DISCLAIMER: I don't own these things, obviously.
Update: I've edited these first two chapters to fix some errors. When I started this it was before dates and things were all compiled nice and neat for the most part so I had to do math (eek!) and also to add paragraph dividers.
"You'd better be in Slytherin."
Lily gave a small shrug, "We'll be friends no matter what, right?"
Sirius Black whooped and punched the air in victory as he rushed to sit with his new housemates at the Gryffindor table, "Yeah…" Severus said quietly.
After a bout of awkward silence, Lily was called to the front, and Severus' entire body went numb when the Sorting Hat shouted its decision, "GRYFFINDOR!"
Lily gave her friend an apologetic smile and found a seat far from the first year Sirius. He forced a frail smile and clapped half-heartedly for her. Later in the alphabet, the Potter boy that had been rude to Severus joined Gryffindor as well, and after a long list of names and misery, the woman holding the Sorting Hat called his name, "Severus Snape!"
The thin greasy boy made his way reluctantly up and sat on the stool; the Sorting Hat muttered to itself as it deliberated, "A thirst for knowledge, the need to prove yourself and escape your upbringing… I know the perfect place for you… but…"
"But?" Severus whispered, glancing up at the hat.
"The Headmaster is looking at me… one of those meaningful looks he gives me when he's overruling my decision… and so… we'll put you in… GRYFFINDOR!"
Severus froze, staring up at the hat with a mixed expression; he didn't move until the Deputy Headmaster nudged him. He slid off of the stool slowly and proceeded to the Gryffindor table with a puzzled look on his face. The look of confusion soon gave way to a shy smile as he realized an entire table was clapping for him, including his best friend Lily Evans. She patted his arm as he sat and James Potter leaned across the table, extending his hand, "Alright, mate?"
Severus hesitated, but with a nudge from Lily, he leaned forward and took James' hand in a polite handshake, "Welcome to Gryffindor." Lily whispered, her face brightened by a beautiful smile.
"I don't think I'll ever get it." Lily said with a pout, "How are you so far ahead of every other first year?"
"I… practice." Severus muttered, "Now this isn't that hard, just move your wand like this, and Aguamenti."
Lily sighed and swished her own wand, "Aguamenti!"
"Look out, Evans!" James shouted as he barely managed to dodge the stream of water, scowling at his housemates.
"I did it!" Lily said, grinning at Severus.
"I knew you would." Severus replied, "You always do."
Lily screamed as suddenly a she was doused in water; she glanced up to see a water bucket floating over her head. Peter Pettigrew snickered, but his face grew serious with terror as Lily's face turned red with anger, "You little rat!" she screeched, chasing after him as the half-full forgotten bucket fell down onto Severus' head.
Severus tugged the bucket off of his head and looked miserably down at his soaked robes, jumping when James grabbed his arm, "Come on, Snape! Evans'll kill him!" He chuckled as they chased the other two down, "I've never seen Peter run so fast."
Severus' heart pounded in his chest as he raced carefully down the hallway besides James, weaving in and out of students and trying to keep an eye on Lily, who was gaining on Peter with every step. As they rounded a corner, James shouted something Severus didn't here and they collided together into something. As Severus untangled himself and stood he found himself looking down at a very angry Minerva McGonagall. Her face was red as she hurried to her feet, "Mr. Snape, Mr. Potter! I expect you two were simply rushing to class? Certainly not mine; you're always late, Potter. For Merlin's sake why are you all wet, Severus?"
"Potions accident." James blurted.
McGonagall put her hand over her eyes, at which time Severus gave James a questioning look and the bespectacled boy shrugged, both boys quickly returning to attention as McGonagall looked at them once again, "Well don't just stand there! Get yourself to the Common Room and clean yourself up before the other House Heads think I don't keep an eye on my students!"
"Yes ma'am." both boys muttered, rushing down the hall to rejoin Peter and Lily.
The round boy was soaked, and Lily looked very pleased with herself, "Thank you for the lesson, Sev, it came in handy."
"You should teach me." James said.
"No way, you'll just shoot me in the back of the head with it in Potions when I'm trying to concentrate." Severus said, and then gave in to reluctant defeat, "Alright maybe this weekend."
"Thanks, Snape." James said with a smile, "I mean I'm gonna shoot somebody in the back of the head with something so it might as well be you with a water charm." just then the boy spotted his friend and called out, "Hey Sirius!" and disappeared down the hall with Peter on his heels.
The sandy-haired boy turned around and gave a timid smile; had someone really noticed him? Was somebody really talking to him? The blonde boy who spoke was far older, the prefect badge on his chest had very obviously gone to his head, and he laughed mockingly at the boy, "What did you think I wanted to be friends? Get out of the way, firstie, before you get hurt."
The silver-haired Lucius Malfoy shoved past the boy, leaving him embarrassed and insulted. The girl who had been at his side hung back and smiled at Remus; she lifted his chin with her hand and winked at him before hurrying to catch up with Lucius. Remus blushed and watched her go as a voice behind him interrupted his thoughts, "Fancy my cousin, do you?"
Remus looked up to find himself confronted by a group of five Gryffindors; three boys that were standing with their arms crossed, and a greasy awkward-looking boy standing behind him with a pretty redhead at his side, "What?"
"If you're not a pureblood you're wasting your time." Sirius said.
"As if she'd give you the time of day anyway; it looks like you pulled yourself out of a garbage can." Peter added with a smirk.
"Leave him alone." Severus muttered, "He didn't do anything."
"Fancy yourself the Dark Arts?" James interrogated, "Most Slytherins do; the snake is a perfect symbol for your house. Although I'm sure the weasel would have been just as good."
"Severus said leave him be, fathead!" Lily snapped, stepping around to shield the small Slytherin, "He didn't do anything to you!"
"Oh come on, Evans, we're just having some fun." James called.
"Just go away!" Lily said, exasperated.
"Stay away from the Black family." Sirius warned Remus before the three boys disappeared down the hall.
"Thanks." Remus said, "My name's Remus Lupin."
"Lily Evans." Lily replied, "This is Severus."
"Yeah we're in Charms together… you're really good." Remus said sheepishly, "I didn't mean anything by… I mean… she just-"
"It is kind of pathetic you know." Lily said, "I mean… she's a sixth year, and her boyfriend's a prefect."
"I know that." Remus said stubbornly, "Anyway… I gotta go. I have stuff to do."
Lily watched the boy go and crossed her arms, "Are you hungry?"
"Not really." Severus said meekly.
"Yeah, me either. Let's go get dried off." she said, heading for the common room.
As they walked away, Horace Slughorn smiled on his way to the Headmaster's Office; the portly professor let out a startled yell as he slipped in the large puddle of water left by the Gryffindors seconds before
"This isn't some sort of circus!" Lily muttered, "It is homework."
"I'm sorry!" Remus defended, "Not everyone can be prodigies like you two."
"Well stop fooling around." Lily scolded, "You're going to hurt someone!"
"No need to get upset." Severus said, "It's just a potion."
Remus rolled his eyes as he tossed in a handful of Monkshood into his cauldron and stirred at it distractedly; suddenly the potion made a deep gurgling noise and a large bubble formed slowly before exploding, splattering the sandy-haired boy's face, "Are you alright?!" Lily cried.
"I think that may have been too much." Severus said.
"I thought you said this wasn't dangerous, Sev!"
"It wasn't supposed to be!" Severus replied with a slight smile, "Does it burn?"
"No it's just… gross." Remus mumbled.
"I'll go get you a towel." Lily chuckled.
"Tegeo." Severus said, pointing his wand at Remus' nose.
Severus managed to siphon most of the foul potion from Remus' face on his first attempt, and another casting of the spell saw the boy's face clean, "Never mind." Lily said.
Remus made a face and wrinkled his nose, "That was wretched; how do you know that spell?"
"Magic has always been a hobby of Sev's." Lily answered, returning to her seat.
"I thought we weren't allowed to do deliberate magic before Hogwarts… are we?" Remus asked, eyeing the potion suspiciously.
"My parents were… busy a lot so I mostly just practiced spells I found in my mother's books." Severus dismissed, pointing his wand at the cauldron and muttering, "Scourgify." nothing happened, and Severus frowned, picking up the cauldron and carrying it across the classroom to clean it the muggle way.
"What was this potion supposed to do, anyway?" Remus asked.
"Professor Slughorn is trying to teach it to his sixth years." Severus said, "It's ‑ supposed to repel werewolves I think."
Remus stiffened and looked warily at Severus, standing so quickly the stool he had been on toppled backwards, "I have to go."
"Are you sure? We still have an hour before dinner I thought we could try again." Severus said as he scrubbed the cauldron, "Note to self: practice Scourgify."
"I really have to go." Remus repeated, rushing out the door.
"Do you think he's alright?" Lily asked.
Severus shrugged in response, returning to the cleaning of his cauldron, "He certainly made a mess of things; he could have at least helped clean up. Professor Slughorn will never let us use the room again if we leave it a mess."
"Maybe the potion made him sick." Lily said, standing the stool back up, "I'll help you clean up."
Remus glanced around over his shoulder before knocking heavily on the Head Master's door; the gentle voice that answered partially soothed Remus' nervousness, "You may come in."
Remus stuck his head in, hesitating before entering fully; when Dumbledore's kind eyes found him, the old wizard smiled, "Good evening, Remus."
"Hello Professor, I just wanted to ask if you're sure… about me being here."
Dumbledore smiled, "Remus, I won't claim to know everything, or even very much, but I am not a man who often changes his mind. You are no exception, and I don't doubt my decision. Why, do you?"
"I… don't feel like I fit in my own House." Lupin said, "My only… acquaintances are two Gryffindors, and I'm pretty sure they think I'm a loon."
"Oh? Which of our young lions have befriended you, Remus?"
"Severus Snape and Lily Evans, sir." Remus said, "Severus is nice enough and pretty quiet, but Lily's a… little loud."
Dumbledore smiled mischievously, nodding, "Yes, they make quite a pair."
"You know them then? I mean… well?" Remus asked.
"I see things here and there." Dumbledore said, "Now, what exactly are you doubting about Slytherin?"
"Well when the Sorting Hat put me in my House he hesitated. He said something about you. Can you tell me what House he would have put me in?" Remus asked, "Maybe that would explain-"
Dumbledore shook his head, "I'm sorry, Remus. Only the Sorting Hat knows that information, and he reveals no secrets."
"Oh." Remus said, looking down at his feet, "Alright. I'm sorry to have bothered you, Professor."
"Remus, don't worry; Lily and Snape are close, but you will make friends with those from your own House. Give it time."
"How much time?" Remus asked impatiently.
"Let's say… three hundred and sixty-five days? Give or take." Dumbledore said playfully with another warm smile, "Goodnight, Remus, and have a Happy Christmas."
"I can't find my scarf!" Lily cried.
"Well take mine." Severus offered, "I won't be leaving the castle much."
"Castle? You don't live in a castle." Lily said, picking up Severus' scarf and wrapping it around her neck.
Severus looked around the room, "I do now."
"You're not going home for Christmas?" Lily asked, crossing her arms.
"No." Severus said, leaning over to grab a book.
"But what about your mum?"
"It's isn't worth seeing my mother to see my father." Severus said, opening the book.
Lily grabbed the book and threw it over your shoulder, "You're serious about this."
"McGonagall's actually letting you stay without complaining?" Lily asked.
"Yeah come to find out she only hates James and Sirius." Severus said, standing to fetch his book.
"Well this is really sad." Lily said, "Come home with me!"
"I have a lot to do right now, not this year."
"Alright well be careful; I hear a lot of the Slytherins are staying behind to work on some House project thing. You know how they hate us." Lily warned.
"I'll be fine." Severus said, "Now look, you're going to miss the train."
"So." Lucius said smoothly, "I hear one of the baby lions is staying here alone over Christmas."
"Are you going to do something?" Vince asked, crossing his arms.
"What kind of Slytherins would we be if we didn't?" Greg piped in with a grin.
"Precisely." Lucius agreed.
"Well what are you going to do?" Narcissa asked passively, looking her fingernails over for imperfections.
"Oh I have a few things in mind; it shouldn't be too hard."
"Are you going to hurt him?" a small voice whimpered.
Lucius turned and see Remus in the doorway and smirked, "No, not as far as you're concerned and you can keep your mouth shut. It's time you learned your place and stopped buddying around with the Gryffindors."
"Sev could hold his own." Remus said doubtfully, "He knows way more magic than any first year, probably some of the fifth years even."
"Please." Lucius said, "He's just got a big mouth; in fact, let's go find him now. The students should have cleared out."
"This is a bad idea." Remus muttered.
"What are you still doing here?" Lucius snapped, standing up, "Well come on you two; we'll find him and have him crying for his mother before the sun sets."
Remus' head snapped up suddenly and his pupils shrank to small dots, "Sunset?" he whispered, running from the room and hurling himself up the stairs to find a window. Sure enough, the sky was turning a slight red, and Remus knew very well what that meant. It was to be his first full moon away from home and Dumbledore had told him to go to his office before sunset; now it all seemed like a very bad idea to Remus, and he wished that Dumbledore would have simply sent him home again.
The other full moons had been simple, a quick trip home and a return trip shortly after sunrise; his parents had encouraged him to try it at Hogwarts, under Dumbledore's care, and he'd agreed grudgingly. He had to grow up sometime. Remus focused once again on the moon and he ran quickly away from the window, desperately struggling toward Dumbledore's office.
Severus smiled to himself as he made his way from the library; he had managed to escape with an interesting book and without a lecture or scolding from the librarian. Something told Severus that the librarian was the type to live forever, torturing children generation after generation. He froze when he saw the three older boys approaching him; they were Slytherins, and they were walking with purpose. Severus hated it when others approached him purposefully; it reminded him of his father's walk, and his father was very often inclined to insult Severus, push him, slap him or any other form of half-hearted abuse he'd thought up half-way across the room as he approached his son. These boys seemed a lot more into their future assault on the boy, and Severus recognized the flaxen-haired boy in the middle as Lucius Malfoy, the Slytherin prefect. Severus dropped his book and took an instinctive step back as the boys neared him, and when Lucius Malfoy drew his wand, so did Severus, "What are you going to do, Gryffindor?" the blonde challenged, "Attack me?"
"I w-will defend m-myself." Severus stammered, taking another step back.
"Oh w-will you?" Lucius snapped, mocking the boy's nervous stutter, "What's your next trick? Run away? Cry?"
The mocking stung and reminded Severus even more of his violent muggle father; he shook his head and had to force himself to lock eyes with the older boy, "Throw him through the wall, Lucius." Vince urged, "Show him who's the superior house."
Lucius grinned evilly and fired a Flippendo curse at the smaller boy, throwing Severus through the air backwards. Severus cried out in fear and pointed his wand out at the blonde just before he crashed into the wall. His long hair fell in his face and he heard a startled yell that made him look up. Lucius was clutching his decently-shaped left bicep where his robes had been cut away and blood poured through his fingers. Blood had splattered from the cut onto Vince Crabbe's face, "I've never seen that curse, Lucius. What did he do?!" Greg muttered.
"Committed suicide." Lucius growled, his eyes flashing with hatred as a fascinated smile crept across Severus' face, "Wipe that smile off his greasy little face."
Severus' face fell and he stumbled to his feet, sprinting down the corridor around the corner as Vince, Greg and Lucius gave chase.
Narcissa sighed with annoyance as she walked down the Dungeon corridor; she hated when the boys ran off on their macho errands, especially when they were gone for so long. Lucius had no problem ignoring her when it came to proving his manhood; Narcissa had half a mind to find herself a younger man who would drool over her anytime she wanted. Of course, it was nearly impossible for Narcissa to think about anything other than Lucius, and she smiled as her mind wandered back to the day they met, and then the night they spent in that broom closet about a month ago. An upsetting noise down the corridor in the dark brought her back to herself, and she drew her wand, "Lumos." she whispered, her light breaking up the otherwise dark dungeon.
The sun had just recently set and only a whisper of its light could be seen over the horizon; it was just enough to make the dungeon eerie, and Narcissa gasped when she came upon the cause of the noise. It was the first year Remus Lupin; he was writhing on the floor and making quiet whimpers and growls of pain. He gasped when he caught sight of her, and struggled to speak, "Please… I… I have to get to…. Dumbledore. He knows how to… help me."
"What's wrong?" Narcissa asked, kneeling beside the boy. Normally she ignored first years like everyone else, but it was hard to ignore this one while he was lying on the floor mewling for help, and Narcissa had a very strong mothering instinct she just couldn't seem to get rid of.
"I'm… a…. a werewolf." the boy said, "Hurry! It's going to happen!"
Narcissa took a deep breath, clearing her thoughts before she picked the boy up and stood slowly, "It's gonna be alright."
"If I bite you-"
"You won't." Narcissa interrupted, running to the opposite end of the dungeons until she came to the large heavy door at the end. She raised one foot and struck it against the door, repeating this twice before the door opened, "What is it, Ms. Black?"
"Professor Slughorn… it's Remus Lupin. He says he's a werewolf… I can't get him to Professor Dumbledore in time." Narcissa said, holding the struggling boy out to the Professor, "If you could just… lock him up somewhere I can go get the Headmaster."
Slughorn took the boy and nodded, "Quickly, Ms. Black."
Narcissa disappeared down the corridor into the darkness, rushing to Dumbledore's office.
Severus let out a little breathless sob as he turned yet another corner, dodging curses as they flew at him almost constantly. The three boys behind him were out for blood, and he was starting to imagine Lily's face when they discovered his body in a closet somewhere in the castle. He looked down at his wand, "I don't suppose you could do that again?" he muttered breathlessly to it, crying out as he tripped and skidded across the floor, ugly scratches forming on his arms as his skin rubbed against the thick stone. When he looked up he saw an older blonde girl and the Headmaster of the school, "Severus Snape, are you alright?" the wizard asked.
Severus shot to his feet instantly, turning to find the hallway behind him empty; the older boys had given up their chase the second they'd caught wind of Dumbledore, "I'm fine." he said quietly, "I just… thought I saw… nothing."
Dumbledore's face was etched with restrained annoyance as he glanced down the hallway past Severus, "The Sorting Hat didn't put you in Gryffindor to bear your pain in silence, Severus." he said, and swept down the hallway.
The blonde girl, Narcissa Black, gave Severus a look of guilt and pity as she hurried after Dumbledore, and the young boy sighed, sinking back to the floor as he struggled to catch his breath, "Just let me survive this vacation."
"Where have you been?" Lucius asked as Narcissa entered the otherwise empty common room, "It's late."
"I was out with another arrogant blonde jerk." Narcissa snapped.
Lucius' left eyebrow twitched slightly but his face remained unchanging, "Out, then?"
Narcissa sighed, "I was helping one of the first years that… was sick. You know you're so obsessed with beating up the Gryffindors that you're ignoring your own house. You're supposed to be a Prefect!" she shouted, then quieted, "What happened to your arm?"
Lucius looked down; the bandaged wound had bled through the white sleeve of his school uniform and he scowled, "Nothing."
Narcissa rolled her eyes, "Is that why you were chasing that boy all over the castle? Dumbledore almost saw you!"
"You were with him?" Lucius asked, looking up.
"Yes!" Narcissa replied impatiently, "I told you one of our first years was sick; it was Remus Lupin."
"Well I try not to pay that boy much attention; you know what he is."
"I don't think you do." Narcissa muttered, unheard by Lucius as he continued.
"He's only half wizard." Lucius finished.
"Gasp." Narcissa said sarcastically.
"Don't act like that doesn't bother you." Lucius said, standing, "You've always hated-"
"That's not what I'm saying." Narcissa interrupted, walking over to him, "I'm only saying that Slytherins should stick together; there must be some reason the Sorting Hat gave him to us." she touched his arm thoughtfully, "How long has it been bleeding like this?"
"Forty-five minutes." Lucius said sullenly, "I have no idea what the little idiot used on me but nothing I've tried has managed to stop it."
"What, you mean like wrapping a sock around it?" Narcissa muttered, rolling his bloodied sleeve up, "Did you try any healing charms?"
Lucius looked at her for a moment before sighing, "No."
"Well I don't blame you, with no one to help but Vince and Greg I wouldn't have brought it up either." Narcissa said.
"Severus, hey Severus!"
Severus turned and stopped when he saw the little Slytherin rushing up the stairs after him, "Hi Remus."
The boy smiled when he stopped, "Happy Christmas."
Severus glanced around, "Is it Christmas today?" he asked thoughtfully. It was still night, and the depleted moon gave off little light.
Remus nodded, "Five minutes after midnight, what are you doing here in the Grand Hall so late?"
"No patrol," Severus said simply, "I was just reading."
"I brought you something," the boy said suddenly, shyly. He pulled a large book out from his bag and set it on the table, "It was in Slughorn's office."
Severus didn't look at the book, "Why were you in his office?"
"I was ill," Remus said, looking down, "He said I could have it… I think he was just trying to make me feel better." Embarrassment burned the young werewolf's ears, remembering as he cried and sputtered and—had he been able to speak—he would have mewled for his mother, "Anyways, I don't know anything about Potions and you're really good so… Happy Christmas."
"It's a sixth-year Potions textbook." Severus said quietly, opening the book.
"It's not much," Remus said humbly.
"It's brilliant," Severus countered, offering the boy a thin, genuine smile, "Thank you."
Remus nodded, then blurted, "I'm a werewolf."
"A werewolf?" Severus asked, then he nodded, "That makes sense. Well, anyway, it's late. Happy Christmas, Remus. See you for breakfast." The dark-haired lion rose and left the Great Hall, cradling the advanced book in his arms.
Remus watched him sadly, afraid that his secret was out, and no one would be his friend after Severus spread the word.
Remus Lupin sat at the breakfast table, forlorn and nervous; Severus had not met him as the boy had promised, and Remus felt—once again—completely alone. He shook his head, his sandy hair mimicking the motions and stood up, jumping when Severus shouted, "Remus!" from the entrance to the Great Hall, running excitedly up to the boy.
"Hi Severus." The boy said quietly, "I didn't think you'd come."
"I'm not usually late," Severus muttered, then dug around in his bag and pulled out various little vials, jars and a book tied securely with a belt, "I read the book you gave me… well some of it, and I snuck into the library for a copy of the Monster Book of Monsters. I think I can help you."
Remus looked puzzled, but he nodded, "Ok… how?"
"These ingredients should enable me to make a potion that will make your transformations less traumatic." He said, his eyes sparkling with excitement, "I read all about your affliction. You won't attack animals unprovoked… just people, and yourself if you are left alone too much. Maybe I can help."
Remus watched open-mouthed, "You read a lot last night."
"I didn't sleep," Severus said with a wider smile, "I read and then I went around the grounds finding all of this. Lucky for me the Slytherins weren't out."
"I heard Lucius saying he was going to mess with you." Remus said, "What happened?"
"I made a new spell." Severus said, "And Dumbledore scared them off before they could really catch me. I hope the others will be back soon."
"Do you miss Lily?" Remus asked innocently, "She's a pretty girl."
Severus wrinkled his nose, "I don't think of her like that," he said quickly, "I just mean… I was teaching her Wiggenweld potion and if she's gone too long she'll forget everything. She can't really practice at home. She's a-"
"Mudblood?" Remus offered, taking the word from the older Slytherins.
Severus scowled, "She's a Muggleborn. Don't ever call her a Mudblood or I'll-"
"I'm sorry," Remus said quickly, "I didn't mean it like that. I really like Lily. Do you want to go to the boathouse and see if there's any spots where we can catch Flying Seahorses?" he offered.
Severus looked at Remus for a moment, but then his temper eased and he nodded, "Alright, let's go."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok the first time I put this up for some reason my end Author's Note didn't show up—stupid fanfiction—but it was SUPPOSED to mention my friend kreoff210's fic that she wrote at the same time I wrote my fic—actually a little before. It's called "Houses" and it's about the whole Remus in Slytherin, Severus in Gryffindor universe as well. Check it out; I personally think she does a better job dealing with Remus than I do. Thanks to her for helping me work through my story and giving me awesome feedback during the writing process—which was way too long. She and I will be updating around the same time and I think our chapters will probably span the same chunks of time so it should be easy to read them at the same time. Thanks for reading and feel free to review!