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, please go find something else to read.

AUTHOR: Exfilia
EMAIL: exfilia@yahoo.com
PAIRING: Snape/Ethan
SUMMARY: Ethan finds his way to Hogwarts with a demon hot on his trail.
SPOILERS: Spoilers: all four of Rowling's books, which means the movie, too, and BtVS through season six
DISCLAIMER: Joss and JK own them, but they don't take proper care of them.



"Interesting," said the demon. "Someone else you forgot to pay, Rayne?"

"A spell that backfired," said Ethan.

"Oh, you were trying to make it orange with purple spots?"

"It's a hazard of chaos magic. I was just trying to stir things up a bit."

"So it won't stir, either?"

"Never you mind. Can you fix it?"

"Can you pay me?"

"Of course I can pay you."

"In advance, this time."

"What do you want?"

"A taste of a wizard."

"Have at it, then."

"No, not you, you git of a muggle. A wizard, with the magic in his blood. If you were a wizard, you'd have no need of demons and draughts and magical thingamabobs. Hell, you could make them, and not the other way around."

"And you want me to bring you a wizard."

"Either that, or try to pass it off as a fashion statement. Go over big with the pacifier crowd in the dance clubs, maybe, spotted...."

"Please don't say it." Ethan fastened his trousers and stepped back through the portal and tugged his Cord to collapse the gateway.

This was going to take a bit of research.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"You've got me a wizard, Rayne?"

"I've got you a way to one," Ethan said, holding up a magnifying glass. "This thing is a wizard finder. They use it to locate one another."


"Quite. I'm told there are effective shields against them, but since we aren't looking for any particular wizard, that shouldn't be a problem. I've been watching random ones all day."

"The deal wasn't to just watch the wizard."

"No," said Ethan, holding up his Cord. "We find one, I use this to open a portal and lure in your prey, and you do as you will, and then you fix my problem."

"The deal wasn't for talk, either."

"Right, then." Ethan breathed on the glass, and shapes formed in the mist. At first he saw only a jumble, but then it resolved itself into an office with a long wall of file cabinets.

"There's no one there," said the demon.

The office door opened, and three young boys entered.

"Stand guard," whispered the blond child, and scurried to the last cabinet. A tiny torch glowed as he opened the drawer and read the tabs on the files.

"Watson, Weasley, Weasely... a bloody plague of Weasleys...Wilkins, Wilkins, Williamson, White... there's no Whedon!"

"Maybe someone else stole it first."

Ethan smiled. These children had definite potential--except that they were about to be eaten by a demon. He twisted his Cord into a loop and spun it, and whispered the words that would form the portal.

"What are you doing in there?" came a voice outside the office door.



Whatever a McGonagall was, it was playing right into Ethan's hands. The boys tried to run around a desk, and instead scurried through his portal. The demon chortled.

"Four for one," it said. "Good value this time, Rayne."

"There's only three."

"Oh, but there's her."

The boys had stopped, staring at the demon. They looked behind them, and plunged further in, fleeing a tall woman in a pointed hat with a green academic robe thrown over her flowered flannel nightgown. Her eyes met the demon's, and she raised her wand.

Then she flew forward, shedding wand and hat and robe all three, as if something had picked her up by the front of the nightgown. The children screamed as she was drawn towards the slavering demon.

Then she hit the ground like a rag doll. The demon was staring beyond her into the doorway filled with light from which came a voice of surpassing power, weaving a spell to master even a demon.

"Rayne... close... the... portal..."

Ethan hadn't known this particular breed of demon had teeth to grit. Apparently five for one was a bit more than the poor fellow could handle. A dollop of ectoplasm gagged its mouth and ropes of the stuff wound round it, and then the light died, and in the door was a tall dark man with a glower that made Ethan's orange spotted bits remind him of their existence.

"We didn't mean to...."

"We were just...."

The glare intensified, and the children fell silent. The man stepped past them, knelt and felt for the woman's pulse.

"We could just... couldn't we, sir? Couldn't we just leave her here?"

"Yeah, I mean, she's such a pain!"

"And she's sure to want points for this."

The glower returned with such force that the children backed into Ethan, who was beginning to feel like a schoolboy himself.

"Who are you?"

It was a moment before Ethan realized that the man was speaking to him. A number of answers flew through his head...denial, claims of captivity...but in the end he somehow accidentally told the truth.

"Someone who's in over his head," he said, "and sorely in need of rescuing, if it's quite convenient."

Piercing green eyes held Ethan's for a long breath, long enough to remind him of Ripper and Eyghon and oh, yes, the demon wriggling in its bonds over there by the wall who hadn't given any trouble at all to this... this man who had scooped up the unconscious woman as easily as if she were made of straw.

"Malfoy," he said, "bring her wand and her hat."

Sea green eyes meet Ethan's as the children scurried about, gathering the woman's fallen belongings.

"I suppose you'd better come along," he said, and strode through the portal and out of the office. Ethan followed him obediently, taking down the cord and closing the portal behind them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wherever they were, it was very large and very old, with traditional wood paneling and portraits that seemed to move... no, they did move. Ethan bit his lip and scurried after his rescuers through a large wooden door into what seemed to be an old-fashioned bed-sit.

The man deposited his burden, still boneless as a sleeping cat, on the green coverlet .

"It's a particularly severe ectoplasmic displacement," he said to the children, "probably caused when that thing jerked her physical body forward in the middle of a spell and separated it from her astral self. I think I have something that will bring her 'round, though. Crabbe, spread that robe over her. We wouldn't want her catching a chill."

All three children sniggered as the tallest of them tossed the woman's robe across her motionless body. The man went to a workbench and shuffled a plethora of tiny vials, muttering all the while.

"Is he your father?" Ethan whispered.

"I wish!" said Crabbe, and the man smiled without looking up.

"He's our teacher, sir," said the blond. "They both are."

"Can they both do the thing with the...."

The blond boy frowned. "Don't think so, sir. He's a capital duelist, is Professor Snape."

"Knocked Lockhart on his arse, didn't he?" the third chortled.

"Capital, is he?" Ethan felt himself smiling for the first time since the portal had opened.

"Not all that capital," said the man himself. "If Professor McGonagall had not distracted the... what was that thing?"

"A mauve incubus," said Ethan before he thought.

"Indeed. The incubus could have taken me as easily as it took her, if it hadn't been surprised. Aha." He strode back to the bed with a vial in his hand, tucked the robe around the woman and sat down beside her.

"Goyle," he said, "come and hold this." The boy took the vial, and the capital duelist lifted his liquid-boned patient until her head rolled against his shoulder. "Well, open it!" he snapped at the boy. Goyle opened the tiny bottle, wrinkled his nose and passed it to his teacher, who held it to the woman's face and held her still when she sputtered. "Minerva?"

"Fi...fifty points from Slytherin..."

The children's jaws fell as one.

"...for the stench."

"Ungrateful hussy," he muttered.

"You didn't say that when you were in your final year."

"That was because I was failing your class. Here, you've to drink this."

"Bother. All of it?"

"I'm afraid so. I do have some lollipops for after."

She almost hissed at him, but she took the vial and gulped its contents, then clenched her eyes shut and coiled herself in his lap. The children watched, goggle-eyed, until the man glared at them and they turned away.

"Eh-yergh. Gods... that... is... horrible!"

"Such clarity of expression!" he snapped. "Can you stand?"


"Because you're in my bed, and I don't plan for you to spend the night here!"

The boys muffled their laughter, but the woman noticed them, anyway, and clawed her way upright.

"How... how did I get here?"

"You don't know?" the man asked as the boys repressed their glee. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Lying in my own bed, looking at the ceiling."

"The ceiling?"

"Don't ask me, Severus; my brain has stopped working! Now how did I come to be in your chamber being a source of amusement for your pack of Slytherin jackanapes?"

"Oh, the jackanapes brought you. They said they found you in the Records Office."

"That's right, Professor," said the blond. "It looked like you'd surprised something, and got the worst of it."

"Oh, brilliant!" She pulled her knees tight against her chest and bowed her spine, then flexed it backward.

"Do you remember what you were doing?" the dark man asked.

"I told you, I don't know anything, I don't remember anything, my head hurts and your potion was vile and I'd like to lie down in my own bed if you don't mind!"

"Shhh!" He pulled her against him. "All right," he said. "All right. Here, Crabbe, walk the professor back to her chambers. Goyle, go along to the Gryfendor common room and tell the night elf to send someone to sit with her."

"I'll be all right," the woman protested. "I'm sorry, Severus, but my head hurts, and.... I'm sorry." She rolled to her feet, and kept rolling, into Crabbe's arms. The boy ignored her protests and picked her up, as his teacher had. Goyle piled robe and hat and wand all in her lap and followed them into the hall, pulling the door to behind them.

"What would you like me to do, sir?" asked the blond boy.

"I would like you to explain what you thought you were doing in the Records Office in the< middle of the night!"

"Uh... just looking."

"Looking for what?"

"Nothing, sir."

"I see. And this nothing resulted in a dimensional rift that almost resulted in the messy demise of a Hogwarts teacher, not to mention your own death and those of your friends, and the arrival here of this poor gentleman, to whom you owe a sizable apology, I might add!"

"Very sorry, sir."

"Answer the question, Malfoy."

"I was just looking for something."

"Not nothing, now? Something?"

"My father. He told me to look someone up, because he was in a scrape when he was at school, and my father reckoned he could use it now, to get him... to do what he wanted."

"And where is this file?"

"We didn't find it."


"That's actually true," said Ethan. "The portal was open by then. He looked for a file, and didn't find it."

"Is it? Well, then, there's the other thing. Wizards stick together, Malfoy. We don't leave our own behind, not for muggles or for monsters. Do you understand me?"

"But she's not one of us. She's a Gryffindor, sir, and she hates us."

"We must especially stand with the ones who hate us, or our enemies can turn us against one another."

"She's already against us. She'd have told!"

"And rather than that, you'd have left her to die? Because that is what we're talking about, Malfoy. That thing would have bitten off pieces of her, and she'd have bled all over the floor until she died. Is that what you intended?"

"No, sir. I didn't think, sir."

"Well, you'll have time for that tomorrow night, all three of you. There'll have to be a detention for this."

"Yes, sir."

"But no points, I think. We'd have to explain, if there were points. Go to bed, now, Malfoy. I have to think about this."

"Thank you, sir." The boy escaped, and Ethan was left alone with... with him.

"Where do you belong?" the man asked.

"I haven't been sure of that since I was almost as young as your friend, there."

"Where shall we put you back?"

"No need." Ethan held up his Cord. "I can use this to leave when I please."

"And you've not left, because...?"

"Will she truly be all right?"

"Oh, she's a tough old puss. It will take more than a mauve incubus to finish Minerva McGonagall."

"You're very fond of her."

"Bite your tongue. No, she was ill, and I asked too much of her. I wish the boys hadn't seen her like that, though."

"She was your teacher? Gods, they didn't have the likes of either of you where I went. I can see why your boys are fond of you."

"They are, aren't they?" He softened visibly. "McGonagall wasn't like that, though. She was the very devil when I was in school, both times."


"She was in her final year when I first came. She was the belle of Ravenclaw, with hair as red as flame and a pack of young fools baying after her everywhere she went. We thought them quite amusing, when we were ten." He was smiling, now, and Ethan smiled with him. This was almost too easy.

"She came back to teach before you finished?"

"Everyone who had been laughing suddenly had a crush on her. Amazing what a few years will do when your hormones kick in."

"Oh, one's hormones can do strange things." They were attempting to do strange things to Ethan at that very moment, as he gazed into the teacher's very green eyes.

"Is there something wrong?" the man asked.

"Oh, not at all. I should be going."

"Actually I expect the Head is going to want to speak with you."

"About what?"

"About how you managed to apparate within the grounds, where a great deal of magic is in place to prevent just that."


"Yes, did you not know? Hogwarts is enveloped in.... Apparate: to move oneself by magic. You're not one of us, are you?"

"I don't know what you mean."

"You're not a wizard?"

"I don't think so, not in the sense you mean."

"A muggle?"

"The demon called me that. What's a muggle?"

"Bother. This night is never going to end."

Ethan could imagine circumstances under which that might be a not unpleasant prospect, but the man in front of him was rubbing his temples as if the McGonagall woman's headache had been catching. All Ethan's hard-won rapport was disappearing.

"Is there something so very wrong...." Ethan was interrupted by a knock at the door, and a man entered, followed by an enormous housecat who immediately turned a baleful gaze on Ethan.

"Company, professor? I didn't know that< was...."

"*Stupefy*" muttered the voice. The man froze.

"Who is he?" Ethan asked.

"Our porter. He... he shouldn't know anything that happened tonight."

"And how are you going to manage that?"

"Watch," he said, and led the other man back out the door. Ethan heard another Word, "*Obviamus.*"

"Professor Snape? I was just coming to see you, when I came over all funny."

"Shall I warm up a dose of...."

"Oh, no, no, sir, I think I'll just have a lie down."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh, yes, sir."

"What was it you wanted to see me about?"

"It's slipped my mind, professor, but I'll think of it by morning, I'm sure. Good night."

"Good night." Snape stepped back inside, closed the door and leaned against it.

"He just forgot everything?" Ethan marvelled. "Magic!"

"Well, yes, actually."

"But why?" Ethan asked. "Is there some reason that you don't want me to be seen?"

"Perhaps because I don't want to have to explain the presence of a muggle on the grounds?"

"A 'muggle' who saw the son of a prominent man seriously propose the murder of one of your colleagues?"

"Manslaughter, and you would do well not to threaten my children."


"My species, certainly." Snape growled. Ethan smiled at him. "And nothing threatens the children in my care."

"This puts us in a rather interesting situation, doesn't it? My name," he said as he extended his hand, "is Ethan Rayne."

Green eyes met his, and cogs turned behind them, and then a warm hand shook Ethan's. "Severus Snape," its owner said. "May I offer you something to drink? And how did you wind up as demon-fodder, anyway?"

Well, nothing built rapport like confessing one's own embarassment.

"I have a... ungh... medical problem. I thought it could help."

"What sort of problem? I'm the potions master here. Let me have a look. Perhaps I can do something."

If only you knew, Ethan thought. "I don't think that's a good idea right now," Ethan said, his hands crossed in front of his bulging crotch.

"How so?" asked Snape, eyeing his hands. "Good lord, man, it's not like that permanently? Don't give it another thought. At least once every other year, a twelve- or thirteen-year- old does something similar to himself. You just can't tell them that some things are better done by hand. Our infirmarian is a lovely woman, but for some reason they prefer to come to me. And I'm nattering on. I'm sorry, but I don't get many visitors. Here, have a beer and I'll mix your cure and get you.. deflated."

"That's not actually the problem," said Ethan. The man had warmed considerably with the suggestion that he could fix Ethan's problem. If he couldn't fix the real one, he'd withdraw. "It's, well, do any of them ever make it change color?"

"Not their own, usually, although there are some nasty shower pranks involving spots."

"That's the one."

"I see. And its current condition...." Snape's voice trailed off, and his eyes met Ethan's. "Oh, my."

He was surprised, but not shocked. There might be a chance here, for... for who knew what?

"I once knew a man," Ethan said, "a strong man, angry, and so gifted with magic that he threw off sparks. He had eyes just like yours, just as green."

Snape closed his eyes, then opened them again and walked back to his workbench.

"He was a schoolteacher as well, for a while."

"Was he?" said Snape, and shuffled his potions about. "It's a rewarding field."

"A lonely field?"

Snape snorted, looked Ethan up and down, and turned away.

Oh, no. Ethan had bollixed it properly. Any moment now this beautiful man was going to turn Ethan into a toad or a newt or something, or he would make his spotted bit fall off, or he'd just call Ethan disgusting and order him away, or he'd...

Snape turned back, took two long steps across the room and pressed his lips against Ethan's.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the morning light Snape was a beautiful creature. Ethan lay with his face pressed against the other man's bare shoulder, his fingers teasing at the skin of Snape's scrotum, moving it in tiny circles over his testicles.

"You're awake," Snape whispered.

"Oh, no." Ethan leaned forward and caught a nipple in his mouth, and then muttered around it. "All a dream."

"I have to get up," Snape said. "I have to go to work."

"Bother work."

"Then someone will come to check on me, and we'll be found like this."

"Give McGonagall an eyeful."

"I expect she's seen worse in her time. I still have to go, though. The children are expecting me." He stood up and padded to the window. "It'll be a beautiful day," he said. "The first years have their first flying lesson today.

"Bother the first years."

"Not my students." Snape kissed his finger and pressed it to Ethan's lips. "Nothing must 'bother' my students. *Limpiamus.*"

The scent of sex vanished.

"Couldn't you do that to get rid of the spots?"

"We'll work on it tonight," Snape said, pulling on his clothes. "I've a number of ointments we can try. We'll find something that'll work."

"What will I do all day?"

"Think about me." Snape leaned over to kiss him, and then was gone.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hereditary wizards did not use electricity, Ethan discovered, but the scope of Snape's library more than made up for it. There were potions for things Ethan wouldn't have known there needed to be potions for. Unfortunately most of them required the application of personal power of a sort that Ethan suspected he didn't have, power that no muggle had.

He put away the books with a sigh, and watched out the window as a dozen youngsters wrestled with flying brooms. A young Asian girl was hanging upside down from her broom ten feet off the ground, too afraid to listen to her coach's instructions, when the scream came in the corridor.

Whatever was happening, Ethan thought he should stay out of it. The wizards here were more than capable of taking care of any threat, or of taking care of Ethan, for that matter. He had no intention of getting caught in any crossfire. There were thumps outside, and a thud of something heavy hitting the wall, and then the door shook, and shook again. Something was pawing against the door, trying to rip it from its hinges.

Then there was a blast, and a whimper, and the door opened. Minerva McGonagall stood over a Gach demon, holding up the hem of her robe to keep it out of the slime. She took a long look at Ethan and shook her head. In the hall, Snape knelt beside an unconcious redheaded boy. The child's arms burned with the mark of the demon's tentacles and a nasty bruise was spreading from his temple.

"He'll be fine," Snape said. "Miss Granger, kindly bring me the green potion on the shelf above my workbench. No, the dark green one, and a pipette."

"What is this thing, professor?" said another boy to McGonagall.

"It's a Gach demon," Ethan said.

"You know of them?" McGonegall asked.

"You know this particular one?" asked the boy. Ethan didn't answer for a moment.

Beneath the boy's long bangs there was a scar as distinctive as the tattoo Ethan used to have, and he intended to be very careful around someone who could survive that kind of power.

"I have met it," Ethan said. Snape looked up from his task and met Ethan's eyes. "It's no friend of mine," he assured them.

"It was trying to get to you," the boy said.

"So it would seem. What of it?"

"It came in here after you, and did that to my friend!"

"That's enough, Potter," said Snape. "He's going to be all right."

The boy turned to McGonagall. "Professor?"

"Leave it alone for now, Harry. Mr....?" She stepped into the room, spine straight, eyes bright, still the belle of Ravenclaw, and now she was awake to give Ethan competition.

"I'm Ethan Rayne," he said.

"Do you know how we can move this thing's remains, Mr. Rayne?"

"Salt it. It'll dissolve."

"Harry, go down to the kitchen and tell the house elves to bring a large quantity of salt. Go with him, Hermione. Come along, let's get it out of here before the stench spreads."

The boy and girl left the room, and the redhead was carried away. Snape stepped inside, and McGonagall closed the door.

"You were here last night," she said to Ethan. "I remember that much."

"I'm glad you're feeling better."

"And you stayed here because...?"

"Yes, well, when you have a demon after you, the middle of a pack of wizards is a fairly safe place to be."

"Endangering an entire school of innocent children?"

"No," said Snape, "that's not going to happen."

"It already did!" McGonegall snapped.

"But it's dead now," said Ethan.

"It's not the same one," said Snape. "Not the one from last night. If it were... when that thing gets loose... and, Gods, Ethan, how many more are there?"

"What are you going to do?" Ethan asked.

"What we should have done in the first place," said McGonegall. "Severus, we have to...."

"I know," Snape said. "I'll take care of it."

"Take care of what?" said Ethan. "What is she going to do to me?"

"We won't hurt you," Snape said, holding his arms open. "I have no reason to hurt you. Come here, love."

"I won't go away," said Ethan, feeling his protection eroding away. "If you send me away, I'll spend the rest of my life trying to find this place again, to find you again."

"I know," Snape said. "Come here."

Perhaps it wasn't too late, then. Perhaps Snape would stand up for him, make them let him stay.

Ethan took a breath and stepped forward into his arms.

"I love you," he whispered in Snape's ear.

He felt a kiss against his neck, and then warm breath against his ear, and a word that was half whisper and half sob.