|And They Danced (Sev/Reg)
||[Jan. 8th, 2012|01:26 pm]
Title: And They Danced
Word Count: 1,050
Summary: Severus feels better when he can hide behind a mask. Maybe he’s not the only one hiding. But that doesn’t stop him and Regulus from dancing.
Severus never felt quite right in the Malfoy ballroom. Or any ballroom, for that matter. He knew his robes were never quite fancy enough, his hair never properly done, his facial expressions never properly polite or pleasant. He was a forced outcast but not simply because he was a half-blood. Severus had seen several half-bloods at these events and they all did just fine. Raised in households with proper parents, with enough money for decent robes and taught from early childhood how to behave by their wizarding relatives they fit in generally smoothly among the purebloods, especially those with more modest estates. Severus both envied them for their privileges and held them in jealous contempt.
If there was one ball that Severus could and did enjoy, it was the Samhain Masquerade. It was a wild celebration in the Old Style, held outside under a black, autumn sky, with bonfires and singing. Cider was served by old wizards while their wives told fortunes to young girls who giggled and blushed, still young enough to believe that Divination was a branch of magic that could be trusted as easily as any other. Everyone wore masks, so Severus did not have to worry about his facial expressions – whether that was because he was frowning while everyone else smiled or smiling along with everyone else. It seemed that both were equally unattractive to him. There he danced around a bonfire with his friends, holding hands and half-shouting, half-singing words of old songs which served as music at these events.
It was at one of these masquerades that Severus, masked as a raven, had skulled away with Regulus – who was impersonating an elegant, black cat – and lay with him under the night sky in a large pile of hay. They watched the enchanted black and orange candles float over them, bright spots against the night sky. From a distance, laughter and song carried to fill their ears. They did not speak much; it was not needed with Regulus. Perhaps that was why Severus enjoyed the younger boy’s company so much. He, unlike Evan or Jack, could lie beside Severus in quiet companionship and contemplate the universe in silent reverence.
The winter of 1979, the Malfoys chose to not hold their annual Christmas Ball. Instead they held a Yule Ball and, to Severus’ delight, the event was a masque. Severus, as usual, felt slightly out of place in the bright ballroom, in his cheap robes, unable to dance much for every time he tried to dance even a simple waltz he ended up stepping on the feet of the poor girl brave enough to dance with him. But at least this year he had the velvet black mask to cover the top half of his face.
He watched Lucius and Narcissa, both in sparkling pure white, twirl past, briefly framed against the lush green Christmas tree in the corner. They were like two angels, Severus thought. A hand on his shoulder made Severus jump slightly. He looked around to discover Regulus – at least he was pretty sure it was Regulus – beside him. Regulus’ satin mask was black with glittering white lacing on the sides and around the eyes. It matched his dress robes and the starch white ruffle shirt he wore beneath them.
“Why is it I only see you dance at Samhain?” Regulus asked, with a soft smile making his lips twitch upward.
Severus shrugged. “Because I’m no good at dancing,” he admitted, a little bitterly.
Regulus held out one gloved hand to Severus. The white glove contrasted sharply with the deep black of his robes. “Come away with me.”
“Just come, Sev.”
Severus blinked, then, slowly, almost cautiously, took Regulus’ hand, feeling a little self-conscious at his absence of gloves, and followed the younger boy out of the ballroom. They walked through the rooms and into the Malfoy private sitting room. There stood a much smaller and simpler decorated Christmas tree than the one displayed in the ballroom, sparkling gently with magic fairy lights. Wreathes and garlands hung along the walls and over the fireplace. The entire space was cozy and the fairy lights gave just enough light to see and move around. “I don’t think we’re supposed to be here…” Severus drew out, feeling somewhat uncertain. They could still hear the music from the ballroom fairly well. A slow waltz was now playing. Regulus waved his wand and soft snowflakes began to fall. They were not cold and disappeared as soon as they touched the carpet. “I don’t think Cissy will mind,” Regulus said lightly.
“Where did you learn that spell?” Severus asked. He had never been very keen on artsy spells and charms himself but this was a nice one.
“Anatole taught Evan and I this one,” Regulus said and bit his lip.
Severus suddenly felt uncomfortable. Five months and half of their battle squad was still mourning. Damn the war. He closed the distance between himself and Regulus and put his hands on Regulus’s waist. They stood there for a moment, not saying anything, before Severus made to move away, suddenly feeling awkward for his outbreak of affection.
Regulus grabbed Severus’ hands and put them back to his waist. “Dance with me.”
“What? Regulus, I—“
“Please?” Regulus reached up and put his arms around Severus’ shoulders.
So they danced, making slow circles around the sitting room, almost running into a sofa or two in the process. The slow waltz carried them on its waves of lifting and dropping notes as the magic snowflakes continued to cascade around them. As the music began to fade, Regulus reached up to take off Severus’s mask, but Snape held it in place. “Don’t. It’s…You don’t need to see…” he stumbled lamely.
Regulus smiled with something akin to amusement and, paradoxically, just a hint of something akin to sadness. He leaned closer to Severus until their noses touched, then their lips. Severus’ eyes fell closed as they kissed, long and innocent. There was something everlasting about it. Like saying goodbye. When they finally withdrew, he watched Regulus’ face, trying to read his expression despite the mask that covered most of the young boy’s countenance. “Why did you…?”
“Don’t ask,” Regulus said quietly. “You don’t need to know.”
Severus nodded obligingly, and they danced.