A/N: I began writing this little story as a gift for GMTH (Gina) in thanks for all she does for merry_smutmas, and I had only the best intentions, but against my will, it morphed slightly into crackfic.
Should Auld Acquaintance
Narcissa had taken the boy that afternoon and returned to the Manor. Preparations had to be made, of course, before the head of the Malfoys - newly released from Azkaban after over a year incarcerated within its cold and damp walls - made his triumphant return to the bosom of his family.
Bellatrix and Wormtail had followed in her wake. Severus did not know whether they wished merely to join Narcissa in welcoming her long-absent husband home or if they had, instead, been sent along at the request of the Dark Lord, whose trust in even his closest associates was in extremely short supply these days (especially when that trust concerned someone who had recently been given a suspiciously unexpected parole by the Minister for Magic), but whatever the reason, Severus welcomed their absence. This was the first moment he'd had to himself at Spinner's End in over six months, and he was determined to savor the peace and quiet.
With a casual wave of his hand, Severus removed the masking spell that kept his small wine collection out of sight and removed a bottle of Bordeaux. It had been far too long since he'd indulged, but what better way to mark the welcome, if all-too-rare occurrence of being alone in his own library.
Severus poured himself a glass of the wine, then sat in his favorite chair and closed his eyes, enjoying the silence for a moment as the wine's fragrant bouquet curled up from the glass.
He had just taken his first sip, when he heard the sharp crack of Apparition in the entryway. In an instant, Severus's wand was in his hand, all his attention focused on the shadowy figure standing in the doorway. The wine, now soaking into the threadbare rug, was forgotten.
"Oh dear," said the familiar voice of Lucius Malfoy. "What a waste. That was the Chateau Margaux, wasn't it? I thought I'd trained you better than that."
Severus lowered his wand, but uttered no word of greeting to the other man. The fact that his wards had allowed Lucius into his home would have to serve as welcome enough, at least until he knew the purpose of Lucius's visit.
"Is it the '53?" Lucius asked, indicating the bottle with a tilt of his head. "Were you aware that this is the last of the Margaux presented to my father by my grandfather on the occasion of my conception? Excellent vintage, of course."
"Enough remains for two more glasses," Severus said. "Would you like a glass?"
Lucius turned his head and gazed at the bottle in a considering manner. "Perhaps I shall. Just a bit though. I've grown unaccustomed to wine over the past year. It wasn't as readily available as swill."
Severus said nothing in return, just poured the two glasses of wine, and handed one to Lucius.
"You're looking well," Severus said to Lucius, who had yet to raise the wine glass to his lips. "Well rested."
"Have I ever mentioned that I think you're a complete prick?" Lucius asked with an uncharacteristic snarl in his voice.
Severus raised one eyebrow. "Quite frequently."
An angry flush suffused Lucius's pale skin, and his voice, when next he started to speak, was shrill. "Azkaban was not...."
"I don't need any lectures about Azkaban from you, Lucius," Severus snapped. "I, too, endured a stay there, and mine included a full complement of Dementors."
"So I have been told by you over the years. Repeatedly."
Severus took a sip of his wine, then lowered the glass and gazed expressionlessly at Lucius.
"What are you doing here?
"Excuse me?" Lucius asked with a frown.
"You heard me," Severus said. "It's a simple enough question: I'd like to be informed of the reason for your presence. Surely you know that your family - immediate and otherwise - are even now at Malfoy Manor, awaiting your arrival with open arms."
"Yes," Lucius muttered. "So the owl I received earlier today informed me. However, a Malfoy always pays his debts and I want our accounts settled for the hospitality you showed to my wife and son while I was...otherwise engaged."
"What do you....?"
"One quick shag - and yes, you can top; I owe you that much, I suppose - after which I shall be on my way. Come along, Severus."
Lucius turned on his heel and walked out of the room. Severus frowned. Where the hell was he...oh bloody hell...he wasn't going upstairs, was he?
"Lucius!" Severus called out as he hurried out into the entryway and started to climb the narrow stairs. "Where do you think you're going?"
A little out of breath, Severus caught up with Lucius on the landing. Lucius's hand was on the doorknob to the bedroom door, but he hadn't opened it yet. Perhaps there was still some hope.
"What could there be in here you don't wish me to see, Severus?" Lucius asked, raising one patrician eyebrow and inclining his head just the slightest bit toward the door. "Don't tell me you've Spell-o-taped more posters of Ludo Bagman to your bedroom walls?"
Severus scowled. "I was thirteen years old when I did that, as I'm certain you remember."
"So you were," Lucius said with a smirk. "You were a very enthusiastic young man then, weren't you?"
"Go home, Lucius," Severus said, annoyed to hear a hint of underlying panic in his voice. "You owe me nothing. What I have done, was in the service of the Dark Lord and - "
Lucius opened the bedroom door.
"If anybody wakes this baby," hissed Hermione, "there's going to be hell to pay. I just got him to sleep."
"Yes, dear," Severus whispered. "Sorry, dear."
For a long moment, Severus looked down at the ground, refusing to meet Lucius's eye. He knew what it would look like: a young Muggleborn woman comfortably ensconced in his boyhood room, holding a child in her arms (a child, moreover, whose rather distinctive nose signaled quite plainly who his father was), lace curtains on the windows.
And of course, it was exactly what it looked like.
Domesticity had finally got its hooks in Severus Snape.
He could hear Lucius clear his throat.
"But she's a...."
"If the word 'Mudblood' was about to pass your lips," Hermione said quietly, but lethally, "I would suggest you find an alternative immediately."
"Actually," Lucius said with a sneer, "I was going to say 'a girl,' ...or didn't you know your husband - ah, your child is legitimate, isn't he? - is as queer as a three pound note?"
Severus sat down on the small rocking chair and buried his face in his hands. Of all the ways for Hermione to find out, this was surely the-
"Of course I knew he was queer," Hermione said scornfully, and Severus looked up so quickly he was in danger of getting whiplash. "They don't call me 'Know It All' for nothing."
"Then why in the world would you agree to marry him? It certainly couldn't have been for his looks, and he has no money to speak of."
How dare Lucius imply he had no qualities at all to recommend him to a young woman who...all right, perhaps Lucius was correct.
"Why would I agree to marry him? Because Gina used to ship us, of course!" Hermione said.
Lucius frowned, then shrugged his shoulders in what he seemed to imagine was an aristocratic manner.
"And also," she said, glancing at Severus briefly before turning back to Lucius, a definite blush on her fair skin, "because he turned out to be pretty great in bed. Despite being queer, of course."
Lucius nodded "I grew quite nostalgic whilst in Azkaban, thinking about some of Severus's more...imaginative techniques. Quite magnificent."
"If you two are finished talking about me," he muttered.
"I let him think that I was only interested in having sex with him to acknowledge the debt I owed," Lucius said to Hermione in a conspiratorial tone, "but actually, the thought of my first sexual experience in over a year being with that cold fish I'm married to was abhorrent"
Hermione nodded. "I certainly understand. I sometimes worry Severus isn't actually getting enough satisfying sex, what with me being so busy with work and the baby - and Severus being gay and all. In fact, since you're here...."
"You'd be willing to share your husband with me?" Lucius asked.
"I'd want something in exchange, of course."
Lucius glanced back at Severus and licked his lips. Severus wanted to flay both of them verbally for thinking they could make these sort of decisions without his participation, but he was quite curious as to what Lucius thought he was worth as a sexual partner.
"Would giving up all of the Dark Lord's plans, past and present, meet with your approval?"
Hermione considered the offer for a moment, then nodded. "That sounds fair. Although...I'd want to watch."
Lucius flipped his long blond hair back over his shoulder, then raised one eyebrow. "Of course you'd want to watch. I thought that went without saying."
Hermione shifted the baby to her left hand, then extended her right hand to Lucius. For a moment, he looked a little queasy at the thought that he was going to touch a Muggleborn, then he sighed, and took Hermione's hand in agreement.
"You will let me know when I'm required?" Severus asked archly.
"Of course we will," said Hermione. "Now why don't you run along and play with your potions or something while Mr. Malfoy and I make the final arrangements."
(At this point, Beth is taken away by the Out Of Character Police, never to be heard from again.)