Severus/Draco pre-slash, written for the Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere Fuh-Q Fest, for the challenge, "one partner has a boot fetish."
Professor Snape is striding up the hallway behind him. Draco knows this without turning around, without a magic eye like Moody's, without either of his goons warning him. He has the sound memorized, the dull commanding thud of Snape's boots on stone. It is the most compelling sound he has ever heard, rich with authority and menace, and he hears it in his dreams.
So he has plenty of time to make himself scarce, to stop tormenting the hapless first-year Hufflepuff who'd stumbled across his path, to be innocent (or at least absent) by the time Snape reaches the place where he'd been. Draco curses his own cowardice. There is a part of him, growing larger even as he contemplates it, that wants to be caught, to be punished, to be dragged to the floor by Snape. To kneel there trembling, listening to that heavy tread as Snape circles him, threatening. His eyes would be cast down in terror, and all he could see of Snape would be the shiny leather of his boots.
Draco has always loved boots, as long as he can remember. The tall smooth ones that his father wears hunting. The delicate, heeled ones that his mother wears to London. He spent most of his childhood wishing he had some like them, wishing they would look right on someone so small. At some point he hit puberty, and the wishing and the longing changed, grew more complex, more physical. He is fairly certain that it is not usual for the beloved's footwear to feature so prominently in one's first wet dreams.
Now it is his seventh year, and his feet have stopped growing, and he has a dozen pairs of boots. Riding boots, one pair in black and another in oxblood red. The padded, shaped ones that complete his Quidditch uniform. Elegant dress boots with fine lacing. Even, though he knows his parents would surely disapprove, a pair he extorted from a Mudblood that were made for a tank commander, whatever that is. The important part about them is that they have straps and buckles, hardware that emphasizes their essential feature, which is the same in every pair he owns: power.
Boots symbolize power, being strong and aggressive and completely untouchable. The sleek shaping from ankle to calf, the smooth leather, the high polish -- all of it combines to say one thing: I am fucking invincible, and you will do as I say.
The boots that Snape wears are knee-high, Italian leather, perfectly smooth, with an elegance of fit that is made possible only by magic. Draco knows this despite Snape's ankle-length robes, because he chose them. His mother took him into Diagon Alley so they could go Christmas shopping, and when they passed the window of Crispin's Shoemakers, Draco saw them in the window and could not, could not possibly, resist.
They were perfect for Snape: aristocratic, minimalist, flawless. Black and shiny as a lake at midnight, unruffled by the slightest breeze. No fastenings, no decorations to get in the way of the clean, spare lines. They were boots for someone who could command attention without ever raising his voice. They were boots for someone who never let his guard down, for someone who was invulnerable, or so close to it that it would never make a difference to Draco.
He dragged his mother into the store. "Draco, darling," she said when she saw what he wanted, "you already have a pair almost exactly like that."
"I don't want them for me," he explained crossly. "I think they'd be an excellent Christmas present for Professor Snape." He breathed deeply, savoring the sharp smell of conditioned leather.
His mother raised one eyebrow in an expression that said she knew what this gift implied, and only her family pride and superior breeding kept her from calling her son a pervert. All she said, though, was, "You'll be buying them with your pocket money, then?"
So he did, trying to keep the wistfulness from his face as he watched the clerk wrap them carefully and tie the parcel with ribbon. That night he dreamed about Snape wearing them, and he woke up in the dark as hard as he'd ever been.
He has dreams like that often these days. Dreams in which he kneels between Snape's legs, and he feels the leather smooth against his bare skin as he does things with his mouth that make Snape moan.
As a matter of fact, he's having a daydream like that right now, in the middle of Potions class. He finds himself envying Potter the harsh treatment he gets from Snape. He pines for it -- for Snape to crush him under those perfect heels.
But Pansy is tugging at his sleeve, doing her best to get his attention. "Draco," she hisses urgently, "that's not how it looked in the book!"
He sees her point. Their potion is /quaking/, there's no other word for it, and the color keeps changing in great chaotic blossoms of fluid. Draco stares at it, fascinated. He's never fucked up a potion this badly before. How did he lose that much control? How has this obsession taken over that much of his life?
"Professor Snape," Pansy calls, clearly agitated by Draco's unhelpfulness, "I think we need help!"
Snape turns, scowling, and then abruptly looks alarmed at their unstable concoction. He draws his wand and Banishes the whole thing, cauldron included. "I don't even want to know how you did that," he growls at them. Pansy simpers; Draco stares at the floor, trying not to look thrilled. "It's too late for you to start over," Snape continues, "so you will join other groups and observe their results."
Draco hears the Weasel complaining about how unfair it is, how a Gryffindor would have gotten detention for that, and for the first time in his life he agrees. Detention with Snape. The idea makes him shiver. Alone in a room with a vengeful Snape. He pictures himself grabbed by the collar, thrown to the floor, reaching out to touch Snape's boots in supplication.
At the end of the hour, he knows no more about preparing the Proteus Potion than he did before. He stays behind, telling Pansy he'll catch up later. He loiters, waiting for Snape to notice him.
"Did you want something, Mr. Malfoy?"
Oh, so many things. "Sir," Draco says, not stopping to think, "the way you treated my mistake in class -- it wasn't fair."
"Not. Fair." Snape's voice is glacial; why does it make Draco want to melt?
"No, sir." He can't meet Snape's eyes, and he doesn't really want to -- he is staring at the toes of Snape's boots as he continues, "If anyone else had messed up that badly, you'd give them detention."
"I see. So you stand here to accuse me, without even the courage to look me in the eye. Tell me -- what is so fascinating that you won't look up?"
"Your -- your boots, sir." As if the tremor in his voice weren't enough, Draco feels his face flush.
"And you are asking for detention. My, my. I never would have expected someone in your position to develop such interests." Snape's voice is wry, amused. The humiliation is almost more than Draco can bear, and it excites him painfully. "No, Malfoy, you may not have detention. I wouldn't want to encourage your poor performance."
Draco looks up at that, hurt and frustrated. "Sir, I wouldn't --"
"Run along, Malfoy. You don't want to be late to your next class." Snape turns on booted heel and walks away.
Draco feels like he's just been kicked. But not in a good way.
For the rest of the week, nothing goes right. Draco can't even manage to care. He gets bitten by a Venus Mouse Trap in Herbology; he loses a month's worth of Transfiguration notes; Potter and Granger both get better marks than he does on the Charms exam. He doesn't dare look at Snape in the Great Hall, or when they pass each other in corridors; he's too certain he'd see contempt in Snape's eyes, and he couldn't stand any more rejection. At mealtimes, he picks at his food; in the evenings, he retires straight to his room.
Which is where the house elf finds him, on Saturday afternoon.
"Sir," it squeaks, "you is to be having this." It holds out a small parcel, trembling.
Draco snatches the parcel out of its hand. What now? He opens it carefully, since it would be just his luck this week for it to be full of bubotuber pus.
There are two parts. A note, and a squat round tin. He looks at the tin first: Christopher Crispin's Finest Boot Polish, Obsidian Black. His hands shake as he unfolds the note.
There is no salutation and no signature, just the message: I expect you at nine o'clock. If you are prompt, courteous, and obedient, we may discuss further indulgences.
Draco lets out the breath he didn't know he was holding. His life isn't ruined, after all.