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Title: Your Friendly Neighborhood Death Eater
Author name: Icarus
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Category: Slash
Keywords: Severus Snape Death Eater Slash
Summary: Young Severus Snape is 'hunted' by a Death Eater Lothario. This is for all of you who asked to learn more about Severus' charming old flame, Torvald, a man who appeared briefly in the 'Primer to the Dark Arts.'
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Surely there's no harm in having a little fun at the expense of fictional characters?
Copyright © 2004 by Icarus Ancalion. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or part without the author's explicit permission. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually quite generous.
Author notes: To my darling German Beta - my email crashed! I can't find your address, or your last round of changes. Please contact me if you spot this story. Fortunately you said that it had few changes?
Your Friendly Neighborhood Death Eater
The atmosphere was thick, smoky and loud in the Usual Watering Hole. Yes, actually, it was called that. There were gleaming brass fixtures, fine wood and well-appointed seats, as well as expensive drinks for their sophisticated tastes. Especially the tastes of Malfoy and his crew. But it took a rough jostling to get to the bar, and these were the sort of people you didn't elbow, elegant though they seemed. Unless you were one of them, of course. Then you knew exactly which ones to tread on, and which you did not.
The Death Eaters had grown from a centuries-old club for blue-blooded Wizards to something distinctly more dangerous. They had a leader now, and a mission. And they had fresh blood. A lot of it. Some of it flowed in the veins of their new members, members haughtily regarded as upstarts, if necessary ones for Lord Voldemort's plans. Some of it flowed on the ground, mudbloods and Muggles, as the Death Eaters began to make their Mark. Rather than huddling about warming their brandies and complaining of the loss of the old ways, they were finally doing something about it. It took Lord Voldemort to organise them and put some backbone into to the old Wizarding families.
There was amiable man, a blond foreigner, laughing with a group of Death Eaters at one of the tables. He was new, but he was introduced as being from an old family in Germany. That was enough to make him more welcome than the usual lot, though his easy grin and ready humor would have opened doors anywhere.
"What Wizarding school did you go you?" one of the men asked the German.
"Heidelgard," Torvald answered pleasantly through his thick accent.
The man nodded, vague and disinterested. He had never heard of it. Around here it was the big schools Hogwarts, Durmstrang, or nothing. If they were in Torvald's native Germany the reaction would have been much different: fear. And no little respect if he were speaking to Death Eaters. Tucked in a remote corner of the Schwaebisch Alps, Heidelgard had a blatant disregard for Wizarding law and taught all aspects of the Dark Arts with zest, in the interest of preserving them. Or so they said.
But Torvald wasn't an Eliminator for Lord Voldemort. He didn't need fear or intimidation as a weapon - in fact, those usually worked against him. He was an Infiltrator, and a good one. The Death Eaters valued his ability to get into sensitive areas. "I'm so sorry, I left my jacket. Do you mind?" "Oh, your dress is lovely my dear. So good to meet your mother at long last." "Sir, I am the Viscount's son, and I don't believe my father would approve - " Truth was a flexible animal. Life was theatre really, a performance. What brightened some old lady's day was not the cold unpleasant truth, but the vitality of the moment! Torvald brought his own vitality everywhere, and loved to see it reflected in the faces around him.
Torvald patted the ignorant Death Eater on the back, amused at being underestimated yet again. It entertained Torvald that the fellow may never know his mistake. He bought another round for the table and soon became everyone's best friend.
There was a dark young man coiled around a drink in the corner, though he seemed to be warming it in his hands rather than drinking it. Despite the crowd he had a table to himself, and no wonder. He looked unfriendly in the extreme. He made no eye-contact nor did he invite conversation, and the walls about him were as impenetrable as if he'd cast a Spell of Invisible Steel. He clearly was here because he was expected to be, not because he enjoyed it. The young man was skinny, had oily long hair, but was every inch an Eliminator; he moved with the precision of a weapon. Others may have been intimidated by him, but to Torvald's discerning eyes the young man was off-balance. In unfamiliar waters. Vulnerable and wearing his hostility as a shield. A flimsy shield at that. Torvald like vulnerability, feasted on it like a rare steak. As he liked virgins. This one looked to be both. Oh, how yummy...
"Is he as innocent as he seems?" Torvald asked them, his eyes not leaving the dark young man. It took the men a moment to spot whom Torvald meant.
"Innocent? Him? No. Never innocent: he's a Snape," said one.
'Oh - you know what I mean - " Torvald's manner was convivial, watching this Snape with a predatory gleam. He took a deep drink of his beer. " - not 'innocent'... " Torvald gave the word a dark undertone. Even at The Usual they didn't speak openly of executions. " - but inno-cent..." Torvald said it with such a lush, lascivious drawl no one could mistake his meaning.
Several Death Eaters around him laughed. Snape was not popular, though his surgical removal of targets was grudgingly respected. To think of him having a chink in that armor - inno-cent no less! - pleased and entertained them to no end.
"Nah, he's a machine. The Lord Voldemort took his parts when he branded him. That one's nothing but a cold bastard," scowled one man.
"Yeah, his Mark, well - it ain't on his arm!" another laughed. Others joined him.
"I went to Hogwarts with him. Slytherin, '78. He's been saying he's in love with some girl. But he's said the same name since the Third Year! A lot of bullshit that is," he nodded.
"What are you saying, Torvald? You think you can make our maiden into a man?"
"- or the man into a maiden!" Everyone laughed.
Torvald looked about mischievously, until he had every eye at the table. Then he took a deep slug of his tankard and rose theatrically, to hooting and clapping of his new friends. The men began placing bets.
"Five galleons says he can't!"
"Ten galleons say I can," Torvald grinned and he stood, reveling in the adulation.
Gently Torvald pulled aside the one who said he had gone to school with this Snape. He was prepared to bribe him, but as he measured the man he thought it wouldn't be necessary. He was an open book, for a Death Eater.
"Give me the name of a relative of his," Torvald said, nodding towards Snape. "Any one, one he hates, one he likes, doesn't matter."
"Easy. He hates most of 'em. His grandfather he likes. Eckard Snape. Or liked. He's dead now. Some kind of mad scientist, Wizard researcher. Famous. Killed by an Auror."
"A supporter?" Torvald's eyebrows rose. It was unusual to have the whole family on the inside. Although the Slytherins and their family connections were infamous. It could really mess up a job.
"No. Typical Ministry of Magic fuck up."
Ah. Perfect. He smiled and thanked the Slytherin, patting him on the back.
"Good man," Torvald grinned and bought him a drink. This was a contact to be developed if Torvald was going to be assigned to Britain for a while.
It wouldn't do to come straight to his Snape (Torvald already considered this one his) from an unfriendly table, so Torvald made for the bartender and asked him what his Snape was drinking.
"If you call that drinking," the barkeep complained. "He's been nursing the one like a baby all night..."
The bartender suddenly paled as he realised he was criticising a Death Eater, possibly to another one. But Torvald gave him a warm cheery smile. Nothing more useful than an amicable bartender. The man relaxed, and told him Snape's brew. Torvald gagged inwardly. God he hated that putrid stuff.
"My favorite. I'll have one, thanks," Torvald said.
He approached Snape's table quietly, studying him. Torvald decided on a serious manner. This one was hair-triggered and would startle like a deer, he thought. Dark eyes glanced up at him warily as he watched Torvald make his way to him through the crowd. They were such a dark brown they were black, difficult to read. Snape was suspicious of any approach.
Not stupid, no, Torvald thought. He knew he wasn't liked.
"I'm sorry... um... are you - ? You're Severus Snape, aren't you?" Torvald asked diffidently.
Up close Snape's features were too sharp, too harsh to be handsome, and there was a pallid cast to his skin. The look of one who stayed up nights. As an Eliminator he would, no doubt. Severus Snape nodded sharply. Once. Curt. Torvald took that as passing for a welcome and sat down. Severus edged away from him slightly and his eyes narrowed. Torvald pretended not to notice.
"The name's Torvald. I hate to intrude... but ... are you in any way related to Eckard Snape?"
Snape looked at him with guarded curiosity. A lot of curiosity. His body language had changed subtly, turned towards Torvald now. Oh, he did like his grandfather...
"My father... he met him once. It's a crying shame what happened," Torvald took a sip of his drink. Pah! Awful stuff.
"Where did he meet him?" the young Snape was still guarded and cautious.
Ooo. Straight to the facts. Tough cookie, Torvald thought. Suspicious. And smart. A challenge! Torvald was thrilled. He rubbed his hands through his hair as though struggling to remember. Knowing his long gold hair would also act as a distraction to one such as Snape. The dark eyes flicked along it appraisingly.
"Oh god, where was that...?" Quickly Torvald's encyclopedic memory ran through different sorts of places scientists flocked... mentions in magazines, stories, things heard from school. Torvald was on fire now, in his element, he loved this. "... was it Lisbon, Geneva, Bonne - ?"
Snape's dark eyes lit slightly at the mention of Bonne. Bonne it was, then!
"Yes, Bonne, I'm almost sure of it." Keep it vague though, in case he was wrong. Torvald needed a back door.
"What does your father do?" Surprisingly he was still suspicious, though Snape's suspicions were melting.
Truth now. Papa had such a convenient profession.
"He was a reporter. And writer. A bit of a poet, mostly..." Torvald aimed to get off the subject of Grandpa into something general. Quickly. This one was too smart. He scanned Snape's utilitarian robes briefly. Fine cut, fine fabric but not particularly fashionable. Snape's mannerisms were smooth and efficient. A machine they called him, yes?
Torvald added on a guess, with a wink, "...Papa wasn't very practical."
That earned an amused glance from the dark one. Was that a shy smile? Ah, yes, Snape, you are very practical, aren't you? Come to me, my darkling Snape. Tell me your secrets... across a soft pillow... I don't want your body so much as your mind, and your heart... show me what's under that armor you wear so tightly. Are you delicate? Are you passionate? Torvald let the heat of his thoughts show in his eyes. This one was subtle. He would see it.
The dark eyes kindled. They lingered and suddenly scanned Torvald, from head to toe.
Oh yes, I'm available darling, don't you know it.
Time to reel him in. Torvald rose.
"Well... I must be going. It's... good to meet you... Severus," Torvald said.
Severus nodded to him, quietly. And Torvald left, walking away ever so casually.
But internally Torvald roiled.
Scheisse! Fuck! Damn, damn, he's letting me get away! The fool! The inexperienced virgin fool! Snape was supposed to have stopped him, changed the conversation to something else. Opened the door. What an idiot. The window was closing.
Torvald looked back in genuine frustration.
And found himself looking directly into the eyes of the elegant young Severus, still gazing after him. Graceful and as awkward as a deer, and twice as elusive. Torvald could see it written plainly: the blond Torvald was going to be some fantasy for him. Another one that got away. There would be no second chances. Snape would tire of him in his dreams without any help at all from the real Torvald.
Was it ego, Torvald not wanting to be merely one of the faceless, nameless masses in that cold man's life? Or was it his competitiveness, the will to win where all others had lost? Whatever the reason, Torvald fought his way back through the crowd before that opportunity could close for good. He found himself back at Severus' table. Torvald's mouth opened and told the truth.
"Look. I'm sorry. I just wanted to meet you. Do you want to go to dinner some time?" Torvald asked breathless at his own recklessness. This isn't how you approached the shy ones!
Severus' face was stunned. A deer in headlights.
"Uh - sure. Yes. When?" he asked, blinking, somewhat taken aback.
Torvald could see Severus' answer was out of his mouth before he had a chance to think about it. Much like Torvald's question.
The date set, Torvald went to the men's room and washed his face. His heart was pounding.
When Torvald returned to the Death Eaters' table, he barely listened as the men laughed at his success and toasted him. They pounded his back and he forced a cheerful smile. Though he accepted his winnings, sure. And the new notch in his belt, with his increased fame. Naturally. He beamed. He was infamous in Germany. He planned to be so here as well. Of course he accepted their accolades.
But when it came down to it, Torvald was unsure just who had caught whom.
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