Note: You may or may not have read parts of this story in other entries of mine. This is a more full version, but nowhere as full as I'd like it to be. It's just been sitting on my computer waiting to be shared.
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling's books/characters, but my story.
Spoilers: 3rd book and beyond, I suppose?
Summary: Severus keeps showing up in the most random places. And by random, I mean, everywhere that Remus is.
We never planned to meet each other. We just knew where to find each other.
For example, it was very unlikely that we would be at every single Quidditch match. I would go to the Gryffindor matches to support James but that was the extent of my interest. He caught onto that as well after time, and I would see his miserable face staring back at me from across the stands knowing full well that he was enduring torture of the most horrible kind. But he was there. I like to think that he came there because I was there and not only to jeer at my house team. It could have been a bit of both, actually. He had the most excellent and satisfied smirk on his lips if Gryffindor did lose that it made me laugh every time I saw it. I suspected that no one heard me laugh (as I didn't laugh too loud) or just didn't say anything after a while… but no one could miss his smirk. Students and teachers saw that smirk from miles away. Everyone knew about Severus Snape's distaste for the Gryffindor team. Everyone knew about his distaste for one player especially. Poor James.
When I noticed his habit of attending only Gryffindor games, I thought I'd be smart and call him on it.
"I'm only there to watch them fail miserably. They wouldn't be such a bad team if they didn't have Potter. Poor planning on the captain's part; I'm sure that even the most mediocre player could do better than him."
Of course I was a bit daft when it came to playing the game, so I couldn't tell if James was a poor player or not. I was just there to support my friend. I smiled and waved and cheered if he flew close by and he would do the same as he passed… even if he was supposed to be keeping an eye on the game.
"So, you don't attend your own house games?"
"No." He shrugged. "I'm interested in the sport so long as Gryffindor doesn't win."
"If Slytherin were to win…"
"Doesn't matter, as long as it means Potter's head doesn't swell ten times it's normal size from winning, I am satisfied."
"That's poor sportsmanship."
"I am not playing. Nor will you ever see me riding a broomstick to play a game."
"Broomsticks are strictly for transportation, then?"
"Broomsticks are strictly for sweeping." The boy corrected me.
"Right, right." I sighed and turned down the other hallway to head in a direction other than his, as I found myself embarrassed at my lack of knowledge of the sport (and for bringing up the conversation in the first place as if I were insinuating something. Which I was). I never looked up to see his reaction, but never heard him call out for me so it was just as well that I did.
Another example comes to mind as well. I mean, it's not exactly the most subtle example… at least it's less subtle than him attending the same games that I attend. We "meet" in the library every evening. I say "meet" as if it was planned ahead of time, when it's not. At least, it wasn't the first few times we realized we went to the library at the same time after supper. And by the same time, I mean, it was never directly after supper for me. For a while I thought the same of him although it never dawned on me until now to ask him if he went to his room before going to the library or if he just went there directly after our meal. In any case, it was always after supper. Always at the same table. He was always there first. He never looked up to greet me like James or Peter or Sirius (or even Lily) might do. He never made a fuss over seeing me there, as if I was a permanent fixture there, like himself.
He never asked what I was up to. I asked, though. It was always Potions this, Potions that. You would think he attended no other classes. If I asked even further about Potions, he would start going into complex practices and ingredients and sometimes it would just go over my head but I would still listen to him as if I knew about what he was speaking about. I wondered sometimes if I hid the fact that I didn't know what in Merlin's name he was going on about, and one time he actually caught me as if he had read my mind.
"You have no clue as to what I'm speaking about, do you?" He interrupted his own speech.
"Well. Not really. But that's okay, you can go on."
"Go on and stare at that blank expression on your face?"
"Is it so horrible that I like listening to you talk about your interests?"
He was suddenly speechless. Well was it? He looked at me, not knowing how to go on anymore, and scribbled something on his parchment. I looked over to see if I could make it out, but that was all it was. Scribble. And then the scribble unscrambled into words that read "it is not so horrible."
When we met it wasn't planned, and therefore we didn't have a plan as to what to do with our time together. Sometimes I would be sitting at a random place in the courtyard alone and he would come sit with me. He didn't ask if he could, he only looked around, probably to make sure that my friends weren't around. I never told him that I went to the courtyard at a particular time of the day, because I didn't… or at least I wasn't aware that I did. We had similar schedules when it came to classes, though, so it wasn't so surprising that he would be in the same area, would it be? And why not sit next to me? It was better than sitting alone. If he was going to be in the courtyard, might as well. No use in sitting at opposite sides of the yard.
We didn't have much to say all the time. Sometimes we would just be silent and stare down at our shoes. There were things I wanted to talk about with him, sometimes, but I didn't always know how to phrase them. At this particular time I was longing for home more than I cared to admit. Being at school does that to me, sometimes. You think I would be used to sharing a room with three other boys well into my sixth year at Hogwarts, but when it comes down to it, I'm really not. As much time as I share with my friends I need equal time alone. Time to just be. (Probably why I was in the courtyard at the time) I know I'm not truly myself when I'm around my friends. No matter how much they share with me and I share with them there's still a part of myself that is reserved for myself. It's that way with everyone, I think. No matter how much you reveal about yourself there's always more. There's always more…
And it's so grand when things are revealed. I'm not speaking of a feast of revelation, but rather a taste here and a taste there. Isn't that how one enjoys food rather than stuffing themselves silly until they can't bear the sight of food anymore? That's how it should be with getting to know people, I think.
After six years of knowing my closest friends, it makes me smile when I learn something new about them. (It's a cliché to say that you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but really, isn't that a great description?) I might catch something subtle in every day conversation or it might be in something they do that seems completely out of character for them when really, it isn't. I often wonder if they catch on to the same things about me. I hope that they do, since I sometimes have a difficult time revealing myself. Okay, maybe more than sometimes… but what I'm really trying to say is that they don't know who I am when I am alone. They don't know who I am when I'm in the comforts of my own home. People put on different faces in different situations. I can be comfortable at school, especially in my own dorm, but can I be as comfortable as I am at home? Doesn't that show? Doesn't it show that I'm different when I'm in a classroom? Doesn't it show when…
"Do I act different when I'm around you?" It was a bold question, but it had to be answered.
"What do you mean, different?" I caught him off guard. We were deep in thought, both of us. Deep in thought, staring down at our shoes, picking our laces with our wands. The both of us. We hadn't spoke all day to each other up until this point.
"I mean, when I'm around you… do I act differently as opposed to when I'm around….?"
"Whom?" He asked abruptly.
"Well, when I'm around my other friends?"
"Not by much. Well, there is a subtlety."
"Where does the subtlety lie?" I wanted to look up at his face. I knew he was searching my expression for something. I watched him from the corner of my eye.
"You seem a lot more… yourself." He was no longer looking at me, as if he couldn't say it to me straight on.
"How do you know what my self is?"
"What were you thinking of to be asking such ridiculous questions?" He asked. I know he didn't find it very ridiculous. If he had found it ridiculous he would have laughed and ridiculed my conversation… well, ridiculed it even further.
"I was just thinking that I wanted to be home."
"All of this out of wanting to be home? You would really rather be home?"
"Yes. Well, yes and no. I'm alone at home, but sometimes I think that it's better."
"Being alone is always better." The boy frowned. He almost said it like he meant it. "Although, if you were to go home this place would be even more insufferable, if that is humanly possible."
"Are you saying you don't want me to go home?"
Don't look. Don't look.
"All I'm saying is that you can do what you want. Obviously I have no say over what you do in your life. What you do is entirely up to you. I refuse to have such an influence in your life that you go by what I say… unlike some of your other friends." They did have a lot of influence. He was right. Sometimes it was hard to see that he was right most of the time. He was not like a sixteen year-old. I don't think he was ever younger than thirty in his entire life. I wanted to poke at his soul and ask it how old it was. In fact, I just wanted to poke him to lighten the mood a bit. I was too busy poking at my shoelaces, however, and I didn't think that he would appreciate that. But, what the hell… With my wand, I poked him in the shoulder. "Hey!" He brought his hand up to cover it as if it really hurt him.
"You were becoming entirely too serious."
"And you weren't? Do I act different around you? Meh. Meh. Meh." He mocked.
"I just wanted to know. I mean, don't you think that people act differently around different people? Take yourself as an example. You act completely different around me than you do… say… James."
"Potter! Poor example. Of course I'm going to act differently around him than I do you. He's an imbecile and you're…"
"You're you." I felt the heat rush to my cheeks. I tried to hide my face away, but he caught me. He caught me, red-faced and all. Before I turned my face away from him, I caught a glimpse of a smile… no, a smirk creeping up on his lips… and it made me blush even more. I looked away from him for a while, until I knew the blush had faded.
"And I've never seen anyone turn as red as you had just then. What are you blushing about? I said nothing remarkably embarrassing. You're you. Remus Lupin. You." He touched my shoulder on his last "you", adding emphasis. He held his hand there, and I didn't know whether to look at his hand or at his face or at my shoes or at the distance.
Yes, I was me, but it was the way he said it. You. As if I was someone important. You. As if I was above all others. You. As if I was something sacred.
But I looked at him, "And you're Severus Snape." And his name remained in my mind for a very long time. Even after we parted.
It was only a chaste kiss on my cheek that he gave me. He needn't have run away, but he did. I know why he did. If I had kissed another boy I would have run away, terrified, as well. It was out of fear, I suppose, that he ran. Fear of what would happen next (what would happen next?), fear of being caught and what that might mean for the both of us. I imagine it would be worse for him. I just stood there like a fool as it happened, and after. I tried not to look at him but I knew that he was looking at me and I had to confirm that it happened. It did happen. The look on his face told me all. He was horrified, even more than I was. Truth be told, it wasn't wrong that he kissed me. It was more surprising than anything.
We had been brought closer, somehow. It's the kind of thing that happens when you're conversing with someone you like. You want to lean in and get a better listen. They want to lean in for you to hear. But that's not all. It has something to do with magnetism. We were drawn to each other despite everything going against us. We still remained friends even if no one could understand why. I often found myself drawn closer to him, especially recently. I never understood, until now, what it is I was searching for in his face. Simply, I was looking for a place in which to kiss him. He just happened to be much quicker and bolder than I. He got to me first, which was what I was secretly hoping to happen. I couldn't be the one to make the first move, I didn't know how to move; just where.
I stand here, now, like a fool. I honestly don't know where to go from here. I could walk on further. I see the Whomping Willow waving at me like it knows I'll be seeing it soon. The castle is behind me and I do not care to see it or anyone else who might be around it. Someone could have been watching out the window. There could have been someone right behind us, although I'm sure he would check before doing such a thing. There are people all around this place; we're doomed for certain. I need to return eventually, though. I can't continue to walk around all evening, as cold as it is out here. I need to get into bed and hide under the covers and feel afraid for him and for me. (What I really need to do is pack my things and send word to my parents that I have to go back home). I have to do something other than stand here, dumbfounded.
"Remus!" It was someone other than him coming my way. "Remus, there you are! You won't believe what I just witnessed!" Sirius put his arm around my shoulder.
"Wh--- what?" I barely mustered.
"Snape, being sick all over the shoes of some Slytherin!"
I didn't know what to say. I thought I might be sick myself, hearing this. I wanted to run away from Sirius and catch up with Severus and make sure that he was okay. I wanted to tell him that what he did was not wrong and that he needn't worry (although I was doing that already). Most important, I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to kiss him on his cheek or his forehead or his lips, anywhere… so that he might know…
Sirius pulled at my jumper. "So are you coming, or no? I'll show you the exact place it happened."
I showed neither excitement nor detachment for what Sirius had to show me. I followed along and prayed I wouldn't be sick in the same spot.
I swear, we weren't following each other. I swear it. As I mentioned, our class schedule was similar if not identical. Our habits were similar as well. Even our interests were similar. Namely, we wanted to be alone. We complained to each other that we wanted to be alone. But did we want to be alone really? I could ask him that now. I could ask him why he was always at the same Quidditch matches, or at the library after supper, or in the courtyard when I just have to get out of the stuffy castle. I could ask, but did I really want to know? Was it anything that that kiss didn't already answer?
As soon as I could leave Sirius, I would see if I could find Severus. Of course he gave me no clue as to where he'd be. He never did. He was always conveniently there. He was conveniently there as I was taking a walk. He was conveniently there when he could no longer keep that kiss of his to himself. He had to share it. I was convinced that that kiss could find me no matter where I was. In the dark, even.
Did I really think of him romantically or was it just some silly crush? Some silly confusion that sometimes school boys have? But how many stories have I heard about blokes kissing other blokes, really? I mean, other than someone joking around? This didn't happen that often… or at least not that often that I would hear about it all the time. It wasn't something that someone would want to admit willingly, was it? Was it something that happened to James or Peter or Sirius? Surely not.
"You a'right, Remus?" Sirius asked.
"Yeah, yeah. Fine. I'm… I'm a little anxious."
"Full moon in a few days, right?"
"Right. Full moon." I scratched the side of my face (no, not that side) and looked away from him in fear that he could read my thoughts by looking into my eyes. Meanwhile, Severus' kiss was burning my other cheek. "Um, you know… I think I'm going to go for a walk. Sitting around really does nothing for my nerves."
"Want some company? I'm feeling kind of restless, myself."
"I was thinking about going alone, if you don't mind. I might stop at the library, flip through a couple of books and see if anything catches my eye."
"You'd think you'd know all the books there with all the times you've been there." Sirius joked.
"You'd think…" I attempted to laugh.