Title: Ghosts

Author: ntamara (naomitamaraATyahooDOTcom)

Rating: R

Pairing: HP/SS, implied HP/SB

Genre: Angst/Horror/Romance

Warnings: Character Death. Violence and Gore. Implied (Sexual) Child Abuse.

Summary: The Shrieking Shack was rumoured to be haunted. Then, after a prank went awry, that was no longer a rumour.

Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine; hardly anything of this is mine. They all belong to JKR, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros and probably lots of other people who all aren't me. Oh, and I'm not making any money out of this either. Unfortunately.

Archive: Ask first.

A/N: My thanks go out to Jeddy and Leni Jess for their tireless support and wonderful beta's.

This fic is the companion piece to another story I've written that, incidentally, has the same title. This is the Snarry version of 'Severus does not survive the Shrieking Shack incident'; the other Ghost is a Severus/Albus tale and can be found on my website (check my profile for the link). They only share the same title and premise; any and all other similarities are a coincidence (well, most of them are, anyway ;)


1. Just a Prank

Heart pounding in anticipation, Severus Snape hurried through the corridors of Hogwarts. Finally he would find out what those four Gryffindors were hiding; finally he would find out just what secret 'perfect' prefect Lupin was keeping. Severus slipped stealthily out of the doors and onto the grounds. He could see the outline of the Whomping Willow against the evening sky; the moon would be up soon.

Black had cornered him in the hallway earlier that day, and told him that if he wanted to know where Remus went every month, why not go see for himself. He'd told him how to get past the Whomping Willow's branches to the tunnel that would lead him to Lupin's hide-out. It was a trap, Severus didn't doubt that. Some elaborate prank the four Gryffindors were going to play on him. Severus tightened the grip on his wand. Well, they could try. He was prepared, and they would not get him this time.

There was a long stick lying on the ground near the tree, and Severus used it to poke the knothole in the Whomping Willow's trunk. He quickly found the passage into the tunnel. Wand drawn, he hurried down the passageway. Finally he reached a trapdoor, and after casting a quick spell to make sure nobody was waiting for him above, he opened it and crept into what could only be the Shrieking Shack. On the inside it looked just as derelict as it did on the outside. There was some furniture, but it had all been smashed to pieces long ago.

A noise from upstairs made Severus look up and grip his wand. He took care not to make a sound on the stairs as he climbed them and then crept toward a door that was slightly ajar. Breathing shallowly, he pushed it open to reveal what was inside. The hinges creaked.

Whatever Severus had been expecting, it had not been Remus Lupin sitting – naked – on the floor. Lupin looked up at the sound and stared at Severus in horror.

"Severus? What are you – Get out of here! Merlin, run, Severus, before it's too –" Lupin took a step forward and then fell to his knees, his face contorted in a rictus of pain.

Mouth agape, Severus stood rooted to the floor. He watched in horror as Remus started thrashing around; the noises coming from the other boy were rapidly becoming quite inhuman. Dark fur started to sprout from Lupin's skin; his hands and feet became sharply clawed paws. The joints in his elbows and knees cracked as bone broke and realigned; a tail grew from his rump and a snout filled with razor-sharp teeth protruded from his now inhuman face and glowing, golden eyes. Panting from exertion and pain, the beast lay on the floor of the room.

Lupin's a werewolf, Severus realised, and with that realisation, the danger of the situation finally slammed home. Severus took a shaky step backwards. The werewolf's head snapped up, and Severus was caught in its murderous gaze. Slowly it stood up: head hanging low, teeth bared and drooling saliva. It growled. Severus could see its hind legs tensing to spring.

With a cry of terror, Severus turned to run. He had barely made it through the door and into the hallway when something heavy grazed his back and tore his robes open. There was a thump as the werewolf hit the wall having only managed to claw its victim's back open. Severus fell to the floor and lost hold of his wand. It rolled away and then down the stairs. Not daring to look back Severus scrambled to get up and run after it.

The werewolf howled and jumped at him; its jaws closed around Severus' leg, making him scream in pain and terror. Twisting around, Severus kicked and clawed at the beast's head, screaming at it to let him go. A lucky hit wounded one of the werewolf's eyes enough that it released its hold on his leg. Body pumping with adrenaline, Severus scooted backwards away from the beast, and then tumbled down the stairs.

It bit me. It bit me. It bit me. It bit me.

His leg was a bloody mess, his right arm felt broken, and his back seemed to be on fire. Severus paid no heed to the pain, lunging for his wand with his good arm, no matter that it was not his wand arm. Relief surged through his body as his hand closed around the slim piece of wood, and Severus turned over onto his back to defend himself from his attacker. But the werewolf had already pounced. As Severus' left arm came up and his mouth moved to say the words, the beast hit him in the chest and tore at his wrist, once again sending his wand flying.

Oh Merlin, I'm going to die, I'm going to die, Merlin, somebody help me, I'm going to die, help me, I'm going to die.

Tears streamed down his face as he tried to grip the werewolf's snout, tearing his hands open on its teeth while its paws left furrows in his chest. The werewolf pulled away for a moment, nearly pulling Severus' left hand right off. He was already missing fingers.

Oh Merlin, I'm going to die, help me, please, help me, I'm going to die.

Eyes wide in terror,

Oh Merlin,

body burning in pain,

help me, somebody,

Severus saw the werewolf lunge forward with its jaws wide open.

I'm going to die

He tried to shield himself with what was left of his hands and arms, but the werewolf evaded them easily.

I'm going to die

He felt the werewolf close its teeth around his throat and tear. And then. Nothing.