Disclaimer: I don’t own anything.
Author Notes: This is AU. However, it is in line with Snape’s background stated in the sixth book, but not the seventh book.
‘blah’ means thoughts
Chapter One – Year One
It was a grey day. It wasn’t raining, but the sun wasn’t shining either. A black haired youth was following his mother through the crowded train station. They arrived at the barrier between platforms nine and ten.
Here we are. You just have to walk through the barrier.”
“And I’ll be at Platform 9¾?” the boy asked.
“Exactly,” the brunette answered her son.
“Good-bye, Mother. I’ll owl you to tell you about my first week.”
“Good-bye, darling. Have fun,” she replied as her son disappeared through the barrier.
The eleven-year-old crossed the threshold with a rush of exhilaration. A scarlet steam engine came into view with several students getting their luggage loaded and/or boarding the train. A smile crossed his face as he pushed his trolley toward the train. He was so busy admiring the train that he accidentally ran his trolley into another boy’s. “I’m so sorry!”
The other boy (a brunette) smiled. “It’s all right. No one was hurt.”
The raven-haired boy smiled and started unloading his trolley. When he as done, he made his way to the stairs and boarded the train. He started to search for an empty compartment; however, his search was in vain. Most of the students had friends and were sitting with them. He saw a nearly empty compartment with its door open. Sitting inside was a very attractive redhead. The boy swallowed hard. He wasn’t very good around girls. He rapped on the door, effectively getting the girl’s attention. “May I join you?”
The girl flashed him a pretty smile. “Sure.”
As the boy entered, the redhead marked her place in the book she was reading. When the boy went to sit across from her, she informed him of her other companions. “Don’t sit there. There are four boys that I met recently that will be joining us. They want to sit together, so you can sit beside me.”
“If you have other companions, I can find another compartment.”
“Don’t be silly. I’m sure they’d love some more company.”
The boy sat down next to the pretty girl, and the two sat there in silence, unsure of what to say to each other. Just then, four boys came in. The two raven-haired ones were laughing about something. A blonde pudgy boy was eating some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans while the brunette smiled warmly at the redhead and her companion, who smiled at the brunette. “It’s you.”
The brunette sat down across from the boy. “Hi. I’m Remus Lupin.”
The raven-haired boy with blue eyes sat next to Remus. “I’m Sirius Black.”
The raven-haired boy with hazel eyes and glasses sat next to Sirius. “I’m James Potter.”
The pudgy blonde boy with dull blue eyes sat on the other side of Remus (closest to the door). “I’m Peter Pettigrew.”
The redhead who had vivid green eyes spoke up. “I’m Lily Evans.”
All eyes turned to the raven-haired boy with jet-black eyes who was sitting beside Lily. “I’m Severus Snape.”
“How do you know Remus, Severus?” Lily asked.
“My trolley accidentally hit his.”
James was looking thoughtful. “Snape and Evans. I don’t remember hearing those last names before.”
“I’m muggle-born. I’m the only one who in my family who can do magic,” Lily replied.
“My mother is a witch,” Severus said, careful to not mention his father.
“What was her last name?” James asked.
“Prince…Prince…” James muttered to himself. Then, it dawned on him. “Eileen Prince, right?”
“Didn’t she marry a muggle?” James inquired.
“Yes. She did.”
James grinned at that point. “That would make you a Half-Blood Prince.”
“It’s like you’re royalty,” Lily added.
“Half-Blood Prince,” Severus repeated. A grin matching James’s appeared on his face. “I like it.”
“I noticed you didn’t mention your father. You’re probably ashamed to have a lazy bum for a father,” Sirius sneered.
“He’s not a lazy bum! If you must know, he walked out on us the day I got my letter!” Severus exclaimed.
“Oh, Severus! I’m sorry,” Lily said.
Remus leaned over and whispered in Sirius’s ear, “Be nice.”
Sirius snorted, but otherwise didn’t acknowledge Remus’s comment.
“Anything from the trolley, dears?” the old witch asked from the corridor. In front of her was a huge cart of treats. All the boys were up in a flash, ordering one sweet or another. Being the last one in line, Severus noticed Lily was still seated. “Do you want anything, Lily?”
“I don’t have much money. I want to try some of the sweets, but I should save my money.”
“We can buy you some sweets, Lily. Right, guys?” James had overheard.
“Sure,” Remus replied.
“Not a problem,” Sirius added.
“Our treat,” Severus put in. He held his hand out. “Come see what you want.”
Lily took his hand, and he pulled her to her feet. James started telling Lily the names of the treats as she pointed out what looked interesting.
They ended up with a variety of sweets piled on the seats next to them.
“Here, Lily. Do you want to try an Ice Mice?” James asked.
“Eww! No way!”
“How about a Cockroach Cluster?” Sirius inquired.
Both Severus and Lily turned a little green. Severus pulled two Licorice Wands out of the pile between Lily and himself. “Licorice Wand, Lily?”
“Thank you, Severus.” Lily accepted the sweet. James and Sirius made disgusted faces as the pair ate the Licorice Wands.
Remus picked up a Cauldron Cake and offered it to Lily. She accepted it and looked at it, quizzically. To alleviate her suspicion, Remus picked up another Cauldron Cake and took a bite. Seeing nothing wrong, Lily followed suite.
Suddenly, they heard, “Yuck.” However, it was from both sides of the compartment. Sirius and Severus both realized that they just agreed on something and glared at each other. Sirius picked up a Cockroach Cluster, while Severus picked up a Licorice Wand. They proceeded to eat their chosen sweet, while glaring at each other.
“Lily, try a Chocolate Frog,” Peter said.
“They’re not real frogs, are they?” she asked.
“It’s just a spell,” Remus assured her.
“Besides, it’s the card you want,” Sirius mentioned.
“Card?” Lily perked up.
“Each pack’s got a famous witch or wizard,” James explained.
Sirius opened a pack and caught his frog before it jumped away. Keeping a firm grip on the struggling frog, Sirius asked, “What should I eat first?”
“The legs!” Peter exclaimed.
Sirius considered it for a minute. “Naw. I’ll eat the head.” He looked at his card. “Hey, I’ve got Miranda Goshawk.”
The rest of them opened their frogs and looked at their cards.
“I’ve got Morgan Le Fey,” Lily said.
“I’ve got Circe,” Peter added.
“I’ve got Dumbledore,” Severus commented.
“I’ve got Nicholas Flamel,” Remus put in.
James looked at his card. “I’ve got Ollivander.”
After a few minutes of reading their cards, Lily picked up a carton. “Every Flavor Beans?”
“They have every flavor, like chocolate,” James told her.
“And grass,” Peter chimed in.
Lily made a disgusted face.
“They have peppermint,”’ Remus added.
“I got a boogey flavored one once,” Sirius put in.
Lily turned an interesting shade of green. James elbowed Sirius in the side. Severus dug through the box that sat between Lily and himself. He pulled out a spotted bean. “Try a toasted marshmallow.”
Lily looked at the Every Flavor bean. ‘It looks harmless enough.’ She picked it up and popped it into her mouth. She leaned back against the cushion, her expression one of pure bliss. “Oh! This tastes good!” (AN: This was the reaction one of my friends had with a toasted marshmallow bean I gave her).
The six first years spent the next few minutes eating Every Flavor Beans and/or daring each other to eat one. It was dark by the time they decided to change into their robes. Lily left the compartment and changed her clothes in private, while the boys all changed in the compartment.
Lily returned to the compartment just in time to join the conversation about which house they wanted to be in.
“Gryffindor,” James and Sirius chorused.
“Anything but Slytherin,” Remus mentioned.
“Gryffindor,” Peter said (following James’ and Sirius’ leads).
“Gryffindor or Ravenclaw for me, “Lily put in.
“I think I’d fit in Ravenclaw,” Severus commented.
“You’ll probably end up in Slytherin with all the other dark witches and wizards,” Sirius sneered at Severus.
Before Severus could reply, the train started to slow down. It stopped completely, and the doors opened, allowing the students to leave the train.
“Firs’ years, this way please! Firs’ years, this way!” a booming voice could be heard calling. No one could see anyone, but they saw a lantern near the engine of the train. “Come on! Don’ be shy!”
James and Sirius strode forward with Remus and Peter next and Lily and Severus bringing up the rear. The person holding the lantern and calling out to them a ten foot tall man! He had a bushy black beard and hair and warm black eyes.
“Whoa! He’s tall,” James whispered.
“I think he’s a giant,” Sirius commented.
“No. He’s only a half-giant,” Severus corrected.
“How do you know that?” Remus asked.
“I’ve read that giants are close to twenty feet tall,” Severus replied.
Remus’s eyes lit up with instant like. ‘I’m really going to enjoy Severus’s company.’
“Follow meh,” the half-giant said. He led the group of eleven-year-olds to the edge of a nearby lake. “I’m Hagrid. I’m teh Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.” He motioned to boats at the water’s edge. “Four teh a boat please. Teh can ride with meh.”
The students piled into boats. James, Sirius, Peter, and Lily claimed one, while Remus pulled Severus into the boat with Hagrid. The boast ride was mostly uneventful. The only incident was when the giant squid scared Sirius half to death. One of its tentacles gently landed on Sirius’s shoulder, which caused him to scream like a little girl. Hagrid noticed this and called out to Sirius, “Don’ worry. ‘e won’ hurt ya.”
Hagrid wasn’t the only one who noticed. Severus also saw what happened and shot a satisfied smirk at Sirius.
When the boats rounded the bend in the lake, the castle came into view. It was magnificent with its many turrets and glass windows. Remus gasped. ‘I never imagined I’d get to see the castle in person. I’m just glad tonight is the half-moon.’
The boats docked near the castle stairs, and Hagrid led them up said stairs and into the castle. They followed the half-giant up staircases and down corridors until they met a stern-looking witch. He brown hair was done up in a bun, which was hidden by a green witch’s hat. \
“Here are teh firs’ years, Professor McGonagall,” Hagrid said.
“Thank you, Hagrid.” The half-giant left. “Welcome to Hogwarts. In a few moments, you will walk through these doors and join your classmates. Before you can be seated, you must be sorted into your houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.” At the name Slytherin, Professor McGonagall had a look of disdain on her face, which was reflected in her tone of voice. “While you’re here, your house is like your family. Your triumphs will earn you points. Any rule breaking and you will lose points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points will be awarded the House Cup. The Sorting Ceremony will begin momentarily.” McGonagall retreated through the double doors that were behind her.
Sirius looked around at the assembled soon-to-be sorted students. He recognized several from both family gatherings and formal parties (Purebloods only). ‘I see my cousin, Narcissa, as well as the two Lestrange boys. There’s Malfoy and Rosier. Of course Crabbe and Goyle are near Malfoy. I know that lot will end up in Slytherin.’
It was at the point the McGonagall came back. “Follow me, please.”
The first years followed the professor through the doors and into the Great Hall. As they followed McGonagall between the tables, Lily looked around. ‘Each house is separated. All the professors sit in front.’ She looked up. ‘Wow! That’s some ceiling! It looks like the night sky.’ A ragged looking hat was sitting on a stool in front of the Head Table. A rip near the brim of the hat opened, and it started to sing. A quarter of the first years were shocked. Among them was Lily. ‘What a spell! I hope to learn advanced spells like that!”
Lily was in such awe over the hat that she almost missed the first person being sorted.
A pretty blonde with a look of arrogance stepped forward and sat on the stool. The hat was placed on her head. A couple seconds later, the hat called out, “Slytherin!”
McGonagall lifted the hat, and Narcissa hopped off of the stool. McGonagall looked at her list. “Black, Sirius.”
Sirius passed Narcissa on his way to the stool. He whispered, “Slytherin scum.” She glared at her cousin before continuing her walk to the Slytherin table. Sirius hopped up into the stool, and McGonagall placed the hat on his head. It didn’t take the hat long to shout out, “Gryffindor!”
Sirius hopped off the stool and joined the Gryffindor table. Before he sat down, he sent a smug expression in Narcissa’s direction.
A stout brunette ambled up to the stool and took at seat. It took the hat a few minutes to call out, “Slytherin!”
McGonagall took the hat off and called the next name, “Evans, Lily.”
Lily stepped up to the stool and sat down. McGonagall placed the hat on her head. It took a couple of minutes for the hat to decide between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. It ended up calling out, “Gryffindor!”
Lily joined Sirius as the next name was called. “Goyle, Gerry.”
A thick bodied brunette stepped up to be sorted. It didn’t take the hat long to cal out, “Slytherin!”
As a few more first years got sorted (Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw), Sirius and Lily talked to each other.
“I hope our friends end up in Gryffindor,” Sirius said. “All of our friends,” Lily corrected. Sirius rolled his eyes but said nothing.
“Lestrange, Rabastan,” McGonagall called out.
The ebony-haired and eyed boy standing next to James stepped forward and took a seat forward and took a seat on the stool. McGonagall dropped the hat on his head, and it immediately called out, “Slytherin!”
McGonagall picked the hat back up and Rabastan stepped down, heading toward the Slytherin table. “Lestrange, Rodolphus.”
He followed his twin’s footsteps, including being sorted into the same house.
Sirius and Lily perked up at hearing their friend’s name. They watched as Remus took a seat on the stool. The hat was lowered onto his head. It sat there for a few minutes before calling out, “Gryffindor!”
Remus joined his two friends. He was across from Lily who was sitting on Sirius’s left.
A snooty blonde stepped forward with an expression befitting royalty. He sat on the stool, and the hat was lowered onto his head. However, when the hat was a foot and a half above his head, the hat called out, “Slytherin!”
As more students got sorted (Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw plus a few female Gryffindors), Sirius asked Remus, “The Sorting Hat took a few minutes to pick your house. What happened?”
“It wanted to put me in a different house, but I asked it to put me in Gryffindor.”
“It probably wanted to put you in Ravenclaw, didn’t it?” Sirius inquired.
“Yeah,” Remus readily replied. ‘I’m not telling anyone the Hat wanted to put me into Slytherin.’
“Pettigrew, Peter,” McGonagall said.
Peter went up and sat on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat on his head, and a few seconds later, it called out, “Gryffindor!”
Peter joined the Gryffindor table. He sat across from Sirius.
James made his way up to the front and sat on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat onto James’ head. A few seconds later, it called out, “Gryffindor!”
James hopped off the stool and took a sear next to Lily.
An athletic blonde went up and sat on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat on his head. A few minutes went by before that hat called out, “Slytherin!”
Severus walked up to the stool and took a seat. McGonagall placed the hat on Severus’ head. It tool several minutes for the hat to make a decision, but eventually, it called out, “Gryffindor!”
Severus went over to the Gryffindor table and took a seat across from James and next to Remus. Remus smiled. “The hat took a long time to place you, Severus. What happened?”
“It was having a debate. It didn’t know whether to place me here or Ravenclaw.”
“Same with me, Severus,” Lily mentioned.
“You guys can call me Sev.”
“Sev it is then,” James commented with a smile.
Sirius snorted. ‘I can come up with a better suited nickname for him.’
%%% THE NEXT MORNING
The first year boys’ dorm was filled with slow, even, rhythmic breathing. This is what Remus woke up to. He smiled as he looked around at his roommates. ‘I feel like I belong here. I’m not going to jeopardize that, even if it means lying.’
Movement from the bed to his left caught his attention. A head of tousled ebony hair appeared from behind the maroon curtains.
Remus smiled again. “Good morning, Sev.”
“Morning, Remus,” Severus replied with a yawn.
One by one, the rest of the first year Gryffindor boys woke up. After they got dressed in their grey, black, and maroon uniforms, they headed for the Great Hall. Lily joined them, when they sat down at the breakfast table.
“Morning, guys,” Lily greeted.
“Morning, Lily,” they chorused. (AN: Isn’t that a feat? Five people chorusing something besides singing?)
The redhead sat down next to Severus, who was sitting next to Remus. She reached for a pitcher of pumpkin juice. “So, how do we know what class we have first?”
“According to my parents, we’re supposed to get out schedules this morning,” James replied.
At that point, McGonagall came over and proceeded to hand out schedules. Sirius was the first one to get his schedule followed by Lily. Severus looked at Lily’s schedule until he received his own. All six of them were in the same classes.
“Look! Out first class is Charms!” James exclaimed.
‘Looks like we have a very interesting year ahead of us,’ Severus thought.
%%% THE END OF THE WEEK
How have you been holding up? I met four guys and a girl. I’m friends with all of them except one. His name is Sirius Black. Do you know of the Black family? I am friends with Peter Pettigrew and James Potter, but I am real close with Remus Lupin and Lily Evans. All six of us got sorted into Gryffindor.
Lily is really good at Potions, but she’s exceptional at Charms. James’ specialty is Transfigurations. Sirius is good at Herbology, but Peter doesn’t know what he’s good at yet. Remus is really good at DADA, but I’m right behind him.
I’m considering staying here for the winter holidays. I don’t mind spending my holidays with you, but I’d like to get to know my friends better.
I better end this letter here, so this own can sent it to you. I’ll write you later.
Chapter Two – Year Six
A booming voice could be heard throughout the lower levels of the castle, even though the owner of the voice was in the Potions classroom.
“Stupendous job! I wouldn’t expect anything less from the top two students in the school! You both have the same intuitive grasp of potion-making!” Professor Slughorn announced. He kept on going, but the two students he was talking about stopped listening as they’ve heard the teacher’s praises many, many times. A redheaded girl with vivid green eyes and a raven-haired and –eyed boy bent their heads toward each other and whispered.
“Why does he keep going on like that, Severus?”
“I don’t know, Lily. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It was only fifteen steps.”
“There were only twenty ingredients, so that can’t be it.”
“This is one of the simpler ones we’ve made in Advanced Potions.”
“Black! Potter! Detention!” Slughorn exclaimed.
When Slughorn turned his back to the class, Sirius and James high-fived each other. Lily shook her head and whispered to Severus, “What is it…third time this week?”
“Yes, and it’s only Wednesday.”
“Class dismissed. Black, Potter, stay behind to discuss your detentions,” Slughorn said.
Most of the class packed up and left. Only Remus, Lily, and Severus stayed behind to wait for Sirius and James. Once their detentions were arranged, the two boys joined their friends.
“Are you collecting detentions, James?” Lily inquired.
“Lily, lighten up!” James said.
“I’ll lighten up when you stop goofing off.”
“He hangs around Sirius so much he’s starting to act like him; reckless and always goofing off,” Severus added.
Sirius scowled, while James smirked. James punched Severus lightly on the arm and said jokingly, “Whatever you say, your highness.”
Remus laughed albeit weakly (feeling as sick as he was), Sirius scowled even more, and Lily, James, and Severus laughed out loud. Sirius glared at Severus. ‘He’ll pay for his comment.’
%%% LATER ON
Sirius spied Severus reading near the fireplace in the Common Room. A mischievous grin came over his face, but he quickly wiped it off his face.
“Hey, Severus.” Sirius came over to the other sixth-year.
“What do you want, Sirius?”
“I know you’re curious about where Remus goes every month.” Black eyes appeared over the book. “I can tell you how to follow him.” Severus marked his place, closed the book, laid it on his lap, and looked at Sirius. ‘I’ve got his full attention.’ “Follow Remus and Madame Pomphrey to the Whomping Willow. To get underneath it, poke the knot with a stick. Then, you can follow him and find out where he goes.”
“I should tell Lily. She would like to know this.”
“She already knows,” Sirius lied.
“Then, why doesn’t she follow him?”
“She’s not all that interested.”
“All right. I’ll go tonight.”
%%% THAT NIGHT
Severus snuck out, silently following the Gryffindor and his nurse escort. After pressing the knot with a nearby stick, the pair went to the Willow’s base, and Remus went under it. When Madame Pomphrey left, Severus picked up the same stick Madame Pomphrey used, poked the knot, and entered the tunnel.
%%% BACK IN THE COMMON ROOM
Sirius was looking out the window facing the violent tree with a malicious grin on his face. James came down from the dorm room and collapsed in a chair near Sirius. “I just finished my transfigurations homework, and I’m waiting for Sev so we can do out Potions homework together. Where is Sev anyway?”
“I don’t know.” Sirius just stared at the tree.
James followed his stare. “What did you do?”
“I know that look, Padfoot. What did you do?”
“Told Severus how to follow Remus.”
“You did WHAT?!” James took off running toward the Willow.
%%% UNDER THE WILLOW
Severus walked down the tunnel, running his hand over the wall. Then, he heard heavy breathing…no, more like panting. His curiosity peaked; he kept walking. A scent of canine reached his nose, causing him to stop. All of the sudden, a werewolf stepped out of a nearby room…right into Severus’s path.
Severus screamed and turned to run. The werewolf lunged forward and sank its teeth into the middle of the teen’s left forearm. Severus screamed again and passed out from the pain. The clip clop of hooves could be heard as the werewolf tried to tear off the teen’s arm. Blood covered the werewolf’s muzzle, which continued to dip down and rip and tear at the unconscious boy.
Suddenly, the werewolf released hits victim and looked at the stag entering the tunnel. The stag reared up and charged at the werewolf, making sure to avoid stepping on the unconscious teen.
The werewolf charged at the stag, narrowly missing its antlers. The stag managed to push its opponent back into the room it emerged from. The stag transformed back into James Potter, who quickly closed the door. He surveyed the scene: a large trail of blood leading to the room the werewolf was in, Severus unconscious and covered in a lot of blood, and the walls were splashed with even more blood. James was in a kind of shock at the mangled condition of Severus’s body. He considered running to get Madame Pomphrey or the Headmaster, but the growls and snarls from the werewolf made him decide against leaving Severus alone. He was afraid that the werewolf might break down the dilapidated door and continue to ravage his friend. James shook his head. No, he couldn’t leave Severus. He pulled out his wand and cast the spell, “Mobilicorpus.”
Severus floated up into the air and followed James out of the tunnel. He rushed to the Hospital Wing.
The nurse came out of her office and gasped, when she saw a slightly bloody James Potter and a floating, unconscious, extremely bloody Severus Snape.
“My goodness! What happened?”
“He was tricked into following Remus.”
“Put him here.” The nurse patted a nearby bed. James flicked his wand toward that bed, and Severus floated over and onto the bed. Pomphrey started cleaning off his left arm, but stopped when she saw the bite mark. “He’s been bitten! Go tell the Headmaster!”
James paled at the pronouncement. Severus had been bitten! The bespectacled sixth-year went to the Headmaster’s office to deliver the bad news. James lifted his hand to knock on the door, but stopped when he heard, “Come in, James.”
James walked in and over to Dumbledore’s desk. “Sir, I’ve got terrible news regarding Severus.”
Dumbledore’s eyes lost their twinkle. “What’s happened to Severus?”
“He was tricked into following Remus and has been bitten.”
“Who tricked him?”
“Does Severus know?”
“Not yet. He was still unconscious when I left to tell.”
“And how did you come to know all this information?”
“I got it out of Sirius. Then, I ran down to the Willow to try and save him, but I was too late.”
“However, you saved him from being eaten. Fifty points to Gryffindor. Now, let’s go see Severus.” Dumbledore got up, put an arm around James’ shoulders, and started leading him out of his office.
“I’d rather go maim Sirius.”
“Kindness first. Then, you can talk to Sirius.”
When they entered the Hospital Wing, they saw a bed separated from the other ones by framed curtains and Pomphrey bustling about inside said curtains.
“Poppy, how’s Severus doing?” Dumbledore asked.
“Not good. He’s in shock, suffered tremendous blood loss, has trauma to his left arm and chest, and has become infected with lycanthropy.” She sighed. “I can’t get him stabilized.”
“You’ll do it, Poppy,” Dumbledore encouraged.
Just then, Lily came running into the room and skidded to a halt next to James. “I just heard. How is – oh, nevermind! That’s a stupid question!”
“It’s all right, Lily. How’d you hear about it anyway?” asked James.
“Well, I was looking for you, so I asked Sirius. He said you were at the Whomping Willow. He finally told me about Remus. I put two and two together, and when I saw you levitating Severus back to the castle, I hit Sirius.”
“How hard did you hit him?”
“I knocked him into next week.” At James’ confused look, she added, “He has hand prints on both cheeks and a black eye.”
“He had it coming. He knows what the consequence of his trick was then, huh?”
“No, actually. I just hit him and then ran here.”
Pomphrey came out from behind the curtain, making shooing motions with her hands. “All right. Enough with the chit-chat! The three of you need to leave. Now!”
“Come along, children. Severus isn’t going to wake up soon.” Dumbledore lead the two Gryffindors out of the Hospital Wing.
Once they left, Pomphrey collected a few more potions to administer them to her patient. ‘It’s been hard enough to dodge some questions in regards to Remus being sick once every month. I can’t imagine having to cover for two students, which I’ll have to do provided that the Snape boy survives.’
James and Lily gave the password and entered the Common Room. There leaning against a window with a satisfied grin on his face was Sirius Black. “Hey, Prongs, Lily. What’s up?”
“You know what’s up, Padfoot!”
“Your prank put Severus in the Hospital Wing!” Lily exclaimed.
“So, he got whipped by the tree?” Sirius asked.
“No! He made it all the way down the tunnel and met a transformed Remus!” Lily cried.
“He’s pretty messed up, Padfoot. He lost a lot of blood and is in shock. Plus he was bitten!” James yelled.
“He – what?” Sirius sputtered.
“Madame Pomphrey can’t get him stabilized though,” Lily stated.
“You better hope he doesn’t die,” James mentioned.
%%% TWO WEEKS LATER
“Sirius, have a seat. Lemon drop?” Dumbledore asked.
“No, thank you, sir.” Sirius sat down on the other side of the Headmaster’s desk.
“I trust you know why you’re here.”
“Probably something to do with the prank I pulled on Snape,” Sirius mumbled.
“Do you know what happens to someone when they kill another person?” Dumbledore ignored Sirius’ word choice. .“No, sir.” Sirius started sweating.
“Life sentence in Azkaban.”
Sirius paled considerably. “Are you telling me that he – he didn’t make it?”
“No. Fortunately, for all of us, Severus survived. However, I have to punish you for tour lapse in judgment. Two hundred points from Gryffindor and eight detentions.”
“Come on, James. Hurry up! We’ve got to see if Sev is getting released today,” Lily called back to her boyfriend.
“Give me a break, Lils. It’s still early,” James yawned.
“Don’t worry about it, Lily. He was up late last night,” Remus spoke up. “I’m worried though. How can I face Sev now that I cursed him? He’ll hate me for it!”
“It’ll be all right, Remus. I’m sure he’ll understand,” Lily reassured him as they walked into the Hospital Wing.
What they saw brought smiles to their faces. Severus was standing up and putting his robe on.
“Hey, Sev!” James called out.
Severus turned, saw his friends, and smiled. He waved back with his right hand. “Hey, guys. I’m ready to get out of here.”
Remus approached Severus. “I’m so sorry, Sev.”
“Why are you sorry? You didn’t play the trick that brought me face to face with that werewolf.”
“That’s true,” Remus said carefully. “But I was there.”
“I didn’t see you.”
“Oh, but you did. You just didn’t recognize me.”
“How could I not recognize me best friend?”
Remus smiled slightly. “I was the werewolf.”
“That’s not funny, Remus.”
“I wasn’t joking, Sev.”
Severus looked Remus in the eyes. “Prove it.”
Remus rolled up his right pants leg, revealing a bite mark close to his knee. “Like I said, I’m so sorry, Sev. I didn’t mean to. I don’t know to beg for your forgiveness. I-”
“Remus, stop it!” Severus exclaimed, his eyes flashing gold. “It’s not your fault! You’re still my best friend. Nothing’s going to change that!”
Remus smiled and nodded. “Thank you.”
“Who saved me anyway?” Severus asked.
“I did.” James stepped up next to Severus.
“You’re welcome, Sev.”
“Could you do me a favor?”
“Let me get Black back my own way.”
“Count on it.” James and Severus high-fived each other. Now, let’s get to breakfast.”
The four Gryffindors left the Hospital Wing, heading toward the Great Hall. Once they entered the Great Hall, they took their seats at the Gryffindor table near Peter and Sirius.
Severus looked right at Sirius. “If you so much as look at me the wrong way, I’ll bite you whether it’s the full moon or not,” he hissed, his eyes flashing gold.
Sirius, noting the eyes, yelped. After that, breakfast passed by without incident, and five students out of the group walked to Advanced Potions.
“Ah, Severus! Welcome back, m’boy!” Slughorn boomed.
“Thank you, Professor.” Severus sat down next to Lily. The entire day passed by in a big blur for the newly-turned werewolf, and he found himself in the Gryffindor Common Room next to his kin. Both were doing homework. Severus put his quill down and breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m finally caught up.”
“I should hope so,” Remus spoke up. “You were doing homework during lunch and dinner.”
“Well, I had to get it done somehow.”
“Hey, mates!” James called from the staircase. Remus and Severus looked up and saw James slide down the banister. He landed on his feet and bounded over to Remus, Severus, Sirius, and Peter. He sat down on the other side of Severus. He produced a folded pack of parchment and half-tossed it onto the table. It landed in front of Severus. Remus raised an eyebrow, curious as to what his friend was up to.
“Not the map!” Sirius cried out, “C’mon, James!”
“It’s only fair, Sirius.” James pulled out his wand.
Severus poked the parchment with the feather end of his quill. “What’s this?”
“Watch. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” James tapped the parchment with his wand.
“I know you’re up to no good, James, so – whoa!” Severus cut himself off when words started appearing on the parchment. He started reading it. “‘Messers Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are proud to present the Marauders’ Map.’ Who are these people?”
“Remus, Peter, Sirius, and myself, in that order.”
“Now, we wish to add you to our map,” Remus offered, catching on to James’ plan.
“You say it’s a map. What is it a map of?” Severus asked.
“It’s Hogwarts. It shows everyone. Where they are, what they’re doing, every moment of every day,” James explaining, opening the map until he got to the page containing the Gryffindor Common Room. “See, here we are.”
There were five dots labeled James Potter, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew.
“Where’d you get it?”
“We made it ourselves,” Peter replied.
James flipped it back to the front. “Now, we add the newest member of the Marauders.” James looked at Severus. “You need a code name.”
“Well, how did you guys choose your names?”
“They match our Animagus forms,” answered Sirius.
“Unregistered,” James shushed. “Do you want to see?”
Three loud pops later revealed a stag, a large back dog, and a scruffy-looking rat. Remus smiled and pointed to each animal as he said, “This is James AKA Prongs, this is Sirius or Padfoot as we call him and this is Peter who is also known as Wormtail.”
Another set of three loud pops preceded the appearance of James, Sirius, and Peter.
“That’s Remus, who chose the name Moony for obvious reasons,” James added. “So, any ideas for a code name?”
Severus sat there, silently thinking. ‘Well, since I’m a werewolf now, I need to choose a fitting name. Remus already took the moon reference, so that’s out. I should choose one that’s not so obvious. The most predominant characteristic of a werewolf besides the full moon is the fangs. Of course, the hunting in the dark is one as well.’
“Fangs…dark…shadows…” Severus muttered. He looked at James. “I choose the name Shadowfang.”
Remus broke into a grin. “I like it.”
“It is interesting,” James added carefully. “All right. Shadowfang it is.” He pulled his wand out and put the tip of it to the parchment. Remus and Peter followed James’ lead. Sirius, however, was refusing to even pull his wand out.
“C’mon, Padfoot. We need your wand to add Sev to the map,” Remus told him.
“We need you, Padfoot,” James put in.
Sirius nodded and put the tip of his wand to the parchment, albeit reluctantly. “I’ll do it for you, James.”
“We, the creators of the Marauders’ Map add Messer Shadowfang to the map. May his opinions be written on the map,” James said.
The map shimmered, the ink changing from black to red and then fading back to black. The name Shadowfang was written in between Wormtail and Padfoot. Remus smiled, while James said, “Welcome to the Marauders, Shadowfang.”
%%% TWO WEKKS LATER
Madame Pomphrey was escorting the two cursed students toward the Whomping Willow. Severus stared at the tree. ‘Has it only been a month since that fateful night? It seems longer than that.’ The nurse poked the knot with a nearby stick, which allowed the two Gryffindors to slip underneath.
The two boys walked in silence until they reached a stretch of the tunnel that had dried blood smeared on the ground and walls. Severus shuddered. “It’s amazing I survived the attack, considering the amount of blood I lost.”
“True.” Remus looked over his shoulder. “You guys can come out now.”
Out of nowhere, James, Sirius, and Peter appeared. Severus raised an eyebrow at their mysterious appearance before he caught sight of the Invisibility Cloak in James’ arms. “Where’d you get that from?”
Remus grimaced slightly and Severus gasped in pain. “You three better transform now before Severus and I finish.” Remus led his best friend into a nearby room. The last thing seen by the other three Marauders were two pairs of green eyes staring out from the room.
The pain wasn’t like anything Severus had experienced before. He could feel his fangs grow, and his face began changing into a canine’s countenance, complete with a muzzle. It felt like his skull was being crushed. His ears disappeared, and wolf ears appeared on the top of his head. He let out an inhuman scream of pain. His blood felt like it was boiling, and his skin felt like it was on fire. His nails grew into claws, and his clothes shredded as his back became curved. His arms grew in length. The pain was so excruciating that Severus thought his bones were melting. The heels of his feet traveled up, elongating his feet. Grey fur covered his body with a small patch of light grey fur on his left front leg. It was where he had gotten bitten. He let out another inhuman scream, but it came out as a howl; one that was answered a second later with a howl originating from across the room. Severus’s wolf eyes landed on another male werewolf in the room. Severus started growling at the “intruder,” who returned it in kind. Severus started to advance on the other werewolf, when a stag jumped in front of him, and a large black dog jumped in front of the other werewolf. The stag shook its antlers at Severus before rearing up and waving its front legs at him. The black dog barked and growled at the other werewolf. Severus stared at the stag, the dog, and the other werewolf. ‘I know them…James…Black…Remus.’
Severus stopped advancing and stood there, waiting for one of the others to make the first move. Surprisingly, Remus did. He rubbed Sirius on the cheek before lumbering over to Severus. Despite recognizing Remus, Severus’s wasn’t sure if Remus was in control or not. As Remus advanced, Severus backed up. He kept backing up until he backed up into the wall. He squeezed his eyes shut and waited for Remus to tear him apart.
Just then, Severus felt Remus rub his cheek with his own. Severus opened his eyes and looked at Remus. He could almost see his best friend’s eyes instead of the wolf’s. Severus tentatively rubbed his cheek against Remus’s. Sirius nipped Remus’s right back leg several times, the strength of the bite increasing with each occurrence. Sirius jumped back a second before Remus whipped around, his teeth snapping in the air. A doggy-grin appeared on Sirius’s face, and he barked.
Just then, Severus playfully tackled Remus. The play continued through the night and into the early morning. Sirius, James, and Peter had snuck back to their dorm by that time, and the two werewolves fell asleep next to each other.
When Severus awoke, he was human again and so was Remus. He gently shook Remus awake, and together they limped back to the castle. Only clad in robes, they quietly stole into the Hospital Wing, where Madame Pomphrey was waiting for them. She gave them pajamas to wear and cleaned them both up.
Remus turned to Severus and said, “I wish the transformation could be a little less painful.”
Severus smiled back weakly. “As do I, Remus.” He then thought to himself, ‘Maybe I can make a potion that can do just that.’
Chapter Three – Prisoner of Azkaban Part One
Author’s Note: This follows Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is a mesh of the book and movie, but tweaked to fit into the Shadowfang universe.
Severus stalked up the stairs leading to the Great Hall, grumbling about pointless feasts. He was intercepted by Dumbledore whose blue eyes were twinkling. Severus nodded. “Headmaster.”
“Severus, I thought I’d inform you of the teacher whom I appointed to the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
Severus’s heart leapt up into his throat. His hopes were high, but his face was neutral. “Oh?”
“Excuse me, Albus, but did you say Remus Lupin?”
“Where is the esteemed professor?”
“On the Express.”
“Yes. You will share the Wolfsbane Potion with him.”
“Of course I will!”
Dumbledore smiled and continued on his way to the Great Hall. As soon as Dumbledore was out of sight, Severus smiled. ‘Remus is coming. I’m going to have company.’ As soon as he finished that thought, the doors opened. The Potions Master smiled. “Remus!”
The shabby-looking professor looked up at his name. He smiled. “Severus!”
The raven-haired man closed the distance between them before wrapping his arms around his best friend. Remus dropped his suitcase and wrapped his arms around the Potions Master. “I’ve missed you, Remus.”
“Me too, Sev.”
They unwrapped their arms and stepped back a little. “The feast will be starting soon, Remus. Just leave your suitcase by the wall over there.” Severus pointed at a nearby wall. “You can sit next to me at the Head Table.”
“Lead the way, Sev.” Remus followed Severus into the Great Hall. “Did you hear about Sirius and Peter?”
“Yes, but the news about James and Lily was devastating.”
“I still can’t believe Sirius would do something like that.”
“I knew Black was capable of treachery. Look what he did to me.”
“He wanted you to kill me, Remus! How can you defend him?”
“I’m not defending him, Sev. I just…”
“You’re in denial.” Severus hugged his best friend before pushing the doors to the Great Hall open. They walked in side-by-side and took their seats just as Dumbledore started his start of term speech.
%%% THE NEXT DAY
Remus was leading his third year DADA class to the staff room for their first lesson. To his surprise, Severus was there, sitting in a comfortable-looking armchair. The Potions Master didn’t look up to know his kin had come into the room. Without putting the book down, Severus said, “Possibly no one’s warned you, Remus, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you no to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instruction in his ear.”
Neville went scarlet, but Remus had raised his eyebrows. “I was hoping that Neville would assist me with the first stage of the operations, and I am sure he will perform it admirably.” Neville’s face went, if possible, even redder. “Now, then,” said Remus, beckoning the class toward the end of the room, where there was nothing but an old wardrobe where the teachers kept their spare robes. As Remus stood next to it, the wardrobe gave a sudden wobble. “Nothing to worry about,” said Remus calmly because a few people had jumped backward in alarm. “There’s a boggart in there. Can anyone tell me what a boggart looks like?”
“No one knows,” Hermione spoke up. “It’s a shape-shifter. It can take the shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most.”
“Couldn’t have put it better myself,” said Remus, and Hermione glowed. “So, the boggart sitting in the darkness within has not yet assumed a form. He does not yet know what will frighten the person on the other side of the door. So, Neville, what frightens you most?”
“Prfsr Snp,” Neville mumbled.
“Professor Snape.” The class laughed, Remus chuckled, and Severus smirked.
“Professor Snape,” Remus chuckled again, “frightens all.” Remus caught Severus’s eye and knew that Severus caught the joke. “And I believe you live with your grandmother.”
“Yes, but I don’t want that boggart to turn into her either.”
“It won’t. Now, I want you to picture her clothes, only her clothes, in your mind very clearly.”
Severus glared at Remus when he heard that and continued to do so until the students left at the end of the lesson. “What were you thinking, Remus?”
“I needed him to laugh, and that was the only thing I could think of.”
“I try to instill fear into some of my students. It’s hard to do so with you undermining my efforts.”
Remus smiled at him. “What’s the real reason you wanted to talk?”
“I’ve begun brewing the Wolfsbane Potion. You take it everyday of the week preceding the full moon. It allows you to retain your human mind while in lupine form. When I take it, I would curl up in my locked rooms,” Severus whispered.
“Can I put sugar in it?”
“No, it renders it useless.”
Severus ladled some of the completed potion into two goblets. He drank one and shuddered. ‘Disgusting.’ He picked up the remaining goblet and left his workroom, waving his wand to spell the door locked. He stalked to Remus’s rooms and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” called Remus.
Severus opened the door and walked in. The goblet he was carrying was smoking faintly, and he stopped at the sight of Harry, his black eyes narrowing. ‘I was hoping to have a chat with my best friend.’
“Ah, Severus,” said Remus, smiling. “Thanks very much. Could you leave it here on the desk for me?”
Severus set down the smoking goblet. “You should drink that directly, Remus.”
“Yes, yes, I will.”
“I made an entire cauldronful,” Severus continued. “If you need more.”
“I should probably take some again tomorrow. Thanks very much, Severus.”
“Not at all,” said Severus, backing out of the room.
Remus smiled when he noticed Harry staring at the goblet curiously. “Professor Snape has very kindly concocted a potion for me. I have never been much of a potion-brewer and this one is particularly complex.” He picked up the goblet and sniffed it. “Pity sugar makes it useless,” he added, taking a sip and shuddering.
“Why-?” Harry began. Remus looked at him and answered the unfinished question.
“I’ve been feeling a bit off-color,” he said. “This potion is the only thing that helps. I am very lucky to be working alongside Professor Snape; there aren’t many wizards who are up to making it.”
%%% A WEEK LATER
Remus and Severus silently crept out of the castle after telling Madame Pomphrey that they were leaving. They headed toward the Whomping Willow, and Remus poked the knot with a stick. They slipped into the tunnel that led to The Shrieking Shack. The trip was done in complete silence until they were almost to the door leading to the main room. All along the ground and half-way up both walls was blood, dried blood, which looked black in the twinkle of starlight. (AN: The stars do come out before the moon appears.)
Severus looked at the blood and memories flooded his mind, memories of a vicious trick on the night that changed his life.
“Severus,” Remus half-whispered.
“It’s amazing I survived.”
Remus stared at the horrendous scene frozen in time and etched into their minds forever. To him, it was a reminder of the only time he had ever lost control. He put an arm around Severus’s shoulders. “I know, my friend. Let’s go.”
Remus led Severus into the main room and away from the depressing scene. They removed their robes and placed them right outside the door. Then, they went to separate corners and took their shirts off. Remus threw his to Severus, who threw his and Remus’s out into the hall.
“Good aim, Sev.”
“Thank you, Remus,” Severus said before he gasped.
Remus gasped too, but it wasn’t from the pain. It was from the lack of pain. For the first time, Remus could feel himself transform instead of the pain that usually accompanied said transformation. He could feel his fangs grow, and his face began changing into a canine’s countenance, complete with a muzzle. He raised his hands and felt his muzzle. It felt strange and yet normal. He could barely feel his human ear disappear and his lupine ears appear on the top of his head. His nails grew into claws, and he heard fabric ripping as his pants were shredding, because his back became curved. His arms grew in length. The heels of his feet traveled up, elongating his feet. The sensation of grey fur covering his body (with a small patch of light grey fur where is right knee would be) was indescribable. He let out a howl, but instead of the normal one of pain, it was of joy. His gold eyes landed on the other werewolf in the room. He was lying on one side with his hind legs against the floor in a relaxed position and his upper body positioned like the Sphinx of Egypt.
Remus walked over to the other werewolf, recognizing him as Severus. If he hadn’t remembered that Severus was in the room with him, the patch of light grey fur on his left forearm was a dead giveaway. Remus gave his best friend a rub on his cheek. Severus stood up, gave him what could pass as a grin, and bopped Remus on the head, accidentally leaving a scratch. Severus’s ears slicked back, and he hung his head. Remus bopped Severus on the head without leaving a scratch. Then, Severus playfully tackled Remus. They played that way for awhile before they curled up next to each other until morning’s light streamed into the dilapidated windows. They woke up, wrapped their robes around themselves, and stole into the castle, heading towards the Hospital Wing.
Dumbledore walked into the Hospital Wing to check on the resident werewolves. Thanks to the potions, neither of them was injured, save for a minute scratch on Remus’s forehead. Speaking of the DADA professor, it certainly looked as though he had been ill. His old robes were hanging more loosely on him and there were dark shadows beneath his eyes. The Potions Master didn’t look too bad. His skin was more sallow, but that might have been just an illusion caused by his black robes.
They were sitting up talking, when they noticed Dumbledore was at the foot of their beds.
“Headmaster,” they chorused.
Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled behind his half-moon spectacles. “While you two were indisposed, Sirius Black broke into the castle and tried to get into Gryffindor Tower. The Fat Lady denied him access, and he slashed her painting. Fortunately, she’s all right, just frightened. Sirius Black has fled the castle.”
“If he touches any of the students, there won’t be anything recognizable left,” Severus snarled.
“Is it worth going to Azkaban?” Dumbledore inquired.
“No.” Severus was silent for a moment. “I think I would just bite him instead.”
%%% A WEEK LATER
Severus laid his quill down and placed the stack of graded essays on the corner of his desk. The essay that was on top of the stack was Ms. Granger’s. He graded it with the usual E (Exceeds Expectations) along with his usual comment reminding her to remain within the required length.
He sighed as he stood. Dumbledore asked him to patrol the halls tonight, and of course, he consented. Normally, no one saw him after dinner, and sometimes he would “skip” dinner and have the House Elves bring him something simple from the kitchens later on. However, the Headmaster required all the teachers to patrol the halls under normal circumstances and even more so after Black’s miraculous entrance into and escape from the castle. The only teacher that got out of patrolling the halls was Trelawney. She claimed leaving her tower clouded her Inner Eye.
Severus snorted as he spelled his door closed and locked. He couldn’t really stand the Divinations teacher. Even though she made an important prophecy and was the descendant of an accomplished seer, Severus considered her a fraud. He shook his head as if to dash the thought of Trelawney from his mind and started his rounds.
He was almost done when he noticed want light and black hair. Noting the short stature of the person in front of him, he surmised that it was a student. Suddenly, the wand light went out, so Severus lit his own wand wordlessly. There standing in front of him was Harry Potter.
“Potter, what are you doing wondering the corridors at night?”
“I was sleepwalking.”
‘That was the best excuse he could come up with?’ Severus decided to insult the boy slightly, while having a joke at James expense. “How extraordinarily like your father you are, Potter. He too was exceedingly arrogant; strutting about the castle.” (AN: Bucks can be arrogant.)
“My father didn’t strut nor do I. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate it if you could lower your wand.”
Severus scowled at the boy’s insolence, but did so anyway. “Turn out your pockets.” When Potter didn’t move, Severus forcefully repeated, “Turn out your pockets.” Potter produced a folded piece of parchment from the pocket of his hoodie. “What’s this?” “Spare bit of parchment.”
“Really? Open it.” Potter did so, and Severus placed his wand tip on the parchment. “Reveal your secrets.” Words started appearing on the parchment. “Read it.”
“‘Messers Moony, Wormtail, Shadowfang, and Prongs offer their compliments to Professor Snape and…’”
“Go on.” Severus’s left eyebrow twitched.
“‘Messer Padfoot requests that he keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.’”
Severus’s thoughts turned to Black and what he’d like to do to him and accidentally said out loud, “Why you insolent little-”
“Severus!” Remus came up from behind his best friend.
“Well, well. Remus. Out for a little walk in the moonlight, are we?”
Remus caught Severus’s joke, but he turned to the boy standing in front of them. “Harry, you all right?”
“That remains to be seen.” Severus snatched the parchment out of the Gryffindor’s hand. “I have just now confiscated a rather curious artifact from Mr. Potter. Take a look, Remus. It’s supposed to be your area of expertise. Clearly it’s full of dark magic.”
Remus took the parchment and glanced at it. “I seriously doubt it, Severus. It looks to me as though it’s merely a parchment designed to insult anybody who tries to read it.” Remus chuckled slightly. “I suspect it’s a Zonko product.” Severus tried to snatch the parchment in question back, but Remus kept it out of his reach. “Nevertheless, I shall investigate any hidden qualities it may possess. It is after all as you say my area of expertise. Harry, would you come with me, please? Severus, good night.”
Severus followed Remus and James’s son with his lit wand. Then, one of the portraits exclaimed, “Are you deaf? Put that light out!”
Severus scowled at the portrait’s inhabitant before wordlessly extinguishing the light and stalking back to his rooms.
The next evening found Severus knocked on Remus’s office door. “Come in.”
Severus walked in and saw Remus staring at the parchment he had confiscated the previous night, obviously lost in thought. Suddenly, Remus looked up at Severus and nodded, smiling as his best friend approached the desk. As one, they drew their wands and encanted, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” They tapped their wands against the blank parchment. The words Messers Moony, Wormtail, Shadowfang, Padfoot, and Prongs are proud to present The Marauders’ Map were scrawled upon the parchment as if written by an unseen hand; a fact that to this day still amazed Severus. ‘James had to have been clever to come up with this.’ Out loud, Severus commented, “We lost it a long time ago.”
“How’d Harry get it?”
“The Weasley Twins. They have a knack for breaking into Filch’s office. He had more than likely confiscated it, unsure of what it truly was.”
“Did you drop it, Sev?”
“No,” Severus half-sneered.
“I’m just joking, Sev. We all believe that James was the one who lost it.”
“Not me. I believe Black did it. He always hated the fact that my name was written in before his.”
Remus sighed. “You won’t let your hate for him die, will you?”
“No. What he’s done is unforgivable; trying to get you to kill me, handing James and Lily over to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, killing Peter and those twelve muggles, and now coming after Harry. He must be stopped!”
%%% FIVE MONTHS LATER
Remus had finished grading the essays he had collected and was preparing to relax before joining Severus for their journey to the Shrieking Shack. On a whim, he decided to look at The Marauders’ Map. He drew his wand and said, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” He tapped the parchment with his wand. As the words appeared, Remus smiled. True, he liked teaching, but he longed for the old days where he hung around with his four friends.
Suddenly, a group of dots caught his eye. He smiled again. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were going to visit Hagrid. Twenty minutes passed before the trio reappeared, but wait! There were four dots; one labeled Peter Pettigrew. Remus stood up as a dot labeled Sirius Black rushed towards them and drag Ron and Peter below the Whomping Willow. Remus rushed out of his office without clearing the map.
Severus walked towards Remus’s office, carrying a potion-filled goblet. He was slightly surprised to see the door somewhat ajar and eased the door open the rest of the way. A quick glance around the room proved that Remus wasn’t in the room. He set the goblet on the desk, and his eyes landed on the map. “Why would Remus leave it exposed?”
As if answering Severus’s question, a dot labeled Remus Lupin caught his eye, and he watched it head in the direction of the Shrieking Shack. He decided to go see what Remus was doing. When he left the office, the goblet containing Remus’s last dose of Wolfsbane potion was smoking faintly, abandoned on the desk.
Remus dashed up the two creaky flights of stairs as quickly and as safely as possible. The climb brought him face-to-face with a strange scene: Sirius on his back with Harry pointing a wand in his face. He knew what he had to do. Remus pulled his wand out. “Expelliarmus!”
Harry’s wand flew out of his hand, and Remus motioned with his head for Harry to get away from Sirius, which he did. Remus then pointed his wand at Sirius. Well, well, Sirius. Looking rather ragged, aren’t we? Finally, the flesh reflects the madness within.”
“Well, you’d know all about the madness within, wouldn’t you, Remus” Remus lowered his wand and helped Sirius to his feet, which was rewarded with a hug. “I found him.”
“Let’s kill him.”
“No!” Hermione yelled, causing Sirius and Remus to break the hug. “I trusted you, and all this time you’ve been his friend! He’s a werewolf! That’s why he’s been missing classes!”
“How did you know?”
“I looked at the Lunar Charts and noticed that you were always sick during the full moon, and I noticed that the Boggart turned into a full moon when it saw you.”
“Well, well, well, Hermione, you really are the brightest witch of your age I’ve ever met.”
“Enough talk, Remus! C’mon, let’s kill him!”
“I did my waiting! Twelve years of it! In Azkaban!”
Remus sighed and gave Sirius his wand. “Very well. Kill him, but wait one more minute. Harry has a right to know why.”
“I know why. You betrayed my parents. You’re the reason they’re dead.”
“No, Harry. It wasn’t him. Somebody did betray your parents, but it was somebody who until quite recently I believed to be dead.”
“Who was it then?” Harry demanded.
“Peter Pettigrew and he’s in this room right now. Come out, come out, Peter! Come out, come out and play!”
“Expelliarmus!” a voice cried from the doorway and the wand Sirius was holding was sent clattering to the floor. It was Severus. “Vengeance is sweet. How I hoped I’d be the one to catch you.”
“I warned you and Dumbledore that Black was capable of murder and now here’s the proof.”
“Brilliant, Snape. Once again, you’ve put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion. Now, if you’ll excuse us, Remus and I have some unfinished business to attend to.”
Severus pushed his wand against Sirius’s throat. “Give me a reason. I beg you.”
“Severus, don’t be a fool.”
“He can’t help it. It’s a habit by now.”
“Sirius, be quiet.”
“Be quiet yourself, Remus.”
“Listen to you two. Quarreling like an old married couple.”
“Why don’t you run along and play with your chemistry set?”
“I could do it, you know, but why deny the Dementors. They’re so longing to see you. Do I detect a flicker of fear? A Dementor’s Kiss, one can only imagine what that must be like to endure. It’s said to be nearly unbearable to witness, but I’ll do my best.”
“After you.” Severus kept his wand trained on Black and motioned with his head for the three Gryffindors to leave the room. Harry approached with a wand raised and pointed at Black, but at the last second disarmed the Potions Master.
Remus saw this as his chance to tell his best friend what he found out. “Sev, Peter’s alive!”
Severus whipped his head around. “What? You lie.”
“He was on the map.”
“What?” Realization dawned on Severus. His eyes turned in the direction of the trio and then back to Remus. “Is he…?”
Chapter Four – Prisoner of Azkaban Part Two "Tell me about Peter Pettigrew," Harry demanded, interrupting the moment. He had his wand out, pointing at Remus.
"He was at school with us. We thought he was our friend," Remus answered.
"No. Pettigrew's dead. You killed him!" Harry pointed his wand at Sirius.
Remus stepped between the wand and Sirius. "No, he didn't. I thought so too until you mentioned seeing Pettigrew on the map."
"The map was lying then," Harry declared.
"The map never lies!" Severus hissed.
"Right. Pettigrew's alive, and he's right there!" Sirius pointed in Ron's direction.
"Me? He's mental!"
"Not you! Your rat!"
"Scabbers has been in my family for-"
"Twelve years. A curiously long life for a common garden rat. He's missing a toe, isn't he?" Sirius cut in.
"So what?" Ron asked, defensively.
Harry lowered his wand. "All they could find of Pettigrew was his-"
"Finger," Sirius cut in. "Dirty coward cut it off so everyone would think he was dead, and then he transformed into a rat.”
"Show me," Harry said. Sirius grabbed at Scabbers, who Ron moved out of the way. "Give him to him, Ron."
"What are you trying to do to him?" Ron cried as Sirius grabbed Scabbers none too gently. "Scabbers! Leave him alone! Get off him! What are you doing?"
Remus and Sirius started flinging spells at the escaping rat, one of which actually made contact. The rat transformed into Peter Pettigrew. Severus's eyes widened at the sight of his supposedly dead friend. After getting over his shock, Severus's first thought was, 'Twelve years as a rat has not been kind to Peter.'
"Remus? Sirius? Severus? My old friends." Peter tried to run out of the room, but his way was blocked by Harry. "Harry, look at you. You look so much like you father, like James. We were the best of friends-"
Sirius grabbed Peter, pulled him off Harry (much to Harry's relief), and pushed him in the opposite direction of the door. "How dare you speak to Harry? How dare you talk about James in front of him?"
"You sold James and Lily to Voldemort, didn't you?" Remus had his wand pointed at Peter.
"I didn't mean to. The Dark Lord. You have no idea the weapons he possesses. I thought of Sirius. What would you have done? What would you have done?"
'Peter actually handed James and Lily over You-Know-Who. Amazing,' Severus thought.
"I would have died! I would have died rather than betray my friends!"
Sirius's outburst scared Peter so much it sent him scurrying under the busted piano and toward Harry. "Harry, James wouldn't have wanted me killed. Your dad, your dad would've spared me. He would've shown me mercy."
Severus and Remus grabbed Peter and pulled him off Harry. Severus, Remus, and Sirius all pointed their wands (well, Sirius was holding Harry's wand) at the cowering Peter as Severus exclaimed, "You should've realized, Peter, that if…Voldemort didn't kill you, then we would together!"
"No!" Harry called out.
Remus sighed. "Harry, this man-"
"I know what he is, but we'll take him to the castle," Harry cut Remus off.
Peter dropped to his knees. "Bless you, boy. Bless you."
Harry kicked at Peter. "Get off. I said we'll take you to the castle. After that, the Dementors can have you."
Severus had to smirk. 'The boy surely knows what the consequences of those actions are, and maybe, just maybe, things will change.'
"So, Snivellus, are you leaving before us?" Sirius asked.
'Then again, maybe not.' "I still don't trust you, Black, so you leave first."
Sirius looked like he was about to retort, but Remus cut in with, "Why don't you and Harry help Ron up the stairs, Sirius? Hermione will follow you three, and I'll make sure Peter doesn't get away. Severus, you can come up when you're ready."
That seemed to satisfy everyone. Sirius gave Harry his wand back, and Harry returned Hermione's wand. Then, Harry and Sirius helped Ron to his feet and up the stairs like Remus had suggested. Hermione followed Sirius, Ron, and Harry, and Remus made Peter follow (at wand point). Severus, however, made no move to follow the group. His thoughts were running wild.
'Hmm. So, Black never killed anyone, but that doesn't mean that he's not capable of it. I never would have believed that Peter could have had a hand in Lily's and James's deaths. I would never have believed that Peter was actually alive, even though Remus mentioned seeing him on the map. I guess he was trying to see Peter one more time when I came by…Merlin's Beard! Remus didn't take the last dose of the Wolfsbane potion!'
Severus broke into a run, however; he only got as far as the blood stained hallway before the transformation started. He tried to get a little further, but the changing prevented him from moving. Once the transformation was complete, however; Severus started running again. When he got to the bottom of the stairs, he heard a familiar sound – the distinct howl of a nearby werewolf. The howl spurred him to climb the stairs with immense speed. He leapt through the opening, landing in front of the three Gryffindor students in a traditional defense stance.
Remus roared at the strange werewolf and swiped at the group. Fortunately, he only left a scratch on Severus's side. At that point, a large black dog tackled Remus from the side. Severus recognized the dog as his nemesis, Sirius Black. Black struck a defensive posture in front of Severus and the students. Severus risked a glance back at the trio to make sure none of them were injured. He caught Hermione's eye, and she realized the werewolf in front of them was actually their Potions professor. She recognized the look of concern in his eyes as well as a glimpse of humanity.
Suddenly, Remus charged at Sirius, who followed suit. The ensuing dog fight was vicious with teeth flashing, jaws snapping, and paws flying. Remus managed to toss Sirius a few feet away and advance towards Severus, who was ready to defend the students. Out of nowhere, Sirius came up and bit Remus's left front leg, which caused the werewolf to chase him.
"Sirius!" Harry yelled as he began to chase the two canines. Hermione made a move as if she was going to follow Harry, but Severus turned his head and growled at her, which froze her in her tracks.
Severus motioned with his head at the students and then towards the castle. Hermione nodded and helped Ron follow Severus. He led them to the courtyard in front of the castle. Once there, Hermione took Ron inside.
Satisfied that the two students were taken care of, Severus took off to find Remus. There was only one chance he had to stop a rampaging Remus, and it might not even work! 'Since Remus is the one who delivered my bite, it's possible he may recognize me as kin. All I have to do is show him my left front leg.'
It took Severus half the night to find Remus, but he finally found him in the Forbidden Forest, nursing a few recent scratches. The second his scent reached Remus's nose Severus noticed that Remus went on the alert. Severus displayed a non-threatening attitude towards Remus, which caught Remus's attention. Remus relaxed slightly, but was unsure of Severus's intentions.
Severus slowly lifted his left front leg in Remus's direction. Remus inched forward and lowered his head to sniff the patch of light grey fur in front of him. The scent was the werewolf's mixed with his own. The scent screamed kin.
Severus motioned with his head for Remus to follow him, which he did. Severus was relieved that his plan worked. 'Now, keeping an eye on Remus should be easy.' Severus led his best friend to the Shrieking Shack. Remus slunk over to the opposite corner and lay down. Severus lay on his side with his hind legs against the floor in a relaxed position and his upper body positioned like the Sphinx of Egypt. Severus watched over Remus until dawn.
%%% THE NEXT AFTERNOON
Severus was walking towards Remus's office to see how he was fairing after last night's ordeal. They had found out that Peter was alive and that Black didn't have a hand in the murder of James and Lily. Severus was so lost in these revelations that he walked by Harry without so much as a passing glance. He just kept walking towards Remus's office.
However, he saw Remus walking towards the front doors. Severus caught up to his best friend. "Remus, what happened?"
Remus smiled sadly. "I resigned, Sev. It seems someone let slip the nature of my illness."
"It was probably Draco Malfoy. Smart little sod has a knack for catching wind of things that he's not supposed to know. Do you want me to question him?"
"It won't make a difference. The owls will still come."
A short pause passed before Remus changed topics. "I gave the map back to Harry."
"I think James would've wanted Harry to have it, and besides, I'm not his professor anymore, so why would I care whether he has the map or not?"
Remus chuckled. "Relax, Shadowfang. Harry's got more common sense than James had." Remus smiled slightly. "Seriously, Sev. I'll miss you."
Severus wrapped his arms around his best friend. "And I'll miss you, Remus."
They broke the hug, and Severus watched his best friend walk out of the castle and out of his (daily) life forever.