AN: I was so happy about the nice reviews I got for my last fic that I decided to upload something else while I try to figure out if I should write another chapter for that or not.
Obviously I own nothing except my computer although I wish I had a mind as brilliant as Rowling's.
This is set during Harry's sixth year with Remus back at Hogwarts as defence teacher and Snape still teaching potions
Remus Lupin was beyond pissed, he just couldn't believe Snape could sink that low. Or well, he could actually, it still made him furious though. He literally saw red as he stalked down the empty corridors in search of the evil bastard. It was past curfew for the students and since that complete waste of space wasn't in his office Lupin guessed he was haunting the halls, looking for students to deduct an unreasonable amount of points from.
'Well, different folk, different strokes, we can't all take pleasure from the same things, now can we?' he thought bitterly as he turned yet another corner.
Coming back from being sick for a few days, accidentally the exact days of the full moon, he had got to know today what Snape had found appropriate to lecture about: Werewolves, just like the lesson three years ago but since everyone knew of his condition by now the approach of the subject had been slightly different. Snape had managed to dig out several cases were werewolves committed horrible crimes while in their human form, leaving all of his students with the feeling that Remus was unstable and dangerous. Bloody hell that man was simply a disgrace for the human race, how could he do that?
Remus frankly was surprised Snape hadn't shouted out to the whole school "hey, your DADA teacher's a werewolf and he will rip your throats open in the middle of class". But he guessed the despicable mans twisted sense of honour kept him from stooping that low. No, trying to make rumours spread behind his back about him being untrustworthy and not safe were the Slytherin way to do it.
Severus Snape was walking the hallways aimlessly. He had never enjoyed sleeping all that much and seldom slept more than five hours a night, spending the undisturbed hours of tranquillity in his private laboratory working on some new potion. Then there were the nights like this one, when his rooms felt like a cage and he just couldn't stand being locked in there with his own thoughts. It was on these nights that he roamed the hallways.
He was on the third floor making a turn to the right - near the place where there had been a forbidden corridor some years previously - sneering at the thought of the groundkeeper, Hagrid, and his adorable little beasts when he ran into one furious looking creature better known as Remus Lupin.
Before he found the time to react the potions master were grabbed by the collar and pushed roughly against the wall, the other man using his full strength to keep him there.
"Who do you think you are? Have you become so bitter and vengeful that you have to ruin the one thing in my life that's worth living for?" The werewolf just went on and on so Snape simply tuned him out, keeping a sneer on his face to show exactly how he felt about the tirade and knowing full well nothing would anger the other man more.
As he stood there he actually came to realise he felt uncomfortable - a feeling he strongly disliked since it was a sign of weakness. The sensation had not sprung from fear or worry, he was after all a Death Eather and compared to what he faced at each and everyone of those meeting the man in front of him now was no threat what so ever. No, what made him uncomfortable with the whole situation was the fact that he was pressed against a wall, physically. Another human's – or rather half-human's - arms were pressed against his torso and the whole despicable creature was standing well inside his private space. Snape didn't like it one bit.
Severus Snape didn't do physical contact, he just didn't. As for the students and staff at school they all knew better than to as much as brush against him when he was walking down the hallways. The students were scared shitless of him and as far as he knew, so were his colleagues. The only other context in which he figured was the meetings with the Dark Lord, and those pure-blood wizards would never stoop so low as to hurt someone the muggle way. Oh no, curses and sometimes even a few of his very own potions were the way to go.
"…just so jealous on James that you…" Lupin was still raging at him but Snape just kept the hateful sneer on his face, staring into the other mans eyes with a look that would make the first-years wet themselves.
As soon as Lupin stopped for breath the Death-Eather-gone-light cut him off, tired of their little game.
"Now if you excuse me, werewolf" he put as much loathing as he possibly could into that single word, and being who he was that was quite a bit "I'm going to bed". He tore loose from the grip on his robes and stalked away with his black robes whirling around him before Lupin had time to say another word. Leaving the defence teacher behind in the dark corridor fuming over the fact that he hadn't manage to get to the stone-cold potions master in the least.
It was well after midnight almost a week after the night-time meeting with Lupin that Severus was trying to make his way undetected back to his rooms. He used as many shortcuts as possible and kept to the shadows the rest of the way, running into anyone - even one of the teachers - could be disastrous.
Sure a great deal of the staff knew of him being a spy among the ranks of the Dark Lord, but he still couldn't afford to be caught in the act of sneaking around looking like he did right now. He could imagine the look on Minerva's face should she see his torn robes stained with dirt and blood - his own blood that was, running from his nose down his face and splattering the black fabric – and he didn't like it one bit. He couldn't contain his hands from shaking with the after-effects of the Cruciatus but he made sure to walk steadily. In reality his legs were close to giving out under his weight, but the act may fool someone who watched him from a distance.
During the years as a spy Severus had got the habit to always make sure he was back in his rooms before allowing himself to let the guard down. No matter what state he was in once he arrived at the apparation point, he always dragged himself back to his rooms before allowing his consciousness to slip away.
Finally reaching his own private quarters he let out a relieved breath and muttered the incantations to let himself inside. Weakly pushing the door closed he leaned against the stone wall next to the door only to slide down to the floor almost immediately as his legs gave out.
Even though the evening had been lined with destruction and terror their master hadn't been happy afterwards, and as always when he was in such a mood he took it out on his servants. There were a stash of emergency potions close to the apparation point of which Snape had downed at least half when he got there. He would need to restock it tomorrow.
Potions or not, his body still ached all over. He was shivering slightly and more defined tremors broke through every now and then. There was no telling whether these were after-effects from the torture or if they were caused by the pictures that kept playing in his mind, probably a mixture of the two.
Remus Lupin was, once again, beyond pissed and it was, once again, because of a man named Severus Snape. As a matter of fact he hadn't really stopped being angry with the bastard after he had yelled at him in the hallway a while ago, but now that anger had flared up with renewed energy. Sure, he realised that it might not have been the most intelligent thing to do; lashing out at the man who was providing him with his Wolfsbane potion. He just hadn't expect Snape to be such a complete ass and not send him this months dosage. He needed to get that potion down in less than an hour or he would be a real danger to the school by the next full moon, didn't Snape see what was at risk?
For the Wolvesbane to work it needed to be taken every night for eleven nights before the full moon. It had something to do with arithmancy since eleven was a prime number but Remus had never understood the specifics. The inconvenient part was that the ingestion had to take place during the hours of the moon.
So it was that, at two o'clock in the night, the professor in Defense Against the Dark Arts was walking through the dungeons on his way to visit his colleague. He had retrieved the old marauders map from Harry so he knew Snape was currently in his living-room, no use for him trying to hide.
Remus rapped at the door to Snape's living quarters impatiently. There wasn't an answer so he rapped again, a little harder this time.
"I know you're in there" he announced to the dark wood, hoping there wasn't a silence spell in work. "Stop being such a stupid asshole and open the door, I've got to get that potion." In the end of the sentence he was pounding on the door with every syllable.
There was still no answer and Lupin was beginning to feel even angrier then before, something he wouldn't have thought possible seconds ago.
'Well screw this politeness' he thought 'I'm coming to get that potion no matter what he thinks.'
The werewolf did a quick magical scan of the door only to have it come up empty, weirdly enough. He knew there should be multiple layers of complicated magic to break through. The abhorrent man who lived here wasn't known for his trust in people.
Lupin hesitated for a split second as he reached for the doorknob, realising just about how enraged the man would be if he did this. Yet in the end his anger conquered over his sensibility and the prospect of destroying the other man's night made him reach out and twist the knob. As he found that the door weren't even locked the muggle way the queasy feeling in his stomach that had begun when he found no magical barriers grew to a rising worry, fighting the anger for dominance.
The wisp of air that came through the small crack in the door made Lupin recoil, closing the door and resting his forehead against it for a second. The air that had hit him had reeked of blood. Blood and pain and darkness so intense he nearly turned around and left. Lupin didn't want to do this, didn't want to know what had happened in there tonight. He was perfectly content to hate the man and leave it with that, but he couldn't. He knew for certain that if he turned his back on this and Snape turned up dead tomorrow he would never be able to forgive himself.
Taking a deep breath Remus once again turned the doorknob and opened the door. The sight that met Remus as he peeked into the room was not what he had been expecting. He had thought that the potion masters private living area would resemble his office and classroom but what met him was something else entirely. The floor was, in accordance with the rest of the castle, made of stone but this stone was darker than the common one, almost black with tiny specks of grey. The walls were covered in dark wood and a large forest green rug was placed underneath a strict looking sofa with two matching armchairs, all dressed in black leather.
Remus eyes swept over the large built-in bookcase and the fireplace, taking in the lack of personal items and more importantly; the lack of potion masters. He stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
Halfway between the door and the corner of the room Remus eyes fell on a sight that he wished he could have turned his back to and forgot. Leaving now might make him dangerous when the full moon came around but he could go home to his house with the cage in the cellar. It would be worth the self inflicted wounds if it meant no one would find out about him seeing this.
The train of thought had moved far enough that he had already started opening the door before he pulled the breaks and closed it again. Snape might hate him for doing this but for all he knew the man could be seriously injured. He was after all laying curled up on the floor, his knees tightly drawn to his chest and seemingly unconscious.
As Remus stepped closer he could see dried blood and dirt on the mans robes and a rivulet of crimson trailing from his nose had painted Snape's lips unnaturally red against the pale face. The sight only made him more sure that he didn't want to know more about this, but it also made him very worried.
"Snape?" Remus tried softly, hoping for a response. The thought of calling for madam Pomfrey crossed his mind but he brushed it away for know. Severus would most likely never forgive him for walking in on this, there was no need to escalate the situation unnecessarily.
"Severus?" Remus hadn't even known he was about to use the man's first name until it left his tongue. The situation had somehow washed away all those forced formal rules that restrained their every-day interactions. Not that Snape seemed to have noticed anyhow
"Are you okay?" Remus almost laughed hearing himself say that, it was rather obvious that he wasn't okay. Remus crouched down beside him and said his name again, more urgently this time, but there was still no reaction. As desperation begun to set in he slowly reach out with a hand and touched Snape's arm, fearing both that he would react and that he wouldn't.
At the unexpected contact Severus jerked away, his eyes flying open as he sat up. "Don't touch me" he hissed glaring at the unwanted intruder, something that Remus found strangely reassuring.
"What are you doing here werewolf, didn't those wretched excuses for parents ever teach you how to knock?" Severus spat as he used that wall for support while dragging himself upright.
"I needed my potion" Lupin said calmly, not taking the hook. Instead he felt immensely grateful that his colleague seemed to be at least somewhat alright. If he could both stand, glare and insult him then it couldn't be to bad.
"It's on my desk" the potions master nodded toward said location "take it and get out."
Remus walked over to the desk and downed the unsavoury content in four large gulps. When he turned back toward the door his eyes fell on the man next to it. He stood by himself know, the standard look of hatred firmly plastered on his features. Hadn't it been for the bloodied face and the ruined clothes Remus would have thought he had imagined Snape on the floor a minute earlier.
"Severus, are you… I mean, will you be okay?" Remus fought the urge to look away, instead looking into the man's dark menacing eyes. Snape sneered at the question.
"I didn't know werewolves had such a lousy hearing. Get. The. Fuck. Out. Of. My. Room. NOW!" he roared taking a threatening step towards Lupin who took an astonished second to absorb the fact that the potions master had just cussed. The surprise were abruptly cut of when Snape suddenly became yet a shade whiter and stumbled at the last word.
"Shit" he hissed as his legs no longer seemed unable to fight of the gravitation pulling him down. Before he realised he was going to do it Remus had taken the three steps over to his colleague and wrapped his arms around the man to ease him down.
At the contact Severus stiffened and his breath became shallow and quick as if he were close to panicking. Instead of letting him go once they were sitting on the floor Remus held on just a fraction tighter. He counted his own breaths and made it to fourteen while Snape slowly fell into the rhythm, his breathing evening out. The dark-haired man was shivering ever so slightly, just enough that Lupin could feel it but had been unable to see it earlier.
"It's okay to be weak sometimes you know, no one will look down on you for that" Remus said softly but Snape just snorted at the comment. Lupin couldn't help but wonder what had happened that had left the other man in this state, but he knew better than asking. It probably had something with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Snape would definitely not appreciate Lupin snooping so he chose to stay silent.
"Please just go" Severus said as Remus had counted to five more breaths "get your hands off me and leave me alone." There were no longer any traces of anger in his voice, just a deep weariness.
Remus knew not to push the man, but he still let another eleven breaths pass before he let the man go and walked out of the room without a word. After closing the door he set up a few locking charms for security before making his way back up to his own living quarters.
Snape let out a relieved sight as the door closed behind his unwanted visitor, allowing his emotions to once again shine through his carefully designed armour. He closed his eyes, feeling slightly disturbed by the fact that Lupin had walked in on him like that, what kind of rumours would he spread now? But somewhere inside of him a small voice said that Lupin wouldn't tell anyone - the man was too bloody righteous and good for that - and deep down he knew that was most likely true.
Some time later, the still shivering man dragged his way over to the sofa. He felt more tired than he had been in a very long time. The sleep however was fitful and his dreams filled with anguished screams.
AN: I have several more chapters planned out. If anyone's interested just let me know and I'll update. Constructive criticism is much appreciated.