Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters and I certainly earns no money with this story. Just the letter is mine and mine alone.
I also had to borrow the chess game...
Thanks to Ninjasan and Lapislazuli who read the original story and gave me a first opinion
Homo homini lupus est*
It was an autumn evening somewhere in England. A single man wandered the streets seeking. His worn cloak was darned in many places, his brown hair streaked with grey and his still young face featured deep lines. In a more elegant neighbourhood, he would have caught somebody's eye, but here, he almost blended in with his environment.
This environment breathed a certain shabbiness, decay filled the air, so intense he could almost taste it. The river nearby spread a rotten smell.
His surroundings depressed him and he wondered how somebody could live in this darkness voluntarily.
Finally he reached an alleyway, his steps sounded loud on the rough cobblestones. Unerringly he headed towards the last house in the row.
For a moment, he paused at the door, he seemed to hesitate whether he should knock or better not. At last, he moved his hand and knocked at the weathered, dark wood. It echoed dully through the dark silence. He breathed in the rotten air and wondered if somebody had actually heard him knocking. He was about to raise his hand to draw attention to himself again, when the door was opened with a soft creaking noise. He got a glimpse on a dark silhouette then he was literally nailed down by a pair of midnight-black eyes.
A familiar, cool voice seemed to banish him:
"Lupin. What brings you here?"
The addressed man slightly tilted his head.
"I'd prefer to discuss that inside. That is, if you let me in, Severus?"
The door opened further and with a spare nod Lupin was invited to enter.
His host led him into a tiny living-room which furnishings did nothing to improve Lupin's mood. The walls were completely covered with books, mostly bound in old and dark leather, made the room somewhat overpowering and seemed to swallow up the feeble remains of daylight.
Snape ordered him with a gesture to sit down at the threadbare sofa and sat himself down in an armchair which also had seen better days. A rickety table and an old oil lamp completed the furnishing. The whole living room emanated an aura of neglect and indifference, although Lupin noticed that the many books were dust-free and sorted very fussily by the topics.
"Apparently you still spend the most of your money for books."
Snape rose an eyebrow and replied:
"Knowledge is never too expensive. Well, Lupin, what brings you here?"
Lupin shifted back and forth uneasily on the uncomfortable sofa.
"I'm not sure where to begin, Severus."
He glanced at the pale face, framed by sleek black hair of his counterpart who leaned back with an impenetrable expression, his long, slender hands relaxing on the arm rests.
"I'd say logically you'd start with the beginning," the silky voice lazily said.
"Well, the beginning... You're not going to make this easy for me, will you?" Lupin tried a smile, but failed miserably.
"The beginning. Well, it dates back almost thirty years. If you have so much time?"
A venomous smile played across Snape's lips.
"Unemployed people have much time – too much time as you certainly know yourself."
That struck home, he noted satisfied, Lupin had actually flinched.
"Well, it's hard to find a job being a notorious Deatheater and an infamous murderer. But being an evenly notorious werewolf doesn't make it any easier, does it?"
The cold black eyes riveted on Lupin's face and noted satisfied the short flicker in his brown eyes.
"But you wanted to talk to me about something. A story reaching back thirty years. I have to admit, you peaked my curiosity."
With a careless wave of his wand, he made to glasses and a bottle of wine appear, which briefly turned around in mid-air and landed on the table with a dull thump. Snape bent forwards and filled the glasses
"It's not exactly the best vintage, but nevertheless acceptable."
He gave Lupin one of the glasses.
"Thanks," he murmured and fumbled around with it nervously.
He wondered whether is actually was a good idea to come here and to forage in old, long forgotten things.
With a soft sigh he put his untouched glass back at the table and looked at Snape's face. His gaze searched Snape's dark eyes and finally he vocalised the reason he came:
"Severus, I would like to ask you for forgiveness."
He observed Snape attentively, but he was unable to read anything from his vacant expression. He stayed stony-faced, only his voice betrayed him.
With slight derisiveness he said:
"For what should I forgive you? In my opinion, there are some – incidents which would require an apology."
"I think of one special – hum - incident, Severus." Lupin's voice sounded tense.
"You know, back then when we had detention by Slughorn."
Almost anxiously he watched Snape's face darken and he emitted pure refusal, now even more than usual. His anger became nearly palpably and hit Lupin like an electric shock.
Nevertheless, he continued:
"So you do remember?"
Snape allowed himself a sneer:
"How could I ever forget this - dramatic performance of yours?"
He sipped from his wine to get some time.
Of course he remembered, the events had burned themselves deeply into his memory. The room blurred before his eyes as those pictures awoke in his mind, those memories resurfaced he had locked away so carefully…
As usual he was the first to finish his potion. Potion was his best subject although he had good grade in the other subjects as well.
He just was corking up his tiny sample bottle, to deliver it to the teacher's desk when something slippery met his temple. He wiped the frog liver off his face with forced calmness and labelled his bottle.
"Oi, Snivellus! You're sure Slughorn will be able to read that scribbling of yours?"
James Potter leaned casually over his desk. Severus ignored him with a stoicism born from a long routine. A further frog liver met the back of his head. Irritated, he glanced over his shoulder and saw Sirius Black smirking at him.
"Surely a little bit more grease in your hair doesn't bother you, Snivellus!"
Oh, how much he hated this name! And how much he hated James and Sirius.
Since he had set foot on the grounds of Hogwarts six years ago those both Gryffindors had made his life a misery, always accompanied by that weedy Peter Pettigrew who had great fun at his expense, and Remus Lupin, the calmest of the four marauders. If he happened to meet Remus alone in the hallways, he was spared by dirty tricks, every now and then he even nodded to him. But if he was with his friends, then… Apparently, Remus hadn't enough guts to stop his friends.
Severus took his labelled flask to carry it to the teacher's desk, his gaze put rigidly straightforward. Something hooked itself around his foot and he hit the floor lengthwise. His bottle broke and the spiteful laughter of the other students echoed in his ears. Blood surged into his face when he struggled to his feet and noted Sirius patting Remus on the back, laughing hard.
"Great one, Remus! I just hope that Snivellus made no grease on the floor where he hit his nose. Someone else might slip!"
James leered and imitated Severus' fall with great vigour. Only Remus stared at the floor silently.
"Oh, come on, Remus! A small booby-trap is always good fun!" Pettigrew cooed gleefully.
Trembling with rage Severus took out his wand, ready to curse the whole bunch of misfits with some good jinxes.
"What's going on here?" Slughorn had finally been able to break away from his favourite students and now importantly planted himself in front of them .
"Mr. Snape, there is absolutely no need to threaten your schoolmates with your wand. Twenty points taken from Slytherin."
Severus gritted his teeth in helpless rage, but he said nothing.
"Professor Slughorn, I just happened to see how Remus tripped Severus up," Lily Evans now interfered and ignored the annoyed glances of James and Sirius.
"Miss Evans? Is that true?"
"Of course, Professor, Severus fell and his bottle broke, he even got hurt!"
She pointed at Severus' hand, which actually showed a nasty cut. Involuntarily, he clenched it to a fist. Now, Slughorn turned to Remus.
"In that case, Mr. Lupin, I take twenty points from Gryffindor as well. The both of you," he pointed at Severus and Remus," The both of you will receive detention. Tonight, eight o'clock, in my office. And I won't have you to disturb my lessons in such a perfidious way again!"
A few minutes before eight Severus made his way down to Slughorn's office. Serving detention didn't bother him much, since he always spent his evenings with reading, learning or copying his notes properly. What bothered him more was on the one hand Lupin's presence and on the other hand, and that bothered him most that Black and Potter had as usual gotten off without any punishment. But then he'd found out a long time ago that being a telltale wasn't worthwhile: The teachers wouldn't believe him and the other students would give him a even harder time.
Deeply lost in his thoughts, he finally arrived at his destination. Lupin already stood in front of the door and he nodded at Severus. When Severus wanted to knock, he surprisingly seized his arm.
"Severus, I just wanted to tell you... Well, this morning, that was an accident. I didn't intend to booby-trap you."
Severus couldn't believe his ears. One of the Gryffindors honoured him with something which was bloody close to an apology? Disbelievingly, he stared at him.
"Yes, honestly! Really, that wasn't intentional. My… My foot went to sleep and I probably stretched my leg right at the moment you wanted to pass." Remus smiled embarrassed and glanced at Severus' dressed hand. "Does it still hurt?"
"No!" Severus hid the hand in his robe.
"So, shall we? "
He nodded and Lupin knocked.
During that evening, they had to inspect Slughorn's potions storage and relabel and list every item. While they were working Remus sometimes glanced at him and even smiled at him occasionally.
Finally, he stated friendly:
"You have a very tidy handwriting. Perhaps I should dictate you the ingredients and you write them down? Like this, Slughorn will actually be able to read it ."
After a moment of quiet hesitation Severus agreed. Remus smiled at him friendly and began to stack the freshly labelled bottles and glasses back into the shelves and to name them for Severus. Severus caught himself thinking that Remus had a really pleasant voice and a nice, enjoyable smile. Eventually Remus looked at him and asked with just the same pleasant smile: "Hello? Are you still with me?"
"Em? Um, yes. What was that last one?"
Severus wrote that down.
"For what do you use that actually?" Remus inquired.
"In a weak dosage, one uses it in healing potions, for antispasmodic results. However, it is only for adepts, as it is poisonous in a too high dosage."
"You really know your stuff very well," Remus remarked approvingly.
Severus' heart skipped a beat and then doubled its work.
Had he really just been praised? By Lupin? He couldn't believe it.
Seemingly, at this evening it was one surprise after another.
"After all you seem to be pretty smart," Lupin continued. "How come that you're always on your own? Is there nobody in Slytherin who appreciates you and your abilities?"
Severus stared at him, stunned and dumbfounded. It just got better and better.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."
Nonplussed, Remus lowered his gaze.
To Remus ', and also his own surprise, Severus decided to answer the question:
He focused on his list and quietly said:
"I am mostly alone and spend my reading. Somehow, I don't fit in. I never did. But I became used to it."
The list was gently taken out of his hands. He looked up and met Remus' soft, brown eyes.
"That's a great pity," he said calmly. "I am sure you have much to offer."
The brown eyes examined him warmly.
Remus rose his hand and softly touched Severs' cheek. He stood as stiff as a poker and did hardly dare to breath.
Then this special moment was over and with a soft smile, Remus asked: "Should I take a look at your hand? I am rather good at healing spells. And certainly you haven't been to see Madame Pomfrey."
Hesitatingly, Severus nodded.
Remus took his hand and gently removed the bandage.
While he, murmuring quietly, made complicated movements with his wand, Severus had time to mull over and to look into his own mind.
What he found there didn't please him at all.
He began to feel good in Remus' presence, he liked how he held his hand and he also liked his gentle smile. He somehow liked it that Remus was interested in him, that he perceived him as a human being and even appreciated his abilities.
He admonished himself to be careful, he had been disappointed too often.
"So, finished!" Remus' voice brought him back into the present. "Now you should feel better."
Severus watched his hand.
The long, deep cut had disappeared, only a pale, white line was left and the dull throbbing was gone. He stretched his fingers, then tried to clench them into a fist. No pain.
"Yes, much better." Again, he met Remus' gentle look. "Thanks."
"My grandma was a healer, she has taught me. If you like, I'll show you how to do it," Remus offered. "Perhaps tomorrow? James and Sirius have a date with two girls in Hogsmeade. I would only disturb them anyway. We could meet in the Transfiguration classroom after breakfast. What do you think?"
Severus felt slightly dizzy.
For the first time in his life, he had an appointment with one of his classmates. With difficulty, he tried to keep a composed expression and then nodded.
"Okay. Tomorrow. Lovely."
"Okay." Remus passed the list to him, "We better go on before Slughorn catches us while chit-chatting and we'll get another detention."
In this night, Severus was unable to sleep. Tomorrow, he would meet Lupin. He just hoped that Lupin had been serious about it…
He remembered Lupin's warm smile, his gentle touch and felt a strange prickle in the pit of his stomach. An unusual, but not unpleasant feeling, as he found.
When finally he could get up the next morning, he dressed more carefully than usual and even washed his hair, a fact that earned him some derisive remarks of Lucius Malfoy.
Severus merely acknowledged that with a shrug and went to breakfast. Discreetly, he searched for Remus at the Gryffindor table. He caught his look and nodded at him unobtrusively. To hide his sudden blush, he busied himself intensely with his coffee cup. Hastily, he finished his breakfast and then hung around in the entrance hall. Finally, he watched Black and Potter leave the castle, not without calling some sneering remarks at him and he saw how Remus inconspicuously slipped off to the classrooms. Severus waited a while, to make sure that Potter and Black didn't return, then he followed Lupin. Carefully, he stuck his head into the transfiguration classroom. Remus was inside, sitting on a table and dangling with his long legs. His face lit up when he saw Severus.
"At last! I was about to think you wouldn't come."
Severus squeezed himself through the door crack and leaned against the wall insecure."
Now I am here. "
"Fine. Should we start at once?"
Severus nodded and slowly approached him. Remus wanted to jump off the table, but somehow got caught in his robe and almost fell before Severus' feet. In reflex, he caught Remus and held him close for one moment. The close contact confused him and blushing crimson, he let go of Remus, who was blushing too.
"Thanks." With an uncertain laugh, he added: "Now you have blown your chance to test the charm against bruises at the living object. "
Severus grinned back just as insecure.
"Although: After your accident yesterday you ought to have some bruises yourself , haven't you?"
Severus nodded slowly.
He didn't move.
Hesitating, he pulled up his trouser leg.
"Merlin's beard! You're pretty heavily bruised. I am really sorry."
An enormous bruise flaunted on Severus' knee, his shin was swollen and blackened. Cautiously, Remus slid over the mistreated leg with his fingertips.
"Why haven't you gone to the hospital wing? Poppy would have cured this within seconds."
Severus only shrugged.
"Very well. Then pay attention to this!" Remus began to explain him diverse healing spells and Severus managed them surprisingly quick.
"I knew that you had a bright mind!" Remus praised, as Severus had cured all of his own injuries and also a few of Remus' scratches. He cast a glance at the time.
"Great Scott! It is lunchtime already. Are you hungry?"
"Me neither. Should we walk down to the lake? We… We could play chess there," Remus suggested.
Severus nodded in relief. He had been afraid that their meeting would be over now and that he would be left in his Loneliness.
"We'll meet outside, okay? I'm just going to fetch the chessboard." Remus slipped out the door.
Severus inhaled deeply. The prickling sensation in his stomach grew stronger, but Severus decided that it was only hunger and nothing else.
"You can't have fallen in love with Remus," he whispered to himself, "It is impossible."
Again, he took a deep breath and made his way out. As usual he deliberately ignored the mocking and sneering from the other students and went to a hidden place at the waterside.
They spent the whole afternoon together at the lake, hidden of curious looks by a thick shrubbery. They played chess and amazed, Severus found out that Remus was a worthy opponent. Eventually, they ended up talking the entire time about everything and anything, school, the teachers. They let their naked feet dangle into the lake and watched the giant squid lazing around in the sun.
For the first time in a long period, Severus had a real talk about real interests. It was the very best afternoon Severus ever had.
When it was time to return to the castle, he felt a deep regret that this wonderful afternoon was already over. Together, they packed the chess game back into the box and got up. Severus waited until Remus had put on his shoes and then wanted to give him the box. But instead of taking it, he put it down and seized his hands. Silently, he looked him deep in the eyes and pulled him very close.
Gently, he kissed Severus' lips. He stood motionless, like in a trance and felt how Remus' soft lips touched his own. When they parted after – as he felt – a too short amount of time, Remus confessed with a smile: "You know, I've wanted to do this all afternoon. See Ya!"
He hurried off and left a dumbfounded Severus at the lake. Completely stunned he sat on a big stone.
Remus had kissed him. Him!
Lost in thoughts he moved his hand to his lips and relived this unusual feeling again. And suddenly he felt the uncontrollable urge to laugh out loud. He hadn't experienced such a glad and carefree laugh for a long time. Actually, when he was honest to himself, he had never laughed like this before.
They both had the need to see each other again and they met whenever they could, but always secretly.
In an indefinite way, Severus was even grateful for that, he had already enough mockery to endure, even without this affair. And he was very sure of what his father would have to say about this kind of relationship. The thought alone filled him with fright and he became ill with fear. Tobias Snape wasn't known for his understanding nature.
No, Severus was glad that he didn't have to face this situation for now.
Secretly, they wrote each other small letters to arrange their meetings and long letters during the times in between. Severus was still unable to fully believe it , but eventually he wasn't alone anymore.
Now, at last, there was - finally! - somebody who loved him exactly as he was; somebody who was interested in him, in his thoughts and feelings. Suddenly, life was a pleasure for him.
They were making plans for the future, built castles in the air, painted colourful pictures of what they both would do after graduation and how fine it would be to live a life together.
Severus was as happy as he had never been before.
But it came how it had to come. Afterwards, Severus cursed himself for his good faith. Remus betrayed him.
Sirius got hold of one of Severus' letters. How this could happen, he never got to know.
And, confronted with that letter, Remus had disowned him, had put him into the role of a lovesick moron and pretended that he had never loved Severus and just played a trick on him.
He finished his affair with Severus so finally and so thoroughly that half of the students witnessed it. He spread a cruelly disfigured variant of truth. Remus twisted it that way that he, Severus, had ran after him, had bombarded him with letters to get his attention and that he had only wanted to made a fool out of Severus for his personal amusement.
Finally, Severus was so unsure what really happened that he seriously asked himself whether everything had been only a joke or not.
Then, one night, angry and disappointed, he had burnt Remus' letters one by one.
All, except one. For some reason, he couldn't bring himself to burn that particular letter. Perhaps because it proved that he hadn't just imagined the whole affair. He didn't know, but carefully he rolled up the letter and hid it deep down in his trunk.
Since then, he had never read it again. And never ever again, he swore, he would make himself that vulnerable.
He had begun to hate Remus, because he had betrayed him. He had hurt him and divulged him to ridiculousness.
Sirius he hated even more than before, because he had found that letter and with that had made his life unbearable.
And he built up an enormous hate for Potter, because he let him know only too clearly that he had no right for Remus' love, for anyone's love.
And then, their clever plan to lure him into the Shrieking Shag, pretending that Remus would wait there for him. In his desperation, he had believed that and would have gone to the Shag, unknowing that he would get involved with a werewolf. But James Potter had gotten cold feet and got in the way. With his cowardice, he had saved his life. And for that, Severus now hated him more than ever….
"Severus? Are you still with me?" Lupin still sat vis-vis on the old shabby sofa and watched him inquiringly.
Snape resurfaced from his memories and looked at him in a irritated way.
"What?" he snapped.
"You've been pretty far away."
And not for a short time, he realised. In the meantime, the sun had sunk. He must have been sitting there for an eternity, mulling over his memories.
Snape put down his glass and fixed a distrustful gaze upon Lupin.
"Why do you wish to apologize now? After all these years?"
"Well, as time passes by one starts pondering. You know, James is dead, Sirius is dead and devil may know what happened to Peter. There are just the two of us left, Severus. Just you and I. And it seemed important to me."
Lupin took a sip of wine.
"You took it so damned calm then. Nearly unconcerned. And I believed – or more I WANTED to believe that you really didn't care that much. Cause I wasn't feeling that miserable when I believed so." Lupin was quiet for a moment and then he bent forward and searched for Snape's eyes in the flickering light of the lamp.
"But then I started at Hogwarts. I got that job you always wanted. And I've realised how filled with bitterness you really were. And I knew that your bitterness couldn't be only because of that job thing. And I've seen how great your anger and disappointment still were, after all these years. You still were so attached to that story that you would have handed Sirius over to the Dementors without even listening to him. Disappointed and even vengeful enough to spill the beans about me. To divulge that I am a werewolf. And you were angry enough to feel only satisfaction about Sirius' death. And that scared me, Severus. Because it is entirely my fault."
Snape opened his mouth to say something, but Lupin interrupted him.
"First you listen to me. Afterwards you can still throw me out if you want to."
Snape nodded silently.
"I've hurt you. I've betrayed you and I've disappointed you. I have taken away what mattered the most to you: Your dignity. And your feeling of being loved. I know that. And I also know that I can't turn back time. But you have to believe me, Severus. I have really loved you. Every word I've written was the truth. But I was a coward, too cowardly to vouch for it. I was afraid to be pilloried in the same way you were. And I was afraid that somebody might find out that I am a werewolf, a monster. What if one of my friends had divulged it? I wouldn't have been able to stay at Hogwarts. No other school would have accepted me. But what I was most afraid of was that you would find out the truth. That you would find out what I am. And that you would leave me because of that. When Sirius found your letter, I … I saw no other way but to react in the way I did. And you have to believe me that I didn't know anything about that insane idea to lure you to the Shrieking Shag."
Severus cut in: "I know. I have heard about it, at that time when Sirius fled from Azkaban."
"And whether you believe me or not, Severus, I regret that I betrayed you. I regret it every single day of my life."
Lupin's voice had a pleading undertone.
"And now say something, please."
"Well, Remus. I would have never thought that you would have the nerve to mention this topic ever again. And also, I wouldn't have expected to hear an excuse from your trap for it, never mind an explanation."
Snape was silent, he was only too aware of Lupin's look.
Should I once again dare to trust him? Should I believe that he's talking seriously? I would really like to. He knows me far too well. But perhaps…
Snape thought and squared his shoulders. He went on as if that break had resulted naturally.
"You hurt me very much back then and I was really pissed off. And that's putting it mildly. Do you know that I actually hated you for that? For everything you've done to me? You have given something to me that is natural for others: Love. You showed me what it means to love and to be loved. And then you took it away from me, just like that. As if Severus Snape isn't worth to be loved. As if I am no human with feelings and longings. After that, the solitude was much more difficult to bear… Perhaps that is why I turned to the Death Eaters, to Voldemort. To be powerful enough to take vengeance on everyone. If I wasn't allowed to love, then I was permitted to hate. As a Death Eater, I learned to cultivate my hate. But eventually, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted. I didn't enjoy to slay, to torture, to crucify, because I've learned it the hard way. I was dreaded as a Death Eater, but I was lonelier than ever. Again I was the other, the outsider. Again, I was the one who didn't belong to the others, but this time I have paid my mistake by loosing my innocence, the peace of my mind. To expiate my actions, I offered to become Dumbledore's spy, a double agent. Now I've finally fallen between all stools. Halfway here, halfway there, but I belong nowhere."
Snape finished his words very quietly, as if he was afraid that someone would listen.
"Severus, you just don't make it easy for the most people to like you. Your cold, condescending, arrogant attitude intimidates the people around you and puts them off. But that's it, isn't it? Nobody comes close enough to hurt you again. Only Dumbledore. Dumbledore stood close enough to you," Lupin fell silent.
"And I had to kill him," Snape answered quietly.
"Sure, they have cleared me of all charges, but that doesn't help anything about my guilt. It doesn't help with my pain."
His voice sounded frail and for the first time in all these years, he appeared aged to Lupin.
"But sometimes, I think that the risk might have been worthwhile. To trust someone, I mean. " Now Snape threw all caution off the wind.
"Yes, perhaps," Lupin agreed.
"Perhaps I would have been betrayed again, as you did!"
Only a tired breath of sarcasm resonated in his voice, which hit Lupin more than biting sneering could have.
"I guess I deserve it," Lupin smiled sadly.
"Certainly!" Snape's voice sounded sharper. He sipped his whine and clenched his glass.
"I cannot tell you that I forgive you. For that, my pain and my fury are too deep-rooted. But I thank you for this opportunity - and your explanation."
Snape got up, stepped to his bookshelves and his eyes wandered searchingly over the shelves. Finally, he pulled out an old, yellowish role of parchment and threw it in Lupin's lap.
"I guess for today everything is said and I would appreciate if you'd leave now."
Lupin took the parchment and stood up. Snape escorted him to the door and Lupin left the house. Before Snape slammed the door shut behind him, he snapped:
"If you have nothing better to do, we could play chess on Friday evening."
Lupin turned around and grinned in relief.
"I will come around eight."
The door closed with a loud noise. Lupin walked up the street until he was out of sight, then he positioned himself under a street light and unfolded the parchment. He found out that he knew this letter. With a quiet smile, he read it:
Every satellite and every moon needs a planet which it can circle and which holds it in its orbit. A planet which holds it on course, but doesn't blockade it.
A planet which centres the sun with it together and which sees not only the bright beautiful side, but also the dark, pock-marked; the side with the deep craters and dark ravines.
What would the moon be without the Earth?
An aimlessly wandering, cold stone block, without a clear direction, unprotected to ion storms and meteor showers, lost in the infinite vastness of the cold, black universe.
You are such a moon for me and you also need a planet with which you can circle safely round the sun.
I am not as big as Saturn or Jupiter, more a cosmic dwarf like Mercury or Pluto, but perhaps I have enough gravity to keep a small moon on course?
Severus, my heart, do you want to be my moon?
And underneath stood in Snape's tidy, small handwriting:
"I could not wish for a more beautiful planet….
With love, Your Severus."
Carefully, he folded the letter and stored it safely away in his pocket.
*"The human is the wolf to the human" or "Every man is the enemy to every man".