|Homo homini lupus est Translation
Author: Mr-Spock1 PM
Snape and Lupin have to clear up an old story... Hints of slash! Translation of my Story "Homo homini lupus est"Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Severus S. & Remus L. - Words: 5,722 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 01-09-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4002281
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Like always, all the characters and places belong to J.K.
Warner and who else earns his or her money with it. (Naturally not me!) Just that letter is mine, it only belongs to me and my muse.
Another try to translate one of my stories… As usual: I tried to do my best and I hope I got it! Nevertheless: Suggestions for improvement will be welcomed! (I bet I put in some commas at the wrong places….)
Special thanks to Omniwing
Homo homini lupus est
It was autumn and an evening somewhere
in England. A man, who appeared to be searching for something,
wandered through the streets.
His shabby robe was patched many a time, his brown hair was mixed with grey wisps and his after all pretty young face featured deep lines. In a more elegant neighbourhood, he would have caught somebody's eye, but here, he almost blended in with his environment. The environment expired a certain shabbiness, decay was in the air, so much that he was almost able to taste it. The nearby river spread a rotten smell . His environment depressed him and he wondered how somebody could voluntarily live in this darkness.
Finally, he reached a narrow alleyway, his steps resounded loudly at the rough cobblestone pavement. Unerringly, he headed for the very last house. For a moment, he paused at the door, he seemed to hesitate whether he should knock or better not. At last, he moved his hand and knocked at the weathered, dark wood. It resounded dully through the dark silence. He breathed in the rotten air and wondered if somebody had heard his knocking. He just raised the hand to draw attention to himself again, as the door was opened with a soft creak. He got a glimpse on a dark silhouette, then he was literally nailed down by a pair of midnight-black eyes. A familiar, cool voice seemed to banish him:
"Lupin. Why did you come here?"
The man who the question was addressed to tilted his head to one side slightly.
"I would appreciate if we could discuss that inside. That means, if you allow me in at all, Severus?"
The door swung backwards and, with an economical nod, Lupin was asked in. His host led him to a tiny living room. Its furnishing didn't make a contribution to lift Lupin's spirit. The walls were covered with books completely, most of them bounded in old, dark leather, and gave something overpowering to the room, they seemed to swallow even the feeblest remainder of daylight. With a movement of his hand, Snape instructed him to sit down at the threadbare sofa and settled himself down at an armchair, which also had seen better days. A rickety table and an old oil lamp completed the furnishing. The whole living room emanated an aura of neglect and indifference, although Lupin noticed that the many books were dust-free and sorted very fussily by the topics.
"Apparently, you still spend the most of your money for books."
Snape raised an eyebrow and answered:
"Knowledge is never too expensive. Well, Lupin, what made you come?"
Awkwardly, Lupin skittered back and forth on the uncomfortable sofa.
"I am not sure where to begin, Severus."
He glanced at the pale, with sleek, black hair framed face of his opponent, who leaned back with an impenetrable face, his long, slender hands relaxed at the chair backs.
"Logically, I would say you should start at the beginning," the silky-soft voice could be heard saying lazily.
"Well, at the beginning… You won't make it easy for me, will you?" Lupin tried a smile, but it failed thoroughly.
"The beginning. That was thirty years ago. If you have that much time?"
Shortly, a spiteful smile played around Snape's lips.
"Unemployed, I have much time – too much time, as you already know yourself."
That struck home, he pinpointed satisfied, Lupin had actually slightly winced.
"Yes, as a notorious Death Eater and infamous murderer, it is difficult to find an employment. But also, as an infamous werewolf, it can't be easier. Am I right?"
The cold, black eyes affixed themselves on Lupin's face and satisfied incorporated that short glint in his brown eyes.
"Now then, you wanted to discuss something with me. A history, which goes back thirty years. I have to admit, you aroused my interest."
With a careless dangle of his wand, he made to glasses and a bottle of wine appear, which briefly turned around in midair and which landed on the table with a dull pounding. Snape bended forwards and filled the glasses.
"Perhaps not the best vintage, but nevertheless acceptable."
He handed Lupin one of the glasses.
"Thanks," he murmured and nervously fumbled with it. He asked himself if it had actually been such a good idea to just pop up and forage in old, long-past stories. With a soft sigh, he placed his untouched glass back on the table and looked at Snape's face. His gazed searched for Snape's dark eyes and finally, he spoke out why he had stepped by:
"Severus, I would like to ask you for forgiveness."
He observed Snape attentively, but was unable to make out any reaction from the expressionless face. His features remained unfathomably, only his voice gave away quiet mockery:
"For what exactly? In my opinion, there are some – incidents which would require an apology."
"I mean a very particular - hum - incident, Severus," Lupins voice sounded tense.
"You know, at that time, after we had to do our detention by Slughorn."
Almost fearful, he observed how Snape's face eclipsed and how he – now even more than otherwise – emanated pure refusal. His anger became nearly palpably and hit Lupin like an electric shock. Nevertheless, he continued:
"Thus, so you remember?"
Snape allowed himself a sneer:
"As if I could forgot these – dramatic performance of yours!"
He sipped at his wine to win some time. Naturally, he recalled it; these events had burned themselves into his memory deeply. The room blurred before his eyes, as those pictures awoke in his mind, memories he had locked away carefully…
As usually, he finished his potion first. Potions was his best subject, although he also convinced with high marks in the other subjects. He just was corking up his tiny sample bottle, to deliver it at to the teacher's desk, as something slippery met his temple. He wiped the frog liver off his face with constraint calmness and labelled his bottle.
"Hey, Snivellus! Are you sure that Slughorn is able to read your scribbling?"
James Potter leaned casually over his desk. Severus ignored him with stoicism which had been born from long routine. A further frog liver met the back of his head. Irritated, he threw a look over his shoulder and saw Sirius Black smirking at him.
"Such a little bit more slime in your hair surely doesn't matter to you, Snivellus!"
Oh, how he hated that name. And how he hated James and Sirius, too. Since he had entered Hogwarts for the first time, six years ago, the two Gryffndor had made his life a misery, always accompanied by that weedy Peter Pettigrew, who amused himself kingly at his expense, and Remus Lupin, the calmest of the four marauders. If he met Remus alone on the corridors, he was spared by dirty tricks, occasionally he even nodded to him. But if he was on the way with his friends, then… Apparently, Remus didn't possess enough guts to balk his friends.
Severus took his labelled flagon to carry it to the teacher's desk, his look arranged rigidly straightforward. Something hooked itself around his foot and he hit the floor lengthwise. His bottle broke and the spiteful laughter of the other students resounded in his ears. Blood surged into his face when he struggled to his feet and picked up how Sirius patted Remus on the back, laughing hard.
"Super, Remus! I only hope that Snivellus made no grease spot at the floor with his nose. Not that someone else slips!"
James leered and imitated Severus' fall with great vigour. Only Remus stared silently at the floor.
"Oh, come on, Remus! Such a small man trap always comes well," Pettigrew cooed gleefully.
Boiling with rage, Severus pulled out his wand, ready to curse the whole bunch of misfits with some succulent jinxes.
"What's going on here?" Slughorn had finally been able to break away from his favourite students and now planted himself in front of them importantly.
"Mr. Snape, there is absolutely no need to threaten your schoolmates with your wand. Twenty points from Slytherin."
Severus grinded his teeth in helpless rage, but he said nothing.
"Professor Slughorn, I just happened to see how Remus tripped Severus up,"Lily Evans now interfered and ignored the annoyed glances of James and Sirius.
"Miss Evans? Is that true?"
"Of course, Professor, Severus fell and his bottle broke, he even got hurt!"
She pointed at Severus' hand, at which actually was a nasty cut. Involuntarily, he clenched it to a fist. Now, Slughorn turned to Remus.
"In that case, Mr. Lupin, I likewise take twenty points from Gryffindor. The both of you," he pointed at Severus and Remus," The both of you will receive detention. This evening, eight o'clock, in my office. And I wouldn't like you to disturb my lessons in such a perfidious way again!"
A few minutes before eight, Severus made his way down to Slughorn's office. The imposition didn't disturb him further, for he always spent his evenings with reading, learning or copying his notes properly. What disrupted him more personally was on the one hand Lupin's presence and on the other hand, what disturbed him the most, was that Black and Potter had as usually gotten off without punishment. Apart from that, he had already found out a long time ago that sneaking something to the teacher was not worthwhile: Nobody would believe him and the others would give him a hard time more than ever.
Deeply lost in his thoughts, he finally arrived at his destination. Lupin already stood in front of the door. He nodded to Severus. When Severus wanted to knock, he surprisingly seized his arm.
"Severus, I only wanted to tell you... Well, that this morning, that was an accident. I didn't intend to trip you up."
Severus didn't trust his ears. One of the Gryffindors honoured him with something which was bloody close to an apology? Disbelievingly, he stared at him.
"Yeah, really! Honestly, that really wasn't intentional. My… My foot had fell asleep and I probably stretched my leg at the moment you wanted to pass. "
Remus smiled embarrassedly and threw a look at Severus' bandaged hand.
"Does it still hurt?"
"No!" Severus hid the bounded hand in his robe.
"So, should we? " He nodded and Lupin knocked.
During that evening, they had to inspect Slughorn's potions storage and relabel and list them. While they worked, Remus sometimes glanced at him and even smiled at him occasionally. Finally, he commented friendly:
"You have a very tidy handwriting. Perhaps I should dictate you the ingredients which I have and you write them down? Then, Slughorn will be able to read it at least."
After a moment of quiet hesitating, Severus agreed. Remus smiled at him friendly and began to stack the freshly labelled bottles and glasses back into the shelves and to dictate them to Severus. Severus caught himself thinking that Remus had a really pleasant voice and a nice, enjoyable smile. Sometimes, Remus would look at him and ask with just that pleasant smile:
"Hello? Are you still here?"
"Hm? Um, yes. What was the last one?"
"Corydalis bulbosa." Severus noted that.
"What actually is the use of that?" Remus inquired.
"In weak dosage, one uses it in healing potions, for antispasmodic results. However, it is only for adepts, as it is poisonous in a too high dosage."
"You really know your stuff very well," Remus remarked approvingly.
Severus' heart missed a beat and then doubled its work.
Had he really just been praised? By Lupin? He couldn't believe it.
Apparently, one surprise hunted the next in this evening.
"You seem to be really clever altogether," Lupin then continued. "Why is it that one sees you always on your own? Isn't there anybody of your Slytherin folk who estimates your abilities?" Severus stared at him, stunned and speechless. It just got better and better.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to put your nose out of joint."
Nonplussed, Remus lowered his gaze. To Remus ', and also his own surprise, Severus decided to answer the question.
"It is alright." He stared at his notes and said quietly: "I am mostly alone and then I read. Somehow, I don't fit in. I never did. But I became accustomed to it."
The list was taken out of his hands gently. He raised his eyes and looked exactly into Remus soft, brown eyes.
"That is a great pity," he said quietly, "I am positive that you have much to give."
The brown eyes examined him full of warmth. Remus lifted his hand and softly touched Severus' cheek. He remained there standing as stiff as a poker and did hardly dare to breath. Then, this special moment was over and with a soft smile, Remus asked: "Should I take a look at your hand? I am rather good at healing spells. And certainly you haven't been by Madame Pomfrey." Hesitatingly, Severus nodded. Remus took his hand and gently removed the bandage. While he, quietly murmuring, made complicated curlicues with his wand, Severus had time to mull over and to look into his own mind. What he found there didn't please him at all.
He increasingly began to feel good in Remus' presence, he liked how he held his hand and he also liked his gentle smile. He somehow liked it that Remus was interested in him, that he perceived him as a human being and even knew how to estimate his abilities. He admonished himself to be careful, he had been disappointed too often.
"So, finished!" Remus' voice brought him back into the present.
"Now it should be better." Severus eyed his hand. From the long, deep cut was only a pale, white line to be seen and the dull throbbing had disappeared. He stretched his fingers, then tried to clench them into a fist. No pain.
"Yes, much better." Again, he met Remus' gentle look. "Thanks."
"My grandma was a healer, she has taught me. If you like, I'll show you how to do it," Remus offered to him.
"Perhaps tomorrow? James and Sirius have a date with two girls in Hogsmeade. I would only disturb the both anyway. We could meet in the transfiguration classroom after breakfast. What do you think?"
Severus became a little bit dizzy. For the first time in his life, he had an appointment with one of his classmates. With difficulty, he tried to keep a preferably composed facial expression and then nodded.
"Okay. Tomorrow. Lovely."
"Okay," Remus passed the list to him, "We better go on before Slughorn catches us while blathering and we get another detention."
In this night, Severus was unable to find sleep. Tomorrow, he would meet Lupin. He only hoped that Lupin had been serious about it… He memorized Lupin's warm smile, his gentle touch and felt a strange prickle in the pit of his stomach. An unusual, but not unpleasant feeling, as he found.
When he could get up the next morning at last, he dressed more carefully than usual and even washed his hair, what earned him some derisive remarks of Lucius Malfoy. Severus merely acknowledged that with a shrug and went to breakfast. Discreetly, he searched for Remus at the Gryffindor table. He caught his look and nodded at him unobtrusively. To hide his sudden blush, he busied himself intensely with his coffee cup. Hastily, he finished his breakfast and then hung around in the entrance hall. Finally, he watched Black and Potter leave the castle, not without calling some derisive remarks at him and he saw how Remus inconspicuously slipped off towards the classrooms. Severus waited a while, to make sure that Potter and Black didn't return, then he followed Lupin. Carefully, he stuck his head into the transfiguration classroom. Remus was inside, sitting on a table and dangling with his long legs. His expression lit up when he saw Severus.
"At last! I was about to think you wouldn't come." Severus squeezed himself through the door crack and leaned against the wall unsurely.
Now I am here. "
"Fine. Should we start at once?" Severus nodded and slowly approached him. Remus wanted to slip off the table, but somehow got caught in his robe and almost would have fallen in front of Severus' feet. In reflex, he caught Remus and kept him pressed against himself for one moment. The close contact confused him and going crimson in the face, he let go of Remus, who was blushing too.
"Thanks." With an unsure laugh, he added: "Now you have blown your chance to test the charm against bruises at the living object. "
Severus grinned just as insecurely back.
"Although: After your accident yesterday you would have to have some, haven't you?" Severus nodded slowly.
"Show me. " He didn't move.
"Please". Hesitatingly, he rolled up his trouser leg.
" Merlin's beard! There you are really heavily smashed. I am really sorry."
An enormous bruise flaunted on Severus' knee, his shin was swollen and shimmered in all colours. Cautiously, Remus glided over the mistreated leg with his fingertips.
"Why haven't you gone to the hospital wing? Poppy would have cured this within seconds." Severus only shrugged.
"Very well. Then pay attention to this!" Remus began to explain him the diverse healing spells and Severus coped surprisingly quick.
"I knew that
you have a bright mind!" Remus praised, as Severus had cured all of
his own injuries and also a few of Remus' scratches. He cast a
glance at the time.
"By golly! It is already lunchtime. Are you hungry?"
"Me neither. Should we go down to the lake? We… We could play chess there," Remus suggested. Severus nodded in relief. He had been afraid of their meeting to be over and to be left again in his loneliness.
"We'll meet outside, okay? I'm just going to fetch the chessboard." Remus emerged out the door. Severus breathed deeply. The prickling sensation in his stomach grew stronger, but Severus decided that it was only hunger and nothing else.
"You can't have fallen in love with Remus," he whispered to himself, "It is impossible." Again, he took a deep breath and made his way out. Like usually, he deliberately ignored the mocking and sneering calls from the others and went up to a hidden place at the waterside.
They spent the whole afternoon together at the lake, hidden of curious looks by a thick shrubbery. They played chess and amazedly, Severus found out that Remus was an equal counterpart to him. Eventually, they ended up talking the entire time about everything and anything, school, the teachers. They let their naked feet hang into the lake and watched the giant squid which lazed around in the sun. For the first time in a long period, Severus had a real talk about real interests. It was the very best afternoon Severus ever had.
When it was time to return to the castle, he felt a deep regret that this wonderful afternoon had already gone by. Together, they packed the little chess canteens back into the box and got up. Severus waited until Remus had put on his shoes and then wanted to give him the chess-play. But instead of accepting the game, he discarded it and seized his hands. Silently, he looked him deep in the eyes and pulled him very close. Gently, he kissed Severus' lips. He stood there motionless, like in a trance and felt how Remus' soft lips touched his own. When they parted after – how it seemed to him – a too short amount of time, Remus confessed with a smile:
"You know, I have wanted to do this for the whole afternoon. See Ya!"
Hastily, he hurried away and left a confused Severus at the lakeshore. Absolutely flabbergasted, he sat down on a big stone. Remus had kissed him, him! Pensively, he led his hand to his lips and sensed this unusual feeling again. And suddenly, he had the uncontrollable desire to laugh out loud. He hadn't experienced such a glad and carefree laugh for a long time. Actually, when he was honest to himself, he had never laughed like this before.
They both had the need to see each other again and they met whenever they could, but always secretly. In an indefinite way, Severus was even gratefully for that, he had already enough mockery to endure, even without this affair. And he was very sure of what his father would think about this kind of relationship. The thought alone filled him with fright and he became ill with fear. Tobias Snape wasn't known for his understanding nature. No, Severus was glad that he didn't have to face this situation for now.
Secretly, they wrote each other small letters to arrange their meetings and long letters during the times between. Severus was still unable to believe it completely, but now he wasn't entirely alone anymore.
Now, at last, there was - finally! - somebody who loved him exactly as he was; there was somebody who was interested in him, in his thoughts and feelings. Suddenly, the life was a pleasure for him. They were making plans for the future, built castles in the air, painted colourful pictures of what they both would do after the school and how fine it would be to live a life together.
Severus was as happy as he had never been before.
But it came how it had to come. Afterwards, Severus cursed himself for his good faith. Remus betrayed him.
Sirius got hold of one of Severus' letters. How this could happen, he never got to know. And, confronted with that letter, Remus had reneged him, had put him into the role of a lovesick moron and pretended that he had never loved Severus and just played a trick on him. He finished his affair with Severus so finally and so thoroughly that half of the students witnessed it. He spread a cruelly disfigured variant of the truth. Remus had twisted it like he, Severus, had ran after him, had bombed him with letters to get his attention and he had only wanted to made a fool out of Severus for his personal amusement. Finally, Severus was so far that he seriously asked himself whether everything had been only a joke or not.
Then, in one night, angry and disappointed, he had burnt Remus' letters one by one.
All, except one. For some reason, he couldn't bring himself to burn that particular letter. Perhaps because it proved that he hadn't just imagined the whole affair. He didn't know, but carefully he rolled up the letter and hid it deep down in his trunk.
Since then, he had never read it again. And never again, he swore, he would make himself that vulnerable again.
He had begun to hate Remus because he had betrayed him. He had hurt him and divulged him to ridiculousness. Sirius he hated even more than before, because he had found that letter and with that had made his life unbearable. And he built up an enormous hate for Potter, because he let him perceive too clearly that he had no right for Remus' love, for anyone's love.
And then, their clever plan to lure him into the Shrieking Shag, pretending that Remus would wait there for him. In his desperation, he had believed that and would have gone to the Shag, unknowing that he would get involved with a werewolf. But James Potter had gotten cold feet and got in the way. With his cowardice, he had saved his life. And for that, Severus now hated him more than ever….
"Severus? Are you still there?" Lupin still sat in front of him, on the shabby old couch and peered at him searchingly. Snape surfaced from his memories and looked at him in a irritated way.
"What," he snapped.
"You have been far away. "
And not for a short time, he realised. In the meantime, the sun had sunk down. He must have been sitting here for an eternity, mulling over his memories. Snape put down his glass and fixed a distrustful gaze upon Lupin.
"Why do you wish to apologize now?
After all these years?"
"Well, over the years I come to brood. You know, James is dead, Sirius is dead. Devil alone knows what became of Peter. It's just the two of us now. Only you and me. And it seemed important to me." Lupin took a sip of whine.
"You took it so damned calm then. Nearly unconcerned. And I believed – or the more I WANTED to believe that you really didn't care about that much. Cause I wasn't feeling that miserable when I believed that." Lupin was quiet for a moment and then he leaned forward and searched for Snape's eyes in the flickering light of the lamp.
"But then I started at Hogwarts. I got that job you always wanted. And I've realised how filled with bitterness you were. And I knew that your bitterness couldn't be only because of that job thing. And I've seen how great your anger and disappointment still were, after all these years. You still were so rooted to that story that you would have handed Sirius over to the Dementors without listening to him. Disappointed and even vengeful enough to spill the beans about me. To divulge that I am a werewolf. And you were angry enough to feel only satisfaction about Sirius' death. And that scared me, Severus. Because it is entirely my fault."
Snape opened his mouth to say something about that, but Lupin interrupted him.
"Listen to me first. Afterwards you can still throw me out if you want to."
Snape nodded silently.
"I've hurt you. I've betrayed you and I've disappointed you. I have taken away what mattered the most to you: Your dignity. And your feeling of being loved. I know that. And I also know that I can't turn back the clock. But you have to believe me, Severus. I have really loved you. Every word I've written was nothing more or less than the truth. But I was a coward, too cowardly to vouch for it. I was afraid to be pilloried in the same way like you. And I was afraid that somebody might find out that I am a werewolf, a monster. What if one of my friends had divulged it? I wouldn't have been able to stay at Hogwarts. No other school would have accepted me. But what I was most afraid of was that you would find out the truth. That you would find out what I am. And that you would leave me because of that. When Sirius found your letter, I … I saw no other way but to react in the way I did. And you have to believe me that I didn't know anything about that insane idea to lure you to the howling hut."
Severus cut in: "I know. I have heard about it, at that time when Sirius fled from Azkaban."
"And whether you believe me or not, Severus, I regret that I betrayed you. I regret it every single damned day."
Lupin's voice had a pleading undertone.
"And now say something, please."
"Well, Remus. I would have never thought that you would have the nerve to mention this subject ever again. And also, I would never have expected to hear an excuse from your trap for it, never mind an explanation." Snape was silent, he was only too aware of Lupin's look.
Should I once again dare to trust him? Should I believe that he's talking seriously? I would really like to. He knows me far too well. But perhaps… Snape thought and squared his shoulders. He went on as if that break had resulted naturally.
"You hurt me very much back then and I was really pissed off. And that's putting it mildly. Do you know that I actually hated you for that? For everything you've done to me? You have given something to me that is natural for others: Love. You showed me what it means to love and to be loved. And then you took it away from me, just like that. As if Severus Snape is not worth to be loved. As if I am no human with feelings and longings. After that, the solitude was much more difficult to bear… Perhaps that is why I turned to the Death Eaters, to Voldemort. To be powerful enough to take vengeance on everyone. If I wasn't allowed to love, then I was permitted to hate. As a Death Eater, I learned to cultivate my hate. But eventually, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted. I didn't enjoy to slay, to torture, to crucify, because I've learned it the hard way. I was dreaded as a Death Eater, but I was lonelier than ever. Again I was the other, the outsider. Again, I was the one who didn't belong to the others, but this time I have paid my mistake by loosing my innocence, the peace of my mind. To expiate my actions, I offered to become Dumbledore's spy, a double agent. Now I've finally fallen between all stools. Halfway here, halfway there, but I belong nowhere," Snape finished his words very quietly, as if he was afraid that someone would listen.
"Severus, you just don't make it easy for the most people to like you. Your cold, condescending, arrogant ways intimidates the people around you and put them off. But that's it, isn't it? Nobody comes close enough to hurt you again like that. Only Dumbledore. Dumbledore stood close enough to you," Lupin fell silent.
"And I had to kill him," Snape answered quietly.
"Sure, they have cleared me of all charges, but that doesn't help anything about my guilt. It doesn't help with my pain," his voice sounded frail and for the first time in all these years, he appeared aged to Lupin.
"But sometimes, I think that the risk might have been worthwhile. To trust someone, I mean. " Now Snape threw all caution off the wind.
"Yes, perhaps," Lupin agreed.
"Perhaps I would have been betrayed again, as from you!"
Only a tired breath of sarcasm resonated in his voice, which hit Lupin more than biting sneering could have.
"I guess I deserve it," Lupin smiled sadly.
"Certainly!" Snape's voice sounded sharper. He sipped his whine and clenched his glass.
"I cannot tell you that I forgive you. For that, my pain and my fury sit too deeply. But I thank you for this opportunity - and your explanation." Snape got up, stepped to his bookshelves and his eyes wandered searchingly over the shelves. Finally, he pulled out an old, yellowish role of parchment and threw it in Lupin's lap.
"I guess for today everything is said and I would appreciate if you'd leave now."
Lupin took the parchment und stood up. Snape escorted him to the door and Lupin left the house. Before Snape slammed the door shut behind him, he snapped:
"If you have nothing better to do, we could play chess on Friday evening."
Lupin turned around and grinned in relief.
"I will come around eight."
The door closed with a loud noise. Lupin walked up the street until he was out of sight, then he positioned himself under a streetlight and unfolded the parchment. He found out that he knew this letter. With a quiet smile, he read it:
Every satellite and every moon needs a planet which it can circle and which holds it in its orbit. A planet which holds it on course, but doesn't blockade it.
A planet which centres the sun with it together and which sees not only the bright beautiful side, but also the dark, pock-marked; the side with the deep craters and dark ravines.
What would the moon be without the Earth?
An aimlessly wandering, cold stone block, without a clear direction, unprotected to ion storms and meteor showers, lost in the infinite vastness of the cold, black universe.
You are such a moon for me and you also need a planet with which you can circle safely round the sun.
I am not as big as Saturn or Jupiter, more a cosmic dwarf like Mercury or Pluto, but perhaps I have enough gravity to keep a small moon on course?
Severus, my heart, do you want to be my moon?
And underneath stood in Snape's tidy, small handwriting:
"I could not wish for a more beautiful planet….
With love, Your Severus."
Carefully, he folded the letter and stored it safely away in his pocket.
"The human is the wolf to the human" or "Every man is the enemy to every man".