"Life Just Isn't Fair!"
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Most of the characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I only WISH that I were making money from this, but I'm not.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is (sort of) a sequel
to my fic
An English Werewolf In New York, so if you haven't read
that, you won't have the background for what's going on in this story.
Also, this story contains GIGANTIC SPOILERS for the other one - you've
Life just isn't fair,
Severus Snape thought as he climbed into bed. He muttered a spell to extinguish
the candle burning on his nightstand and tried to get comfortable. He closed
his eyes. It just isn't fair! It isn't! I should be teaching Defense
Against the Dark Arts! ME! Not that… that… that WEREWOLF! Being passed
over yet again for the position he craved so much had been galling indeed,
but the things that had transpired after that had been even worse.
When Dumbledore had announced the appointment, there had been a gratifying flurry of protest from parents who (quite reasonably, in Snape's opinion) didn't want their children exposed to a werewolf. But Dumbledore firmly believed that Lupin posed no danger to the students or to anyone else for that matter. "Love," he'd told Snape softly, "works wonders." What nonsense! Snape had thought. He had been about to make a snarky comment along the lines of not finding Remus Lupin very lovable, but their meeting had been interrupted by a parent who'd shown up at the school wanting a word with the headmaster about the controversial new member of staff. Snape had sat in silence, listening as the witch had outlined her concerns, watching Dumbledore nod to show he was listening. Finally, the headmaster had reminded her that she had once been a student at Hogwarts. He asked her if, in all her years at school, he had ever done anything to make her believe his judgement was not to be trusted.
"No," she'd said, "but - " Dumbledore had interrupted her, saying that as headmaster, it was his responsibility, nay, his DUTY to insure that the students received the best education possible from the most qualified, knowledgeable instructors he could employ.
"And in my opinion," he'd concluded, "in the area of Defense Against the Dark Arts, that means Remus Lupin." Snape had glared darkly at him for that. Dumbledore had gone on to say that while he'd be saddened if she chose to withdraw her children from Hogwarts, he would understand. But he was not going to give in to the blind hysteria and foolish prejudice that surrounded the subject of lycanthropy. "Professor Lupin has committed no crime, and he hasn't harmed anyone. He has as much right to make a living as any of us. " The witch had gone away shaking her head and muttering under her breath, but in the end, her children had returned on the Hogwarts Express that fall. When all was said and done, Snape had been disappointed that only one student had not come back to Hogwarts. When Snape had thrown that sole withdrawal in the headmaster's face, Dumbledore had pointed out mildly that the family in question was moving to Canada and that the child would likely be attending school there instead. Just when Snape had thought things could not get any worse, they had.
Remus Lupin had returned on the Hogwarts Express, bringing his new wife Amanda along with him. Not only was she a Muggle, which was bad enough in Snape's opinion, but she was an American one at that! He'd supposed that Lupin could hardly have been expected to do better for himself, but still it was galling, especially since Snape couldn't remember the last time he'd even been on a date, let alone with a woman as striking as Amanda Lupin. For reasons that he simply could not fathom, women seemed oddly immune to Severus Snape's many charms.
And then… Well, Snape had nearly choked on his pumpkin juice when Dumbledore had stood up at the Welcoming Feast and announced the appointment of the other Professor Lupin, this one to teach a new expanded course in Muggle Studies. The headmaster had gone on to explain that he'd suddenly realized that Muggle Studies taught essential survival skills to children who had grown up in wizarding families, and that from now on it would be a required course each year for all students. Snape had glared darkly down the table at the new Professor Lupin, who'd smiled brightly in return and waved at him as though they were old friends. Naturally, things had gone downhill from there.
Classes had begun, and soon Snape had fallen into the familiar academic routine. But this year, things had been subtly different. Students came into his classroom from Muggle Studies singing ridiculous songs (his least favorite had lyrics that attempted to convince the listener that the singer was indeed the REAL Slim Shady, whatever that meant) and brandishing photographs of themselves and their classmates that remained oddly still. And if the results of Amanda Lupin's lessons weren't bad enough, there was the woman herself to contend with.
He did not like her, plain and simple. The fact that she was young and lovely irritated Snape to no end. Many of the male students were half in love with her; in a fit of rage, he'd even taken fifty points from Slytherin when he'd caught Draco Malfoy staring at her like an idiot. He didn't like the casual manner in which she dressed (though he did sometimes sneak a peek at the long legs revealed by her tight jeans). He did not like the way she allowed the students to call her "Amanda" ("When you guys say 'Professor Lupin', I look around for my husband!" she'd told her students). And she had no idea about teaching. She focused an inordinate amount of her attention on scofflaws like Harry Potter and his ragtag band of misfit friends, while treating the more promising students like Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson with a sort of bemused tolerance. Most of all, he did not like the way she always called him "Professor Snape" with an overly serious, very grave sort of respect. With that American accent of hers, it always sounded vaguely like she might be pulling his leg.
Even worse was the effect that she'd had on her husband. Remus Lupin used to be properly ashamed of his affliction. He still looked much like he always had; thin, pale, cheerful. But there was something different about him now. He used to understand that he was an unclean beast unworthy of being treated like a human being. But now… well… he'd acquired self-esteem! He no longer slunk around looking apologetic for being alive. Now Lupin held his head up high, and he moved with a fluid animal grace that the female students found quite intriguing. Snape had even seen Hermione Granger's eyes following Lupin down the hall. That he was a werewolf and a married one at that seemed to make the man even more appealing to them, a fact that puzzled Snape to no end. Why would they giggle and blush when they encountered Lupin in the hallways, and yet take no notice of the unmarried, lycanthropy-free Snape? He just couldn't figure it out. Though of course Snape would never do anything as unethical as having a relationship with a student, it still bothered him that none of them seemed to find him as appealing as Lupin.
Snape was finding that he'd liked the old Remus Lupin a lot better. Along with his new self-esteem, Lupin had grown a sense of humor about his condition. All of Snape's favorite jibes about lycanthropy that had always been most effective now rolled right off of Lupin's back. Snape had recently stuck his head into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and made a snide remark to the students about hoping for their sakes that lycanthropy wasn't as contagious as the common cold. The students had all gone very quiet, looking at Lupin to see how he'd react. He'd just stood there for a moment, deep in thought. Then he'd suddenly turned towards Snape, eyes narrowed. And then… he'd bared his teeth and growled like a wolf! Snape had just stood there, shocked, as Lupin advanced on him, growling. Finally, unsure how far Lupin was prepared to carry his little joke (Snape had no desire to be bitten by a werewolf), he had turned and fled, with Lupin's students' laughter following him down the hall. Snape had complained to Dumbledore about that incident, and what had the headmaster done? Why, HE'D LAUGHED TOO! Dumbledore seemed totally unconcerned that Lupin had not only clearly threatened him, but had made a laughingstock out of him as well.
Life just isn't fair, Snape thought again, tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable. His bedroom was cold, his bed was cold, and his feet were cold. The thought that Lupin was probably very warm indeed in HIS bed didn't do anything to improve Snape's mood. His thoughts returned to Amanda Lupin; though he had no proof, he was absolutely certain that she was somehow responsible for the bottles of shampoo with notes taped to them that said "Use Me!" that had begun mysteriously appearing in his mailbox in the staff room.
Her husband's insufferable cheerfulness had rubbed off on her, and on top of it, she always looked like she was glowing with health. Snape had overheard one of the Hufflepuff seventh years snickering to his friend that a "good shagging" will make a woman glow like that. Recently, though, Amanda had begun putting on weight, which had pleased Snape enormously for a while. He'd even made a snide comment to Lupin about how married women tend to let themselves go after a bit. But then one day at breakfast, he'd seen Amanda jump up from her seat at the staff table and charge out of the hall, one hand clapped over her mouth. Lupin had followed her, looking concerned. Professor McGonagall and Professor Trelawney had exchanged knowing looks with Madame Pomfrey, and Snape had suddenly understood.
Life just isn't fair, Snape thought again. He finally fell asleep, and he tossed and turned, troubled by nightmares in which little werewolf puppies made a fool out of him in front of the entire school.