Word Count: About 2600
Summary/Description: It wasn't voyeurism if she was a cat, Minerva assured herself. Everyone liked to have a cat in their room, after all...
Author's Notes: This was written for the prompts, 'Decorating for Christmas' and 'fur fetish,' for inamac in the daily_deviant Kinky Kristmas 2011 exchange.
One Cold Night
It wasn't voyeurism if she was a cat, Minerva assured herself. Everyone liked to have a cat in their room, after all - especially this near Christmas.
Silently, she padded through the gap in the panelling and took in the sight of the room. So bereft it was of personal touches, it was difficult to believe the boy was in his second winter as a member of staff.
Boy. She pondered the word, and paused, whiskers twitching. Such innocence implied by that; so little observed - and yet, it still seemed fitting. For all his ill-beginnings, Severus even now struck her as a work-in-progress. He cloaked himself in haggered adultness - a forbidding scowl, caustic wit and vocabulary so large he erected it about himself like castle battlements. Many were fooled. Most were intimidated. Minerva, however, was no stranger to the defences of the reserved.
She wove forward, regarding the regulation furniture, the fire burnt low and the single book crooked open on the coffee table, the only item out of place. Her feline scent detected a score of potion ingredients, variously fresh, burnt and stale; automatically, her nose crinkled and third eyelids contracted a little, lest there be fumes.
Of course, Minerva would never dream of wandering into other people's quarters when in human form; it would be quite against her ideas of proper behaviour. But that was the wonderful thing about being an Animagus - that hypnotic, hypocritical blend of her own mind with the animal mores. It was an escape from propriety; not wrong, not deviant, but an elegant, exclusive way to step away from the stresses of the world. Only the elite could manage it, after all, and if there was one thing that Albus had taught her in all these years, it was that the elite were entitled to the odd privilege.
What cats lack in guilt, they make up for in instinct -and it was instinct that led Minerva then, across the bald stone floor to the door opposite, left slightly ajar. Peering within, she could make out a four poster bed tipped by starlight, and quiet, slumberous breathing.
It seemed nothing but natural to jump between the gap in the bed curtains and feel the counterpane beneath her paws. Soft, warm, comforting. A shock of black hair slashed the pillow and pale cheeks glowed luminous in repose. Brow relaxed in sleep, and lips slightly parted, Severus looked almost beautiful.
She paused, just regarding him, as cats are wont to do. Severus did not sleep neatly - arms splayed at odd angles, ankles in a tangle of sheets. Indeed, it was almost as if in reaction to daytime buttons and uprightness that he was spreadeagled so, and Minerva found it strangely alluring. Her gaze remained steady, watching the twitch of eye beneath lid in somnolent adventure, the play of long fingers against the covers in dream-borne grasp. As minutes passed, she found herself transfixed; the hint of such languor, such vigour, beneath the steel control was tantalizing, indeed. What else was there to Severus Snape? How does he really sound, and look, and feel, in these most intimate of moments?
Without thinking, she wove closer, each paw sure and silent upon the mattress. His chest rose and fell steadily, to her side, and his face loomed closer, lips flushed pink and forming the ghost of words. The Deputy Headmistress would have called it madness; the cat was deeply intrigued. Minerva's tail swayed as she approached like a charmed snake, her fur bushed and whiskers bristled erect, luxuriating in the dark, warm space and the blessed trespass.
Her stealthy progress was upset, however, when Severus turned in a flash. His arm thrashed over and an outstretched palm alighted heavily upon her side, pinning her to the bed. At that, much of the feline direction was overcome by a very human sense of panic. I can't be found here, that would be unthinkable! Yet, she dared not move - Severus' hand was resting so squarely on her side as she lay there, extricating herself now would surely risk waking him. Minerva tried to calm her breathing, and resisted the urge to purr to comfort herself. She evoked reason in her mind: It is just for a moment, surely. Then he will move, then I can leave. A minor inconvenience, that's all. No need for hysterics, lassie....
And Severus did then move - but perhaps not in the way Minerva had expected. He flexed his hand, broadening his grasp upon her body and burrowed each finger deeply into her fur. A soft groan came from low in his throat, and he pressed closer, stroking the down close to her skin. It felt fantastic.
His touch was electric on her flanks - and, as his hand spread and moved and explored, she found herself rolling backwards a little, guiding his fingertips to the softest, most sensitive parts of her belly. The cat was taking over once more, human worries pushed aside in this flood of sensation - and Minerva barely noticed as Severus sleepily shifted under the covers, his other hand grasping and pumping in urgency as his breaths came in ever-more ragged gasps - she simply could not stop revelling in the shivers that overcame her.
There came an abrupt end, however. Severus gasped and seized her coat one final time as he stilled rigid. Then, a moment later, his hand withdrew and all was suddenly eerily quiet, as if there was an unwelcome alertness in the room. Minerva came to her senses and soundlessly leapt away from the bedroom, the parlour and along the corridors to her chambers.
Back in her own rooms and human skin, she reflected. It made a lot of sense, she supposed: that the poor boy who had been deprived of magic, and money and indulgences - and then, when such things had been available they had come from a poisoned source - should now crave such things so privately for himself: the slide of silk, the whisper of velvet, the caress of fur.
Her fur. Minerva shivered at the memory, her recollections hazy and clouded by the shift from feline experience - but potent, all the same.
She was surprised; it was not her habit to lust after young men. Yet Severus - so hardened, so vulnerable - still burned her body with his unwitting touch.
-And as her fingers crept downwards, stroking herself deftly - throbbing clit and insides that begged to be filled - it was his face that swam into view, young and open and desperate to touch and to be touched.
Ah yes, Minerva decided, as she shuddered her release, I shall have him. He would be a challenge. He would be very lovely indeed.
The Following Morning
"Severus! Minerva! How delightful to see you both." Albus' greeting as he strode to join them at the breakfast table was so cheerful, it was certain he wanted something.
"More delightful then yesterday?" Minerva quipped, "I shall be sure to breakfast only on Wednesdays in future."
Severus snorted, but otherwise remained focussed upon his kippers.
"Very droll, my dear," Albus replied, summoning the toast and marmalade, "But you do know what day it is, don't you?" As 'Wednesday' had already been mentioned, Minerva kept deadpan silence. "- It's two weeks before Christmas!"
Severus shrank a little in his chair.
"...And this year, I have selected you two," Albus continued, gesturing at them both with great pomp, "To decorate the Castle." He slathered butter with a sense of perfect satisfaction, the matter sorted.
Minerva opened her mouth to object, but Severus had got there first. "Headmaster, I hardly think it appropriate, given-"
"-Nonsense. You'll do a splendid job."
"But, what about Filius?" Minerva knew she was clutching at straws. "He will surely be disappointed."
"Not at all. Indeed, it was Filius himself who suggested I let someone else have a turn this year. You two will be perfect. I suggest you make a start this evening, after the students have gone to bed. And don't forget the inaugural waltz, now, will you, or those fairies will never stay put. Oh gosh, is it really time for that interview already? I'll take this back to my office." And with that, Albus swept from the dais, sticky toast and smug grin in tow.
As they had been charged, Severus and Minerva met in the Great Hall at eleven o' clock the same night. They both sported their most put-upon expressions, and with vows to 'get it over with quickly', set-to with the large boxes that the elves had brought up from storage and the four immense trees that Hagrid had felled that afternoon. The crowning glory - the two cages of real fairies that had been bribed to come indoors with promises of Christmas Spirit - sat expectantly nearby. Eyeing them, Minerva considered her plan once more, then put it aside to pour them both a drink; on to business.
At first, they worked in silence, checking and sorting. Hogwarts had many more decorations than could possibly but put up at once, and it was trouble enough to pick through the boxes to find those ornaments of least-questionable taste.
It quickly became difficult not to comment, however. "Oh, honestly! Who makes this stuff?"</i> Severus crinkled his nose at one particularly pink and fluffy bauble, which they hastily levitated to the discard pile, and that was followed by a string of Father Christmases that had been charmed to sing and dance. Their look of shared distaste almost turned into a smile, and the rest of the sorting was more animated, from then on.
"Well, I daresay we're down to the dregs, now," said Minerva, a fair while and two glasses of mulled wine later. "Let's make a start with the acceptable ones, shall we?" She gestured toward a surprisingly small pile in the corner that they had both agreed were sufficiently plain, symmetrically-shaped and non-flashing to use. "You do the East Side, and I'll do the West?"
"Severus, it is thoroughly inappropriate to make the hall entirely green and silver." Minerva snatched her wand from her sleeve, and changed the colour of the garland that he had just strung to red and gold.
"I don't see why," he sniffed, clearly debating the urge to change it back, "Nasty, bright things."
There was something about his look just then that caught Minerva's breath. Maybe it was the petulant frown - as if he could, for a moment, actually care about something as silly as which colour to decorate the hall. Or perhaps, more, the fact that she had been allowed to see it.
All of sudden, the real business of the evening made itself very much felt in Minerva's blood, and she vowed to move on to matters potentially more interesting, as fate had given her an opportunity so very quickly. "Well, either way, it does appear we're nearly finished." She stepped back and looked around, encouraging him to do the same. Even though they both harboured something of an aversion to glitz, the hall did look resplendent. "Just a question of those, then." Minerva pointed to the fairies.
"Oh, must we?" Even when asking, it was clear that Severus knew the answer. If anything, his grumble was endearing.
By way of response, Minerva spelled the cage to open, and the fairies sauntered out, airborne and seeking windows. "Dance with me."
"I shall do no such-"
"-Severus. We both know it's necessary, or this whole cursed lot will be gone by the morning, and I'm sure neither of us wish-"
"Fine," he said, curtly, implying it was anything but.
"I fear we shall need some music, then." Minerva pointed her wand to the rafters and caused a tasteful medium waltz to echo down. The fairies, their attention now caught, began to squeak and cheer - the tiniest of voices cooing, It's Christmas, it's Christmas! The Christmas Dance, the Christmas Dance!
Minerva lifted her arms to receive a ballroom hold: expectant, challenging. Severus hesitated, but the gauntlet thrown by her expression was enough to make him go through with it. He extended his left arm stiffly, mien as dour as ever. Good, thought Minerva, a little antagonism never hurt.
Severus' hand settled on her waist, and he led them off smoothly into the first few steps; a barb of excitement jolted through Minerva's robes where he held her - Gods, just like the night before - and they began to glide about the hall.
Minerva had learned to dance as a child, as every young pure-blood did, in her day. Severus' steps were so perfectly polished it was clear to her they were not native; a spy's souvenir, she was sure, and she felt a twinge of sympathy for the young man in her grasp.
They circled about the room with steps deft and neat, and as they danced, the fairies' cries became louder and ever more enthusiastic; it was soon clear that the job was nearly done. Deciding it was her moment, then, Minerva gathered all her courage when it came to matters of the opposite sex. It's now or never, my girl, she told herself sternly, and gave a tiny nod of steel.
Wandlessly, she transfigured her teaching robes into a demure, pearl-grey gown - which clung to her curves and was made from the softest of sleek, close-piled fur. His eyes were focussed elsewhere, so Severus looked for a moment intrigued as the hand that held her moved involuntarily, splaying its fingers to caress the fabric. Its heat wound into her belly, the tantalizing promise of more, and a certain quality of relaxation - almost pleasure - danced in Severus' eyes; a delightful touch of that she had witnessed the previous night.
But then, a split-second later, came a flash of understanding upon his features, followed by terror. Minerva's made sure her air remained equanimous, just regarding him and hoping.
And next... Severus seemed something else entirely.
"I believe I detect an interloper." His tone remained deadpan, but there was heat beneath the surface. He did not cease leading the dance, but their pace slowed, steps becoming smaller and closer.
As an appropriate rebound, Minerva merely raised an eyebrow. She kept her expression aloof, awaiting his next move - even though inside she was somewhere between screaming and cheering. What would he do? - Turn tail? Had she misjudged?
The silence stretched almost painfully, Minerva's heart beginning to race in trepidation. How could have I been so wrong, so rash?
But then, Severus stilled their waltz and raised the other hand to encircle her waist. His eyes slid closed as he did so, and he began to caress her sides, hands sliding upward to touch her breasts, and all the while luxuriating in the feel of the fur beneath his fingers. A look of pleasure - almost relaxation - began to tug at his brow, and Minerva could feel a smile pulling at the corners of her mouth.
Indeed, it was with that smile that she kissed him. Severus seemed once again surprised, at first, but soon responded with a hint of fire that made Minerva only hungry for more - for what a fabulous old-young, innocent-grumpy man he truly was.
Breaking away for a second to grasp her wand, Minerva focused it upon the large pile of rejected Christmas decorations and transfigured them into an enormously lush pile of furs. She raised her eyebrow once again, this time in invitation - and Severus was quick to accept.
As they tumbled together in mulled-wine enthusiasm and fur-cushioned angles, Oooooh! Christmas! Christmas! It *is* Christmas! the fairies cooed - and a Phoenix silently glided from the Great Hall's beams, scheming satisfied.