise again to admire even for a single second your awesome and unequivocal perfection.'" At the resolution she tilted her head back and gave a post-coital sigh. "Oh. I've memorized them, those delicious words, so full of truth. They warm my skin, Severus."

He was tempted to tell her that they had been said with a sarcasm that she was obviously too bubble-headed to catch, but he has was too stunned and curious at this development. "I, uh..I didn't intend for them to have that...effect..?"

She smiled. "Of course you didn't," she said patronizingly. "Tell me, do you have any more of those words now?"

"Words now?"

She nodded. "Look at me and soothe me with whatever wonderful poetry you are inspired." She sighed and lifted her chin, closed her eyes, adjusted herself into a pose of statuesque, stiff beauty.

His mind went completely blank.

"It's nice," he finally said, 'that you, um, don't end your sentences in a preposition. It shows...culture...?"

She laughed and broke her pose, pinching Severus's chin. "Oh, you are such a tease. Don't hold back. Say what you really feel."

Frightened, he thought. Baffled. Nauseated sometimes. Most of the time.

"Perhaps," she said, "you didn't find that stance inspiring? I'll try something else. I just love to help the creative process along!" She rose from the arm of the couch and sauntered to a counter covered with beakers and flasks. "Maybe I'll play with some of your toys?"

"I wouldn't recommend that," he said quickly. 'Some of them are dangerous."

She giggled, twirling an empty flask in her hand. "I love danger," she said, and snapped her teeth. "I'm dangerous."

"Ah...yes. Right."

She took a deep breath and began to rub the flask against her cheek. "The glass is so cool...like..like..." she looked him pointedly, the director's tone returning. "like *what*, Severus?

"Like ice?" he spurted.

She rolled her eyes, exasperated. "No, like cold, like me, like what is cold on me?"

The only thing that came to mind was better left unsaid.

Finally he said, 'Your eyes."

She closed them. "My eyes are what?"

"Cold."

"Like what?"

"Glass."

"Go on, go on."

"Cold like...like the tips of vast yet hollow icebergs."

She drew a sharp breath and smiled. "There they are, those words." She put the beaker down and took a step or two closer to him, pleased, catlike. She moved her shoulder in such a way that made her kimono shift, accidentally-on-purpose.

"And my skin, Severus...how does my skin inspire you?"

"I...it...um..."

She crept towards him now, and suddenly knelt on the ground.. "Come now." She rubbed her hands along her stomach, her thighs. "Say them," she purred.

Severus's breath caught in his throat. He hated to admit it, but this bizarre impromptu poetry slam was starting to turn him on.

"Your skin is like the finest parchment..." he began.

Her hand was creeping on a downwards vertical from her breastbone. He watched it.

"...the finest, whitest parchment that...um...awaits-"

The hand crept down further.

"no - that could be nothing but the waiting canvas for, er-"

She slid the hand through the folds of her kimono between her legs.

"-the waiting canvas for words of utmost devotion and love."

She arched a little, gasping. So, it was to be that kind of game.

He experienced a sudden and distinct thrill of arousal, accompanied by disgust at the arousal, and further literary disgust that she had gotten off on so cheap and awful a line. Dobby the house elf could have composed something more riveting.

Apparently she didn't agree with his criticism. 'More!" she demanded, her breath coming in shudders.

He felt a sudden firmness. The disgust was overridden by arousal, and he tried frantically to find the words she so desired.

"I...your hair, it's like cornsilk! Cornsilk woven by the finest fearies, of, um, the corn. Yes. The fearies of the corn!"

"The corn fearies," she sighed.

"Yes! Of Cornwall! That weave hair - er, weaved your hair, that is. Into gold. For the Rupee King, in India, who possesses spices that are nowhere near as potent and arousing as the smell of your very sweat!"

"Yes. Oh, yes, Severus, go on." She bit her bottom lip and it was all he could do from shoving his hand inside his own robes. The left side of her kimono dropped completely, revealing a round and perfect-

"Breast! Breasts, the finest in all of France, and the French are renowned for their breasts, like the famous Delacour women, only yours are more beautiful, like waterfalls, only round and smooth like waterfalls aren't, no, not in the least!"

As he watched her face contort with pleasure he dug his hands into the flesh of the couch to keep them in place. Oh, how he wanted to, oh how he needed to, but he couldn't, not in front of her. Not in front of anyone.

"More!" she barked. 'Speak!"

"The-the-you...' he blanked again. "You! Cold! Like...china!" And suddenly, "I couldn't escape this feeling, with my China Girl, I'm just a wreck without, my little China Girl, I'd hear hearts beating , loud as thunder, see the stars crashing-"

She cried out and arched.

"I'm a mess without my little China Girl!" Severus nearly shrieked.

She suddenly raised her forearm to her mouth, extended her tongue, and licked from elbow to wrist.

Any words that had been forming in Severus's head promptly snapped out of existence.

What...why was she doing that? He had seen her do that before. When?

In the mirror, on the way to give Voldemort his potion.

She continued to lick her arm and rub herself. Severus blinked. There he was, with a huge hard on, and she was...licking her arm, and...and it wasn't sexy at all, it was carnivorous, cannibalistic...god, why...? It was weird.

"More words," Narcissa slobbered against her arm, like some king ordering a wine from a wench, voice muffled by a turkey leg.

And Severus did the worst possible thing he could have done to release his pent up tension.

He laughed.

It was high, shrieking laughter, laughter that made up for his clenched and motionless hands, for the nearly painful erection that threatened to poke him in the eye. He laughed and he could not stop laughing.

"Are you laughing at my arm!" Narcissa demanded.

Severus howled.

"It's the only way, damn you!" she yelled. "It's the only way I can do it! It's not funny!"

Severus gasped for air and resumed howling.

She stood and angrily threw her kimono back on. "You...you bastard! I hate you and I hate your stupid words! Do you think I've never heard Iggy Pop! You slimly, plagiarizing git!"

Severus coughed on his own spittle. "You have to-..." He fell back onto the couch, holding his stomach, tears in his eyes.

She huffed and spun on her heel, heading for the door. 'Lucius was right," she hissed at him. "You *are* gay."

He stopped laughing and looked up.

"...What?"

She was gone.

ooo

Myra cocked her head, brows drawn, smirking. "I've never heard of anything like that. She has to lick her arms to come?"

He was glad her voice was diminished by the low hum of people talking, the clacking of spoons and plates. "I don't know if it's both her arms or just the left one," he said.

"That's bizarre," she replied. "It's bloody great, is what it is."

She laughed a little and sipped her caramel mochiatto out of an oversized mug. Severus had not asked what it was because that was always what it was. She never drank coffee in any other form, as she swore it would give her a heart attack.

Myra looked content enough, curled on the huge overstuffed brown leather couch, but Severus was not nearly so relaxed. The strangeness of the previous night's literary debauchery still hung over his head - that coupled with the fear of a possibly vengeful Narcissa had him completely on edge.

Myra raised her eyebrows. "I guess Lucius isn't socking it to her."

"Not to her, no."

She snickered. "Yeah. Perhaps if she had been born slightly more male. I don't know Sev, maybe it's a cat thing."

"What's a cat thing?"

"The licking of the arm. Maybe she has to pretend she's a cat. Cats are sexy."

"Cats aren't sexy."

"Sure they are. They slink around, they stare intently, they purr, they rub up against you, but they don't care about you. Translate that to a person and you have sex appeal."

He thought for a moment. "Does the person also have tuna breath and shit in a box?"

"Can I get you guys anything?" asked a perky voice, attached to a pair of equally perky nipples. Severus had to remind himself to look up at her face, pretty, framed by a reddish blonde shag.

"No Rachel, we're fine, thanks," Severus said.

"Kay." She took her tray and walked off.

"Sheesh, little cold in here?" Myra snickered. "Seriously though, I love this place."

Percolaters was a small coffee house that was located somewhere. No one really knew where, as it had a habit of moving around so that it could not be tracked by Aurors, who would have quite a reason to track it, as it was *the* place to be if one was a Death Eater. It was usually located at various places in Knockturn Alley and sometimes ran business openly at Durmstrang school in Russia. It appeared at the Malfoy Estate off and on, and that day Myra and Severus had been lucky enough to catch it.

There was a sudden squeal from behind the counter, as though Rachel had just burned herself with coffee. "Oh!" she exclaimed, fanning her forearm. "Dark mark, Dark Mark! Hot hot hot! Oh, the Dark Lord must want his espresso..."

"She's so fucking cute. I'm gonna slit her throat."

"Do it," Severus said. He took a hot mouthful of black coffee.

"Nah. Later. Go on with your story."

"Hmm? There's not much besides that. She just got in a huff and left. Oh. But as she was leaving, she said-"

He stopped suddenly, not sure if he wanted to continue.

Myra looked at him expectantly. "Said what?"

Severus looked down into his coffee at his dark, wiggling reflection. Took a breath. 'She said 'Lucius was right. You really are gay.'"

Myra was silent for a moment. 'Well..."

"Well what?"

"Well I mean..." she looked at him for a second, the looked away. "No no, I can't imagine why she'd say a thing like that. Is Lucius talking shit about you?

"What were you going to say?" he asked, voice soft and dangerous.

"I wasn't going to-"

"What were you going to say, Myra?"

She bit her lip. "You aren't allowed to get mad at me."

"I won't get mad at you."

She crossed her arms. "You're already mad at me."

"I am not. Just spit it out."

"Okay. Fine." She sighed. "Have you ever given any consideration to the thought that you might be just the least bit bisexual?"

Severus stood, spilling his coffee. "NEVER!" he roared.

The cafe fell silent. Somewhere near the back was Mr. Grindow Holland, looking quite paralyzed. The house promptly returned to its usual din. Seeing as it was frequented by Death Eaters and other such evil folk, loud and overdramatic outbursts were not uncommon.

Severus was still fuming. "How could you say something like that?" he hissed.

She stood and touched his forearm. "Come on, let's get out of here. They're launching for Uzbekistan sometime in the next fifteen minutes. Besides, Phoebe's going to sing."

Sure enough, a tall blonde woman was approaching the small stage with a guitar. Everyone groaned.

"Okay, like, hostile energy, whoa," she said.

Myra and Severus apparated-

-back to the lab.

"Bisexual!" he exclaimed, and realized that he still held the mug of coffee.

She gently took it from him. "Calm down," she said. Despite himself, he did. It was an odd ability of hers. She handed him a towel to wipe his hand. "All I did was voice the possibly, Severus. You promised you wouldn't get mad."

"I am not gay. Why does everyone think I'm gay?" He put his hand on his hip.

"Bisexual, Severus, not gay...there is the way you look at Barty."

Severus's jaw dropped, aghast. "I do not look at Barty! I've never so much as laid eyes on Barty! He is invisible to me! I cannot even see him!"

Myra continued. "Oh really? You were so busy NOT watching him that you forgot to turn on the hood last week, remember? He was seducing you with his boyish wiles and it almost got us killed."

"There are no wiles!"

"There are wiles, Severus. Barty's the the perfect blonde butt-boy any warm blooded fag would kill for."

"You would know," Severus replied curtly.

Myra laughed. "Ok. Fine. Let's take a little test. Last night during the episode with Narcissa, were you turned on?"

"Yes! Very! She's a woman! I like women!"

"Yesterday when you were watching Barty and Lucius, were you turned on?"

Severus froze.

"A little Barty told me," Myra said.

His face flushed. "I...I mean, I...it was- I wasn't..."

"It's nothing to be ashamed of, Sev," she said softly.

"I like WOMEN!" he burst, and swooped out of the lab.

Myra shook her head and looked around at the lab, filled with bubbling poisons and half-finished mixtures. Sighed. "I guess I'll finish up in here while he has his identity crisis," she lamented to the heavy air.

Rubbing her eyes, she removed from her robes a small bottle filled with white powder, and reached for a glass plate.

ooo