WARNING: This is a slash
story, which means it contains male/male erotic
content involving consenting adults. If you're not
of legal age or are offended by such material,
find something else
TITLE: Amends Meet
CATEGORY: Drama/Angst, Hurt/Comfort
SUMMARY: Following the events of GoF, Moody
suspects Snape of hiding a secret and sets out to
uncover it. What he learns is far from what he
DISCLAIMER: As usual, everyone belongs to J.K.
Rowling. I own nothing but my twisted mind.
A/N: This is an alternate sequel to A.E. Nulnore's
fic "Shades of
Grey", which really
MUST be read first. Wonderful story, I couldn't
stop thinking about the concept--- and, oh joy,
she's planning a sequel, for which favor much
Pride as a motivator for right action is a concept
from the works of Robert Heinlein; I always think
Alastor Moody would be a good Heinlein character!
He's avoiding me. I can
Of course, a Death Eater has
good reason to avoid old Mad-Eye. Except that this
one's supposed to be reformed.
Dumbledore trusts him.
Expects me to trust him.
And look where Dumbledore's
trust got us. We almost lost the Potter boy. To say
nothing of... anything else.
After all, an Auror's job is
to risk--- that. And it's hard to think that I was
so easily taken....
The Crouch boy paid for his
crime. But I'm not prepared to believe he was the
only one involved.
Not with Snape slinking
I think it's time I have a
little chat with him.
I can't help it; that gruff
voice makes me shake.
Makes me look guilty.
Well, I am, aren't I? I
didn't tell the Headmaster. I should have.
But I couldn't bear it. I
have some pride left. I'm allowed that much.
I freeze, waiting as Moody
stumps up to me. With anyone else, I'd be tempted
to make a snide comment about his speed: lost his
edge; a real
Death Eater wouldn't wait to be caught... except
that this is Moody. And after everything that's
happened, sarcasm is beyond even me.
He regards me narrowly, his
real eye screwed up, the magic eye fixed on me as
if it can see through me. It probably can.
See my thoughts. Lay them
bare. Strip me and leave me defenseless.
Nothing that hasn't already
been done before. And by a body wearing the same
face as this one.
Never mind that I know,
intellectually, that the person isn't the same. My gut stills remember
the rough grip of strong hands and the tearing,
No! Don't think about that
now. Not in front of him.
I steel myself and meet that
lopsided, deadly gaze.
Neither eye gives anything
away. "Got something I want to talk to you about,"
he says brusquely.
"Well?" Amazing, how my voice
manages not to shake. I've got my hands hidden in
my robes so he won't see that they're
He jerks his head. "In my
office. Come on." And he stumps off.
For a moment, I can't move.
The words. The very same words... he...
used. Just before....
No. Not the same. Not the
I force myself away from the
wall and follow him.
He's scared. No mistake. And
not just the fear I'd expect, either. Guilty
He knows something. And I'll
get it out of him.
I let him stew while I stump
around to my desk; the half-limb above the wooden
leg hurts. It always does. Haven't found anything
that will ease it. So much for mediwizards.
I settle the leg on its
footstool and look up at him. "So, Snape--- long
time no see." Taking pleasure in watching him
squirm, I'll admit it; like he enjoyed knowing I
was locked in my trunk, no doubt. Like he enjoyed
knowing what Lord Voldemort would do to young
He stands in front of me,
unnaturally still. Hands under his robes; makes my
defensive instincts twitch, even though I can see
he's got nothing up his sleeves.
I wave him toward a chair.
"Sit." He does, stiffly. Passive; trying to put me
off-guard? Well, once burned, twice careful.
I let the silence stretch on
for a bit, let him sweat. Then, "So Dumbledore's
still using you as a spy?"
He nods, stiffly. "I'm---
effective--- in that role."
I nod. "Yeah--- you always
were good at worming your way into people's
confidence, weren't you, Snape? Never could
understand it--- you're hardly the type to inspire
it, I'd think." I rake him with a glance, and he
shivers. Guilty. "But you've always known how to
get in good with people. Always figured out just
how far to go."
"What are you saying?" His
voice is thin, not the sneering denial I'd
I lean over the desk to look
him in the eye. "I suppose that's what you were
doing when you helped young Crouch with his
masquerade, eh? Just worming your way into
Voldemort's confidence again, huh?" His face is the
color of old parchment now; I've got him. "Going to
betray him again, of course---" Mockery thick in my
voice. "Or at least, that's what you're going to
say, isn't it?"
Fear flickering in those dark
eyes for just a second. Got him. "I swear," he
says, "I was never
"You can swear all you like,
but that doesn't prove anything. And I wouldn't
trust any dose of Veritaserum that you brewed." I
reach into my desk, pull out the Sneakoscope. A
little fiddling with the settings, and I've got it
calibrated to him. "Now, I'm going to ask you
again, Snape: did you have anything to do with
Crouch's deception?" With the bastard keeping me
prisoner in my own trunk. Starving me. Using the
Imperius Curse on me.
"No." Flat voice.
I watch the Sneakoscope.
Slight flicker--- surprising. He's mostly
telling the truth then. Mostly. "You didn't." I
regard him intently. "But--- you knew about
"N---" The Sneakoscope starts
to whirl. "Yes." Barely a whisper.
A-ha! Now we're getting
somewhere. I feel a savage triumph well up in me. I
was denied the opportunity to confront Crouch, but
I can have this pleasure. "So you were
his accomplice then." I push upright, coming round
the desk, leaning on it, my head above his. Very
effective for interrogation.
"No!" He's pale, and the
Sneakoscope is strangely silent.
"What, then, blast it? You
knew, and you hid it!" How can he be anything
"I... was not his
"But he told you!"
"Then something he said,
something he did---" Now we're getting somewhere:
that gets a dull flush to the sallow face. "What?"
I keep my voice low; that's more of a threat than a
He averts his eyes from me.
The Sneakoscope goes
I lean closer. "What...
did... he... do?"
No response. "If not an
accomplice, then what?" I ask, frustrated. Wishing
for once that I didn't have a conscience. He
flushes again, looking down. Not meeting my eyes.
"Tell me now--- or we're going straight to
He jerks upright, staring.
"Then tell me."
He looks away. "He said...
I'd whored my mind; I might as well whore my
The Sneakoscope says
"Merlin's teeth." Now it all
makes sense. And with understanding, my anger
starts to drain out.
Not that I'm happy about it.
But at least I know why he didn't do something.
I've seen too many victims of that particular crime
to expect otherwise.
Too many victims of men like
him. "Now you know what it feels like, at
His head jerks up. "I
Not once. I did have
something of a conscience. Even then." The
Sneakoscope doesn't twitch.
"Ah." Funny, how your
perspective on someone can change... so much. That
hunched posture, the pale face and the tremors that
made him look so guilty before... now he just looks
pathetic. Young; hardly older than the students we
teach. And terribly vulnerable.
Damn. Now it's my turn to
feel guilty. Irrational, perhaps--- I was within my
rights! But I've never liked it when others abuse
their power. I like it even less in myself.
I've got my pride, I suppose.
I've never minded when a Dark wizard flinches at
the sight of me. Alastor: the demon of vengeance.
I've always been proud of that.
But to think of someone
flinching because he has that
kind of memory associated with this face and
voice.... No. Intolerable.
"Well, I suppose I can't
hardly blame you for keeping it to yourself," I
growl. Cheated of vengeance--- not wanting it. I
suppose he's being punished enough.
He looks up, not saying
anything, gratitude and shame warring in his eyes.
He's got his pride, too, that one.
Pride's a better motivator
for right behavior than a conscience. That's what
my mother always said. I've found she was
So I can't strip him of what
he's got left of it.
He's still sitting there,
hunched up like a child. Awkwardly, I reach out and
pat his shoulder. "Not your fault, lad."
He looks up at the touch,
startled. Our eyes meet, lock--- for the first time
in this discussion, we really look at each
And it strikes me why that
guilt is in his eyes. Not for himself, or not only.
For me. Leaving me to rot.
Pride's better than a
And my pride's telling me
what we both need.
Atonement. I didn't trust
him. He didn't tell what he knew. We both had valid
reasons for it, but that changes nothing of the
And we're both too proud to
leave it stand like that.
I let the hand stay on his
shoulder. Flicker of startlement--- then
understanding. Holding my eyes with his, he nods
slowly. Starts to get to his feet.
"Easy-on, lad." No need to
put into words what we've just decided. And no
point to rushing. No pride in it.
I step around behind him,
hands resting on his shoulders, kneading gently.
The muscles under my hands are knots. "My room all
right with you?" I'd rather not go down to the
dungeons; the cold seeps into my bones, plus
there's the chance of being seen. Which I'd rather
not. But I wouldn't blame him if he'd rather be
someplace more familiar. Someplace without the kind
of memories I'll wager my room has for him.
Mirthless laugh; he doesn't
look up. "I never saw those rooms when he was here.
He... did it in here."
"Made it as cheap as he
could." He doesn't answer what wasn't, after all, a
question, but he starts to relax. "I haven't done
this in a fair bit of time, myself."
"I wish I could say the
same." His voice drips acid--- is there fear under
it? Damn, he's mistaken me.
"I know." Tight sound to his
There's nothing to say to
that, so I keep kneading until I feel the knot
between the shoulder blades loosen.
"You don't have to---"
Rejecting the kindness: his own pride.
"I do." My turn to be gruff.
I step around the chair. "Come on, lad."
In the bedroom.
I'm as gentle as I can be
with him. Careful. Slow. I have my pride in this,
too. Didn't always look like... this. That I've got
The gentleness surprises him,
that's clear. What did he expect, that I'd use him
as Crouch did? Well, perhaps. I've reason to hold a
grudge, after all.
He surprises me, too.
Yielding to my touch, after the initial surprise.
Enjoying it. Face in the pillow, purring eagerly
Oh yes, enjoying it. My pride
is more than satisfied. Among other things.
Afterwards I'm tempted just
to fall asleep. Been a long time. And I'm not as
young as I used to be.
He looks over at me,
uncertain. "The morning is likely to be...
Suddenly, I'd prefer company
tonight. And it would be only too callous to send
him off to an empty bed. "I can handle it if you
He relaxes, visibly. Settles
next to me, close enough for warmth.
Meeting in the middle. I
smile to myself; it's almost a pun. Making amends
From the first touch, I knew
the difference. Would have known it
No, that's not right; a
blindfold would have helped. Rather, I'd have known
the difference if I'd been staring at him the whole
But he doesn't do that to me.
No sooner are we in the bed together then he turns
me away from him. Warmth under me and warmth
covering me and a gentle touch of callused fingers
coaxing me open.
And Merlin help me, I enjoyed
it. No, enjoyed isn't the word. Drowned in
I hadn't meant to. I'd just
been prepared to go along with him. To... make
amends, to let him make them. Because I didn't wish
to be on his bad side.
I didn't expect...
Not just the rutting, either.
Though that was incredible. But... being touched.
As if my feelings mattered--- no, as if what those
feelings meant to me mattered. Pain matters to a
sadist, too, you see. It's just that the axis is
My pleasure mattered that way
to him. Knowing that I wasn't afraid of him matters
to him. Or--- that I'm not afraid of him because of
Crouch. He wants only the fears he's earned.
I can understand that. It's
the kindness that's the abstraction to me, the
Not that I'd let him know
what it meant to me. I have some pride left, even
after twisting under him in ecstasy. Or maybe the
pride is because of it. I don't know. This is new
But at least we've managed to
make amends, to meet in the middle.
To make amends meet.
:: HOME :: BY
LINKS :: LINK TO
US :: SSF
UPDATE LIST ::
OTHER SSF SHIPS