This fiction is rated T for violence, up to and including some heartbreaking child abuse. It is also rated for language, though not too much and not overly graphic. There are also instances of implied pedophilia (again, nothing graphic) but consider yourself warned. There is plenty of blood and pain in this story, and there is a fair bit of nudity, though not pertaining to anything sexual.
With all those warnings, I proudly present my first Harry Potter Fan-Fiction: Child of the Dark Moon.
(Disclaimer: don't own, never will, don't plan to. Doing it just for fun. In fact, I don't even own a copy of the Harry Potter books. I read them at the library.)
Chapter 1: Hunter's Moon
Harry-Hunting was never fun, except for the hunters. The whoops and teasing jeers of the bigger boys were close on his heels as Harry fled like a rabbit through the park at the far end of Privet Drive. His legs were short, but he was very good at evading his hunters, especially because he had been doing this for years. He shoved his glasses up on his sweaty nose and pumped his skinny arms harder, his breath coming in hoarse gasps. If he could just avoid Dudley and his goons for a few more seconds, his fat cousin would get tired and call off the chase. Then Harry would be free to circle back to number 4 on Privet Drive, where he lived with his Aunt and Uncle, and their son.
The scrawny, dark-haired, eight-year-old had been sent out to call his cousin Dudley in for supper, but the much bigger boy had initiated a game of Harry-Hunting with his mates instead. Heart pounding, breath coming in ragged gasps; Harry scrambled over the park's little brick wall and fled across a street without looking where he was going. On the other side, he crashed into a thorny hedge that snagged at his clothes and tore his skin. Scrambling through, Harry fell down in shaggy grass that badly needed mowing and watering. He sat up, breathless and bewildered, finding himself behind the hedge; facing a row of shabby-looking houses he had never seen before. The undersized boy hesitated to get back on his feet, wondering suddenly which way was home. He felt a queer sense of panic as he realized that he was lost. Harry-Hunting in the schoolyard was alright in itself, because the school building was so big he couldn't miss it. But here, the spiny hedge had blocked his view of the street he had just crossed and everything beyond it, and these shabby houses with their chain-link fences did not look very nice. He shivered, hoping that the Harry-hunters didn't catch him here. He didn't think any of these neighbours would care if Dudley and his buddies found him and started beating him up. Most likely, they would enjoy the show, like most of the other kids at school.
Wiping blood from the scratches on his face, Harry turned to the little hole he had smashed through the hedge and slowly wriggled back through, being careful this time not to scratch himself. On the other side, he peeked first to make sure the coast was clear. Dudley and his chums were nowhere to be seen, which was good. As long as he hid quickly enough, they were usually too stupid to find him. Who knows where they were now. Harry sighed and squirmed all the way through the hedge, shivering as a chilly breeze raised goose bumps on his bony arms. It was a bit cold for this time of year, the middle of spring, as night fell. Harry stood up and brushed himself off before he looked up and checked the street. He wasn't stupid enough to rush across without looking both ways. There were no cars to be seen, and he scampered back over to the park.
The back side of the park was trees and jogging trails, unlike the side that faced the neighbourhood. That side was much nicer with the playground, the flowers, and the benches. But there were more places to hide among the trees and little trails. Carefully, Harry hurried along the crunching bark-strewn path, keeping a wary eye out for his cousin or the other hunters. It was getting dark fast, and the moon was already shining brightly, even though it was still early. A much colder wind blew suddenly, and Harry shivered, hugging his thin arms tightly. Was he even going the right way? The full moon glared down at everything, making the shadows harsh and the light strange. Everything looked so different.
The Wolf was angry. It had been ages since the Man had made the mistake of locking them in a flimsy structure guarded by feeble magic incapable of containing the Wolf's fury. Free at last, the Wolf tore through the trees, ravaging a rabbit and an owl just because he could, the latter caught by sheer luck as it was diving on a field mouse. The Man was powerless on this night, the night of the blessed moon. The beautiful silver face shone down, gifting the Wolf with pure sight and mighty strength. He could feel the Man struggling deep inside, but the Wolf laughed. You have had your fun controlling us for years, the Wolf thought fiercely. Tonight is my night. Punish me tomorrow if you must, but you know that we are one. Punishing the one inflicts pain on the other. I don't care. I intend to be a Wolf tonight, and you cannot stop me!
The scent of humanity was close, along with the stench of their roads and machines. The thought of human blood was enough to make the Wolf half-mad, and he ran toward the smell of the man-settlement. Slinking through the trees, the Wolf burst across the black, hard road that smelled like burnt oil, and slunk along a different road. This one seemed older, and there were holes that he had to be careful of. The Man inside was feebly attempting to stop him from going further, but strong as the man was, tonight the Wolf was a hundred times more powerful. Following his instincts, the Wolf lifted his nose and sniffed the cool night breeze. The scent of young humans not far away drifted toward his sensitive nostrils. Barely able to contain his excitement, the Wolf turned to face the moon and released the hunting call of his people.
A chilling sound on the air suddenly made the little boy freeze in horror. It was the clear howl of a wolf, and it sounded rather close.
But that's ridiculous, Harry thought wildly, wondering if his ears were playing tricks on him. There weren't any wild wolves in England anymore. It was probably just a dog. Just some howling dog that happened to sound a lot like those wolves on the television shows. Still, it didn't hurt to be cautious, and Harry broke into a run, following the little trail through the trees that ought to take him back to the playground, and from there he could find his way back to Privet Drive easily enough. His heart pounded hard, although Harry scolded himself for being such a coward. Still, he would feel much safer when he was locked in his cupboard.
When Harry emerged from the darkening trees, panting and looking about wildly for Privet Drive and Magnolia Crescent, he found himself in an unfamiliar place yet again. The street was dark, except for the full moon, and there weren't even any houses on the other side of the wide road. He paused, biting his lip nervously. What if he was truly lost and never found his way home? He was already late bringing Dudley back inside, and he'd be in trouble regardless, but if he was lost all night long and Aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon had to come find him … Harry shivered. He didn't want to think about what would happen. He would not like the consequences, that much was certain. He was already going to be locked in his cupboard without supper; he didn't want another thrashing on top of that. He winced when he thought of the one he had gotten just the day before yesterday. His freakishness had made him jump on top of the school's gym somehow, during another stupid game of Harry-hunting, and Uncle Vernon was one of the few people who knew what really happened. The firefighters who got him down thought he climbed up somehow for a prank. He had been really thrashed that time, with his pants down. In fact, his bottom was still pretty sore. Nobody understood that he couldn't control the freak-power, and that he had just been trying to get away from Dudley and Piers and the rest. He was really tired of his cousin always chasing him down just to beat him up, and then he was the one who got in trouble. It really wasn't fair.
Harry was startled out of his frightened thoughts by a horrified scream from not very far away. Several more boyish screams quickly overlapped it, and Harry realized that his cousin and the rest of the Harry-hunters were actually right up the street from him. He ran along the sidewalk that bordered the trees until he could see them clearly. The three boys were trying to climb a very high, rickety-looking board fence around some abandoned lot. But Dudley was too fat, and his two chums were screaming and crying too much to help each other. The moon glared down on the pitiful scene, and Harry very nearly screamed himself. Between him and the three terrified boys trying to climb the fence, was the biggest dog he had ever seen in his life. It was shaggy and brown, with a long, furry tail, and spiky raised hackles. It was snarling in a low growl and stalking toward the three boys with lethal grace.
"Help!" Dudley squealed, falling over on his back and waving his stumpy limbs around like a fallen turtle. "Help me! HEEELLLLPP!"
The huge dog, or the wolf, as Harry preferred to think of it now, snarled loudly and lunged forward. The two other boys managed to cut and run in opposite directions, screaming all the way. They left Dudley on the pavement, sobbing with fright, screaming and thrashing about in his efforts to get back on his feet. But he was too overweight to rise easily.
Harry's heart jumped into his throat, and without even thinking, he ran toward the wolf that was going to eat his cousin, screaming and waving his arms to get its attention. It worked! The shaggy brown beast spun to face him, growling louder. Its scarred face was terrifying. The beast's eyes were bright red, and its canine head seemed off-kilter somehow, even with the three slash-like scars across its muzzle. There was some sort of terrifying intelligence in the face and in the eyes that made Harry skid to a horrified halt in the middle of the pot-holed street, wondering why in the world he thought it was a good idea to charge at a giant demon wolf without a weapon, or a plan.
Bracing himself for impact, the small boy screamed, "Run Dudley! Run!"
He didn't look to see if his fat cousin obeyed. Instead, he picked up a loose piece of asphalt and threw it in the wolf's direction to keep it distracted. Unluckily for him, his aim was off and the chunk of black rock hit the beast in the face instead of flying over its shoulder. The boy's green eyes widened behind his glasses as the giant canine roared in fury, making his ears ring, and it sprang toward him in a fluid leap. Harry spun on his heel and ran, but he couldn't outrun the wolf. It was on him in an instant, and the claws caught him, knockinghim down on his face in the street. His glasses flew off and agony erupted in his back and sides as the claws ripped into his flesh. Harry screamed in pain and terror, and fought back with all his strength, squirming and flailing. The wolf ripped open more wounds trying to pin him down, nearly making Harry pass out from the pain. As the small boy struggled and tried to wriggle away, the wolf's huge head descended and its giant mouth opened. Harry screamed again as the sharp teeth clamped onto his shoulder, ripping through muscle and causing his bones to crack under the pressure. The wounds burned as if acid was being poured on them, or maybe the wolf's mouth was full of acid; Harry didn't know or care. All he knew was that it hurt so bad and he wanted it to stop right now! Something deep inside the boy's body cracked loose in a wave of heat and pressure, and the wolf was inexplicably thrown up into the air. It actually yelped as it came down hard, over two dozen feet down the old road.
The beast didn't come back, and Harry lay still, shuddering with pain and shock and blood loss. He was reasonably certain that his freak powers had come to his rescue at last, but he would probably die of his wounds anyway. He had no idea how badly he was hurt, only that the pain he was in rivaled his uncle's worst thrashing or the Harry-Hunters' worst beating, and it was steadily worsening. Like a poison spreading through his blood, he felt as if his body had caught on fire and was burning up from the inside out. Harry barely knew that he was still screaming and writhing in pain, and that a puddle of his own blood was rapidly forming under him. Everything faded from his consciousness and he mercifully fell into blackness.
Severus Snape usually did not get drunk. That being said, he only occasionally over-imbibed to the point that apparition was a tricky thing that he probably shouldn't attempt. On nights like this, an anniversary best spent in a stupor of muggle alcohol, (they sure knew how to get a man drunk fast, didn't they?) Snape frequented various pubs around the country, never the same one twice in a row, and never again on the same anniversary. Call him paranoid, but he would really rather not bump into anyone he actually knew on these awful nights when he indulged in a little weakness. Little Whinging was a posh little town, but it still had its seedy parts. A disreputable pub known as the Cloak and Dagger on one of its darker back streets had provided him with a glass of something they called the Gullet-Torcher. Severus was not certain that he had been in control of his mental faculties when he accepted such a drink, as it had lived up to its name and set him on fire inside. He was still burning quite uncomfortably. But it had done its job well, and got him into a fuzzy state of mind rather quickly. After getting into a fight with a belligerent muggle thug who tried to rob him right outside the door, (and winning, of course) he purposefully marched back through the dim streets to find a deserted place where he could discreetly summon the Knight Bus. Spinner's End was calling him, along with a glass of Firewhiskey which, despite its name, might tamp down the fire raging in his gut and complete his journey into sweet oblivion. Passing out at home was better than in public. He may not know these stupid muggles, but he certainly wasn't about to humiliate himself in front of them regardless.
It was late, and the moon was full, and that alone made his walk easier, since he could see where he was going, and he could also see that two of the idiot would-be robber's friends were tailing him. The dark-haired man fingered his wand in its sleeve-holster, wondering idly if he should do this the quick and easy way, or whether he was entitled to a bit of fun. Severus stepped out of the darker street and onto a more open road in obvious ill-repair. Trees lined the far side of the street, and a wooden fence ran along his side. He stepped onto the sidewalk and cast a discreet charm over his shoulder that let him know if those two idiots were still following him. They were, but they had stopped while still in the relative shadow of the dim street he had just left. Out here in the open, the full moon lit up everything and they were probably discussing whether or not to follow him out where the advantage of darkness would be gone. Snape shrugged and decided that those two morons just got lucky. He quickly cast several confundus charms behind him at the two would-be muggers and a quick notice-me-not on himself, and he sauntered off down the brightly lit road, aiming for a spot better hidden from prying eyes. The big purple bus he planned to summon was rather noticeable.
Something in the middle of the street caught his eye and he slowed to a halt. Snape peered at the huddled little bundle lying quite still in the road and wondered if it was road-kill. It was likely an unfortunate dog or cat that got hit by a car, he surmised. With a shrug, he moved on, but something made him stop and look back at it. The little bundle seemed so pitiful and vulnerable lying there, and he mused that it looked a little big for a cat, while the shape was all wrong for a dog. Cursing the curiosity that he was born with, (and that was infinitely worse when he'd had a few drinks) Severus Snape marched out into the deserted street to inspect the dark bundle.
It wasn't an unfortunate pet after all. It was a child.
The tall man blanched with horror and immediately crouched down beside the unconscious, possibly dead, child. It was a small, dark-haired boy, maybe seven years old, covered with blood. His clothes were dark in color, and too large for him, but he could tell that they were torn and soaked through. The boy was practically lying in a puddle of the liquid and he was so very white and still. Was he dead? Snape touched the child's neck for a pulse, not expecting one. He wondered why he was so relieved when he felt a tiny flutter of life there, and the faintest breath from the child's parted lips. Severus Snape was not supposed to care about children, and he wasn't supposed to be pleading with the non-existent fates to spare him the awkward tragedy of discovering a dead, blood-covered little boy. He blamed the alcohol for his maudlin attitude, and set to work at once. The potions Professor yanked off his dark cloak and rummaged around in the pockets for a bottle of sober-up potion, which he always carried on these depressing nights in case he had to get sober again fast. He enjoyed being slightly intoxicated on nights of terrible memories, but this was an emergency. He needed to get this poor child to a hospital, and that required him to be fully cognizant. Once he downed the slimy, disgusting brew, his head cleared at once and the fire in his belly eased considerably. He dropped the cloak around the child, and moved to gently picked him up. As the boy's head tilted and his pale, thin face was illuminated by the silvery moonlight, Snape noticed a strange marking on the white forehead. The child's face was rather scratched up. It looked like he had gotten in a fight with a thornbush, (and lost, Snape smirked) but whatever was on his forehead was not a scratch. Frowning, he reached up and brushed aside the thick black hair, and froze. The 'strange marking' was a scar, shaped like a lightning bolt. Only one boy in the entire world had such a perfect, and defining, mark.
Harry bloody Potter. Literally.
Snape wondered what he had done to earn such rotten luck, and impulsively wished he had not taken that sober-up potion. He very much preferred to be fuzzily drunk at the moment. But since that wasn't an option, he cursed in five different languages before he carefully stood up with the child. Potter's spawn or not, he was still a child in grave danger. He was about to disapparate, but then he hesitated. What to do with the brat? He needed medical attention, but would it be prudent to take him to a muggle hospital? Or should he take the boy to St. Mungo's? Or could he take him to Madam Pomfrey at Hogwarts? It was getting close to the end of term, so her infirmary ought to be mostly empty. But Snape paused. The child in his arms was so light, and so bony. He was too thin and too small for his age, which was approximately nine years old in a few short months. He ought to know since he was celebrating Lily's non-existent twenty-eighth birthday today. If he took the child to any public institution, Dumbledore would be sure to know, and Snape wanted to find out for himself why his senses were screaming at him to take care of the boy himself. He usually obeyed his instincts, and in this case, he decided that if Dumbledore had not sent help to the boy by now, he wasn't ever going to.
But to take care of the boy himself! Severus Snape laughed at his thoughts. It was ludicrous! Need he remind himself that he hates children? Especially messy children who got into trouble, and he hates the Potter brat more than all the children in the entire world because he happens to represent everything that's messed up about his entire life?! With a pained groan, Snape finally obeyed the little nagging voice in his head and he twisted in place, clutching the child tightly to his chest, disapparating to Spinner's End. He would figure out that stupid little thing he seemed to have grown called a 'conscience' later. For now, he would just assess the damage, see if he could tell how the boy got hurt, and take it from there. If the boy needed a qualified Healer or a muggle doctor, he would do what he needed to do. But he was a Potions Master for Merlin's sake, and he had gotten his medi-wizard certification last year. Surely he could take care of a few little cuts.
Snape arrived at his home's designated apparition point, which was in the back garden overlooking the muddy, polluted river that ran past the old factory. He hurried to his back door, muttering his unlocking charms as he went. Not being able to grab his wand, he gathered a bundle of wandless magic inside himself and directed it at the house to alert the wards that he had a guest and that the boy would now be protected under the same wards as the owner, (himself of course). The door banged open harder than it would have if he had simply used his wand, but he really didn't care. Another burst of wandless magic threw the cloth off the dining table and he gently laid the unconscious child down on the glossy wooden table. He yanked out his wand, flicked on the lights, closed the back door, and assessed the boy's condition. His wand danced in diagnostic charms until a parchment popped out of thin air and began scribbling on its own. Snape grabbed the parchment and scanned the results of his quick scan. As he had suspected, the child was dangerously close to death from blood loss, his body temperature was low, and the wounds were … leaching magical energy?
Snape scowled. This was not good. Not good at all. If the boy's wounds were magical in nature, this could mean a dozen different things, all of them horribly bad. He thought the supposed blood wards on the boy were supposed to protect him from danger and magical threats. No matter. He would figure it out later. At the moment, the boy needed his blood levels stabilized more than anything. Severus Snape left the child on the table and ran to his lab in the basement. He rolled up his sleeves and scrubbed his hands as clean as he could get them before he snatched up an empty bottle, which he transfigured into a box for holding potions. He spent a minute gathering pain-killing and bruise-healing salves for when he dressed the wounds, dittany essence to close the wounds themselves, blood replenishing potions, fever reducers, painkillers, antibiotics, and a rare bottle of magical core replenisher. It was very expensive to make, extremely rare, and was one of only four bottles he owned, but a child Potter's size would not survive long with those wounds draining his magical core. Severus sighed wistfully as he grabbed the silvery liquid from the shelf, but he did not allow himself to wallow in sentiment when a child needed him right now.
The Potions Master dashed back upstairs and snapped out a wandless spell to make the lights overhead a bit brighter. He felt an uneasy clench in his stomach when he saw that his black cloak, wrapped around the bundled child, was even darker with blood stains, and he could see more dark blood beginning to pool on the table. Snape didn't even bother to look down at his shirt. He knew it was blood-stained now as well. He summoned a small table and put his box of potions down, before snatching up the first one: a dark red blood replenisher. For the next several minutes, he carefully poured blood replenishers down the unconscious boy's throat. Thankfully, his swallow reflex still worked, and Severus was skilled enough in the technique to do it without much trouble. Despite being unconscious, the boy cooperated beautifully, for which he was grateful. Once Snape was certain that Potter would not die from bleeding out, he went upstairs to fetch other medical supplies. He returned with a roll of gauze and bandages under one arm, and scissors and a sponge and bowl for cleaning the cuts in the other. Magically inflicted wounds would not be healed very quickly, and although he could seal the wounds and prevent infection with potions, he would be forced to treat them much as a muggle would. He would have to clean the wounds very carefully, and then use bandages until they healed themselves.
Carefully, Severus unwrapped the limp child. Layer by layer, he peeled the blood-soaked clothes off him, using a few careful cuts with the scissors to get the stiff shirt away from the boy's chest. When he could finally see the damage, he stopped, aghast. Even though he had seen the amount of blood, he had not truly believed it was so bad. The child had apparently been mauled by some sort of animal. The claw marks on his ribs and all the way down his left side, and the horrible bites marks on his shoulder were deep and bleeding heavily. What on earth could have attacked the boy in a quiet little muggle neighbourhood? Severus shook his head. First order of business: save the child's life. After that, (if he ever regained consciousness) he could ask the boy himself. Quickly, he set to work, giving the boy another blood replenishing potion and a strong painkiller. He knew from experience how much the dittany would burn. But it would stop the bleeding anyway, and mostly seal the wounds until they healed on their own. He filled the bowl with a quick aguamenti, and picked up the sponge. He cleaned the deep gashes gently with cool water, and the boy twitched a few times, but he didn't move much otherwise. Snape grabbed the bottle of dittany and sighed as he gazed at the expensive green liquid. He would be using almost the entire bottle on the boy; forty galleons down the drain. Oh well.
Snape dripped the liquid carefully over the wounds. The boy squirmed slightly and a soft noise came from his throat. The potion smoked when it made contact with the exposed flesh, and the peculiar smell of dittany and burning blood filled the kitchen. Slowly, reluctantly, the gashes closed and stopped bleeding so profusely, but they didn't heal completely. He finished with the boy's front and spread some soothing murtlap salve over the wounds that were still criss-crossing the boy's chest and side. The child moaned softly at the man's touch, and his throat sounded quite raw. Snape shook his head and wondered how long Potter had screamed before he blacked out. And how in the world was he still alive, anyway? And where had his attacker gone? The potions Professor shook his head again and reminded himself to be patient. The boy would tell him when he woke up, and not before. He still had to treat the wounds on the child's back anyway.
Severus carefully turned the boy over onto his stomach with a quick mobilicorpus, and examined the gashes on his bony shoulders and side, and the wounds on his shoulder. It was quite a nasty bite, and he scowled as he prodded the boy's left shoulder gently. The shoulder-blade felt broken, along with some of the other bones in the area. Whatever bit him had some very strong jaws. He would need some skele-gro from his lab, but he could get it later. For now, he had to clean the gashes on the boy's back. Judging from the scrapes on Potter's palms and face, he had been tackled from behind. The bite looked to be from behind as well, and it was on the same side as the worst gashes that went from the boy's ribs all the way down his left side to his thigh. He carefully cut off the rest of the boy's clothes and stopped, frowning in consternation. The boy's bottom and the backs of his thighs, and even his lower back, were quite heavily bruised and painful to look at, and it had nothing to do with the other wounds. In fact, the bruises and swollen welts looked at least a day old, maybe more. It appeared as if he'd been thrashed rather brutally with a belt. The long, black-and-blue wheals across the boy's pale, blood-streaked skin brought back unpleasant distant memories of times when his own backside was decorated in the same manner. Snape shivered and thrust the memories away. Most likely the brat had deserved it. Sometimes all a child needed was a good thrashing to set them straight. But gone was his resentful fantasy of an arrogant, spoiled-rotten child coming to Hogwarts next year. At least his guardians disciplined the boy, even if it seemed a little harsh on the skin. Even so, he spread some murtlap salve and bruise-healing paste over the wheals, which would take down the swelling and soreness quite a bit. The boy had enough pain without having to deal with a tanned bottom as well.
The Potions Master shook his head free of distracting thoughts and busily finished cleaning the gashes. Once that was done, he dripped dittany on the still bleeding wounds, flicking his wand to dispel the smoky potion fumes that were gathering around his head. Once he had sealed all of the wounds, Snape stepped back with a sigh. He hadn't realized how tense he had become while he was working, and his muscles ached. The naked child lying face-down on his dining table looked so frail and thin. The boy's skin was deathly white, stretched disturbingly tight over his skeleton, exposing every bone. He briefly wondered why the boy was so scrawny, and immediately dismissed the thought. The child was likely a picky eater with too much energy to burn. The Professor turned on his heel and hurried back down to his lab for more blood replenishing potions and a bottle of skele-gro.
When he got back, he was greeted by the child's hoarse whimpers and moans of agony. Hurrying over and snatching up another pain potion from his transfigured box, he tried to turn the boy over. But Potter screamed hoarsely at the touch and writhed weakly in pain. His body burned with fever and he was trembling like a leaf. Snape grumbled to himself as he considered his dilemma. The child was unconscious, though still in horrible pain, and fearful of being touched, but he needed the boy on his back so he could get some potions down his throat. He cast an immobilizing charm on the boy so he wouldn't hurt himself before he gently levitated the small child to turn him onto his back. Once Potter was on his back, his whimpers died down, but he didn't quite stop moaning. Snape had a difficult time opening the boy's locked jaw to get the pain potion down his throat, but once he did, the child lapsed into silence again. He took off the immobilizing charm and made the boy drink two more blood replenishers, a fever reducer, a powerful antibiotic, and the magic replenisher. For good measure, he gave the boy a calming potion as well before dumping the full bottle of skele-gro in his mouth. He used his wand to arrange the bones in the boy's shoulder so they would heal properly, and stepped back again.
What to do now?
Well, it was obvious he needed to clean the boy up, get him in some semblance of clothing, and put him to bed. Cleaning all of the bloodoff the boy's skin was easier said than done. He scrubbed the blood off with his sponge and used a drying spell instead of a towel. He bandaged Potter's shoulder and used a complex spell to keep the bones immobile. He bandaged the rest of the child's torso and his leg after putting soothing salve on the inflamed wounds. He was glad he could use his wand for the delicate work of wrapping the gauze and bandages all around the boy's ribs and shoulder and side. He used up almost all of his bandages and he would have to get more. Several quick scourgify spells later, the boy looked reasonably clean, and Snape hovered him upstairs. At present, there was only one bed in the house, (his own, of course) but it looked like Potter was going to use it for awhile. He could always go fetch his old bed from the attic, but he would have to find something to transfigure permanently into a mattress and bedclothes. That could wait. He was feeling too drained to attempt such complex magic right now. Healing was exhausting.
He did manage to transfigure one of his least-favorite shirts into a hospital gown-type garment for the boy, and tucked him under the covers. The boy was still shivering and whimpering very softly. Snape touched the boy's face and found it to be rather warm. His fever had not gone down by much. With a long-suffering sigh, the Professor trudged downstairs for another fever potion, and then trudged back up to dump it in the boy's mouth. He pulled a stomach soother from his emergency pocket for good measure, (it wouldn't do the boy any good if his stomach simply revolted at all the potions being forced into it) and stepped back, satisfied. All that was left to do now, was wait for the boy to start getting better on his own. The potions would help, and he should be unconscious for at least a day or more, but if he survived was entirely up to Potter.
"You'd best fight for your life, brat," Snape mumbled at the unconscious child. "I will not be happy about wasting so many expensive potions on you if you'll just die anyway. So you'd better live." Shaking his head at his own foolishness, (it was the remnants of the alcohol, he was certain of it) he went back downstairs to clean up the mess.
He threw his cloak in the laundry, and Potter's clothes were pretty well ruined. He couldn't reparo them no matter how much he tried. That more than anything convinced him that some magical monster had attacked him. Magic could not repair damage done by magic. That was a simple fact. He scourgified his table and the floor where blood had dripped and his shirt where the child's blood had soaked him. But nothing happened. Frowning, Snape put a little more focus in his magic and scourgified again. Again, there was no effect. Surely the boy's blood wasn't resisting a simple cleaning spell. The only kind of human blood that did that was ….
Snape sat down hard in his chair, his whole body tingling with horror. How could he have not seen it?! All of the signs matched up! The moon was full tonight, the boy's magical wounds resisted healing, his magical core had nearly drained completely … But Severus had to know for certain. Something like this could not be left to speculation. He snatched up an empty potions bottle and turned to the sink with it. After he scrubbed the little container clean, he magicked some of the blood from the table into the bottle. It was painstaking work, but he managed to scrape up enough of the congealing liquid to run tests on, and corked it. He put the bottle in his pocket and cleaned up the bloody mess the muggle way.
He carried the rest of the unused potions back down to his lab once he finished cleaning and put them away. He set up his cauldron and fetched several ingredients from his back shelves. He had never actually run this particular blood test before, but he still knew how to do it. After he had a good brew going, he stared at the bottle of blood he had set on his worktable. If the blood was infected with what he thought it was, pouring it into the off-white slime in his cauldron would turn the mixture a nauseating shade of green. He took a deep breath and grabbed the bottle before the brew overcooked.
The few drops of congealed blood made the brew bubble violently and Snape took the cauldron off the flame to wait on the reaction. But he couldn't stay to watch, because at that moment, he was startled by a blood-curdling scream from upstairs and he ran up to check on his patient, taking the stairs two at a time. Potter was writhing in the bed, screaming in agony. He was shaking all over and clutching fiercely at the sheets with white, trembling hands. Snape cursed out loud and grabbed the boy before he squirmed right off the bed. His little body was trembling violently in a seizure and burned with an even higher fever. After a bit of wrestling with the boy, he managed to get him untangled from the sheet and carried him into the bathroom. His fever was too high, and if the boy had what he thought he had, another fever reducer or a pain potion wasn't going to help much anyway. In the wild, victims often sought out running streams to soothe their pain and fever, if they lived that long, of course. He got the boy into his bathtub and turned on the tap, filling the tub with lukewarm water and soaking his clothing and bandages. Thankfully, the water immediately quieted the boy's frantic screams of pain, easing his pain and cooling the fever. Soon, the boy was only whimpering. His eyes never opened, and he did not seem to realize that Severus Snape was still practically holding him while the water ran. The man carefully eased his arm out from under the boy's shoulders and turned off the water. With nearly all of his injuries under the cool water, Potter was calmer. Snape silently flicked his wand to dry his sleeve and went downstairs for a throat-soothing potion. The boy was losing his voice from screaming so much, and his throat had to be quite raw by now.
He entered his basement lab and made his way to the shelf of his medicinal potions. He almost forgot about the cauldron he had abandoned here and when he glanced at it, he froze.
The liquid inside was a bright, nauseating shade of lime green. Snape leaned on the table to steady the violent shudder that ripped through his body. He had several horrifying thoughts tumbling through his normally orderly mind, but prime among them was that he no longer had any doubt. Harry Potter had been attacked by a werewolf. By the next full moon, the transformation would be complete.
The-Boy-Who-Lived. A werewolf. It almost didn't bear thinking about.
The other disturbing thing Severus was thinking was that he was going to kill Dumbledore. When the old man finally discovered his Golden Boy was missing, of course. He'd wait and see just how long it took the doddering fool to say something.
Tell me what you think!
I'm normally more of a Star Wars fan, but I am now trying my hand at Harry Potter Fan-Fiction and I have several chapters done already for this particular story. I like Severus Snape and his nastiness, and I love Remus Lupin and his character as well. I have taken my two favorite Harry-Mentors and smashed them together. I plan to eventually bring Sirius Black in as well, and that'll be interesting for sure. Dumbledore will come in as well, but I don't think I'll be making him a totally good guy.
Please review, and thanks!