Disclaimer: Severus Snape and Remus Lupin and all the other denizens of Hogwarts do not belong to me, mores the pity. They are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. No monetary gain is sought from this story, only enjoyment.
This story is a sequel to Bound By The Moon, and is set in July, approximately seven months after the first story. Characters thoughts are shown in* Italics*.
(At least they're supposed to be in Italics. Apparently Fanfiction.net is not overly fond of a lot of Italics so look for the *'s at the beginning and end of sections to also indicate thoughts. Sorry.)
Shadow Of The Moon
Chapter 1: A Cure Or Not A Cure, That's Only Half the Question
Severus Snape stood at the window and admired the beauty of the sunrise. The delicate blending of the colors, the peace of the early morning…the sheer joy of being alive to appreciate it!
He snorted to himself as he sipped his coffee. Life teaches new appreciations when you least expect them.
*I'd always thought of myself as a creature of the night…more comfortable and alive in the darkness. I enjoyed the solitude and peace to be found in the deep hours of the night when most of those around me were oblivious. How foolishly romantic of me! There's nothing like coming face to face with a true creature of the night to end such an insipient notion. The night will always have its attractions, I suppose, but I certainly don't relish existing then and only then. No…daytime definitely has far more appeal for me now. Ah well…no point in dwelling on things that thankfully didn't occur. Learn the lesson and move on. Don't dwell on the past.*
He lifted his cup up to the sun.
*Here's to you, Jenni. May you rest in peace. Better you than me.*
He drained the last of the coffee from his cup and placed it carelessly on the table next to him. The house elves would take care of it, just like they took care of every other mundane and boring thing in the house. Confidently he walked out of his dining room and down the hall into the back of the house. Ready to start his day, he flung open the door to his lab and entered determinedly, rolling up the sleeves of his white cotton shirt. Here in the privacy of his own home, he didn't feel the need to maintain the more formal attire he wore when he was at Hogwarts. In so many ways, it was good to be home. Between the demands of Voldemort and Dumbledore the opportunity to come home seemed more elusive than ever, so he meant to enjoy every moment of this brief respite from his usual responsibilities and concentrate on something with meaning for him.
The first thing he did was to go over to the French doors onto the terrace and open them to let in the fresh sea air. His home overlooked the ocean, but for most of the year he was prevented from enjoying it. Although he'd never admit it out loud, it was a relief to be out of the cold and gloom of the dungeons for awhile. The sound of the waves was soothing and pure. It clearly aided his concentration and focus. His research always took a leap forward whenever he had the freedom to return home for a time, well, perhaps not always. Unfortunately, the current topic of his research doesn't seem to have been greatly aided by his being here.
Turning to his workbench by the window, Snape picked up a small bottle containing an amber fluid and studied it thoughtfully.
*Well, here it is…the main result of more than 6 months of work. I'm pretty sure it's what I've been searching for…so why aren't I more pleased about it? I'm reluctant to actually try it out on a real werewolf. Why? If it works it'll be far more useful than the Wolfsbane Potion. Werewolves would be able to suppress their transformations all together. This is a good thing…isn't it?*
He frowned and turned the bottle around in his hand. *Yes…they'd also be able to trigger a transformation anytime they wanted to, and that would definitely not be an improvement. As much as I hate to admit it, for someone like Lupin, this would be a benefit. He could live as a normal person for the first time since he was a small child. Can I in good conscience deny him that chance?*
Snape snorted to himself. *Hell, yes. If the alternative is to allow the less scrupulous werewolves of the world to kill and pillage at will!
Lupin aside, most werewolves would not be governed by their better selves if given this opportunity. There must be a way to adapt this potion so it could be used to suppress a change, but not to trigger one. I can't let this one be used. It's simply too dangerous…if it got out, werewolves would be more of a danger than ever. I refuse to be responsible for that! Not to mention that the ingredients are very harsh. It's possible that it could be addictive…even deadly over time. Not that the extermination of werewolves isn't a worthy goal…at least most werewolves.*
Annoyed at himself for his indecision, he replaced the potion on the bench and paced back over and through the French doors, going out onto the terrace. Where he stood staring unseeingly at the waves rushing the shore, as his thoughts continued in a similarly turbulent manner.
*This has all been so frustrating. When I started this line of research I was so hopeful. The information I'd obtained from Slytherin's Castle seemed like exactly what I needed. That, combined with the insights I'd gotten from my reluctantly closer contact with Lupin, should have resulted in something useful and safe. At least the Wolfsbane Potion, for all its limitations, forces a mind back into the beast. It forces a werewolf to take responsibility for the horrors it produces. But this potion is safe for no one and far too useful for the unscrupulous!*
*Damn it! If only I'd been able to retain possession of that book of Slytherin's. I was too careless…too eager. If I'd listened to Lupin and we'd left earlier, I might've gotten my hands on it for long enough to have actually learned something helpful. I guess it's a case of my usual conditioning actually working to my detriment for a change. Who'd ever have thought it would be advantageous to truly listen to a Gryffindor!* He snorted and shook his head in disgust.
*So instead I'm forced to make do with the bits and pieces that I could cull from my brief contact with it, along with what I can squeeze out of Slytherin's notebook. There's a frustrating piece of work! Everytime he eludes to something of value he refers to that benighted book in his precious private library…as if anyone who reads his notebook would naturally also have access to that other book!*
*I wonder if there's any chance that anything of value remains in that castle? Perhaps it's worth going back and taking another look. It couldn't hurt I suppose. I'm just going around in circles here.*
Snape sighed and returned to his lab. His eyes drifting to the locked cabinet against the far wall. Slowly he walked across the lab to stare through the glass door at another bottle…this one full of a golden fluid. The second result of his Lycanthropy studies…the cure.
*A cure or not a cure…would I ever dare to let anyone try it and find out? It certainly seems to nullify the effect of werewolf saliva on wizard blood. It might not help a pure blooded Muggle, but it should have some effect on any true wizard. It might be quite effective for anyone who was newly bitten…but what about anyone who'd been a werewolf for a long time? If it would even work at all, the effect could be quite deleterious. What would be the result of having a major part of yourself destroyed?*
*Lupin is so hell-bent on being "cured"; I don't think he's really thought about how much of who he is has been shaped by the wolf. His strength of will, his ability to act on his convictions, his determination…all of these things are likely greatly influenced by the wolf in his personality. He has no idea what kind of person he'd be without the wolf…perhaps it'd be an improvement…perhaps not. That lost book seemed to indicate that a cure should be approached very carefully…most likely because of this total integration of personalities.*
*It seems I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Another trip to Romania seems like the only way to be sure there's nothing of value left there. There's a cheerful thought...better invest in a silver dagger and some garlic.*
Suddenly a house elf appeared in the doorway to the laboratory. Hesitantly she attempted to gain the attention of her master, always a dangerous thing to do when he's involved in his work. Of course, it can be hard to tell if the master is working or not. Sometimes apparently he works without doing anything…simply stands there and thinks. How is an elf supposed to tell the difference between someone who is deep in thinking work and someone who is merely daydreaming? Oh well…when in doubt, always assume that the master is busy, even if there is no evidence to that effect. It's always the safer choice!
"Master Snape, sir? I is sorry to be bothering you, sir, but there is someone who wishes to see you at the door, sir. They say it's being very important, sir."
Snape turned from the cabinet to frown at the elf. *What is her name? Oh, yes.*
"Really, Winty. Did they happen to give a name and say why they felt their interruption of my privacy was important?"
The elf flinched slightly. "No, Master Snape, sir. They definitely did not, sir. Just that they needed to be seeing you immediately, sir."
Snape sighed. If he spent any more time at home he'd really need to consider human servants. House elves may be loyal and useful in their way, but they had decided limitations.
"Very well, Winty. I'll be right there. Ask the visitor to wait in the front parlor."
The elf turned and vanished thankfully.
Snape followed more slowly, trying to figure out who'd be bothering him here at home. Hoping it had nothing to do with Voldemort, he turned in to the front parlor and found his answer sitting in an easy chair.
Remus Lupin, wearing casual tan slacks and a light summer shirt, smiled a wide smile. "Hello, Severus. Albus tells me you've found a cure for Lycanthropy after all!"