It was a harsh winter outside, probably around three in the morning and the moonlight illuminated part of the dark forest. Snape was trying to sleep on his bed but one unsettling feeling couldn't let his mind rest. He prepared the Wolfsbane Potion in the morning and left it on Lupin's desk just like they agreed. But when he asked for the vessel back after dinner, Lupin shrugged it off and said he would give that to him the next day or so. Snape didn't think much of it, but now, remembering the past few days, maybe he should have. Lupin was acting weird, he had taken the potion every month for quite a while and according to some reading Snape bothered to do, this could mess up with his perception.
It is reported that the fourth month could make the person decide not to take it because of accumulated side effects from the previous months and also for the fact the potion gave them control, which they could interpret erroneously as a learned ability, when in fact it isn't. Without the potion, they can't think for themselves in a rational way. According to the reports, this attitude had nothing to do with intellect or arrogance, it was almost a bait the inner wolf would make them fall for.
Snape couldn't stop thinking that maybe Lupin didn't give him back the last empty goblet of the week because it was intact. Maybe he was out there, fully transformed and irrational getting himself hurt or very away from the castle or the house he should be. He felt guilt built inside his chest, he should have talked to him about this, there was no reason why he shouldn't have. It wasn't his obligation, but he had that information and decided not to say anything simply to avoid talking to him.
Snape decided he had enough of that, getting out of bed and making his way to Lupin’s office. He hated to sneak on his things, opening drawers and going even further on his accommodations but he had no choice. He looked around on the bathroom and found the glass he searched so badly for. It was half empty and that made Snape freeze on his position for a moment. He had no idea if that gave him some control or no control at all over the transformation.
“Remus…” Snape muttered in the darkness before rushing to leave the castle
He had no idea what to do, going alone in the cold forest to maybe find a werewolf that wouldn't recognize him sounded terrible. Closer to the border of the forest he utilized spells to make his footsteps muffled and to amplify distant sounds to himself. He was soon freezing, his pale hands shaking from the wind as he used his wand to illuminate his path. Snape was considering going back when he heard a howl that soon turned into a horrible human scream of pain.
Snape ran as fast as he could and started to call Lupin's name in the woods.
“S-snape…?” a voice sounded not too far from Snape
Snape widened his eyes when he heard the weak voice coming from behind a large tree.
“Lupin! Stay there!” he said approaching the tree but still not seeing him
When he got closer he had a sight that was painful to see. Lupin was on the ground, shivering with the cold. He had no clothes on and although he hid himself with his legs and arms the color of his skin revealed how cold how was.
Snape took off the cloak he was wearing and covered Lupin fast, his own body complaining about the wind. His black eyes meet Lupin's, which were agitated and scared.
“I’ll make you levitate and when we reach the castle we'll walk,” Snape said pointing his wand to him, he didn't have strength to carry him around
Lupin felt himself leave the ground, this was awfully embarrassing. He was very worn off and probably injured, couldn't articulate much.
“You will be fine, it's over now. You can warm up in the castle” Snape said when he let Lupin touch the ground again.
Snape could see Lupin’s head was probably a haze of confusion, exhaustion, embarrassment and being too cold to think straight. It felt wrong to simply leave him on his room and go to bed, he was still clearly scared, he couldn't possibly find the energy to take a warm bath or anything like that. He needed help and even to someone like Snape, denying a bit of tenderness to someone on his state sounded cruel.
The potions master made up his mind and lead them to his accommodations, no questions asked so far, no accusing him of being crazy or cursing him for putting them both in that situation. Something about his sincere fragility was making Snape heartbroken.
Meanwhile, Lupin was following him almost like a sleepwalker. He was aware of everything that was going on, aware he was walking around Hogwarts covered on Snape’s cloak, aware he had made a poor decision on taking half of the potion and also surprised for receiving help from the wizard that was leading him by his arm.
When they got to Snape's dungeon, the black-haired man searched for something on his shelves until he found a big amber colored glass. He approached Lupin with the rounded vessel and touched his arm under the cloak.
“Five drops and you won't feel cold anymore,” Snape said on his ear, the sudden proximity and touch making Lupin feel butterflies on his stomach
Snape took the five drops himself first, to show Lupin he could trust him. As soon as the liquid touched his purple lips, Lupin started to feel warmer, it was crazy to think he decided not to take his Wolfsbane earlier that night, Snape was an extremely talented potions master.
“Feeling better?” Snape asked with his characteristic voice
“Yes… I… I'm so sorry for all this… How did you find me?” He managed to ask
“Don’t be, I should have known. I was lucky to find you before we both freeze to death” Snape said in an indecipherable tone
Lupin wasn't sure of what that answer meant. He was divided between going back to his room or maybe staying until Snape politely asked him to leave. The last thing he wanted was to be alone right now.
Snape was studying him with his dark eyes, Lupin could swear he saw kindness hidden on that cold mask he would usually put on.
“Come here, I've been doing some reading regarding your condition. I think this might make you feel better. Do tell me if it’s working or not. But first -” he interrupted himself looking at his wardrobe. “I'll give you something else to wear, this must have been enough exposure to you”
“Thanks” Lupin said blushing
Snape noticed and gave himself a mental punch, he didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.
“I didn't mean it that way. It’s ok, Lupin, I didn't look for more than two seconds. I saw you there and covered you. It was dark anyway” Snape reassured him
The minutes he spent inside the bathroom, changing into Snape's clothes was strangely lonely to him. He felt Snape's scent on the clothes and wanted nothing more than seeing him again, feeling his touch on his skin. He felt attraction toward the other wizard, but where was all this neediness was coming from? He didn't feel like a wolf anymore, he felt like a lost dog somehow.
When he opened the door he found Snape sitting on the corner of his bed.
“Come over there, Lupin”
This was funny in a way, Snape tried to sound like it was no big deal but he blushed slightly. And Lupin didn't remember to hide he was strangely excited with the idea of being closer to the other wizard, sitting by his side on the bed. They had only two candles illuminating the room so it was a cozy environment.
“Well… I read that after werewolves return to their human form they might experience a need to… receive some… special care. Do you agree?” Snape asked hoping Lupin would fill in the gaps on his statement
“I do,” Lupin said in a dreamy way, he was exhausted
“Could you be more specific? Tell me, doesn't mean I'll do it. Save your blushes for another moment”
“I could use a hug, honestly. Whatever in the lines of stroking my hair, hugs, this kind of thing, maybe...” Lupin wanted to continue but he was too shy to say that out loud, even if he was the only one in the room
“Remus… be honest, do you want me to pet you? Like a… dog? I didn't know how to put it in any other way, please don't be offended” Snape said getting slightly apprehensive
“Actually… that's exactly what I want. Could you please do that for me?” he asked looking away from him
“Sure” Snape answered also looking away for a moment before he started
Snape first placed his hand on Lupin's face, his thumb on his cheek, that made the other wizard had no place else to look but to him. He proceeded to slide his hand to his neck in slow motion, using the tip of his fingers to massage the skin a little, much like he would do to a dog. Snape saw Lupin’s tension unwind quickly, amusing himself with the idea that if he had his tail now he would probably be waving it. Snape moved to rub the skin behind Lupin's ears, scratching it slightly with his short nails. That made Lupin moan, it wasn't a moan of arousal, it was a relief type of sound.
They got more comfortable with it soon and Lupin started to move according to Snape's touch. It was interesting to watch, looked like a reflex coming from pure instinct and at the same time, Snape could notice some of that was exclusively coming from Lupin's personality.
They went under the covers after some time and leaving whatever shyness that was still there, Remus snuggled to Snape's chest. His heartbeats were soothing and he soon started to calm down from his inner agitation to fall asleep.
Lupin never had that before. Certainly, he had people who cared for him and gave him comfort the day after the full moon but never someone to find him in such deplorable state and offer personal attention like this. It simply felt good to be taken care of.
Snape watched Lupin’s breathing become deeper and deeper until he was surely sleeping. He had no idea why he suggested all that and why he wanted to do this for him. He could just have left him on his own bed and it would have been a huge favor already. He didn't know or at least didn't remember having this kindness inside him. He could do it all over again next month if the had to, nothing in return needed. It was gratifying to see Remus trust him and look less lost and desolated. Snape never had the chance to show this much compassion to somebody else. And he liked it.
Snape woke up way after his usual time, it was probably close to noon. He looked down to find Remus still sleeping on his chest in a curious position, something about his hands still resembled a wolf sleeping. The Slytherin hated the idea of waking him up so he got out of bed slowly and started doing some things like taking a bath and putting some clothes on. Early baths on the winter weren't his thing but they were dirty from the woods.
Noticing Lupin couldn’t be possibly awakened by anything less than a howler on his ears, Snape ate his lunch on the Great Hall and brought some things for his visitor, who was still asleep two hours later. Snape started and finished correcting the tests of the second year students and was about the check if Lupin was alive and breathing when he heard low howl coming from the inner chambers, where his bed and bathroom were. The sound molded with a human yawn and he knew Remus was awake.
Remus woke up confused, not recognizing where he was for the first moments. His memories came back all at once when he saw Snape's clothes on the other side of the bed and recognized the warming potion on the bookshelf.
“Merlin, what was I thinking?” he said out loud looking at his wrist that had a new cut and bruise, certain to find more bruises around his body. “How could I be so stupid?” he continued talking to himself
“Morning, Lupin. I bothered bringing you some things from the lunch table but maybe if you wait another hour you can go have dinner yourself” Snape said entering the room like a black shadow
“Snape! I don't even know where to begin with… Well… Maybe an apology is needed here. And a thank you” Lupin said organizing his thoughts
“Your memory seems to be affected, I already said there is no need to apologize. I… should have talked to you about this, it's my fault. Your wrist, let me take a look” Snape said approaching him as he spoke, his voice a rough silk as always
“I don't understand. I took only half the potion last night, for some crazy reason I thought…”
“You were learning how to control it,” Snape said looking straight into his eyes
“This is the most stupid and irresponsible thing I've ever done in my life,” Lupin said in a lament
“I came across some records regarding that behavior. It happens to be common after some months. I should have warned you about it, I could have asked what kind of side effect you were experiencing. When I realized you didn't give me the vessel back I went after you”
“Snape, don’t you ever do that again!” Lupin said upset
Snape looked at him with questions on his expression.
“It’s twice in my life I put you in danger when I transform. If you had arrived earlier I wouldn't recognize you, I could have killed you. Promise me you won't do that again. Please.” Lupin’s face was carved with sorrow. “And it’s not your fault. I'm the one who did this, it was never your responsibility to learn more about my condition, I should have been the one doing all the reading and -”
“Enough, Remus. We're safe and if you kindly decide to be more open about your side effects I can help you with additional potions. Although I'm not good repairing injured ligaments, you might want to take this to Madame Pomfrey” He said examining the wrist with a closer look
“You still haven't made the promise I asked,” Lupin said still upset in a demanding way
Snape sighed deeply. “I won't make promises I can’t keep. If my potion ever fails I will go after you, so you better lock the doors properly in the house”
Lupin was on the verge of telling him that if he didn't agree he would find somebody else to prepare the potion for him from now on, but he knew that was impossible. No one around was as skillful as Snape and the idea of letting more people know and having his secret spread to everyone was a nightmare just to think of. Snape observed his conflict, wishing he knew how to be kinder to him in normal circumstances.
“Don’t worry, I won't visit you during the full moon for sport or without taking some precautions” Snape said in the hopes it would make him feel better
“Okay, I guess. Thank you for everything, Severus. I have no idea what would become of me without your help, especially last night” Lupin said in a low tone, looking at Severus only in the end
“Anytime, Remus” he answered caressing Lupin’s wrist softly for a brief moment
The werewolf went back to his chambers noticing his body was aching everywhere. He decided to use a bathroom in one of the last floors to take a bath and use the potion Severus gave him before he left. When the water of the big bathtub was at a good level he used his wand to make it really hot and mix it with the light green potion.
He was wearing Snape's cloak and the clothes he gave him to sleep underneath. They were magically adjusted to fit him better, Snape was thinner than that for sure. After locking the doors of the place, Lupin took his clothes off and inspected his body. There was a cut on his thigh and bruises on his abdomen, not to mention the muscle pain and wrist. But overall, it wasn't that bad.
The scent coming from the water was oddly familiar. It had some notes of something fresh like peppermint and maybe something like lemon. He entered the water and understood why Snape had given it to him, the muscle pain was fading away as time passed. After staying there for a while it also occurred to him that maybe he felt that same scent on Snape in certain occasions. Maybe he used that potion on himself when his back was hurting, he seemed like someone who accumulated a lot of tension there.
Remus gave some thought about his actions last night, truly hating himself for that. He could have literally frozen to death or gotten Snape killed or bitten. He didn't know which one of the last two was worse.
He wished Snape could be there with him, the places touched by him were still marked on Lupin's head. But his hopes were very low on reciprocity, Snape was probably just being nice, he probably didn't even like men. Not even Lupin truly understood what he felt, besides missing the man the had been shortly before.
The next days went in a kind of awkward manner to them. None knew how to proceed after sleeping on the same bed and still keep their… friendship? Professional association? Or whatever they shared, the same way it was before. Maybe things never get to be the same after you pet a werewolf. Certainly not if that was your idea. They shifted between being overly polite to each other, something they had left behind a long time ago, and sometimes deliberately letting their touch linger when it happens. They were touching way more, Lupin noticed. Snape would usually call his name to catch his attention before but now the Slytherin would mostly touch his arm, shoulder or hands to do so.
“Remus… Are you doing anything important after dinner?” Snape asked while looking down on the students eating in the Great Hall
Remus got a sudden rush of joy that made him feel silly.
“I have some assignments to correct but nothing I can’t do tomorrow” He answered, satisfied for keeping his excitement partially concealed. “Why?”
“I gave you a week to collect your thoughts about that night, I think it’s pass the time we start working on that matter,” Snape said in a lower tone, leaning slightly on Lupin's direction so no one else could hear
“Sure… Can we talk on my classroom or private chambers?” Lupin asked trying to conceal his disappointment on not being invited to something more casual or that would make him forget the incident instead of remembering it
“May I ask why?” Snape inquired
“Makes me feel more comfortable, easier to talk” he answered simply
“Sure. I'll be there shortly after I give two potions attention, Madame Pomfrey and Dumbledor asked me the favor to prepare some things for the weekend”
“Does that has anything to do with the quidditch match on Sunday?” Lupin said joking
“Most in fact, it does” Snape said finishing his meal
“You can make that potion to help mending broken bones?” The werewolf asked impressed, forgetting the complexity his own potion had
“Never tried, but we have enough and that one has some bureaucratic complications, it’s simpler just to buy it. I'm preparing potions for hypothermia, being outside on this weather should not be taken lightly” Snape said getting up and leaving
After waiting for a while sitting on his classroom, Lupin had his bittersweet memories from school time interrupted by someone entering the place. Snape brought with himself a scent he didn't have before, probably coming from the potions or ingredients he manipulated. The conversations never seemed to start easily with them and Remus kindly asked if they could talk in his bedroom, the classroom was a reminder of responsibility to him. Snape felt uneasy to accept, but followed him, seeing sincerity on his discomfort.
It was weird for them to finally be in a private place after a week of indirect touching and exchanging meaningful looks across the school. They were both shy but Snape was determined to make Lupin speak more about the incident.
“Remus, why was this month different? You are terrified of harming anyone and yet you didn't take the potion completely on the last night. What happened, exactly?”
“I won't say I hear a literal voice in my head, but there was something there… out of tune, I guess, that isn't quite mine. Got worse over time. I'm having problems with my mood, Severus... I’m getting irritated so easily nowadays and honestly, that's exhausting. The wolf is invading my dreams, I've been dreaming a lot like him. About hunting, killing, biting. There is this frustration coming out of nowhere all the time as well”
“Interesting that you refer to the curse as a separate creature, I wouldn't say you are incorrect. And how about physical symptoms? Any pain, sickness, indisposition?” Snape asked, feeling better now that the other wizard was more willing to speak
“Tension in general, I feel more worn off during the day. I haven't felt sick but… now that I realize, I’m having this particular craving for two weeks…” Lupin said hesitantly
“Just say it already,” Snape said controlling himself not to roll his eyes, he hated when people weren't direct
“Raw meat… I caught myself staring at a wild cat two nights before the full moon”
Lupin was starting to feel stupid for not knowing this were all signs he missed out or didn't admit to himself as a potential problem. He was uncomfortable with the look Snape gave him when he mentioned the cat.
“You caught me out of guard with that, didn't meant to judge you. Carry on” Snape said in an apologetic way
“I think that's it, I can’t remember anything else. Just like you said, that night I had this crazy idea that maybe I could control it. I can’t explain where that came from, I regret it every single day since last Friday. It was not worth it at all…” Lupin said irritated and also sounding sad
“What do you mean it was not worth it?” Snape inquired further
“It hurt so much to transform, more than usual. And I was so scared… I could feel I was losing control over it… when I transformed I was still there for a moment but I was just watching him do everything. Must have lasted a minute or so… I can't remember the next hours, just becoming myself again, the cold and your voice some time later” Remus completed
Snape felt bad for never considering that turning into a werewolf must be a painful process. He imagined but never thought it through. The perspective of feeling that excruciating pain every month must be something that leaves a mark on someone.
“I'll think of something. I have to do some reading first… Wolfsbane has a delicate balance during preparation and in the body, I'll have to be selective on what I put in additional potions. But I won't change anything from the Wolfsbane itself, I assure you” Snape said touching his chin with his long pale fingers
“Severus…” Lupin started shyly
“Yes?” he answered interrupting his thoughts about potions
“Humm… thank you for… well, giving me some special care before I fell asleep. No one ever did that for me before, it made me feel a lot better, I even got surprised with how much it helped” Lupin said in a very awkward way, feeling his cheeks get warm
“I'm glad it helped… Have you been feeling that more often during the months as well?” Snape asked, trying to avoid questions from Lupin
“Not really. I always feel that way after I transform back. And sometimes when I'm sad or had a really rough day or week”
Lupin resisted the temptation to say that was also getting worse to try his chances on having Snape closer to him, touching and caressing him once again. He wasn't sure how the other wizard felt about it, although he didn't express repulse or anything bad when he talked about it.
Snape had been extremely confused about his feelings since that night. He was still resistant to admit he felt affection to Lupin. He found him handsome and throughout the week he couldn't look away from him when he was around. The Slytherin came to terms with the fact he was also interested in man pretty late, he was an adult already, way after his school years. The real struggle was to admit he was feeling more than just attraction for Lupin, he was once friends with the people who made his life hell. The same Lupin who didn't quite approve of his friends' actions but never actively did anything to stop them.
And at the same time, it all seemed so distant now. That was years and years ago, Severus himself wasn't proud of everything he did on his school years and for the way he used to think. He grew up and Lupin definitely did too.
The sexual tension was undeniable in the room, but neither knew how to proceed. And neither of them wanted to rush things, they just had no idea of how the next step could be. Lupin touched Snape's arm to make him look at him.
“Severus… I've been thinking, would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me next week?” Lupin said gathering all the courage that put him on the Gryffindor house
Severus was surprised with it, it was written all over his face. Did he need help to buy something there related to potions? Was it an invitation to hang out? Was it a… date? Either way, it was the same answer to all of the above.
“I'm afraid I had my fair share of walking through this cold weather with you, Remus” Snape said in an indecipherable way, observing Lupin get sad with his answer. “However, if you are willing to change the plans to stay in the castle at night, I could think about it” He finished with a slight smile in the corner of his mouth
Lupin was confused, but soon understood the brilliance of what Snape said. He didn't make it clear if it was a date or if more people would come so by changing the place and excluding all the variables except himself, Snape basically forced him to invite him once again, being clear this time.
“There is no fooling you, Severus” Remus said in amusement, smiling too. “Well, you brought a fair point to this conversation, it will be really cold outside. Ok, so... would you like to spend some time with me next Friday night here in the castle?” Lupin asked once again, feeling Severus was playing the game along with him
Snape let himself smile a bit more, closing his eyes briefly to process that Remus had really invited him.
“Sure, Remus. All you had to do was ask” Snape completed with a pinch of irony
Lupin let a low giggle escape his mouth, he too was having a hard time processing the situation. He just had Severus Snape force him to ask him out and the man still had the nerve to make fun of him in the end, after saying yes.
“Great, I'll think of something, feel free to do the same,” Lupin said
“I'll let you know if something comes to mind. But for now, I need to know what has been bothering you the most, is it irritability, muscle pain, cravings, nightmares? I'll give priority to that” Snape said touching his shoulder
“My mood for sure, I’m unbearable like this”
Snape hadn't seen Lupin losing his temper but he believed him, maybe he was just good at concealing it.
“I'll see you in my classroom two nights from now, it's the time I need to make my first try”
And with that their night ended. Snape went back to his room thinking about what had just taken place. This was all very sudden, but who cares really? Life is too short not to pet a werewolf with such beautiful features.
The next two days went quite fast, all the teachers were busy correcting assignments and preparing tests. Lupin was up until very late at night so he could give the students their grades by Monday. He was grumpy and tired by the last one, glad it was over but with a massive headache.
He laid on his bed and things just went down the hill from that point, he didn’t have to focus on anything anymore. The headache didn't get any better and other things came along. He was overly sensitive to everything, light, sound, and scent. Everything was making him irritated so with some wand movement, he made the room darker. He stayed there for a while, wishing he could fall asleep but the nausea was getting worse. It was the most annoying thing in the world to feel sick with the scent of absolutely ordinary items like ink from his desk or the lavender soap from the bathroom. This was torture.
About one hour later he heard a knock on his door, feeling it echo painfully on his skull. He didn't want to see anyone, it felt humiliating to expose how bad he was dealing with this.
“Not a good moment,” Lupin said out loud to the person standing outside
Snape was standing on the other side of the thick wooden door with a fresh potion on his left hand. Lupin didn't show up to his classroom and although Snape wasn’t too confident the werewolf wanted to see him all the time, it was unlike him to disappear from three meals straight. The image of him with purple lips from the cold refused to live the Slytherin's mind, so he decided to check on him.
“It’s me, Remus, let me in. I have a potion for you” Snape said loud enough to be heard
Lupin hated the idea to let Snape see him like this. He wasn’t a complete mess on clothing or personal hygiene but he probably looked like was about to cry.
“Just give me a minute,” he said, reluctantly leaving his bed
He washed his face and opened the door for him, having chills to see the wizard he wanted to see for the whole weekend.
“You missed our appointment,” Snape remarked
“I know, sorry. I had a headache” Lupin said letting Snape in
Snape glared at him in disbelief.
“What?” Lupin asked him frowning, feeling annoyance grow within hin
“After all we talked about, you are still trying to lie? I thought we were over this” Snape said sounding upset as he left the potion on Lupin’s desk, a sharp glass sound coming from the impact
“I said it out of habit, as you can clearly see, I’ve had better days,” Lupin said in the boundary of starting to be rude to him. He could handle Snape’s ironies and manners most of the times, but he didn’t need drama from somebody else now
Snape noticed the tone and turned around to look at him. How strange to see the oh-so-polite-Remus-Lupin using all his energy not to fight with him. He looked angry and without any patience.
“That’s better. I’m sorry to inform you but due to this time in the semester with too much to correct, I couldn’t make a potion to help you stabilize your mood. This one is a quick fix for tension, I would recommend half of the content on your current condition” Snape said sounding a bit guilty for not showing up with something better
“It’s ok Severus, I was also very busy… In fact, I don’t even know how you managed to have time for this one. Thank you… Do you mind leaving me alone now? I don’t want to see anyone” he answered in a sincere and less irritated way, remembering that all that wasn’t really him
“Drink it while I’m here, I want to see if you react well to it”
Snape got the potion once again and handed it to the other wizard. Lupin felt a scent come from his robes as he moved closer, it bothered him a little. When he opened the bottle he almost dropped it when the scent reached his nose. He quickly gave it back to Severus and rushed to his window, deciding the bathroom was too away from him. Lupin didn’t know how he managed not to vomit, maybe the wind helped. When it passed slightly, Snape was by his side without his cloak and a bucket conjured in the floor in front of them.
“No for valerian, I suppose,” Snape said in a low tone behind him
“Please never use that again on anything ,” Lupin said almost pleading
“I agree is not the most pleasant scent, but maybe you are…”
“Too sensitive to it, yes. For two hours every scent became fucking disgusting to me, even the ones I like! Severus, I can’t take this anymore, honestly”
And now he was on the verge of crying again. This was an exhausting emotional cycle all the way and once again, Snape was thinking full speed of what he could do to help. He cast a spell on his clothes and his cloak that was laying on the floor to dress it again. He felt powerless, all the potions he could think of were complex and time taking. He didn’t have anything for this.
“Severus… do you have anything for nausea? Honestly, anything will do. Even tea, I mean it” Lupin said weakly as he had his head outside the window to catch more wind
Tea . Fucking genius. Madame Pomfrey probably has something for him too.
“I’ll be back soon,” Severus said leaving the room
Some time after Severus left, Lupin sat by his desk, his hands trembling slightly and a weird tension building up. This sickness was by far the worst one he ever had. Knowing this was a sign he would probably be sick any time soon he decided to wait for Severus in the bathroom. There, the lavender soap gave him a final punch in the stomach and he puked. When it was over he felt some tears on his eyes and allowed himself to cry for a moment. He was exhausted.
Luckily, Severus took a while to be back and by then, he was in bed feeling less nauseous and stressed. Snape didn't bother knocking this time, bringing him some things.
“Didn’t want to make you wait, brought some things for you” he said observing Lupin's face
He was pale and his eyes were maybe giving him away on crying but he looked better somehow. Noticing Snape's implicit question he decided not to hide things from him.
“My stomach couldn't keep up with it anymore… but I feel better now, really” Lupin explained
“Still, have this one and then, this one. And some tea for later. I think you should eat when you feel better, haven't seen you in a while at the teacher's table” Snape said pointing to the potions he brought with him as he spoke. “Took me a while but I found this potion to lessen the scent from them. Still had a few drops”
Lupin touched his hand to make Snape look at him, the potions master seemed agitated.
“Severus… thank you, I… you already helped a lot, don't worry. I’ll take them and wait for the effect” Lupin said in a calm way, flattered that Snape noticed he had been missing from the teacher's table
Lupin took the two potions, as instructed. And while they waited to see the reaction, they shared some comfortable silence. Snape was taking some notes on a small notebook he brought with him, the sound of his quill and pages being turned here and there were oddly good to hear. Meanwhile, Lupin read a book on his bed and sipped his tea during the first pages.
Snape would glance at Lupin sometimes as he read, he seemed tired, obviously, but there was something else there.
And sometimes when I'm sad or had a really rough day or week
Severus had those words on his head, maybe Lupin wanted some special care. Maybe he needed it. What was he supposed to do? Ask him? Just like that?! No freezing-to-death-in-the-woods situation to serve as an excuse? Just pure empathy and the fact he accepted his invitation to go on a date with him at the end of the week?!
“Remus… Are the potions working? Do you feel better?” Snape asked leaving the little notebook with yellowish pages on the desk
“I think they are. But I can't feel the scent of anything anymore… It’s a little bit unsettling. I will be able to feel them again later, right?” he asked timidly, potions were not his best subject back in the day
“Of course, never read about a potion that would do so. But I wouldn't take that away from you permanently without warning you first” Snape reassured him, maybe he should have said this would happen
“Oh, ok then” Lupin answered simply
A brief moment of silence filled with unspoken questions between them took place. They didn't have an excuse anymore, they would have to be clear from that point on.
“Uh… Remus, I was wondering if maybe you are in need of some extra care... Like the other night” Snape said in a questioning manner, clearly insecure about it
Remus was shy as well but happy that Snape asked him. He looked embarrassed and being honest to himself, Lupin felt more comfortable to say yes this way. Snape wasn't someone who exposed himself much.
“In fact, Severus, I feel like it could do me some good. But I don't want to bother you anymore, I probably made your night far more troublesome than you expected” Lupin said touching his neck
Snape got closer and sat by his side in bed, it was all very fast and Lupin took a moment to process their sudden proximity. He wished he could feel Severus scent.
“Stop apologizing… I could have left the potion on your doorstep if I didn’t want to go through with this. I knew you were struggling, I decided to knock. I can accept your gratitude, but I don’t want to hear you apologizing anymore, ok?”
Remus didn’t even know how to feel, he was a mess of overheating, nervousness, happiness, and sudden extra shyness since Snape had his hand over his own. His voice was so intoxicating and he had almost forgotten for a minute that Snape kinda asked him a question.
“Ok… It’s just… not many people ever showed me kindness like this” Remus admitted
“Not many people inspired kindness on me” Snape also admitted touching Remus face with his other hand and leaning to speak on his ear. “So, may I touch your hair?” he whispered
“Yes, please do” Remus whispered back
Remus felt Snape’s fingers start caressing him on the back of his head in a good determined pace. His touch had the right balance between softness and making enough pressure. Soon Severus felt Lupin bury his face on his shoulder, his breathing warmed the spot. Severus put his other arm around him in a soothing way and the other man put his hand on Severus' chest without even noticing.
Severus was having trouble to keep their embrace in a non-sexual way. He wanted to do more, touch him, kiss him, undress him and make him feel good. The struggle to keep his hands to himself was growing every second, especially when Remus would moan in a low tone when he touched him in a place he liked on his head. Remus changed his position and looked at Severus straight on his dark eyes. He seemed hypnotized and leaned forward slowly to meet Snape's lips when the other wizard gently interrupted his motion.
“I must admit I'm a bit old fashioned. Mind if we wait until the end of the week?” Snape whispered on his ear, touching his hair again
Lupin was somehow disoriented on his desires. Snape's voice was really seducing although he was turning him down at that moment.
“It will be a long week, but I can wait,” Remus said giving him his characteristic crooked smile
Snape was more than ready to take a step forward, he wasn’t hesitant on his own desires. What made him ask for some time was the undeniable fact he was insecure. He had seen Lupin’s mood shift at least ten times in the last hours, what if this wasn’t really him? What if he was just confused and unbalanced because of his condition? What if when he gets better he realizes that’s not what he wanted and leaves him out of the blue? Snape had his fair share of unrequited feelings in life, he wasn’t willing to put himself in the same situation again.
They shared another moment of comfortable silence, while Snape continued to caress him.
“I’ll let you rest now. We have an entire week ahead of us. See you in the morning, at the teacher’s table?” Snape whispered on Lupin’s ear
“Sure, sure. Don’t you wanna stay a while longer?” Lupin asked not caring to be turned down for the second time in the night
“I can’t, I have to take care of some things. Have a good night” Snape answered him in a soft way
Severus was still caught on their proximity, his mouth so close to the side of Remus’ face, it was too tempting not to do something about it. He couldn’t resist the impulse to give him a quick kiss close to his ear, feeling a shiver spread on Remus.
Snape got up right after that and turned around before he closed the door to meet Remus’ eyes. They were playful and sexual, Snape playing along, giving him a smirk filled with second intentions. Apparently, this would be a long week for them.
Snape remembers quite well how he reacted when Dumbledore told him he invited Remus Lupin to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and politely made him promise to prepare Wolfsbane for him. It was a double punch in the stomach, to say the least. Just the idea of confronting someone who reminded him of his school years made him feel nervous, awkward, exposed and out of place, exactly how he felt walking alone in those corridors when he was younger listening people whisper mean things about him as he passed. Everyone there seemed to build lasting friendships, have fun, enjoy going to Hogsmeade and sharing things about their vacations. Meanwhile, he had the constant feeling he was missing out on all that, just watching other people live what he wanted for himself. Even if someone eventually accepted him as a friend, Snape was aware no one was remotely similar to him on his personality. Which is fine, the idea of having friends totally different from him didn’t seem bad, it was just the thought, it added to his loneliness. It was unsettling to think that Lupin would be there, he still had some hard feeling about how things went. He knew it was mostly Potter and Sirius who tormented him, but Snape couldn’t fool himself thinking that whenever they would say bad things about him inside their group, Remus would tell them to stop. Snape had the mental image of Lupin also mocking him, not as openly, but enough to go along with his friends. And that, obviously, hurts. That hurt him before and still did when he first saw him after so many years.
Lupin also remembers when Dumbledore invited him to teach at Hogwarts, he was delighted to accept. The only thing that made him uncomfortable was knowing that it meant asking a huge favor to Snape. Dumbledore had already assured him he would have the potion, but it felt wrong to make Snape do this every month. Lupin never had a chance to apologize or to talk to him properly after school was over. He remembers talking to him occasionally at the library when they were younger, he liked his presence there. Lupin admired him since the first year, Snape was very talented, intelligent and disciplined on his studies, Remus never had a doubt Severus would be a powerful wizard one day. It was just awfully embarrassing to see him look relieved close the end of their last year. While so many of the students felt sad about leaving Hogwarts, Snape didn’t have anyone to miss. He dedicated a lot and completed his task as a student. And that was all.
Their first conversations in Hogwarts as adults were cold and brief, mostly from Snape’s side, Remus was trying to make it go smoother. By the time fo the second Wolfsbane, they would talk more to each other and Remus started to admit to himself that he was always wishing to see him around the castle. He locked the truth away when he was a teenager, but now it seemed silly to deny his attraction for Severus. The Slytherin had this mysterious aura surrounding him and although he didn’t have an “obvious” type of beauty, he was charming in his own way.
Severus was too reluctant to accept his own sexuality when he was a teenager to notice on Remus. He knew the young werewolf was handsome but denied any kind of attraction to him or any other man. Being this different from others wasn’t something he wanted to add to his struggle. So the years passed until he started being more open-minded about the matter. Snape eventually accepted himself and kept it as a secret, sometimes rethinking about the men he might have felt something for when he was growing up, almost searching for clues. Remus crossed his mind here and there, but apparently, Snape was too good on concealing his emotions, his teenagehood didn’t accuse much.
All that haze of the past lingered on the air when they saw each other nowadays, but that night Snape ran to the forest to save Lupin changed their dynamics. It opened a gate for possibilities, if not now, then when? When else could they give it a try on everything they could have shared?
With that in mind, Snape started to think about what they could do Friday night when it was just Monday morning. He didn’t have a clue. By Wednesday, he tried to sneak the subject into their conversation while they talked through an empty corridor. Lupin said he had very simple things in mind and that he shouldn’t worry about it and if he wanted to drink something more interesting than juice, he would follow his lead.
After the last class of Friday and some time of planning his next class for the six-year students, Snape decided it was about time to get ready for their date. Whatever on Earth that means. Well, he couldn’t go wrong taking a shower, shaving and drying his hair. He hadn’t been on too many dates to know.
Lupin was a bit more like the anxious type. He knew what he was going to wear for at least two days and made sure it was a good day to shave the way he liked. His plan was a bit bold but it was exciting at the same time. He put some perfume and closed the door behind him. Yep, this was really happening.
They met close to a statue after most of the students had left for Hogsmeade or went to their common rooms.
“Evening, Severus” Lupin greeted him kindly
“Remus, how kind of you to join me and my faithful Friday night companion” Snape joked looking at a bottle of Firewhiskey he had brought with him
“I hope I'm not distracting you too” Lupin teased
“Not at all,” Snape said touching Remus’ shoulder in a rather seducing way. “So, where are we going?” he asked
“Come with me,” Lupin said in a mysterious way
The werewolf took him for a little walk in some corridors and up to the seventh floor. There they walked the same place a couple of times.
“Are you lost, Remus?” Snape asked, not understanding a thing
“No, this is a special room. It appears only when you need it and if you pass it three times thinking of what you want” Lupin answered satisfied with the look of surprise he got from Severus
On the third walk, a door appeared. And Severus had this look on his face. Sometimes he forgot how much he loved magic. Remus couldn't look away from him, he had never seen the other wizard be so sincerely fascinated about Hogwarts before.
When they entered, the place was illuminated by candlelight, many of them floating in different heights. The illumination also had some red tones to it. There was a table there with food and apparently some wine. They had a heavy wooden bench to sit on one side of the table, with two cushions next to each other.
“You decorated the place yourself?” Snape asked impressed with a discrete smile
“The room adapts to what the person needs or wants. I had many of this in mind while we walked, but some things are here because you thought of them, Severus” Lupin said to him while looking at the bench with the cushions
“You got me on that one,” Severus said amused
They sat together and started eating what the room had provided them. Severus was more the type of having a meal at night, he didn't eat during the afternoon. And Lupin liked to have a snack, he was always eating little things between lunch and the time he went to bed. The room gave each of them what they wanted.
The conversation flowed easily and the drinks also gave them a little push to feel more comfortable around each other. They started talking about the quidditch match from the weekend before. Lupin was surprised to know that Snape actually enjoyed watching it.
“Let me guess, you wanted Hufflepuff to win” Snape stated as he finished his third dose of firewhiskey
“Honestly, yes! Ravenclaw’s team is great but I have some fondness for the Hufflepuff house” Lupin said wondering how much Snape could drink without feeling sick
“Really? I couldn't tell. Always thought a clever man like you would have Ravenclaw as your second house” Snape said looking at him with a light expression
Lupin blushed with the compliment.
“Thank you, Severus. Actually, I always thought you could easily be a Ravenclaw, except I think Slytherin suits you best”
“Indeed, it does. Anyway, Remus… from one teacher to another, everyone is talking about your lessons. You seem to be making a great job and frankly, teaching them how to protect themselves is a very important task. Dumbledore was right on offering you the job” Snape said while he touched Lupin's arm directly on his skin since he had rolled his sleeves up
“I couldn't be more flattered, really. I don't even know what to say, except that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. You also gave me this chance and I couldn't be more grateful” Lupin answered him feeling overwhelmed
The spent a minute in silence, Remus was adjusting to the compliment coming from Severus while he watched the man pour more firewhiskey for himself.
"I had no idea you liked firewhiskey so much" Lupin stated trying to get back to their date
"I do like it, but I must say most of the times I just have it for the effect. Takes me a while to feel it with softer drinks" Snape said looking at this glass
"At first I was trying to catch up with your drinking but I gave up when you finished the third one. I can continue but you will have to carry me to my bedroom later if I drink another two shots" Remus said as an innocent joke but a moment later he realized that his choice of words could be interpreted in another way
Severus knew he said it without thinking too much but didn't lose the opportunity.
"Doesn't seem like a bad ending to our night" Snape said with a mischievous grin
Lupin smiled in his crooked way, he was way too easy to convince at this moment. In fact, he didn't need any convincing, he would gladly take Severus to his room and try his chances on taking his clothes off. Snape touched Remus' thigh and started stroking it, getting closer to his inner thigh. Remus just bit his lower lip in anticipation, he was driving himself nuts with the idea.
Remus decided to start touching Severus as well. The men had given him all possible clues of what he wanted. Maybe Snape turned him down a few days ago but that didn't apply anymore. Remus touched him on his thigh too and got a glimpse of Severus first expression with the corner of his eyes. He clearly didn't need any convincing either.
They looked at each other for a moment. Remus looked at Snape's lips and then back at his dark eyes. Severus leaned forward also looking at Remus' mouth. Soon their lips met and they both breathed deeply as they started kissing, there had been too much contained between them. The kiss was slow and desire wrapped them together, it was the type of kiss that implies more is about to come.
Severus had his hands on Remus waist and neck, bringing him closer in a seductive way. Remus was a bit bolder and kept one of his hands on Severus’ thigh and the other one on his hip, teasing to touch closer to his most sensitive parts. The kissing intensified and soon Severus opened a couple of buttons from Remus' shirt to kiss his neck. The sight of Remus' skin made him feel an extra tightness between his legs. Remus started moaning shamelessly when he felt Snape's tongue on his skin, only arousing him more when the other wizard bit him slightly close to his collarbone.
Remus slid his hand between Severus' legs, receiving a muffled moan from him and an involuntary movement from his thighs. Snape stopped kissing him to focus on what was being made on him, his face still buried on Remus' neck, muffling the sound of his moans. The werewolf knew what he was doing, stroking Snapes’ length over his clothes on the most sensitive areas, soon the Slytherin had his head on the clouds. Severus grabbed him on his thighs and moaned more on his ear as he placed his hand on Remus’ length to return the favor.
Lupin looked around and whispered some things to Snape after receiving some attention.
"I think the room didn't want us to walk all the way downstairs," he said touching Snape on his shoulder to make him look where he was looking
Snape didn't understand at first but he let a brief malicious laugh escaped his lips when he saw a double bed in the corner that wasn't there before. It was even decorated, looking very luxurious with its crimson sheets.
Snape took the first step, getting up and offering his hand to Remus. Never a bad idea to let him speak his mind in a more active way.
"What a gentleman," Lupin said taking his hand with a drunken expression. "I like that a lot. But I also can't wait to take your clothes off" he confessed on Snape's ear when he was standing next to him
Snape guided them to bed while kissing him again, that comment made him forget his politeness. On their way, Snape opened Remus shirt and Remus was going through this long process called unbuttoning all Snape's buttons. The black haired wizard said to him it was ok to use a spell to undo them and Lupin used one before leaving his wand on the nightstand. As the bed started to be used, they were both feeling each others body with strong grips and moving their hips to feel the arousal coming from the other.
With their shirts opened and belts undone, they exchanged looks for a moment after Severus made Remus lay down and went on the top of him. Remus was insecure about all his scars and Severus was forever uncomfortable about himself under his clothes. However at that moment, they weren't looking to themselves, they were looking at each other and they liked what they saw.
Severus touched him more, following the lines of Remus’ body, eventually kissing him too, not bothering to divert his touch from scars. They didn't bother him at all. Remus was breathing heavily, following Snapes' movements as he kissed lower and lower, finally reaching closer to the bulge he had on his pants. He kissed and teased him over his clothes, making Remus moan loudly and move his hips. Right after that, he finished undressing Remus, making him reveal his entire body to him. Severus had a glimpse of it the other night at the woods that made him wonder. He was about to continue what he was doing before, but Remus interrupted him.
"My turn," he said to Severus as he changed positions with him and continued to undress Snape
The werewolf kissed him passionately as he took off Severus’ shirt, first touching his erect member over his clothes and soon directly on his skin since he finally managed to undress him. After that, Lupin went on the top of him and pressed their bodies together, making the friction between their erections extremely pleasurable. Snape was moaning loud and pressing their bodies even more, sometimes grabbing Remus’ ass.
Lupin went down on him, not making any ceremonies to start pleasuring him. He teased a little, licking around his member and the base before he started sucking it. It was a huge turn on to hear Severus moans and feel him arching his back slightly when he gave a particularly good suck. When Severus felt himself get closer to climax, he touched Lupin's hand, that was grabbing his thigh, to tell him to stop.
"Come over here," Snape said breathlessly as he placed himself close to Remus to jerk him
With one hand, he stroked him and with the other, he pulled his hair while kissing the werewolf’s neck once again. Lupin started breathing heavily and moaning soon, a delicious sound to hear.
"So, what do you like?" Snape asked teasing him closer to his entrance with his fingers, that was probably enough foreplay, they were both anxious to take another step forward
"I want you to do me" Lupin gasped, feeling the fingers stimulate him
Hearing that, Snape didn't stop touching him back there, soon introducing a finger inside after making Remus lick it. Lupin's reaction indicated a bit of pain but also arousal for the way he sounded. After some time, Snape added a second finger and continued jerking him. Lupin started to work himself on Severus' fingers, moving his hips to meet them. Snape got his wand from the nightstand and cast a spell on Remus, saliva wasn’t enough for lubrication. Right after that, he leaned over him, getting in place to start.
"This way?" He asked Lupin
"Yeah" Remus answered bending his legs to make himself more exposed
Snape pushed himself slowly inside him, both moaning deeply in the process and Remus scratching Severus’ back. The Slytherin was trying his best not to start fucking him hard too early, Remus wasn’t relaxing his muscles yet, although he sounded really turned on.
Soon Severus started moving at a slow pace, pushing himself deep inside the other with every thrust. Remus was surprised to know how good Snape was at this, his hips moved in an involving way, he also pulled his hair and pressed Remus’ body to meet his movements.
Eventually, Snape started to fuck him faster, making them both grunt with pleasure. Severus was once again having a hard time to contain himself with Remus using his hands so spread himself more for the man on the top of him.
“Yeah, that … don’t stop” Remus managed to say
Severus grabbed Remus’ hands, that were still being used to spread his ass more, and held them over Lupin’s head. When he did that, Snape felt some resistance coming from Remus, but apparently movement restriction was a turn on for them both for the way the werewolf looked at him. Snape pressed Remus wrists more against the bed, fucking him hard as he did so. The man under him started to moan loudly, never looking away from him.
"Oh…oh... Oh" Remus sounded out loud finding his release as he felt Snape’s hard member hit him over and over again
When Severus saw Remus expression, his face getting blushed and mouth showing so much arousal, he gave him some final strong thrusts. He could feel Remus arch his back as he came, his hot cum between them, the angle and feeling were just too good and Severus came too. Remus felt himself be filled by him, moving a little to follow his involuntary movements.
Snape buried his face on Lupin's neck for a moment, breathing heavily. Lupin slid his hands all over his back, resting on his lower back.
"Can you…?" Lupin asked breathlessly
Snape nodded, pulling out carefully and laying next to him. After that, Remus reached for his wand and made a non-verbal spell on himself, pointing at his back. He also cleaned them quickly in the front and let his wand on the nightstand once again.
They were really tired, their bodies were asking for a good night of sleep. Snape noticed Lupin had satisfaction written all over his face and that made him feel great about himself and their night. They kissed in the lips once more and Snape covered them with the blanket they left on the floor, holding Remus under it. Didn't take more than a couple of minutes for them to fall asleep.
Severus woke up feeling extremely rested from his sleep. Remus was snuggled on his chest, just like the other night, only this time he had no clothes on. Snape looked at him for a moment, admiring his beauty and how adorable he looked when he was asleep. After stroking his hair for a bit, Severus knew Remus wouldn't wake up easily, it was well known between them that he had a heavy sleep. Severus had to talk to Lucius Malfoy today before lunch, Malfoy had come to Hogwarts just for that, unfortunately skipping it wasn't an option.
Not wanting to wake Remus up, Snape wrote him a note and left it by the nightstand. The Slytherin walked light-hearted in the corridors until he reached his room and gathered some things to go to his classroom. He couldn't remember feeling this happy about anything in years.
Remus woke up about one hour later. He missed the other man in the bed and searched for him with this gaze, finding no one in the room of requirement. He was starting to feel sad and insecure about it but soon found Severus’ note on the nightstand, changing his mood quickly.
I'm sorry for not starting my day with you but I must talk to Lucius Malfoy today. He came to Hogwarts just for that matter.
I really enjoyed our night, hope you feel the same. I'm not too busy this weekend, you can come by in the afternoon for some tea if you like.
Remus stayed in bed for some extra time, just to enjoy the aftermath of their night. The note made him extremely happy. Not only had Severus told him that he liked their night, but more importantly, he cared enough to write him justifying why he wasn't there in the morning. Remus spent some good time daydreaming in a lazy way, sometimes feeling Snape’s scent from his side of the bed. Although Lupin didn’t think Snape would be harsh on him, he was flattered to be treated so nicely by the other. Snape had no ceremonies on being sharp and dry to people so it must mean something if he wants to be kind to you.
Remus got up and the room gave him a bathroom. Walking around, still without his clothes, he ended up seeing his reflection on a big mirror. There was a little mark close to his collarbone, nothing he couldn’t cover with his clothes. That’s when he realized that he wasn’t sored at all. First times would usually hurt a bit on the following morning since they made him nervous and that didn’t help to relax his muscles during sex. Remus had been with men before but never in his life, had a man cared so much for his consent as Severus did. His respect came naturally and for someone who had been with men that assumed too much and too early, Remus decided this was the sexiest thing he could think of.
"Morning, Severus" Lucius greeted him with his deep elegant voice
"Lucius" he answered turning around to see him as he left the book on his hands over the table
They were at Snape's classroom, Severus was writing instructions for the students of the first class on the week.
"A little early for that, wouldn't you say?" Lucius asked looking at the board
"I was just passing the time," Snape said simply. "So, what brings you here? Draco's arm has recovered well, as I told you. Nothing new on the castle, really" Snape asked
"His arm is fine, I'm here because of his grades! What is going on with him? Have you noticed anything weird about his behavior lately? Is he attending to class?" Lucius asked with some annoyance on his voice
Snape was shocked for a moment. He knew the Malfoys were strict but this was too much.
"I don't follow, Lucius. Your son is doing great, as he always did. He just got an average score on two subjects, not bad scores at all. And to be fair, this time of the semester was poorly balanced. Even I, as a teacher, had a hard time correcting everything. I'm sure it's nothing to be concerned about" Snape said carefully
"But what if he gets average scores on the next test as well? This is unacceptable!" The older Malfoy said harshly
"Maybe I can offer him help on his assignments. Or help him study for tests. I'm very busy but he can study by my side in the classroom and ask me if he has doubts. Wouldn't bother me at all" Snape offered
"What a splendid idea! Thank you, Severus. You were one of the finest students this place has ever known, you can help him out of this... situation" Lucius said with disdain on his last word
"You know I'm always glad to help Draco. I'll talk to him about it later today. Or maybe you can, have you seen him already?" Snape asked
"I haven't and unfortunately I won't. I must be on my way soon. But do send him my love when you see him, please"
"Surely" Snape answered briefly
They talked for a brief moment and Lucius looked at his pocket watch.
"I have to go now, Narcissa needs my presence for this party we are hosting tomorrow. I know you probably can’t come, but you are always invited. Anyway, I have to say you look rather... happy this morning. Whatever it is, suits you well" Lucius said touching Snape's shoulder in a friendly way
Snape walked Lucius outside of his classroom and after that, sat on one of the chairs in a reflexive way. What the hell? Lucius must be giving Draco a hard time. After a while, his thoughts were interrupted by very discrete steps coming from the corridor.
"Draco. Please a minute of your time" Snape said out loud, knowing the blond Slytherin was just outside
When he stepped in, closing the door behind him, Severus couldn't keep with the tone he had before. Draco heard everything, it was clear as daylight. The boy was trying his very best not to cry.
"Draco…" Snape said almost starting to comfort him
"I'm sorry! I was so tired during those two tests, they were on the same morning, next day to Minerva's… one day before… yours. I had slept so little… I should have checked my answers before giving them to the teacher like I always do, it's just…" he said all at once, his voice starting to tremble
Snape made a gesture to make him stop talking and got up from his chair, approaching Draco calmly. He leaned until their eyes were on the same level and touched his shoulder.
"You don't have to apologize to me or anyone. You were just exhausted, there is nothing wrong with that. You need some rest, Draco, not more hours studying. But if you need any help you can come to me. You will study next to me for the next test and after that, you can go back studying where you want. Is that ok?" Snape said trying to calm him down
"Y-yes…" Draco muttered staring to the floor
"Look at me," Snape said touching Draco's chin for a brief moment only to find his eyes filled with tears. "I never agreed to this, I don't think it's healthy to send all your scores to your father. I know Dumbledore also doesn't agree although he sends them under his request. I'll see what I can do"
“No! He’ll get mad at me… leave it like this… It’s ok” Draco said not knowing what to do about it
“As you wish. Now promise me you will take the rest of the weekend to spend time with your friends and sleep properly” Snape said a rather demanding way
“But I have to start Professor Lupin’s assignment!” he exclaimed
Just the name made Severus shiver beneath the surface.
“That is just for Wednesday, why don’t you write this one with me after class on Monday? I promise you when you leave this classroom it will be finished” Snape promised him, smiling a little in the corner of his mouth. Made him remember Draco as a kid, always trying to negotiate things with him
“Ok… Thank you, Severus” Draco said smiling for the first time since they met
Snape had understood their conversation was over and had his book on his hand once again. When he looked up, Draco was still there, clearly with something he still needed to say.
“Yes?” Snape asked closing his book in a patient way
“He didn’t even talk to me… he came all this way just to bother you about my grades! Like I’m doing something wrong on his back, doesn’t he trust me? We don’t see each other in ages and when he is here he doesn’t even bother to see me for five minutes…” Draco said, this time getting angry
“Maybe he thought he would be interrupting you. I suggest you write him a letter, telling him you want to see him next time. I doubt he wouldn’t come if you asked him to. He has his ways to show it, but he is very fond of you, Draco” Snape said trying to defend his friend, although he understood Draco’s feelings
“Ok, I’ll try… But I’m still mad at him” the younger Slytherin said with his own characteristic disdain on his voice
“Don’t blame you, but talk to him before fighting. Your father is way too good at fighting but not that skilled on talking about problems” Snape remarked
They exchanged a meaningful look like they knew the most valuable secret to win a war.
“Now leave… and you never heard that from me” Snape said in a slightly playful way
Draco left the classroom feeling better than he entered, which was completely unexpected to him. And he couldn’t avoid noticing this light energy coming from Snape, Draco didn't remember ever seeing him on such a good mood.
Later that day, Severus heard knocks on his door while he was organizing some pilled parchments that were gathering dust on one of his shelves.
Lupin was on the other side, nervous to show up without seeing Snape during the day but still confident. He observed a shadow approach the other side of the door silently, not that Snape was doing that on purpose, that just him.
"Hello, Remus… I hope your visit means you read my note this morning, am I right?" Snape questioned him
"I did… It was really nice of you to write it for me. Wouldn't have come otherwise" Lupin said a bit shy
"Come in, just forgive the mess, I was getting rid of some old things" Snape invited him by opening the door and stepping aside to give him space to enter
Lupin was unsure about how to greet him. Should he kiss him? Hug him briefly? He followed Snape's lead just a second ago and went low profile in case someone showed up but now that the door was closed, their connection seemed to be magnetic. Snape noticed too, as soon as the door closed and they were side by side again, he wanted to get back to the same atmosphere they were before. Severus thought maybe he should make the first move since he was the one who left in the morning.
"I'm glad you came" Severus whispered on his ear, as he held his hand
Remus closed his eyes involuntarily and breathed a bit deeper, the sound of Snape's voice so close to him was something that was getting harder to be without. Snape noticed, once again, not his fault Remus was so transparent on his emotions. So he touched Remus' jaw with his thumb and kissed him. The kiss had the perfect amount of tenderness and desire and after a while, they shared a meaningful look after the kiss.
Snape prepared some tea for them, as promised, telling Lupin to make himself comfortable as he did so. It was interesting for Remus to see Severus doing ordinary things, the man was almost a metaphysical entity for him and maybe for most of his students as well.
"Having fun?" Snape asked when he looked back to see Remus following his movements
"I might as well check if you are not reading my thoughts. How is that you always know?" Lupin asked now starting to wonder if Snape was indeed doing that
"I wouldn’t cast such a spell on you… without your knowledge... I'm just very observant and you are very clear in your expressions most of the time" Snape said in a rather casual way as he approached the table with the tea
"People always said I'm an open book… maybe I wish I were, I have so much to hide" Remus said out loud, but almost sounding like he was speaking to himself
"You are someone very easy to talk to… very accessible. Doesn't mean you don't have your own complexity. Honestly, I envy how you can make everyone so comfortable around you. It's tiresome to have people treating me like I'm not even a real person sometimes" Snape admitted
"But everyone is fascinated by you! I don't think anyone would dare to disrespect you or questioning your actions. When you are too nice people forget to be respectful to you, I've seen that at least a billion times" Lupin said, enjoying their conversation, this was a nice topic
"People are fascinated by me? Where did you get that from? People get fascinated by things they like, nobody likes me much around here, in case you haven't noticed" Snape answered in a light-hearted way before sipping his tea
"Maybe the students have some hard feelings about their scores but nobody dislikes you among the teachers"
"That's good to know" Snape said in a low tone "Oh, almost forgot, you like chocolate right?"
Snape waved his wand and a box of chocolate truffles came on their direction, landing between them
Lupin thanked him and ate some of the truffles, he definitely likes chocolate. He had never seen Snape eating sweet things, that made him think maybe Snape bought them just for him. They remained silent for a while, drinking their tea and sharing a moment of tranquility.
"Remus, I had a great time with you yesterday," Snape said getting closer to him
I wasn't a question, but Remus felt like he should say if he liked the evening as well.
"Me too, everything was just great," he said touching Snape's hand
"I just wanted to ask… were you… comfortable? You know, about the things we did together" Snape asked him
"Sure I was, why? You weren't?" Lupin asked confused
"Oh I wanted to do all that, believe me" he answered with a pinch of malice. "I was just wondering because… well… when I was doing things that were just for you , let's say… you sort of didn't let me start or do it for long. Not a problem for me anyway, I just thought about it later" Snape said trying not to blush, he wasn't used talking about sex
"Wow, I really didn't notice I did that. I actually wanted you to do it… I think I might have stopped you because I also wanted to do things for you. But now that you said it, I usually -" Remus interrupted himself, not wanting to talk about his previous experiences with the one he was at the present
"It's ok, you can tell me" Severus reassured him
"Well... I guess I don't let anyone focus too much on me because I feel like I'm... I don't know, bothering them? I get nervous because I'm not sure if that's what you want to do and for how long so I just get worried. I like that a lot but I end up not enjoying that much because of this" Remus answered in a shy manner, he had never said those things out loud
"Remus, what are you saying? I wanted to do it, it's enjoyable for me as well. I wouldn't offer to do something I don't want. Don't worry about it, ok?"
"Ok, just promise you will stop if it gets you tired," Lupin said with some insecurity, he didn’t know if there would be a next time yet
Snape leaned closer to him to answer on his ear "Fine, then... I'll blow you until my knees start hurting and my mouth gets tired" he said with his rough voice
"Oh, you!" Remus turned to look at him, blushing furiously
At least now he knows there will be a next time.
"You made me promise," Snape said in a fake innocent tone, distorting Remus' sentences was becoming a new hobby
They continued talking for some time, the conversation went on about some other topics as well. Turns out they didn't know each other in such detail and Snape caught himself interested by the simplest statements Remus would drop on some subjects. Severus wanted to take things slow, but his sudden curiosity on knowing Remus' opinions about things was an undeniable proof that his heart had its own plans on the speed it wanted things to go.
Remus was happy to see Snape genuinely interested in their conversations and he was a really good listener. Lupin would sometimes get himself distracted looking at his eyes or feeling his scent. That was maybe one of the only things he liked about being a werewolf, he could feel the scent of things better than other people.
Feeling that way after the transformation was one of the hardest things to him on the other hand, it was lonely and desolating. However, he was secretly happy the full moon was approaching so he could ask Severus to look after him again. The feeling itself was bad but when Severus showed him tenderness that night, it felt like the most comforting thing in the world.
"I've been giving some thought about a potion we could try to help you with this discomfort you are experiencing," Severus said touching his hand slowly
"What do you have in mind? Something to stabilize my mood?" Remus asked in a hopeful way
"Actually, I think your irritability comes from having the wolf's' senses while you are in human form. You said the scent of everything was making you nauseous. How is your sensibility to light and sound going?" Snape asked
Remus was surprised, Snape could be very right about it. He was the werewolf and he didn't think of that.
"The worse is the scent for sure, but I think high pitch tones and brightness are giving me a hard time as well. So what is your idea?"
"There are some potions to numb the senses for invasive procedures. Maybe if I could do a light version of it, you could take it to normalize those things. I don't want to give you something like last time, it's too strong, might irritate your stomach permanently if you have it too often" Snape pondered
"I don't think my senses get exactly the same as when I'm transformed. When I become that thing I can still feel pleasant things like the scent of rain on grass. But that other day I got sick with the lavender soap from the bathroom and like that smell. I think your idea will work, I just wanted to clarify that" Remus said
"Can't promise I'll get it right on the first try, but I'll do what I can. Give me some days, maybe by Thursday, I can have something prepared. I have some reading to do. Anyway, it must be simpler than trying to silence the wolf with more Wolfsbane during the month"
"I'm fine for now, didn't have another episode like the last one. I think the new moon is helping" He remarked
Snape made a mental note to study the lunar phases. Happened every month, they could give him some directions on what to expect from Lupin’s reactions to ingredients. And also when he was more susceptible to stay quietly on his bedroom or get irritated. Not that Remus was completely ruled by those things, Severus just wanted to be on the same page as him. And to know when he could go to Hogsmeade to buy him some comfort truffes, apparently, the walnut ones were his favorites.
Snape was studying about the potion he would try making for Remus, his quill was fast and precise on the notes he would make in the blank spaces of the pages and also in separate parchments. He trained himself well to remain focused on a task and he could read complex things for hours and still absorb much of what he read. Severus was aware his intellect was something to be proud of and this was one of the few things that gave him some confidence on himself over the years. Maybe that was the quality he liked the most on himself. He heard a knock on his classroom door and checked the time before answering. It was probably Draco.
"Come in," he said loud enough to be heard from the other side
"Excuse me," the young Malfoy said entering as he carried four different books on his hands
"I see you saved us the trouble of searching for books at the library," Snape said in a low tone as he finished writing a sentence
"I got these that professor Lupin recommend for his subject" Draco answered
"I'm sure everything you need is probably in one or two chapters from that thick green one. I - " Maybe saying he saw it on Lupin’s bedroom wasn't a good idea - "Saw him returning it to the library the other day"
"Oh, ok… I'll start by this one" Draco answered, noticing Snape was maybe too observant of the other professor
"What is the topic?" Snape asked with his eyes on the book he was reading
"Dementors" Draco answered with some polite interest
"Reasonable subject, we have many around the castle this year. Not a bad idea to teach you all more about them since there could be a potential encounter" Snape said looking at Draco
"So you agree having them around is a bad idea" The younger Slytherin stated
"Between you and me, yes. We can't protect you all from them at all times. They are unpredictable and drawn to the darkness one has within. And you can't teach the Patronus Charm for first-year students"
"The Patronus Charm?" Draco inquired, this time really interested
"It's a spell to protect yourself against them. You mentalize something meaningful that brings you joy and that is projected into a shield. The dementors will feed on it instead of you. Can also be used to push them away" Severus informed him
"Can you teach me how to do it?" Draco asked in a low tone
"Certainly, but in another moment, we have work to do now," Snape said hopping Draco could forget the subject
As time passed inside the classroom, Severus taught him as much as he could about dementors and later helped him find the references in the chapters. Draco liked Snape's teaching, there was rarely a question the potions master couldn't answer. As Malfoy occupied himself writing everything he had on his mind, Snape was pretending to read another book. He couldn't stop thinking about Draco's request.
After so many years, Severus was unsure about his Patronus. Last time he produced one, it was a doe. That information was one of his deepest secrets. And now, he wasn't sure of what would come out of his wand if he tried. What if it turns into a wolf? Or even more frightening, what if it turns into a werewolf? Snape was not only confused about his feelings he was also scared to death to expose Lupin and how their relationship had been going. Severus wasn't even ready to let people know about his sexual orientation, being involved with another teacher at Hogwarts could be a problem.
"Professor, could you please read my essay?" Draco asked, visibly proud of his work
Snape snapped back to reality, almost like he received a slap.
"Sure" he answered, getting Draco's notebook
There was a minor error in a sentence and he made some suggestions on how to write what he had already written but in a clearer way. Overall, the essay was worthy of an Outstanding score. The blond Slytherin thanked for the help and left to his dorms, leaving Snape free to freak out as much as his agitated mind could possibly wish for.
Snape was nervous to the bone when he got his wand in the empty classroom. He had some memories he would always use to produce his Patronus, most of them related to Lily. This time, however, he had new memories to choose from, picking the one of waking up to find Remus snuggled on him.
" Expecto Patronum! " he said with conviction waving his wand
To his surprise, the bright haze didn't assume any shape. It was thick, strong and spread fast around him, he had successfully performed the charm for sure, he could push many dementors away with that. Only, that he couldn't give shape to it.
After persisting on the charm for longer, he made the light come back to his wand. Snape sat quietly for a moment, his hands shaking a little from this internal confusion. He liked to have the doe as his Patronus, it meant so much to him. It was a reminder of his love for Lily and of her as well. Snape felt as he was betraying her memory by replacing his Patronus. And also, he was uncomfortable with the fact it also didn't assume the shape of a werewolf.
After a long time of quiet thinking, he decided that it all made sense. Things were so recent between him and Remus, wasn't fair to expect so much from his own feelings. Snape also decided to give it a try on Lupin's potion, he was unhappy with the help he had provided him regarding potion making, he knew he could do more.
Snape separated some ingredients and started to get them prepared, washing some, crushing some others and chopping things in a precise way. When he was cutting the leaves of a plant, he got distracted on his thoughts and ended up cutting his finger on the edge. Severus cursed loudly, feeling the pain irradiate from it and some warm blood spread.
Remus was at the corridor meanwhile, he was going to pass by and say hi. When he heard Severus’s voice, he rushed to see what had happened, not caring to knock the door.
"Severus, are you ok?" Lupin said while reaching him and looking at his hand
"I'm fine, I just… shit, this stings . That black glass over there , get it…" Snape said hissing
Remus got the only black vessel on the shelf quickly and handed to the other after opening it. Severus used all the content on his finger, that was still bleeding. Remus thought it would make something like start healing it or coagulate the blood, but it didn't. Oddly enough, Severus wasn't in so much pain anymore, he could see that on his expression.
"We should get you to the hospital wing" Remus suggested
"It's fine now. I was cutting Dicentra leaves for your potion and the blade had some of its components on it, hurts like hell" Snape explained why he made such a scene over it
"You are still bleeding, maybe you could roll your sleeves up," Remus said in a friendly way starting to touch Severus' left fist
"No, stop! " Severus said nervously
He couldn't show his forearm to him, not without concealing the dark mark. He made a charm to hide it the night of their date, but nothing he ever tried could make it go away. This had been a rough night so far, so much towering over him, it even felt hard to breathe.
"Are you... ok?" Remus asked displeased with the tone
"Remus, please… I need a moment" Snape said slowly getting some control over his emotions back
Remus didn't argue with him, nor did he said anything else. Severus stared the wooden table for a moment and when he looked up again, Remus was gone.
The Gryffindor walked back to his room thinking about the mess that had just taken place. What could be wrong with Severus? Why was he so harsh all of a sudden? He just wanted to help him. Lupin noticed Severus would act this way when he felt attacked, irritated or deeply upset about something. He knew his temper on those circumstances weren't the best anyone could wish for. But anyway, there was no need to speak to him like that. Even when Remus was having the worst nausea of his life, he still managed not to be rude to him. Lupin couldn't decide if he was sad for being shouted at or mad at him for doing so. Maybe both, maybe neither. He was sure he wouldn't talk to him for a while.
Meanwhile, Snape was there sitting on his classroom's floor by the table. He spent some time breathing heavily there, too much anguish on his mind at the same time to grasp one line of thought and follow it completely. Guilt was starting to build upon his chest, the dark mark seemed to weight a thousand pounds on his forearm. He had just yelled at Remus, once again he was being unnecessarily aggressive to someone that was only trying to help him. How could that day with Lily not cross his mind? All the guilt from so many years also coming back.
Although he had enough material to indulge in his depressing thoughts, after some time he decided to get back to his potion. Work had always helped him cope with things and he wanted to have it ready for Remus as soon as possible.
This night Severus made his first attempt on a light version of a numbing potion. The ideal outcome would be to lessen the scent, sound, and light for Lupin. After some hours of deep concentration, he managed to produce a purple potion that luckily didn't have an unpleasant smell.
He took some drops, writing on his notebook that the taste was bitter and lingered for a while on his mouth, vanishing completely after some minutes. After twenty minutes, controlled on his watch, Snape was absolutely sure he couldn't feel the scent of anything.
" Lumus" he said illuminating the tip of this wand
He approached a mirror and noticed his pupils were adapting faster than usual to the light from his wand when it approached his eyes
However, he didn't notice any changes in his hearing. Everything about it was normal. Snape wrote some additional notes about using a third less of the ingredients responsible for the scent and double the concentration of the one for the sound. He too found it to be unsettling not to feel the scent of anything at all.
Next morning Severus about to sit at the Great Hall to eat breakfast when he saw Lupin sitting on his usual place, right next to his. He wanted to run away as he felt his heart sink on his chest. Lupin heard the door behind him and turned to see who it was. He also skipped a heartbeat and turned back a bit too quickly. This wouldn't easy but there was no way Snape could go back now that Lupin had seen him.
"Morning, Remus" he said in a tired manner as he sat by his side timidly
"Hi, Severus" the other answered not looking at him
They ate in very awkward and uncomfortable silence. Even Minerva noticed their lack of interaction three seats away. She had been observing their proximity grow.
Lupin had finished eating but was still sitting quietly for a moment, almost waiting to say something, leaving without it seemed the worst way possible to start his day.
"Not hungry?" He asked Severus thoughtlessly, it was the first thing that came to his head
Snape couldn't be more grateful that Lupin had said something first.
"That's not it… I tested a potion yesterday and I still can't feel the scent of things normally. Food can be very dull without it" Snape said looking at his unfinished dish and later looking at Remus for the first time
"Wait, the numbing one?" Lupin asked, noticing Snape seemed tired
"Yes, I'll have to do some adjustments," Severus said in an apologetic way
"You… tried it yourself? Why?" Lupin asked surprised
"It is unthinkable for me to give you something I wouldn’t take myself. Wouldn't be right to give you without knowing if it was balanced enough, especially after… you know" Snape answered him
Once again, some uncomfortable silence.
"Can we talk? Later, after the last class?" Lupin asked with his voice giving him away
The werewolf heard himself sound very hurt, feeling sensible about it in a way he didn't the night before. Snape was drowning on guilt after hearing it.
"Sure, met you at the astrology tower?" Snape offered
"Ok. I have to go now" Lupin said getting up fast
Remus locked himself in the nearest bathroom on his way to his classroom. This was going to be a rough day for sure, he knew his mood was a mess. He woke up irritated with light, mad at Severus and now he was really sensible. He could go back to bed already, the day was exhausting enough already.
Severus knew Remus was overly sensitive, he just couldn't decide how much guilt he should take responsibility for. And at the same time giving him some privacy to align his thoughts seemed appropriate so he didn’t follow him. The full moon would be in a week, first Wolfsbane had to be taken the next morning, Lupin was probably on the edge.
The morning was terribly slow for Remus. There was this girl from the fourth year with a very high pitched voice, Lupin caught himself thinking about how he could make her shut up for the entire class. Maybe letting them do the activity in pairs wasn't such a good idea after all, they were so loud. By the end of the morning, Remus was unbelievably hungry, it even made him lightheaded and that craving for something raw was unsettling. He ate feeling frustrated for not find anything that could make that horrible desire go away.
Remus managed to give the afternoon class to his fifth-year students, thanking Merlin that he didn't have another class to give that day and no one had a such an annoying voice there. When the students left the classroom he sat by his desk touching his temples.
"Oh, I'm so done living like this" Remus said to himself "So… done..."
"Did you have Defence Against the Dark Arts today? Professor Lupin looked like he ate something that didn't agree with him" Thomas, a fourth-year student from Hufflepuff, mentioned in front of his boiling cauldron
"No! It will be tomorrow. Hope he gets sick, then I can finish my assignment for Transfiguration, I'm so late on it" Lewis, a fourth-year from Ravenclaw, answered as he cut ingredients to add to his own cauldron
"That will be twenty points from both your houses for putting hopes on someone's sickness to solve your own inefficiency. And for wasting a set of ingredients by overheating them, ignoring my instructions written on the board. Why do I bother?" Snape said venomously behind them
Snape still had another class to teach after this one but he was too concerned about Lupin just to leave it like that. He went in front of the class and when everyone stopped chattering he spoke.
"I will be getting the tools for the next class. If I'm not back in time, leave your potions on the vessels I provided and label them with your name. I'll score them later" Snape said in a low tone and not leaving time for questions
He went fast to Lupin's classroom, not finding him there. He also knocked his private chambers' door, not getting any answer. Where could he be?
Remus was at the room of requirement, sitting on the floor in a corner with his arms around his legs. His mind was painfully loud, all thoughts reverberating as he squeezed his eyes shut. That's when he heard a sharp metallic sound of something hitting the ground close to him. His hands were shaking, cold sweat on his palms. Lupin looked up and his gut twisted when he saw what it was. A blade. A razor blade. He got it from the ground and stared for a while.
"No… no !" He said angrily, throwing it away. "It was a one-time thing, stop doing this to me!" He continued, speaking to the room and to himself
Lupin knew that his thoughts wouldn't brighten up and that the room would only reflect what was inside him, so he left to his own room. On his way, many students passed by since it was a break between lessons. It was awful to have people staring at him, he probably looked terrible.
"Told you so," a blond girl with very long hair said whispering to the other
Lupin heard, he knew it was about him and that made his blood boil. So people noticed he was unwell earlier. Great, just great. The full moon in a week, it couldn't be more suspicious. When he was close to his accommodations, he saw a familiar dark shape on the corner.
"There you are," Snape said in relief approaching him
"Just let me pass," Remus said not looking at him
"You look so -"
"I know how I look like, now let me go! I gave you privacy, I want that favor returned!" He said angrily
Snape was shocked to hear that, it was the very first time he had seen Lupin this distraught and mad at anything. He didn't know what to do.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to…"
"Oh, believe me, I get it" Lupin said sharply walking away from him
Snape just stood there and watched Remus slam his door behind him. So that is what he has been trying to say all along when he said he had problems with his mood. Hours ago he was sensible too, but to the other side of the spectrum, he could easily start crying. Now he looked like he could easily make someone cry if bothered. Being honest to himself, Snape felt as if he was stabbed by a knife. He only wanted to help him.
"So that is how it feels like" Snape muttered to himself before going back to teach his last class