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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 10:55 am

Masked Revels

Rating: R (Snape/Narcissa, James/Lily, Sirius/Remus, Arthur/Molly)
Summary: There are good rituals to be done for the Maying.
Warnings: Some of this could be read as dubcon.

Also available at AO3.


Out from behind this bending rough-cut mask,
These lights and shades, this drama of the whole,
This common curtain of the face contain'd in me for me, in you for you, in each for each,
(Tragedies, sorrows, laughter, tears--O heaven!
The passionate teeming plays this curtain hid!)
This glaze of God's serenest purest sky...
-- Walt Whitman

The box appeared on his bed in mid-April of his sixth year, on a still-chilly morning when James had to be up early for Quidditch practice. For a moment he thought it must be some sort of belated April Fool's prank. That lasted barely as long as it took him to pull the lid off the box, and lift up the item inside.

A tag fell out, fluttering to the bedspread. He didn't recognize the handwriting; he picked it up, reading it quietly to himself.

Do not wear your mask until the first of May, he read. The Hogsmeade Fens, Midnight on the thirtieth of April. Do not fail.

He regarded the mask in his hands warily, poking his fingers through the eye-holes. It was brown leather, meant to cover the top half of his face; it rose to two peaks, one over each eye, and along the sides of the peaks from his ears forward were two small, real deer antlers. There was an inscription on one of them, chipped into the horn and rubbed with black dye. Some foreign alphabet; it looked a little like Greek.

He made a face at it and grinned; it looked as though the mask made a face back. Carefully, he placed it back in the box, and slid it under his bed. He tucked the tag into his book-bag and climbed out of bed, heading for the showers.


Peter came across it when he opened his trunk to put away his clean robes, one day in late March. A box, with a tag taped to the lid. Do not wear your mask until the first of May, it read. The Hogsmeade Fens, Midnight on the thirtieth of April. Do not fail.

He looked at it fearfully. The other three mainly saw to it that he was not the butt of jokes or pranks, but Sirius wasn't above the occasional practical joke himself. He lifted one edge with his wand, and heard tissue paper rustle within. The lid fell off and he examined the mask inside, lifting it up to the light.

It was sharp and angular, made of some sort of thin metal -- it looked like painted tin. It was beige, with strange texture to the paint, and it seemed to be intended to cover nose and mouth, leaving him free to see easily. The metal protruded from its base slightly, forming a flat muzzle, crowned by a small pink nose. Thin leather lacing was attached to either side, meant to tie behind his head and hold it on. Jutting up and back from the cheeks, following the line of his own ears, were two enormous rabbit ears; one had odd white lettering painted on the ridge.

He drew a deep breath. It was the most beautiful mask he'd ever seen, and looked as if it would fit him perfectly; he knew he'd look exactly like a hare in it. Carefully but quickly, in case anyone else saw, he laid it on the bed of tissue paper, closed the box, and locked it in the secret compartment in the bottom of his trunk.


"Remus, wake up. Here, wake up."

Remus Lupin made a rude noise and burrowed under the counterpane on his bed. Sirius, poking insistently at his ribcage, pulled back the blanket, revealing a cranky young man with hair tufting straight out from his head.

"Goway," Remus said, pulling the blanket back over himself. Sirius, in his pyjamas, poked Remus again.

"You've got owl post," he said, rattling a box next to where he imagined Remus' ear would be. "Come on, Moony, it's freezing, take your post and let me get back in my bed."

"Try wearing something when you sleep," was the muffled reply.

"Got pyjama pants on," Sirius said sullenly.

"What time is it?"

"Bout four am."

"I hate you."

"Take your box!"

Remus threw the covers back and glared. "Fine, okay, box, got it," he said, grabbing the square box. "Ye bloody gods, this weighs a ton. I hope this was posted nearby."

"I got one too," Sirius said excitedly, diving back under his covers in the bed next to Remus's and coming up with a much smaller, slimmer package. "Open yours!"

"No. Sleep," Remus replied, wrapping the blanket around him and the box. Only his brown hair, sticking straight up, was visible. He looked like a very small, very cold haystack.

Sirius, shrugging, tore the paper off his own, and ripped the lid away. Remus, hearing his gasp of surprise, released the blanket enough for one eye to peer out.

"Do not wear your mask until the first of May," Sirius read aloud, from a slip of paper in his hands. "The Hogsmeade Fens, Midnight on the thirtieth of April. Do not fail. Look at this..." he held up the mask, large hands cradling it delicately. It looked as though it would cover eyes but not forehead; the soft black suede dipped low, meant to hide his cheeks as well, though his mouth and chin were free. The eye-holes were outlined in two strips of red stone, attached by holes drilled delicately into them; down one cheek was another flat, thin strip of stone, with black writing on it.

"Open your box, I want to see what you got," he ordered. Remus, releasing the blanket a little, unwrapped his with more caution. He lifted out the paper tag, held it up for Sirius to see, and then reached in, fingers running over the mask before pulling it gently away from its tissue paper.

It was a full-sized mask, and more -- a brilliant yellow face, with wide eye-holes and stripes of orange and red radiating wildly from the centre.

"It's clay," Remus murmured, turning it over and over in his hands. Colourful, almost gaudy extensions poked out from the edges of the mask, forming a helmet that would fit snugly over his head. It looked like a burst of sunlight -- like the sun.

"Brilliant," Sirius breathed. Remus fingered an inscription in gold, on one of the rays. "I wonder who else got them."

"Don't talk about this," Remus said suddenly.

"Why not?"

"Just don't. I think we're not supposed to."

"But I want to know!" Sirius said. "Aren't they magnificent?"

Remus laid his back in its box, and slid it under the bed. "Yes. But keep it a secret."

Sirius considered his, before placing it in the slim case and sliding it under his pillow. "Whatever you say, Moony."


The table was there when the girls awoke on the morning of April 29th: a small round table, conjured between two of the beds and carefully covered with soft white cloth. There was just one mask; all the girls crowded round, until Lily shouted for them to shut it, she was trying to sleep.

"But it's for you, Lily," one of the girls said, holding up a mask hesitantly. "It says you're not supposed to wear it meet someone on the Hogsmeade Fens at midnight tomorrow."

"Some stupid boy's prank," Lily said, but she sat up and accepted the mask, examining it carefully. It was translucent silver silk, stretched on a wire frame, and intended to cover only the top half of her face. Instead of elastic or straps, as she'd expected, there was a series of silver and gold wires, meant to be wrapped around her hair and twisted shut in the back; they looked almost like a crown, she thought. Silver feathers framed the face, set with smaller gold ones. One of them had scarlet writing on it, so small she could barely see the alien letters.

"Somebody wants to go Maying with you!" said one of the girls.

"Probably that odious Potter," Lily replied, but her heart wasn't in it; she was turning the mask over and over in her hands. "Anyone else get one?"

The girls looked at each other, and shook their heads. She pondered the smooth silk mask for a while, until finally she reached up and hung it carefully by its wires on her bedpost.

"We'll see," she muttered, shooing the others away. But she kept the tag in her pocket, all day long.


Severus figured it was a trick when he laid eyes on the box, but his natural curiousity got the better of him; after ensuring himself that it was safely un-hexed, he opened it and lifted out the tag with thin, deft fingers. He read it over to himself, examining the handwriting. Coming alone to Hogsmeade Fens in the middle of the night? Utter daftness. He wouldn't go.

He looked over the mask with a critical eye. It was thin fabric, with feathers sewn over every inch of it, except where his nose ought to be; instead there was a cruel curving beak made of metal, its edge sharp enough to cut his fingers when he tested it. There was silver etching in one side, Greek by the look of it. Black leather cords would secure it when he finally wore it. There were even black stones set in the eyes, so that when it was over his face, his eyes would look out through the holes in the stones.

Hogsmeade Fens at midnight. Ridiculous.

But perhaps he would go and see who was trying to trick him...


Narcissa Black stretched out a long, perfectly-manicured finger and tapped the mask curiously.

It had appeared on her bed, wrapped in green tissue, and it was quite the most exquisite thing she'd seen in some time. The soft leather mask had barely slits for eyes, and was lined in white silk; strands of dark cord hung from it, strung with pale white beads, each etched with a deep blue letter.

She'd already shredded the note and tossed it away; she was aware that this was probably some sort of private meeting, and she reveled in the secrecy of it.

She tossed her hair back, smiling. Tonight was the thirtieth of April. Rich anticipation.

Such a small, delicate mask. She would have to dress the part...


The Hogsmeade Fens belied their name; once they'd been a swampy marshland far outside of town, but in the past few hundred years the marsh had dried up, and tall wild grass had grown there, as well as a few stunted trees on the edge of the forest. On this side of the town, the forest wasn't Forbidden, merely somewhat mysterious; it was the path through the forest that Sirius and Remus took.

"I'm putting my mask on," Sirius said, when they neared the clearing. "You?"

"I think I need to take a minute," Remus replied. "I'll meet you there."

Sirius shrugged, and continued on alone, confident that the most frightening thing in the forest was himself.

When he reached the fenland, he saw a table in the distance with a woman nearby, arranging things; drawing closer, he saw that she wore a white mask with the figure of a black hare painted on one cheek. The moon, he thought curiously; a match to Remus' sun mask. She had spread a white cloth on the table and laid out items on top of it; a pole with a slightly sharpened end, a large pewter cup, a white reed flute, a rod with leather strips attached -- a threshing flail -- and a pale yellow square of cloth.

She saw him and put a finger to her lips; he nodded as he drew close. Remus, mask now on, hurried up from another narrow path, nodding to both of them.

There were other footsteps, and Sirius saw a third man, in a brown mask with deer antlers -- probably James, to judge from his slouch and the disorderly black hair under the mask's laces. And Peter, without his mask on, though when he saw the others he hurriedly pulled it over his mouth and tied the straps in the back. Two girls, arriving together -- one in sheer, wispy black garments, the other in a silvery dress. He'd swear the girl in black was Narcissa; the one in silver had to be Lily. No other girl in their year had such brilliant red hair.

There was a rustle in the trees and a tall, lean boy in a black raven's mask dropped from the branches. Sirius tensed. Severus Snape.

"And still there is one," the woman in the moon mask said, startling all of them. Sirius could see her smile, just barely.

"Stag and Raven," she said. James and Snape stepped forward. Sirius noticed that Snape was in his usual black, James in a brown shirt and trousers.

"Herne and Hare?"

Peter stepped up. Sirius, heart pounding, realised that he was Herne.

Herne the hunter. And Peter, in his white Hogwarts shirt, was his prey...

"Summer Queen and Winter Queen?"

Lily and Narcissa. Narcissa looked quite cold.


"Moon," Remus answered, his voice sounding unnatural and muffled.

"And one more," said the woman, in musical tones.

They looked around; Sirius heard footsteps, and turned just in time to see a lean boy come running from the trees, grinning and wearing a half-mask made of thick leaves and vines, three white holly berries twined over one cheek. His arms were bare except for a strand of ivy twining up one of them, and he wore thin brown britches that barely reached past his knees, stopping well short of his bare ankles and feet.

He somersaulted as he reached the table, rolling to his feet and spreading his arms, laughing at them. He snatched the reed flute, played a few shrill, melodic notes, and leapt onto the table.

Sirius caught the staff when it was thrown to him; the boy in the leaf mask threw the threshing flail to Winter, and tossed the yellow fabric into the air so that it fell into the Moon Queen's hands. Then he bent and picked up the large cup, sipping from it.

He slid down off the table, keeping the cup perfectly balanced, and offered it to Stag -- to James, Herne thought, correcting himself.

And I'm Sirius. Not Herne.

Stag sipped gravely, making a face as he swallowed. The boy grinned again and moved on to Raven.

Snape. That's Snape.

Raven sipped also, and wiped his mouth with a thumb.

The boy turned the cup over, pouring the rest onto the ground; it spun through the air back to Moon Queen, who laid it again on the table.

Herne glanced at Hare, who was almost trembling with excitement. It barely took a shove from the green-masked boy to send him running for the trees, and Herne started after him, but a few quick notes on the reed flute drew him back.

"Not yet," said Moon Queen. She gestured across the group, to where Stag and Raven -- James and Snape! -- were crouched, circling each other.

"They're fighting for me," said Summer Queen, suddenly. Herne recognized the voice, he knew that girl, but it all seemed very far away...


Stag was going to kill the stupid bird. Summer was coming. It was his right. He would trample the thing to death.

He could see Raven watching him with black, wary eyes. That's right, your time is done...

He lunged first, meaning to catch Raven by the shoulders and shove him to the ground, but Raven bobbed his head, and the sharp beak cut Stag across the arm.

"First blood to Raven," rumbled the Sun King. He and Moon were watching, impassive; Herne leaned on his staff, and Winter Queen seemed to be....waiting.

Winter takes the loser, Stag thought. If I lose she'll hunt me down...

So I won't lose.

He lunged again, blocking the sharp metal beak with the horns of his mask. They grappled for a moment, until Raven thrust him back, slicing a lock of hair from his head in the process.

They crashed together again, and again Raven shoved him away; wiry, for such an insignificant creature.

And then he caught a blur of yellow. Moon had thrown the cloth to Summer Queen, who was clutching it tightly. Winter would take the loser, but the winner got Summer. They were fighting for her.

I'll rip his throat out.

He pushed forward, pressing his advantage of height and speed; Raven ducked and slashed him across the hand, but Stag caught him by the throat and threw him backwards. Raven bounded up; Stag's thumb pressed his windpipe, and Raven's fingers gouged at his eyes. Stag released him, backing away.

Raven dove, then, trying to cut him across the belly, and Stag let him come, moving aside and catching him around the waist. He threw him again, and heard Summer Queen catch her breath.

Another attack, another parry; he caught the beak in his horns once more, and punched Raven in the stomach, pleased when he heard the breath go out of the other boy. Stag shook his head, freeing the beak, and tossed Raven to the ground.

The boy lay still.

Moon looked to May Queen, who was still as a mouse in the eye of an owl; then she ran, yellow silk flapping out behind her. Stag, breathing heavily, turned to Moon.

"She's only yours if you catch her," Moon said softly. Raven pulled himself to his feet and caught the eye of the Winter Queen. He froze.

Out of the corner of his eye, Stag could see Herne straighten and pluck his spear out of the ground.

"Catch them," whispered Moon. The boy in green sounded a single note on his flute.

Raven backed away from Winter for a few steps, then turned and fled. Stag barely had time to register that Herne had run for the treeline as he turned to see Summer run the opposite direction.

Catch them.

Winter took the loser; Herne was after the Hare. He had to find the Summer Queen --

He heard Sun laugh, low and amused, as he took off after Summer.


Raven ran through the moonlit field, bound for the river; if he could run along the banks he was sure that Narciss -- that Winter, in that thin dress, would freeze before she found him --

He laughed.

Winter frozen. That was the idea...

He could hear her coming behind him. He could hear the flail's leather straps sing in the air. Winter found the loser and Winter carried death, those were the rules.

But he was Raven.

And he was clever.

He ducked down into the high grass and ran, hunched over. He turned sharply when he came up against the riverbank, dashing along the grassline where his footprints in the mud wouldn't show.

"Come out come out come out!" Winter sang. The flail's straps whistled. Raven reached the first tree on the banks and crept behind it. He was black, like the night, and she couldn't see him lift his head above the grass; she was facing the other way, twirling the flail idly.

"Won't come out," he whispered to himself, creeping backwards. Off in the trees, music sounded.

Winter whirled, and Raven stilled. Her icy grey glare searched the tops of the grass.

She smiled.

"Sweet Raven," she said, her voice low and inviting. "I just want a kiss..."

He frighted. She'd seen him.

He ran through the trees, no longer sly but so quick, head bent, dodging branches and roots deftly. He heard Winter cry out and knew she'd tripped, but she'd be back up in an instant.

Music again, the haunting reed flute -- guiding, leading Winter to him!

He would rip that worm to shreds, he would rend him apart --

The flail whistled and he ducked too late; leather caught him around the face, and Winter pulled him down.


He was Stag -- James! He was James! and yet this was -- it was like when he Changed for the full moon, it was like being a stag in a man's body.

He was Stag and he would catch Summer Queen, he'd won the right to her when he threw Raven for the third time --

"Not the right to me," whispered a voice in his ear, and he turned. Summer was standing on a rock behind him, hands firmly clamped on his shoulders. He reached for her, and she pushed him away, sharply.

"You won the right to the chase," she laughed, and darted away. He tried to follow but she slid between two large rocks and his shoulders were too broad --

He ran up the rock like a wild creature, throwing himself feet-first through the gap when it was wide enough to fit him. On the other side was a dry-stone wall, long since abandoned, and Summer running swiftly, nimbly along it. He leapt onto the wall, foot sliding on a loose stone. She whirled to laugh at him, and began to run again.

He would catch her. He had to. The blood was pounding thick in his veins and if he didn't catch her surely something would end, if he didn't catch her the harvest would be lost.

"You know the price!" he shouted. Her voice had stirred something in him. He'd wanted her before this time of night and chase --

"It's not cheap," came her voice, drifting back to him. He ran along the top of the wall, and became aware that someone was running next to him. There were two sweet, high notes on the flute, and the boy in green reached out, hand catching Stag's ankle. Stag tumbled headlong off the wall, rolling in the dirt and finding his feet. There was a path here, safer than the wall, though there were roots to watch for --

The boy must have leapt the wall as well, and was on the other side of him now, the flute leading him on as much as Summer's laughter. He quickened his pace; he had to get her, if he was to be Summer King and not just Stag --

He could hear Summer Queen's breaths now, short and labored, and they drove him onward; then a flash of yellow, and he groped for it, catching just the tips, pulling it from her hands.

She stopped, breathless, turning to stare at him. He stared back, yellow silk dangling from his fingers.

She held out one hand. He laid the other end of the silk in it.

The boy in green dropped from the tree that Summer Queen was backed against. He grasped both ends and knotted them around the hands, tying Stag to his queen.

She gasped and the boy vaulted away, vanishing into the night. Stag's fingers touched the girl's.

He surged forward, pinning her to the tree, and felt her fingers draw their way up his neck as they kissed.


Hare darted through the forest, aware that he was running perilously close to the border between where Hares like himself were allowed and where the Centaurs and other creatures of the Forbidden Forest held the law. He wouldn't cross, not for anything, but if he darted along it perhaps one of them would catch Herne, and he could escape.

He'd had a good start, and the Moon Queen she knew he needed it. He prayed to her now, crouching behind a low bush, listening fearfully for any sound of Herne. Herne and his pack of dogs, Herne the hunter with his hellhounds, they would tear him to shreds.

He cowered as something crashed in the distance. There was a yelp -- Raven -- cut off suddenly. If he could pass Raven and Winter, Herne might be distracted, and Winter might attack...

He would wait, first. He was safe here, even if every sense was quivering, every muscle in his body was tense. It kept him aware. Kept him from falling slack, falling prey --

Darker black against the sky, in the distance. Damn the white and grey he wore, it was too visible now, and Herne was in black.

A flash of the white-wood spear Herne carried. Hare's eyes widened.

He was the smallest, always the smallest, and where was the one to protect him? Herne didn't need to hunt him, he had the dogs of hell on his side. Stag would have protected him, or Sun; Sun was husbanded to Moon and wasn't Moon the great hare?

Moon preserve me.

He ran then, and heard Herne crash through the underbrush behind him. Big clumsy oaf. At least Hare was nimble and deft, as he leapt from root to root, skirting the border of the Forbidden Forest.

Herne, behind him, crossed the line, and suddenly too many things were happening; Hare turned to see a shower of arrows from centaur bows, but Moon was there -- Moon and Sun, Sun with his hand upraised to stop the arrows where they flew. Herne tumbled, righted himself, and ran on, crossing back again. Moon and Sun vanished as quickly as they'd come, and Hare realised not even Moon would protect him --

Because it was his job to be hunted, to die and to sustain. But he would not go easily; why should he?

He tumbled onwards, and heard Herne fall again. He would escape...

A high note sounded in the air. Hare froze.

The boy in the leaf mask was seated on a rock, gazing at him evenly.

"Forest," Hare said, mouth dry. The boy nodded.

"And it's your time, Hare," he said. "If you run I am all around you, if you hide I will show you, and if you trap the hunter -- "

"Interloper in your forest!"

"If you trap the hunter, who is here by my grace, you will regret it," Forest continued. He played a few sweet notes.

Hare darted away, defiant, but he was too late; Herne's spear shot out, tangling in his legs, and the broad of it caught him across the back. He fell and scrabbled for escape, but the dull end of the spear dug at his ribcage, flipped him, and Herne drew back the sharpened side. Hare braced himself for the kill --

"Cry mercy, Herne."

Herne's head snapped up, and Hare watched as Herne and Forest regarded each other warily.

"I gave him to hunt, not to kill," Forest said quietly.

"Mine by right," Herne grated out.

"And now you have him. The game is not to the death, not for Raven, not for Summer, and not for Hare," Forest said implacably.

Hare watched as Herne spun his spear, deftly, and then the world went black, to the sound of Forest's flute.


Raven's vicious beak cut some of the leather on the flail as Winter pulled it away; she'd managed to get him to the ground, and was straddling his ribcage. He let out a whine of pain.

"You fought," she said, in a low whisper. He writhed underneath her. "You lost. Therefore, I claim you. Me. Winter."

"Winter," he gasped.

"And Winter kills," she added, drawing the remaining straps of leather across his chest. His breathing was heavy, labored with pain, though she felt his stomach muscles clench with excitement. She smiled.

"Yes, for the threshing floor. Handy tool. But I have something a little different in mind," she said, and he watched in horror as she drew a small sickle blade from the broad end of the flail.

"Please," he begged. "Please -- "

"Please?" she asked. The beads on her mask clicked together like rattling ice. She picked up his left hand and rubbed her thumb across it. He moaned and writhed again.

With a quick flick, she sliced his palm, just a shallow cut. He cried out, back arching, and she slid down until she was sitting across his waist.

She drew the sharp edge of the sickle along his arm, not cutting, just letting him feel the blade. With a sudden movement, she slashed down his chest, neatly laying open his shirt without drawing a drop of blood from his skin.

"Cold," he whispered.

"Your blood's hot enough," she answered, kissing the cut on his left hand. His right groped for purchase on the soft riverbank soil, finding none. She bent over him, and he gasped when the silk cords hanging from her mask ghosted across his skin.

"I can't kiss you with that on," she said, drawing the blade of her sickle down the curve of the mask. "Well. Not there, anyway..."

He moaned as he felt her thighs move against him, while her fingers followed the line of the sickle, down his chest, over his navel, his trembling stomach. Another flick; this time when she cut the belt on his trousers, she nicked the waistband, and drew a drop of blood.

She bent to kiss it. Raven yelped.

"Love is pain," Winter whispered against his skin. Her free hand pulled his trousers down as her tongue drew a line following the tingling warmth of his erection. "Winter freezes. Make love to her and she kills you, Raven."

His hands stroked through her hair, and he keened helplessly as she bent to cover his cock with her mouth, warm and at the same time freezing. Every nerve in his body trembled. The silk cords and her hair mingled on his thighs, the feel of the sickle on his flesh, fear and pain and want, want and excitement and the earth below him already warming to summer. He belonged to the Winter Queen, he was hers to do with as she pleased and oh --

He gasped and writhed and cried out, begging, trembling. He could feel her laugh.

She sat back on her heels, still wild-looking, hair disarrayed. Her eyes regarded him with ownership as she hitched up the thin black dress and pressed against him. The sickle traced its way down his arm, leaving a thin trail of blood, but he was past feeling it; she'd pressed down on top of him and was moving her hips with smooth, sinuous grace. He reached for her, hands steadying her waist as they bucked, as her pale blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders.

Her breath came faster, and she made small, sharp noises in the back of her throat. He could hear her quickening, feel her tighten around him, and thrust violently, as she trembled and convulsed and cried out, mouth open, hands on his shoulders, head tossed back. He shuddered and came with her, gripping her so tightly that he could feel the flesh beginning to bruise.

She traced a finger along his beak, drawing back when he jerked and cut her.

"Mine," she whispered, bending to place her lips next to his ear. She pushed his mask up and off, and kissed him on the mouth, tongue sliding against his teeth.

"Yours," he mumbled. She pulled her own mask off, silk sliding over her cheeks. "Narcissa?"

"Happy Maying, Severus," she said, and bent to nibble his lip.


She had fumbled her hands under his mask somehow, and pushed it up his cheeks; James felt a keen chill pass through him. He let her pull the mask off his wild hair, fingers running through it until --

They tightened, suddenly.

"Ow!" James cried.

"You!" she cried back, and he knew that voice, that was Lily --

He shoved the mask roughly off her face, the wires pressing against his fingers. Her green eyes seemed to gain something when the mask was thrown onto a tree branch.

"I knew it!" she declared, fingers still twisting in his hair.

"Have a care, Evans," he said, trying to pull his head back while still maintaining the delicious contact between their bodies. Her silvery dress was so awfully thin...

"Bite it, Potter," she answered, releasing his hair mercifully. He grinned and ducked his head quickly, nipping her collarbone, and she gasped. Her whole body tensed, against the tree; he felt it. Felt her lift just a little, her back arch --

"Go to hell -- oh -- " she gasped. "...but don't stop doing that..."

He laughed and nuzzled the top button on her dress, reaching up with one hand to undo it. And the next, and the next, and...

Lily wriggled as he slid his palms between the dress and her skin, lifting her slightly, and he realised that while he had been paying attention to her dress, she had been doing some exploring of her own. Her fingers had unbuckled, unbuttoned, had found --

She really had no right at all to be so good with her hands --

"Troublemaking bully," she whispered, as his fingers gripped her thighs and lifted her that little bit more. She let him hold her there, let him bend to nip and lick at her breasts, let him push against, inside --

"Redheaded harpy," he answered, moving slowly, making sure she wouldn't fall. She whimpered for a moment and he felt -- oh lord, Lily -- something gave way inside her and she shuddered, but begged him not to stop, and he doubted he could have. Summer Queen, Summer King...

She was soft and smooth, everything he'd ever imagined Lily Evans would be, red hair cascading over his shoulders when she bent her head to his neck, slim deft hands stroking his back, drawing lines down his spine that burned pleasantly. She was cursing him, and in the same breath telling him how good it felt, how much she wanted --

He gasped when her muscles tightened and she whimpered into his mouth, when her tongue slid along his lips as she came, pulling him over the edge with her.

"I hate you," she whispered, in his ear, as he eased her legs down.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked quietly, aware that he was breathing hard, that some of the things she'd done with her hands were going to sting tomorrow...

She kissed him again, tongue twining with his, and when she broke it he saw something in her eyes that hadn't been there before. Warmth in the heart of the cool emerald green.

"I hate you too," he responded. He stepped back, a little embarrassed, and let her button her dress -- she wasn't wearing anything underneath, and the thought made his heart pound in unexpected ways. He thought he'd gotten used to what Lily Evans did to him.

He'd been very, very wrong.


"Temper, Herne," murmured the boy in the leaf mask, staring down at the Hare. He bent to check Hare's pulse, his eyes, the spreading bruise on his cheek; when he finally straightened, he shook his head. "He'll be all right. But that was...mischievous of you."

Herne growled. "He was mine, by right."

"You'd have regretted it, later," Forest continued, in the same implacable voice. "And you are subject to my law, Hunter."

"I am -- "

"In my bounds, and here by my grace, to do as I will."

Herne tilted his head at the low, rough voice. "One would think you had something in mind, Forest."

The boy smiled. "Deep magic, Hunter. I lead the revels. I watch over the Maying." He piped a few notes on his flute, and laid it on the rock, next to him. "We are intertwined, you and I."

"Are we?"

"You are a part of me. I encompass you," the boy said, sliding off the rock. He realised how he must look: all in black, red-rimmed eyes wild from the chase, standing over his unconscious prey.

"You could run," the boy continued easily. "But I don't think you want to."

"No," Herne agreed, spear sliding through his hand, falling to the ground. Forest reached out and tipped up the black dog-mask, and Sirius felt something leave him in a rush.

"Which one are you?" he asked, but the boy caught his hand before it could grasp the leaf-mask and pull it off.

"King of the revelers," the boy said, pacing in a circle around him. Sirius turned and turned, tracking his movement, realising wildly that it was Peter unconscious at their feet, Peter who might have been killed. "Dionysus. Bacchus. The Green Man," he added with a laugh, fingers straying over the holly berries on his cheek. "Who are you?"

"S...Sirius Black," he stammered.

"Even now your cousin has hunted her man as Winter's Queen," the boy continued, still circling, his arm flung wide to indicate the direction Raven -- Severus Snape -- had run in. "Even now your brother Stag has captured Summer Queen and the Moon and Sun chase each other in their dance."

"They protected me," Sirius mused.

"Their duty," the boy answered.

"Who is -- "

"Ah." The boy pressed a finger to his lips. "No questions. Your duty is discharged, Hunter."

"Then why are you here?"

"Have I not guided your footsteps? Did I not call Sun and Moon down to protect you from the centaurs? Did I not arm you?" He gestured to the spear lying next to Peter, a sharpened bit of wood with a heavy, blunted end.

"Why?" Sirius whispered.

"You were most fit to hunt. Brutality is no new science to you. And yet when your master calls mercy you stay your hand."

"Master?" Sirius asked, quirking an eyebrow.

"Even Herne is the dog of the forest," replied the boy in the green mask. He stepped close, and Sirius could see deep, wood-brown eyes behind the tangled leaves and vines on his face. Fingers drifted over Sirius' cheeks, and the eyes studied him carefully.

"Nature binds us," the boy said. "Raven in winter, Stag in summer, moon and sun in their cycles. You are bound to more ancient law than your prey could provide. You are bound to me."

Sirius wanted to ask a thousand questions, who the boy was, where the others were and who was the girl playing the Moon, but leaves brushed his cheeks and the boy kissed him, fully, lips firm and warm and real. An angular jaw pressed to his, hands sliding down his neck and leaving a tingling sensation behind them.

Sirius moaned and felt the boy's warmth -- odd that he should be so warm and firm, when a second before he could have sworn the Forest was nothing more than a spirit with a reed flute.

They stood there, bodies locked, twining together over Peter's fallen body; the reward for a good hunt, Sirius thought numbly. Then the green-masked boy pulled him forward, moving swiftly back, guiding him over the soft earth until they were lost in the dark wood. Sirius' shirt was abandoned somewhere in the forest; the mask fell from his head as he dropped the other boy to the ground, covering him with his body. Forest was his master and he owed due reverence. And it was so good, feeling the other boy's smooth skin under his, alien but familiar, like the writing on the masks.

He shed his trousers while the other boy's hips bucked, and a low whine of pleasure escaped his lips. The sky was turning grey around them, but Sirius didn't care; May was dawning, but Sirius was lost in the feel of the strange boy's hands on his hips, on his thighs, on his cock...

"Trust me," the boy said, stroking slowly, fingers exploring in ways that made Sirius moan. He pressed closer, wanting more, wanting the slide of fabric on skin, to feel the green-masked boy's erection through his rough brown trousers. "Oh -- "

Sirius ran kisses down his jaw, stopped to breath in the scent of sweat and soil mingled, to let the other boy kiss his cheek where it still smelled like the leather of the mask. He couldn't tell what was up from down, couldn't tell where they were except that they were a part of the soil and the forest and the land -- this was ancient, dizzyingly powerful magic --

The spreading of the seed on the soil --

He gasped and shuddered, as the green-masked boy's fingers danced over his skin, stroking deftly. Another second, another short eternity and he would...

The grey sky and brown earth spun around him as he came, closing his eyes, howling in the crisp early morning air, unsure what part of him was Sirius and what part was the Hunter still.

When he opened his eyes again, the boy was gone.


Daylight was creeping over the edge of the fens when James and Lily found the path back to the clearing; they walked with his fingers twined in hers, her other hand carrying the Stag and Summer Queen masks delicately. He stopped at the edge of the trees to nuzzle her neck, nibble gently on the sensitive skin there, and she let out a soft laugh.

"This doesn't mean I like you at all," she said.

"Course not," he whispered, against her skin, lips and tongue brushing it gently.

"You have to take me out on a proper date, James Potter. Just because we went Maying -- "

"Anywhere in the world," he promised, breath warm against her neck.

"Stop doing that."

"Or what?"

"Or I'll push you back into the forest and we'll have to have another fight about who owns who."


She pushed him away, laughing, and he tugged her into the clearing. The table was gone, and no one else was around; he drew her close as they reached the place where they'd gathered, the night before, and kissed her, one arm around her waist. She refused to open her mouth.

"Evans..." he said with a sigh, dropping his head in defeat.

"If you're good," she breathed, softly.

"Well, I didn't hear you complai -- "

He stopped, because she'd put her thumb on his lips, and was stroking them slowly.

"If you're good, and take me on a proper date, and stop being an egotistical git," she said.

"Oh." He looked thoughtful. "I could try that."

She smiled. Just then Peter emerged from the other direction, rubbing his head and carrying his mask in one hand. There was a large purple bruise forming on his left cheekbone.

"Peter!" Lily shouted, and they both ran to greet him. He gave them a tired grin. "What on earth happened to you?"

"I would have got away!" Peter crowed. "If that stupid green-masked boy hadn't stopped me. I was going to beat Herne -- I mean Sirius -- "

Sirius chose that moment to come crashing into the clearing, shirtless, mask tied to a belt-loop, and caught James by the arms, laughing.

"Brilliant!" he cried, dancing James around. Lily, not to be outdone, pulled James away and kissed him, soundly. Peter laughed and fell to the ground as Sirius pushed past him, spreading his arms to stare at the sky.

"Sorry old man," Sirius said, bending to grab Peter's hand and pull him upright. Peter's grin faded as he looked over Sirius' shoulder, to where Severus Snape and Narcissa Black were emerging from the woods.

Snape, for once, was smiling. It wasn't a very nice smile, but Sirius was too ecstatic to care.

"Welcome to the summer!" he shouted to the fading stars, and the sunrise.

And then they saw the man in the Sun King mask, emerging into the clearing with quiet dignity. Sirius ran to him and tackled him, nearly knocking him off his feet.

"Moony, where've you been? Did you see? Did you hear?" he asked, ecstatic. The Sun King shook his head, and reached around to unhook the laces as Sirius stepped back. A grinning face and a shock of red hair appeared, and Sirius gaped.

"Hallo, Black!" Arthur Weasley said with a grin. Molly Weasley, carrying the white mask with the black hare figure painted on one cheek, moved out of the shadows to stand next to him. "Have a good time, did you?"

"Yes but -- Remus was supposed to -- " Sirius looked around, wildly. "What happened to Moony?"

Someone vaulted into the clearing, a blur of brown and green and flesh, backflipping into the centre and landing in a crouch. The Green Man, the one in the mask of leaves and vines, white holly berries standing out on one cheek, lips stretched wide in a grin. He straightened, and shook out his hair, pushing the mask up onto his head.

Remus Lupin's laughing face met them all as the leaves slid up, his brown eyes sparkling in the light of the sunrise.

Sirius stared. James began to laugh along with him, and Lily, clinging to James, snorted. Peter was chuckling, rubbing his bruise proudly. Even Snape was laughing now, and Narcissa made a sound very close to a giggle.

"You!" Sirius gasped.

"Aye," Remus replied. "Who else?"

Sirius felt a flush creep over his cheeks, but the others were looking at Remus, not at him.

"Stag and queen, hunter and prey, lord and lady, sun and moon," Remus continued, joyfully. "And the green to guide them all."

"That was you playing the music!" James exclaimed. "You're the one who tripped me off the wall!"

"Was it you?" Peter asked. "You stopped me?"

Remus grinned. "You were too good at escaping, Pettigrew! It's no good if the prey gets away."

He turned to Snape, expecting another accusation or question, but the dark-eyed boy merely shook his head, and Narcissa was plucking twigs off of her black dress, idly.

So Remus looked to Arthur, and lifted a hand, and grinned. The older man was sitting, mask on one knee, Molly draped across his lap, her Moon mask dangling idly from her fingers.

"And we thank the sun and moon," he said formally, "for witnessing our revels."

"Had to make sure you lot didn't kill each other somehow," Arthur replied. "We were glad to do it, weren't we, Moll?"

"More than," Molly said brightly. "We had a revel for maying when I was a girl...I'm glad it's still done."

"You..." Sirius began, but he couldn't speak the question he wanted to ask, not in front of everyone. "...made the masks?"

"No, though I fixed them up," Remus replied. "They belong to my father. Our village has a masque every year -- nothing like this, silly thing really -- and he's supposed to keep them safe the rest of the time. I made...well. A few changes."

Severus was examining his thoughtfully.

"You sharpened the beak?" he asked. Remus nodded.

"And I added real horns on James', and put wires on Lily's, and new silk," he said. "And I wrote the names on them. Magically. So that when you wore it..."

"It would make us more like our masks," Severus said quietly.

"Or would make you more like yourself," Remus answered. "Because then the question was whether I'd given you the right mask in the first place."

Severus continued to regard the cruel raven's head.

"I think so," he said finally, lifting his eyes to meet Remus'. "I'm going now," he added. "And this will not be spoken of again."

He laid the mask on the ground, near Remus, and straightened. "Thank you," he said, and turned, and vanished into the fens. After a split second, the Winter Queen mask was laid next to the Raven, and Narcissa, silent and grave, also left the clearing.

"We'll take ours to your dad directly," Arthur said, and he and Molly disappeared into the trees, Molly still laughing. Sirius glanced at James and Lily, who were in their own world, bodies close, talking softly. Peter, leaning on a tree stump, held out his mask to Remus, who accepted it.

"I would have got away if you hadn't tricked me," he said, straightening and dusting himself off.

"I know," Remus replied. "That's the point."

"Just so you do." Peter nodded, and cocked his head. "I'm freezing, I think I'm for some coffee in the Great Hall."

"Hang on, we'll come too," James called. "Remus, I'll leave the masks on your bed?"

"Go on then," Remus said, gathering the other masks. "Sirius'll help me take these back, won't you?"

Sirius, silently, took the Hare from his hand, fingertips brushing Remus' skin. He was pleased to see a flush on the other boy's cheeks.

"Hark at Evans and James," he said quietly, as they vanished into the trees. "Reckon they -- "

"They did," Remus replied. "That's what the Maying is for, Sirius."

"And what we did?" Sirius asked, in an even softer tone. He saw Remus swallow.

"I didn't mean to go that far," Remus answered, staring down at the leaf-mask in his hands. In the light, Sirius could see now that it was clay, and not as deftly made as the others; he saw Remus fit his thumb into a hollow of the cheek, and realised that he'd sculpted it himself. "It was just supposed to be you catching Peter. I wanted you to see what -- I wanted you to stop being cruel to Severus, and the younger kids, and Peter too if it comes to that. I wanted you to see just how far you could go if you didn't keep yourself in control."

Sirius smiled. "And instead you saw just how far you could."

"I'm not proud of it. I'm sorry."

Sirius tipped Remus' chin up, and looked in his eyes. "You took my mask off. I could have said no."

"Could have said..." Remus repeated hoarsely. Sirius slid his hand down Remus' jaw, over the curve of his neck and shoulder. He kissed him, grateful that the leaf mask was no longer between them, that now it was Sirius kissing Remus and the magic was for them, not the other way around.

Sirius wrapped an arm around his waist as the masks fell to the soft ground, and Remus' knees buckled.

Now he knew why this had felt familiar, though he'd never in his wildest -- well, perhaps in dreams, but never...never touched Remus Lupin this way. There had been tempting brushes, pushing past each other while dressing in the morning, boyish wrestling, but not like this. Never this deliberate touch, never Moony's eyes looking up at him hungrily, and the warmth of the ground beneath them.

"Is this what you wanted?" Sirius asked, as their bodies arched together.

"I didn't know..."

"Is it what you want?"

"Oh, yes, please..." Remus moaned and closed his eyes.

In the tall grass of the fens, with the stars spinning down in the west and the sun on the far horizon, Sirius bent and kissed, touched, spoke, asked...and Remus answered him, allowed him -- gasped when Sirius' mouth moved down the line of his stomach, and his tongue flicked over him. Cried out and arched his back and when Sirius moved on top of him, slid his hands down to grip the black-haired boy's wrists, tightly.

"Sirius," Remus moaned, and Sirius felt an unexpected shock run through him. "Please just -- oh -- please..."

Sirius growled and came when Remus begged, and felt the other boy tense, shudder, go limp. Remus was silent, still, except for his breath, which came in short, hitching gasps.

After a moment, Sirius propped himself up, fingers twined in Remus' hair.

"Welcome the summer," he said softly.

Remus laughed, and reached up to pull his head down for a kiss that was sweet and warm and promising of a very good beginning to the summer indeed.


[identity profile] 2005-08-07 04:23 pm (UTC)(link)
*so very, very deaded*

Brilliant. One of the only fics I've read that truly incorporate the old ways, the old magics into the story without it jarring.

Wonderfully done.

[identity profile] 2005-08-07 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2005-11-05 12:14 pm (UTC)(link)
A very good story. Even compared to your other stories.
I like your version of this old magic. It feels like Remus has awakened something none of them including the Weasleys understand, something so much older and so much more powerful that it isn't human at all. It just carries them away without any of the characters even able to notice it.

[identity profile] 2005-11-06 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
Sam- you make me want to put on a mask and go frolic somewhere. Excellent fic :D

[identity profile] 2007-07-16 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
Aggies' got it right- reading this made me look forward to my next ritual, even though I know it'll be nothing like that. I really want to do a good 'walking in shadow' intensive or something...

[identity profile] 2005-11-08 06:26 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know how I missed this fic. This story is absolutely amazing, and you had me going in so many different directions that it was great. So...rife with history, and so true to the characters... poor Peter left in the cold, but Moony deserves much more.

Fangirlish adoration follows. :)

[identity profile] 2005-11-27 11:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't tell you how much this story means to me, except to say that it's as good as Narnia, only with boysex. And for me, *nothing* is as good as Narnia.

J.K. Rowling will never be able to write like you can. She can do plot and character, but you - symbol and image and metaphor and style and just being able to make me *ache* for your characters. (I predict that in twenty years, you will have published the next great classic of the fantasy or historical fiction genre and be a millionaire and not living in Texas among hairy homophobes and football addicts.)

And yes, I happen to have been born at dawn on May Day, so your choice of festival was particularly well suited for me.

Anyway, just thank you, thank you, thank you!

Re: Fangirlish adoration follows. :)

[identity profile] 2005-11-28 04:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it *grins* And here's hoping your prediction comes true!
ext_391860: Don't blink angel (Default)

[identity profile] 2006-05-01 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)

Last night Edinburgh had a Beltane Fire Festival to celebrate...well, fire, and things like the other elements and the beginning of summer and the Green Man etc. It made me think of your fic. I spent the entire day yesterday thinking about your fic, it's kinda worrying really.

But I feel I have achieved something in remembering what it was called and finding it.



[identity profile] 2006-05-02 01:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm oddly proud that the Beltane Fire made you think of my fic! :)

[identity profile] 2006-05-02 04:42 am (UTC)(link)
*has died happily* A perfect way to end May Day. I really have to wonder how I missed this. I could have sworn that I've read everything you've written and then you go and surprise me with something as gorgeous as this. I hope to stumble upon more wonderful fics like this in the future.

[identity profile] 2006-05-02 01:32 pm (UTC)(link)
It is a splendid May Day fic, if I say so myself :D And you know, normally I wouldn't, but I'm terribly proud of this one. I do love it.

Heh! Blessed be ...

[identity profile] 2006-05-09 08:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi, Sam!

You don't know me, but I've enjoyed your fic very much for some time. It's long past time that I sent some feedback your way, and this is just a spectacular fic, in any number of ways, so it's the perfect occasion to tell you how much I admire your work.

I loved the extremely sharp and insightful character analyses, all deftly delineated thru the various pagan archetypes, and I've often thought the whole MWPP/Animagus story arc particularly lends itself to such tropes. It's wonderful that you did allude to some of the Animagis' individual alternate forms, as in James/Stag, but even more wonderful that you deepened those ideas and expanded on them, as in James/Stag/Summer King. Sirius as Herne, Snape as Raven, Remus as Forest. Beautiful and thought-provoking; spot on, in every case.

And I just absolutely LOVE IT anyway when I see old magic, pagan deities and "Golden Bough" references in HP fic, and I have to tell you, such references are as rare in the Potterverse as hens' teeth, regrettably. I'd have loved this story and you for writing it on that score alone, even if it hadn't also been a skillful, exciting, intelligent and beautifully crafted story as well!

Wonderful, wonderful work! I'm thrilled to have found it(located via a rec over at accio_rs_fic)!


Re: Heh! Blessed be ...

[identity profile] 2006-05-10 01:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun playing with roles and masks and pagan references :)

[identity profile] 2006-05-17 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
That was so much fun to read! It was beautiful, but it was also funny at times, and very powerful.
I love the imagery you used. It was absolutely wonderful.

[identity profile] 2007-04-22 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)

I'm a new reader of your fic (a friend of mine linked me to Stealing Harry, and I've been reading everything else I could find *laughs*), and I must say, this is my favourite of your shortfic. It's beautifully written, and I adore the storyline. Pagan myths have long been a favourite of mine, and they fit perfectly with the characters.

- Kate

[identity profile] 2007-04-24 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! This is one of my faves :) I love the masks, I can see them so clearly in my head...

[identity profile] 2007-04-24 04:14 am (UTC)(link)
I like your descriptions of the masks - I wish I could see them; they seem beautiful.

[identity profile] 2007-08-17 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh Sam....I'm speechless. I know it's a long time since you posted this, and you may never even come across this comment - but, oh, that was an amazing piece of writing.

[identity profile] 2007-08-18 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
*grins* I get notifications. :D I'm glad you enjoyed it!

[identity profile] 2007-09-12 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
That was great.

[identity profile] 2007-11-05 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)

This is probably the most wonderful thing I've ever read. Oh look, it's sunrise over here. I love what you've done! It sounds so fun and so good... *hugs*

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 06:54 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, my, this was absolutely, magnificently stunning. Really, I adore it.

(And I couldn't have picked a better time to read it, as I'm currently studying the whole concept of masks and persona in ancient Greek theatre, and my professor is a devoted worshipper of Dionysus.)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 02:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I did my Master's work on masking, and study classics as a hobby. Enjoy your class!

[identity profile] 2008-05-02 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
I came across this again, and read it. I love it even more than I did before, if that's possible. And just after I read it, I realized that today is May Day :) Fabulous.

[identity profile] 2008-05-12 04:53 am (UTC)(link)
here on [ profile] midnitemaraud_r's rec.

This is stunning. The images and the use of the mysticism of the masks and maying are so lovely. They action is well done and the romance is heart warming. Just beautiful!

[identity profile] 2008-05-12 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

[identity profile] 2008-12-08 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
You know, I tend to re-read your stuff like mad crazy when I should really be studying for finals yet lack the ambition to do so, and I must say that I still love it all. After reading Stealing Harry, its sequels, and Cartographer's Craft, I can't look at Rowling's books the same. Your HP alternate universe is SO MUCH BETTER than her writings. Plus, you don't kill my favorite characters. I think I'm still a little bitter that she killed Sirius, Remus, Tonks, and Snape. Sirius mainly, but killing all the others seemed to be a tad overkill.

Speaking of which, I've been wondering about the remainder of Laocoon's Children, Year III and what you were thinking of doing in regards to (eventually) finishing it. Was the original plan to make its ending be similar-ish to Rowling's Prisoner of Azkaban, or are you going to mesh the third and fourth books into one massive writing?

[identity profile] 2008-12-08 06:54 pm (UTC)(link)
And, wow, that previous comment was totally posted on the wrong page. *shifty eyes*

Either way, props to Masked Revels too. The chase between Lily and James never ceases to make me smile, likewise with the image of Sirius running out of the trees when the sun rises.

The details are fantastic. :D

[identity profile] 2008-12-09 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you've been enjoying the fic! Masked Revels is an old favourite of mine :D

I do intend to finish LCIII, it's just....been a while :D

[identity profile] 2008-12-09 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I look forward to the new chapters when they are posted. :D

Until then, the re-reading of Masked Revels and Stealing Harry shall continue.

Life is officially good. :D

[identity profile] 2009-07-16 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2009-10-08 06:04 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my. It's been far too long since I've looked at your older writing. I vaguely recall reading this a long time ago, and I'm glad I was bored this evening and decided to poke around a bit. Even if it is now 2 am and I have to be up in a few hours. This is absolutely lovely!

I remember when you were doing your Masters, and would occassionally talk about masks and they're symbolism and whatnot, and I never really understood what you meant (bare bear=science geek). Having read Nameless, you've definately sparked my interest on the subject. This story reminds me of why I'm interested. There seems to be so much history and symbolism and ritual, it leaves this science-buff absolutely boggled! Hmm...sleep, or wikipedia... :D

Okay, enough 2 am babbles! Thanks again for the lovely story.

[identity profile] 2010-08-02 05:31 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, Sam. This made being up in the middle of the night worth it. And as someone else said, it's lovely to see the old ways used. Makes me want to go out and find some pagan festivals to go to, even though I'm not typically a joiner.

(Anonymous) 2011-03-10 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
Oh knight, my king....I think I love you. You are amazing. Sirianne_50