|A Rose, by any other name
Author: Merlyn PM
[Slash] What actually happened between Lupin & Snape during POA? Rating for language & suggestive scenesRated: Fiction M - English - Remus L. & Severus S. - Words: 6,253 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Published: 11-12-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3241434
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Synopsis: Unseen events from POA. Warning, Lupin isn't a nice guy.
Authors Note: I know this seems a bit disjointed at times, but this is because originally this was going to be the sub-plot of my 'alternative' book three, except I don't have the inspiration to do that. I couldn't let this sub plot die though, you never know I may return to it and flesh it out a bit more. - There is an alternative version of this story (well, just the last scene), which I can't post here due to a certain sexual swear word, if you would like to read the original then please go here – Character(s): Just one, Alastor Daker
A Rose by any Other Name
There was a sharp knock at Snape's bedroom door. He sighed and looked at the clock, almost midnight…bloody students. Putting down his book he slipped out of bed and padded across the stone floor of his bedroom.
"What?" He snapped opening the door.
"Those glasses make you look sexy." Remus Lupin replied.
"Piss off Lupin."
He held up a bottle of Famous Grouse scotch, "Are you going to keep me standing here or are you going to let me in?" Grudgingly Snape stepped aside.
Closing the door behind Lupin he turned, "what do you want?"
"I wanted to say thank you for making the Wolfsbane potion, you can't imagine the difference it makes."
"I'm not doing it for you." Snape snapped removing his reading glasses.
"No, of course not." He put down the scotch on the desk and hunted for some drinking glasses.
Snape picked up the bottle and looked at it, "you've been talking to Alastor."
"It's hell to find." Lupin turned with two glasses.
"Who cares?" He put the glasses down and kissed Snape firmly on the lips. For a brief moment, Snape kissed him back.
"Stop." He pulled away.
Lupin shrugged, "I thought this is what you wanted."
"It is…I mean, no."
"I know you like me." He stepped towards Snape, "and I like you. Being here again, it's fate."
"It's not." He sat down, "maybe eleven years ago things would be different. You need to stop."
"Why? I'm in a relationship with someone I love; my feelings for you don't even come close to how I feel for Alastor. Thank you for the scotch, but that's it."
"Goodnight." Lupin went to the door, "if you…. You know…"
"You're trying my patience."
"Goodnight, Lupin." He closed the door with a snap.
Snape sat down on his bed and breathed a sigh of relief.
He stood at the front of the room and glared at his third year Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff class.
"The next person who so much as mentions the Boggart incident I will not hesitate to poison you and let your classmates work out the anti-dote."
"You wouldn't really…" Someone started to say. The look that Snape returned gave them the answer.
"Be quiet." He leant over the desk; "I will make sure you live to regret what you did."
"I haven't done anything and please don't go after Neville. What harm did it do, Severus? It made a few people laugh, and well…Neville Longbottom is terrified of you."
"It may have done more harm than you think."
"Is this because of the handbag?"
"Well, you know…stereotypes."
Snape stared for a moment, "you…you deliberately…"
"You better watch your back or I may just return the favour." He swept out of he office.
"Er...Severus, can I have word?"
"Of course. Come in." Dumbledore entered and quietly closed the door behind him. "This isn't...easy, shall we say."
"What's the problem?"
Dumbledore sat down and folded his hands together.
"When I appointed Remus Lupin, you had your concerns and I listened to them. However... well, I... I expect you to respect my decision to appoint him. In return I allow you to cover his lessons when he is... unavailable... What I don't need, or want to hear, that you have been... disrespectful."
"You have been deviating from the curriculum."
"Assigning essays on the detection of werewolves isn't exactly first year material."
"Werewolves are a considerable threat, and their involvement with the Dark Arts..."
"Severus." Dumbledore interrupted, "I will not have you disrespecting my decisions. I asked all my staff to refrain from referring to Remus' condition."
"Condition?" Snape snorted, "the man is a danger!"
"Not if you continue to make him the potion."
"I don't mean the bloody wolf! That's... easily containable. I'm talking about Sirius Black."
"We have talked about this many times, leave it. Remus he has no links to Sirius any more."
"So he says."
"I trust all my staff implicitly." He looked over his glasses, "you of all people should understand that." He stood up. "Understand this as well, if we have to talk again regarding to this matter I will be forced to make it official. Do I make myself clear?"
"Don't be stupid."
"Oh come on, you have to admit that they are... fascinating little things." Lupin poked the tank.
"Sod the grindylow."
Sensing that this was the time for light conversation, Lupin sat back in his chair. "If this is over Albus, then look... I asked him not to speak to you. I can handle a few werewolf essays and I knew you'd get me back for the Boggart thing."
"I know what you're up to."
"Up to? I'm not up to anything."
"Don't play innocent with me, you may have everyone else fooled but I see through you."
"You've lost me."
"You and your little friend Sirius Black."
"Oh for..." He ran his hand over his mouth. "I haven't seen or spoken to Sirius in a very long time. Believe me, I want him caught as much as you do. He should be rotting behind bars for what he did! As far as I am concerned Sirius Black doesn't exist, he doesn't deserve to exist for what he did to Lily."
Snape leaned over the desk, his face inches from Lupin's. "He would be proud of that little display."
Lupin lowered his voice, "if you're so convinced that I am guilty then go ahead." Snape stepped back, Lupin smiled. "If there is nothing else I can do for you, I need to get back to this marking."
There were a lot of things you could say about him, but one of them was that he kept his word. He made no further accusations (at least not in public) regarding Lupin's loyalty and he also stopped talking about werewolves in the Defence against the Dart Arts lessons he covered.
Thankfully Lupin kept well away.
"What do you want?" Lupin held up a bottle of scotch. "I don't think so." He tried to close the door, but Lupin put his foot in the way. "Move."
"This is stupid, we're grown men we shouldn't be fighting like school boys."
"Leave me alone."
"You heard what Albus said…"
"And I disagree. You are a danger to this school and the students."
"Do you have no faith in your skills?" Snape snorted. "Lets not talk about this in public."
He thought for a moment before allowing Lupin in.
"I have every faith in my skills. There is a murderer on the run, your best friend."
"He's not my friend any more."
"You expect me to believe that?"
"I don't 'expect' you to believe anything." Lupin sighed and sat down. "Severus, I want you to trust me."
"You have never given me any reason to trust you."
He through up his hands, "do you trust anybody?" Snape shrugged in reply. "So you're saying that we shouldn't trust you either?"
"This is ridiculous. What do I have to do to apologise?"
"Apologies are just words."
"We've hardly spoken in seventeen years…"
"I fail to see why that arrangement cannot continue."
Lupin ignored this; "we've hardly spoken in seventeen years all because of a prank."
"Prank? Your so-called prank almost killed me."
"It wasn't my prank! You have to believe that I was nothing to do with it. If I had known I would have stopped it before it happened, I didn't want to become a murderer! All I've ever wanted is to be accepted for who I am, not because I am a bloody werewolf. If I had killed you that night, it would have been the end for me. I would have been out of Hogwarts in a flash. I wouldn't have been able to live anywhere; maybe I would have spent the rest of my life in Azakban."
"You forgave Black and Potter."
"They were my friends."
"Friends who would have willingly turned you into a murderer." Snape said quietly.
Lupin visibly sagged. "Three of my friends are dead because the fourth killed them. I don't want to think about…" His voice broke. Snape looked away. "Maybe they did take advantage of me. It was such a relief to finally meet people who didn't care. You can't even imagine how I felt knowing that for once people were my friends."
Snape handed him a glass of scotch; "no I can't." He sat back down. "You let your 'friends'…" He couldn't continue.
"I wish that I had stopped them."
They drank in silence.
"I can never forgive you."
"…It was a prank."
"It was more than a fucking prank! It proved that my life meant nothing."
"Of course it means something!"
"Really? So what had I done to your little gang, why didn't I deserve to exist? What happened that night proved everything I believed. I was suspended, and all Black got was a rap on the knuckles and a 'don't do it again'." Snape was drunk; "Potter was made the hero." He suddenly stood, pulled up his left sleeve and forced his arm in Lupin's face; "this is why I can never forgive you."
Lupin stared at the Dark Mark. "…Why?" He said meekly.
"That night I realised that my life meant nothing. Your friends continued to make it clear that that was the case. The night after the final NEWT exam, after your latest humiliation I went into Hogsmede…I don't know how much I drank but I found myself on the bridge over the station thinking about life. About my life."
"It surely can't be that bad."
He turned his head to see Lucius Malfoy leaning on the bridge smoking a cigarette. Malfoy was six years older than he was. During their year at Hogwarts together they had never really spoken.
"Leave me alone."
"I think you may have had one too many, Severus."
"Leave me alone."
"This really isn't a very Slytherin thing, now is it."
"Oh dear, we are pissed aren't we." Malfoy flicked ash onto the tracks. "There really are better ways."
"One of them is living."
"There are no reasons to."
"I can think of plenty." Snape snorted. "Women," Malfoy glanced at the uncomfortable expression on the younger man's face, "or men. Depending on preference…Why exactly are you here?"
"I can't do it any more."
"It doesn't mean anything. There's no reason for me not to."
"I've heard you're an excellent Potion maker."
"Potions is a very complex subject. From what I hear from Professor Slughorn, you're practically a genius."
"It still doesn't mean anything."
"Does it need to mean anything? Why can't it just be you?"
"It's very clear that being me is going to be a problem."
"That's complete bollocks. You're a very skilled, intelligent young man. Yes life is a bag of shite, but we're stuck with it. If you jump you will only prove James Potter and his gang of lovers right."
"They are right. I don't deserve to exist."
"Is fitting into their world so important?"
"I've never fitted in anywhere."
"No you haven't." Malfoy mused. "Severus, you don't deserve to spend your life standing in the shadows. James Potter has no right to tell you how to live your life. You're extremely talented, more so than people are willing to give you credit for. I want you to meet someone, he's a lot like you and has been in your situation all his life. Of course that does depend on whether or not you plan to cause delays to the train service."
"Yes." Snape refilled their glasses, "for once in my life I felt that I belonged. My talents were being appreciated and no one was judging me."
"That night in the Shrieking Shack…"
"Don't flatter yourself, you didn't have that much of an impact on my life. It wasn't a coincidence that Lucius Malfoy was on the bridge. They had been watching me for some time. All it did was make me realise how little I mattered to people. I was angry with Albus Dumbledore and so had no reason to say no."
"Have you ever told Albus that?"
Snape laughed, "what a wonderful conversation that would be."
"What about Alastor?"
"He doesn't know."
"That you were a Death Eater?"
"Of course he knows that! He doesn't know about that night on the bridge, or about the Shrieking Shack."
"You've never told him?"
He shook his head, "no."
"He's got his own problems, there's no reason to burden him with mine."
Lupin stared in disbelief; "you tried to commit suicide and never told anyone."
"They know I've tried to commit suicide." He admitted, "just not about that one." Snape stared at his wrists, at the ugly scars. He very rarely allowed the world to see his wrists. Lupin took his wrists and slowly ran his fingers over the scars. Snape turned his head to hide his tears.
"Why did you never tell anyone?"
"I was too afraid."
Lupin kissed the scars; "you don't need to be afraid."
He pulled his hands away, "don't." Lupin didn't stop, and Snape didn't push him away.
"I have wanted to do this for so long." He sighed as he kissed Snape firm on the lips. Unlike last time, Snape didn't pull away, allowing Lupin to kiss him. He paused, looking into his eyes. Snape stared back, not blinking. "You can always say stop." He whispered. Snape leaned forward and returned Lupin's kiss.
Lupin sat up. "Severus…"
"What happened last night was a mistake." He replied hurriedly, pulling on his socks.
"We were drunk, it shouldn't have happened." He stood up, pulling on his trousers.
"What time is it?"
"Quarter to six, leave now whilst there are no students about." He picked up his shoes and crossed to the door.
"And that's it?" Lupin said getting out of bed, "nothing."
"It was a mistake."
He had wanted Remus Lupin for so long and now that he had fulfilled that wish, he just felt...dirty. Alastor had been part of his life for a very long time, and yet he knew that things weren't as good as they once were. He knew deep down that he couldn't afford to risk things, Lupin was a one-off.
"You're being awfully quiet." McGonagall asked, breaking his inner-silence. "Is everything all right?"
"Yes. Everything is fine." He smiled somewhat forcibly.
"Looking forward to seeing Alastor I bet."
Snape was startled, "What?!" he asked.
"You're off this weekend... Or have I got that wrong."
"Oh er... No, no. You're right. Yes, I'm off."
Snape stared at the carrot he was chopping. "It's just work. You know, the Dementors."
"Just the Dementors?"
"Things have been a bit... stressful." Alastor wrapped his arms around the lanky Potions master.
"I know a good technique for stress." He kissed the back of Snape's neck.
"Alastor." He pulled away.
"What's wrong?" He replied, suddenly concerned.
Snape starred at the floor. "I made a mistake." He finally managed.
"What sort of mistake?"
"I'm sorry." Snape sniffed, his voice breaking. "I'm so sorry."
"For what? Severus, what's wrong... tell me."
He swallowed, "I didn't mean for it to happen." He sat down on a kitchen chair. "We were drunk...and it all happened so fast...I couldn't help it." He broke down.
"What? What happened?"
"I slept with someone... I didn't mean, I couldn't help it."
Alastor took a step back, "you...you slept with someone." A sudden dread filled him, "not... not a student."
"Who?" Snape looked away. "Lupin."
"I'm sorry." Alastor turned away, fighting back the urge to hurt Severus. "Alastor?" He didn't reply or turn back. "Please, understand that I didn't mean it."
Alastor laughed. "You didn't mean it?" He turned, the tears stinging his eyes. "You fucked Remus Lupin and you didn't mean it? You're saying you had no choice?"
"Al..." Snape reached out to touch his arm.
"Don't." Alastor pulled away. "Don't fucking touch me."
"Please... Please, don't react like this."
"How I'm supposed to react! I love you,and I thought you did to to."
"It doesn't feel like that to me." He wiped his eyes, "I think you should leave."
"I need to think. Just...just go... GET OUT!"
Fighting back tears, Snape turned and walked out of the house.
Alastor stood alone in the kitchen. He heard the click of the front door, and almost instantly he collapsed sobbing to the floor. He loved Severus, he truly did, with this revelation his entire world collapsed around him. Things hadn't seemed quite so bad when he was with Severus, he didn't think that it bothered him that he was loosing his sight, or that he wasn't as fit as he once was. How could he?
He had few friends on the staff, and none he could discuss this with.
"We need to have a little chat." Albus Dumbledore said, lowering himself into the old armchair opposite Snape's desk.
"I haven't broken our agreement." He replied without looking up.
"I know. This is a tad more personal."
"I've got nothing to talk about."
"Well that's unfortunate because I have." Dumbledore waved his hand towards the fireplace and almost instantly it was filled with a beautiful warm blaze. "I'm not blind, and neither am I stupid." He said quietly.
"I've never implied you were either."
"There may be a lot about your lifestyle I don't understand, but I think you're making a terrible mistake."
"I don't need you to tell me that."
Dumbledore continued in a low voice, "and this isn't something I want hanging around."
Much to his annoyance, Dumbledore had ordered that anyone staying for Christmas was to eat Christmas dinner in the Great Hall with everyone else. Alastor hadn't made contact with him, it was clear though that he hadn't told his family about their split... otherwise he doubted that Maggie would have sent him a Christmas present.
He took his place to McGonagall's right and reluctantly took the cracker that Dumbledore was offering. To his horror, the cracker had decided to re-live recent memories.
He pushed the hat towards Dumbledore. This really was the last thing he needed, but he had insisted that everyone should attend the Christmas dinner. He was glad that Remus Lupin wasn't present. Over the past few weeks since the 'mistake' he had avoided him, and luckily Lupin had kept out of his way. It was hard for Snape to be here this Christmas, after everything Alastor had said; he was beginning to think that everything was over between them.
He understood Alastor's reaction to his confession; it made sense. This was all Lupin's fault, he had told him to stop and he hadn't, and then he persisted again and this time he had been too drunk to resist
"This food is superb." Dumbledore exclaimed, "you really should try this stuffing."
"This is nice." Minerva McGonagall tried to start the conversation, "all together for Christmas." She smiled at the Slytherin first year he seemed terrified. "Having a nice Christmas, Derek?"
"Yes, miss." He replied somewhat meekly.
They returned to eating in almost silence.
"I really must thank you, Severus, for the delightful socks. Bright green, possibly my favourite colour." Dumbledore attempted again.
"I'm glad you liked them, headmaster." He replied.
"And that is a particularly nice jumper, present from your mother-in-law?" He nodded. "The colour really brings out the blue in your eyes." Snape blushed slightly. "And Ron, Harry, you both look splendid in your festive jumpers."
"Thank you, sir." Ron replied, also blushing.
Soon they were talking amongst themselves, and the food was being consumed at quite a rate. Ron and Harry left early into the meal, soon after the arrival of Professor Sybil Trelawny. The subject soon turned to the subject of Divination.
"I don't think it can be considered magic." Hermione Granger was saying.
"You do not posses they eye, you wouldn't understand." Trelawny replied haughtily.
"You can't just dismiss an opinion like that, Sybil." McGonagall said tucking into her potato. "It's a very arrogant thing to do."
"Those who do not possess the inner-eye have difficulty understanding and appreciating the art of Divination."
"I have difficulty understanding the art of Potions, it doesn't mean I don't appreciate it."
"I agree with Ms Granger." Snape said. "Divination can hardly be called magic, it's simply vague and general observations of humanity. Creating something out of nothing."
Trelawny snorted, "and that's what you tell your Slytherin's!"
"They make their own minds up, I don't see the need to impress my opinions on them."
"I have not had one Slytherin student since you started at this school, Professor Snape."
"I've only been Head of Slytherin for eight years, so you can't blame me."
McGonagall smiled, "Slytherin's tend to be very logical people."
"Logic has nothing to do with it!" Trelawny was becoming flustered.
"It is my understanding that you can make predictions based on a personal object." Snape took out his glasses case and passed Trelawny his fountain pen. No one had ever asked why he kept his pen with his glasses. "Tell me about this."
Trelawny closed her eyes and waved her hands over the pen, swaying with the motion. "You are very troubled, and you feel guilty. The giver of this gift cares for you a great deal and knows you very well."
Snape laughed, "thus proving my point."
"I beg your pardon! The mystical power is not to be laughed at."
"It was very general and vague, professor." He took his pen back. "You know quite well that I am married. The fact I am sitting here instead of at home with my wife obviously implies that all is not well which also suggests that I feel guilty because it is in some way my fault. The pen is engraved with 'to my love at Christmas' meaning that the final part of your 'analysis' is based on that."
She glared at him, "May I also add that you wife will not remain faithful tonight." Snape stiffened in his chair. "I certainly don't blame her, imagine being married to you!" He put down his knife and fork, stood and left the Great Hall.
Dumbledore watched him leave; perhaps he should have intervened in the discussion a while ago. He glanced across the table at Trelawny.
"That was a little callous, Sybil." McGonagall said helping herself to more stuffing.
"The inner-eye is a blessing as well as a curse." She held her hand to her brow.
"It was still insensitive." Dumbledore said. "Perhaps I should see if he's all right."
"Severus?" Dumbledore said stepping into the office.
"I apologise, headmaster."
Dumbledore replied with a wave of his hand, "I think I should be the one apologising. I should have stepped in before things got out of hand."
"I'm really not fit company at the moment."
Dumbledore turned to leave, at the door he looked back. "It's still early."
"Get that Alastor, love."
Alastor opened the door to find Severus Snape standing on the doorstep. He was dressed in Muggle clothing and his old woollen coat. His breath misted in the cold night air.
"What do you want?"
"I love you." Alastor looked away. "If I could marry you I would, and tell the world that I want to spend my life with you. I want the first thing I see in the morning to be you and the last thing before I go to bed. I want to wake up next to you."
Alastor tried to close the door, but Snape put his foot there stopping him. "Move your foot."
He sighed and stepped out to meet Snape, closing the door behind him. "You've hurt me. Humiliated me."
"I know, and I'm sorry. I regret what I did. If I could turn back the clock and stop it happening I would. All I can think about is how much I've hurt you." He took Alastor's hand, "if you want me to leave and never see you again, I'll understand."
"Part of me wants you to go, and never come back." He sighed and pulled his hand back. "For some reason I love you, Severus Snape. I fell in love with you twenty-years ago…after everything we've been through I still care for you. You've done some hurtful things and for some reason I still love you." Snape wiped away his tears with the back of his hand. "Come here you big softie." He pulled Snape into a tight hug. "I don't want to loose you either."
"I love you." Snape sobbed into Alastor's shoulder.
He stroked his lover's back; "I love you too."
"Are we going to be all right?"
He regarded Snape for a moment; "we'll be all right. It'll take awhile, but I'll forgive you." He held out his handkerchief, "I think mum's made enough food to feed a small army."
They spent the rest of Christmas together, they both knew that things weren't going to be the same and perhaps their relationship was drawing to a close. Reluctantly, Snape returned to the castle and to work doing his best to avoid Remus Lupin.
Although one event later that year sealed their relationship forever.
For once Snape couldn't blame Lupin; he hadn't taken his potion that night and as a result when he transformed he would have been a cold-blooded killer. How he had forgotten was a mystery, Lupin valued his mind more than anything else in the world.
He winced as he slipped his shirt on. The cut on this forehead was surrounding by a deep purple bruise, making it look worse than it actually was. His left eye was somewhat swollen. As he was gingerly attempting to shave a small pile of notes appeared on the table. They were messages to be placed in the Slytherin Common Room.
"Good morning, professor."
"Good morning, Draco." Snape replied.
He immediately saw the black eye and the bruising around the cut. "What happened?" He asked.
"Um?" Snape pretended not to understand.
"Oh. I er…fell down the stairs."
Draco clearly didn't believe him. "You fell down the stairs?"
"Tripped on the rug, I think Peeves had been loosening the fastenings."
"Is it something to do with Dumbledore's pet werewolf?"
He did a double take, "sorry?"
"My father owl-ed me at the beginning of term, saying that he and mother were discussing removing me from the school as, apparently, Dumbledore had appointed a werewolf."
"There is a werewolf on staff isn't there?"
"It's none of your business who Professor Dumbledore appoints." Snape replied uncomfortably.
"It's got to be Lupin."
"He is a werewolf, right?"
"I didn't have a choice."
"You fucking did! You could have kept your mouth shut. After everything you've told me this year. You're a vindictive son of a bitch, Severus Snape."
Snape kissed him. Lupin pulled away and stared at the Potions Master.
"I'm falling in love with you." Snape admitted, "and I don't want to. Alastor is the best thing in my life, and I care for him. But I want you."
Lupin swallowed, "I fell for you a long time ago."
He realised that Snape hadn't told the Slytherin's his little secret because he was being vindictive. He had told the Slytherin's because he was trying to protect Lupin. His secret would have come out eventually, and so would everything that took place in the Shrieking Shack. People would know he was Sirius Black's friend, and Sirius Black was still a murderer on the run.
Snape took out his keys; "Alastor's expecting you."
Lupin took the keys and stared at Snape, "are you being serious?"
"He knows we slept together. We're made our peace. I don't want you living like a tramp."
He had never been that comfortable around Remus Lupin; there was something unnerving about him, and it wasn't that he could turn into a killing machine. Alastor had been one of the top Aurors before his accident, his job had been something akin to internal affairs... an anti-corruption officer, if you will. He'd learnt an awful lot from the spy networks as a result, and those were things that didn't leave you.
He walked into the kitchen to find Lupin slowly filling in the crossword in the Daily Prophet.
"This façade you present is disgusting." Alastor said leaning over Lupin's shoulder.
Lupin barely reacted. "I can't help how people see me."
"You're still the two-faced slimy manipulative bastard you always were."
"Well you'd have a hard time convincing people of such a feat." He stood up and turned to face Alastor. "Oh and don't you think that is such a vile word?"
"I think it describes you exactly. You tricked Severus into thinking that he slept with you."
"I never said that he did."
"You never gave him any reason to doubt it."
"And what are you going to do? Tell him? Tell him that he was so pissed he couldn't get it up and eventually passed out?"
"Give me a reason not to." Daker wasn't a tall man, but he could be quite imposing. "I'd let the whole world know the real Remus Lupin."
Lupin toyed ideally with the corner of the table; "what a pity it would be if Severus found out about your little stash..."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"That extra little kick you need to get through the day. I don't think the Ministry would be too pleased either, after all... They took a chance re-employing you."
"You fucking bas..."
"Ah-ah-ah!" He shook his finger, "I think we've used that word enough, don't you?"