(Written for the daily_deviant community with a prompt of the Marquis de Sade. Many thanks to Femme for the beta.)|
120 Weeks of Azkaban
The latest filthy tale had been circulating throughout the Ministry for the greater part of a fortnight before it finally came to Percy Weasley's notice. He had been working late one evening and was feeling a bit peckish, but the cafeteria had long since closed and Mrs. Periwinkle's tea trolley had made its last circuit hours earlier, so Percy decided to see if Antonia Whipple had any Chocolate Frogs tucked away in her desk as she'd once confided she made a habit of doing.
"...the eldest Otterly brother tapped his foot impatiently as his youngest sibling bared her sweet, round arse and knelt before him."Six Otterly brothers and one sister!" Percy said indignantly to the empty room. "Are they supposed to be . . . Oh, good Lord, this is an outrage!"
It was an outrage, of course.
Or at least it was outrageous, which seemed not to amount to quite the same thing. In public, there was near universal disapprobation for these stories, but in private, almost everybody acknowledged (although some were blushing as they did so) that they read each installment of the sensational roman a clef as soon as it appeared and with great glee.
The author of these tales was anonymous, and people were almost as interested in the conjecture surrounding his* identity as they were in the stories themselves - -
[*There was, it should be noted, no hard evidence where the sex of the author was concerned, but Popular Belief held that no member of the fairer sex could possibly create scenes of such debauchery as were found in these stories. H.G., who had read some of her Muggle cousin's erotica, knew that "[Popular Belief] is a ass," but she'd learned, over the years, to save her indignation for only the most important of causes)]
- - but the only hints anyone had as to his identity were his unarguably extensive vocabulary and his apparent belief that the whole of humanity (and associated non-humans) were capable of acts of the most striking depravity.
"Oh, listen to this!" Hermione said breathlessly.
"Where did you get such lovely specimens, Tibullus?"
"Oh, no!" Ginny said, shrieking with laughter. "That has to be Hooch."
"I know!" Hermione said, before giggling. "Do you think she ever . . . can you do that with a broom handle?"
Ron buried his head in his hands.
For twenty-seven months, directives were issued on a regular basis from the Minister's office, demanding that the Department of Magical Law Enforcement do something about whoever was writing and distributing this unsavoury material, but neither the Aurors nor the Hit Wizard squad made any real progress in tracking the miscreant down.
Once Remus suggested, privately of course, that perhaps the agents of the MLE didn't actually want to find the person who'd been writing these stories, to which Kingsley objected most vociferously.
However, since he was tucked up in bed with Remus at the time, the two of them taking turns reading aloud - -
"...and although no women had been invited to this most exclusive of soirees, there was no shortage of feminine attire. A dozen lithe young men, wearing nothing but corsets and stockings, lay spread-eagled on the tables, around which sat twelve scarred and hungry-looking werewolves."
- - Remus didn't find Kingsley terribly convincing.
842 days after people first reported having seen early chapters of a naughty novel set in the wizarding world, notes simultaneously appeared in Fortescue's and the Department of Magical Transportation announcing to a porn-addicted public that there would be no more installments.
Seven days later, the doorbell rang for the first time in over five years at Number 42, Spinner's End. When Severus Snape, lately released from prison, opened his door, he found Harry Potter standing on his stoop, head tilted to one side.
"Did you enjoy yourself?" Harry asked, eyebrows raised.
"Did I enjoy myself in Azkaban?" Severus asked, scowling at the young man. "Are you as great an idiot as you appear to be?"
Years ago, Harry would have risen to the bait, but instead he just smiled and shook his head. "Did you enjoy writing that story?" he said. "Did it keep you entertained while you waited to find out if I was going to keep my word and see to it that you got an early parole?"
"I haven't the slightest idea what you -- "
"You know," Harry said, slipping past Severus and walking into the lounge, "I don't think anybody else noticed, but the only public figure whose thinly-disguised doppelganger didn't appear in that book was you."
"That means nothing," Severus said dismissively. "The author might have --"
"Plus, I just happen to know that Gregory Goyle is a guard in Azkaban."
"What does that have to do with -- "
"And not only that, but I also know that Goyle's sister works in Fortescue's and his brother works in the Department of Magical Transportation."
"What is it you want from me, Potter? My Gringotts account is almost entirely depleted if you were thinking to blackmail me."
"Nope," Harry said. "Nothing like that."
Severus frowned. "Then what do you want?"
"Two things, and the first is that I want you to tell me how the story ends."
"How the story ends? Are you mad? The damned story didn't have an ending. It could have gone on forever."
"Well, then," Harry said with a grin. "You'd better get started, hadn't you?"
Severus shook his head in exasperation and sat down heavily on the sofa. "Fine. The end of the story. What was the second thing?"
"Well," Harry said, as he sat down beside Severus on the sofa. "That all depends on what you come up with for the coming chapters. I'm partial to the scene below the Quidditch stands myself, but if you'd rather act out a different scenario . . . ."
"What? Do you have a better plan?"
"Of course not," Severus muttered.
It escaped neither of their notices that Severus was leaning just the slightest bit against Harry's shoulder.
"You know," Harry said, "I think it's time you started to call me by my first name."
"Perhaps I shall," Severus said. "After we act out the scene below the Quidditch stands."