Disclaimer: I don't own... much.

A/N: Yeah, yet another Severitus from me. This is going to be pretty short, though.

This one is going to go more along the rules of the challenges than Like Father, Like Son and Fathers and Sons... Although I do suspect this is going to be the most unusual of them all.


A Father's Love

The Surprising Sight

As soon as Remus closed his eyes that night, he knew that he would have a dream. Mentally bracing himself for what was surely coming, he snuggled up to his husband, feeling the warmth of slim, yet strong arms wrapping around him.

And truly, when he finally allowed himself to slip into the land of dreams, he saw a wholly another sight than the one he'd just closed his eyes from. A little boy with chin-length, golden hair was sitting in the corner of a small cupboard. "And don't expect to get out before tomorrow," bellowed a harsh voice through the door. The boy trembled slightly, hugging his knees tightly, his black eyes full of tears, a dark, large bruise covering the left side of his face.

"Jeremy?" asked Remus quietly, watching in confusion the little boy in front of him. The boy was familiar to him; the scene, however, wasn't that. Usually, he saw the boy in happy situations - swinging outside in sunlight, eating an icecream in a park, playing with other children. This was not normal, not in any way.

Like always, the boy raised his head as if he'd heard his call. However, this time, his words were clearer -- usually, Remus only heard something like a whisper, like a ghost of real words. "Dad," he whispered quietly. "Dad, come and take me away from here."

"Jeremy..." sighed the werewolf again, kneeling next to the boy in the tiny cupboard. He placed his arms around the boy in a comforting hug, even though he knew it wouldn't be of any use. Just as useless and hollow he knew to be his comforting words, as those would not become true anyway, but he said them anyway. "I'll get you away, as soon as I find a way to do that. I promise, Jeremy. I won't leave you alone here in this horrible place." The boy didn't hear his words this time and just continued his weeping. Remus cried, too, hugging the boy in a meaningless gesture that didn't quite give comfort to either of them.

And then, like always, just as he was getting the tears under control, he felt like somebody was tugging at him. The cupboard and the boy faded away; it didn't matter how tightly Remus tried to grasp them, bring them back to himself, they always disappeared.

Then, he awoke with a scream, sitting on his bed, covered with cold sweat. In an instant there was a soothing hand calming him down, sweet little things being whispered into his ear.

At last, his companion considered him calm enough to answer some questions. "Was it again a dream?" asked Severus gently, drawing little circles to Remus's bare back. "About - about Jeremy?"

"Y-yes," the werewolf whispered. "But it wasn't like usually - he was being treated badly, very badly. They locked him in a cupboard, Severus, they yelled at him through the door... It was horrible!"

A worried frown appeared on Severus's usually calm face. "Really?" he asked. "D'you think that means anything, the difference from the usual dreams, I mean?"

"I - I wouldn't know," Remus said, swallowing back tears. "But - today would have been his fourth birthday if he -- if he had lived." And with that, he broke into helpless weeping, only the strong arms of his husband steadying him.

Jeremy was the most tragic event in their complicated relationship. Four years before, they hadn't been together, as Remus had thought that Severus was a Death Eater -- what he was, but only as a spy for the Light Side -- and Severus had thought that Remus was a Death Eater, what he wasn't. Unfortunately, Remus hadn't been wholly alone -- he'd been pregnant to Severus. The baby boy, whom he'd already named Jeremy, had been stillborn. To make it even worse, a mere day later the Potters had got little Harry, never knowing that it hurt Remus extremely badly, as he'd done his best to keep his pregnancy in secret.

Seeing that it was really difficult to Remus to deal with life alone, Dumbledore had contacted Severus, insisting that they should fix their relationship. They had indeed got back together, but the memory of Jeremy, their lost child, was all the time haunting them both. To make it even worse, Remus, who -- like all werewolves -- had a little talent for Seeing, constantly had dreams about what Jeremy's life would have been, if he only had been given a possibility to live. Almost every night he had dreams of little Jeremy in his arms, playing with his friends, reading colourful children's books, laughing and being happy and alive. And almost every night he woke up sobbing, mourning what they'd lost, and Severus simply held him until he calmed down enough to go back to sleep.

This time, however, Remus could not calm down. He simply couldn't go back to sleep, not after what he'd seen in his dreams. He couldn't understand why it was so. Every time he'd seen Jeremy only happy and well, like he'd been if they had had a change to raise their child. This time it hadn't been so. Jeremy had been neglected and abused, that much was clear -- but by whom? The voice that had yelled through the door had not been familiar to him -- in fact, it had been familiar, but he couldn't tell exactly from where -- so who could it be? And what did the dream mean?

Something was wrong, he knew that. A voice deep inside his mind told him also that something was wrong with Jeremy, but that was just insane. There wasn't Jeremy, not anymore, not anywhere else but in his dreams and thoughts.

...But he had seen someone, hadn't he? And if it hadn't been Jeremy, then who had it been?

Next chapter:

Dumbledore calls for our boys.