Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. DAMN IT! I really want to. Then I would be making millions and not JKR!
Thank you to all of you who continue to read and review this story. I know the updates are slow and I apologize for that but life is life and at the moment it's a busy one. Also special thanks to my new BETA Melissa Ivory.
Unexpected Break Through
Over the next couple of weeks, Severus made sure to keep in close contact with his friends, floo calling or owling them every few days, and of course with Lily, he made sure to talk to her every day—in person, not just over the phone. He had also added strong wards to his family's home, without their knowledge; obviously, he shouldn't be able to perform such magic at his age, even if he was supposedly gifted. As he had been all summer, Severus spent most of his time with Master Flamel to continue his work on his projects. Aside from his own endeavors, he had been working with the older wizard on some of his own ideas as well.
Nicholas had been attempting the same thing Belby was at the moment, a cure for Lycanthropy, though no one knew aside from Severus, which although it was an unfair advantage, it didn't stop him from relaying subtle hints of known ingredients in Wolfsbane to Flamel. Severus quickly found that Nicholas' own idea certainly had merit, he had some of the same concepts as Belby's but used other branches of magic as well, including Charms and Arithmacy.
While Belby would soon find a way to allow the werewolf to keep his mind during the full moon, Severus hoped, with his help, Flamel would be successful in halting the transformations all together.
"Severus?" the dark haired boy lifted his head from his notes at the sound of his name.
"I've just thought of an herb that might be helpful for that girl with the Spinal Injury."
"Harpagophytum Procumbens or more commonly known, Devil's Claw. It's often put in potions made to aid in Spinal Stenosis. It's mostly a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory used in arthritis and nerve pain cases, but I thought that if we infused it with White Willow and perhaps Kale it would work to help mend the damaged areas and then fastening them together, sort of like an adhesive. What do you think?"
Severus knew both White Willow and Kale were used in Skele-Gro, a potion that in its current state was not adapt enough to heal a damaged spinal cord, at least not one as damaged as Petunia's.
"That's a good idea sir, but perhaps instead of white Willow we could useComphrey, its stronger and usually has a more significant effect."
Flamel grinned and nodded eagerly. "Brilliant idea, Severus. I will see if I have some in my stores."
Severus had gone home feeling very optimistic about the Potion for Petunia, it seemed to be coming along well. Nicholas did in fact have the ingredients in his stores and they had already begun writing down possible ways to incorporate them into a potion. For once Severus had gone to bed not worrying about the upcoming war, but hopeful of soon finding a way to help Petunia. Of course, his ambitious Slytherin side also considered the recognition he would receive if it indeed became a success.
Severus still had no desire to get caught up into the war, on either side, but that didn't mean he wanted to live a completely isolated life. He wouldn't mind becoming known as a great scholar, a genius in the field of Potions or maybe, one day, if he learned enough under Flamel's tutelage, in Alchemy as well. This way when he and Lily married and had a family of their own—and yes he did want that, just not any time soon—his children would be able to look up to him with pride and honor, knowing how much he had done and continued to do to help the Wizarding World.
A part of him still longed for recognition, just not in the way he used to. This Severus Snape wanted to help, to heal, to show the world he wasn't the dark, hateful man so many people in his former life thought him to be, and if he gained recognition and acknowledgment in the process, all the better.
Remus Lupin felt like he had been run over by a heard of wild Hippogriffs. If he hadn't been locked in his family's basement he might have actually thought it a possibility. Some full moons were more difficult than others, he never really understood why, how could he, he had no memories of what he did when he was in his Werewolf form.
His head slowly lifted at the sound of his bedroom door creaking open, his mother walking in, a tray of food in hand.
"I brought you some soup sweetheart," she said with a small smile, handing her son the tray.
"You're welcome. Oh and here," she then reached into her pocket and pulled out a small vile of blue liquid as well as a yellowish envelope. "This came by owl this morning, from Severus."
Remus immediately drank down the potion and only seconds later he began to feel reprieve from the pain. With a sigh of relief Remus opened the envelope, unfolded the letter inside and began to read.
I apologize profusely for the lateness of your pain reliever. I have been extremely busy with my apprenticeship and I am ashamed to admit it simply slipped my mind. I do, however have good news, Master Flamel has had a brilliant break though with an elixir he has been working on to assist people suffering from the same condition that you have. I am happy to say, that he is ready to begin preliminary tests on volunteers. I, of course, thought of you immediately and he said he would be more than happy to take you on, that is, if you agree. Please owl me or when you are up to it floo call me (in the evening please) and I can discuss this with you in greater detail. I hope to hear from you soon.
Severus T Snape
Remus' hands were shaking by the time he had finished reading the letter. His friend was vague in his note, though considering the content he could understand that. Owls could be intercepted, and considering who Severus was working for, it wouldn't be completely unexpected for someone to attempt to use unhanded methods to find out what was going on in Flamel's laboratories. Carefully folding the letter and placing it back in the envelope, he put his tray of food away, shoved back his covers, and got up.
"Mum, Dad!" he hollered as he made his way cautiously across the room. The pain potions helped but his body still ached, to some degree, and would for at least the next couple of days.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Lupin came rushing into their son's room worried something was wrong.
"Remus, what in the world are you doing out of bed. I know the potions your friend makes helped but—"
"I'm fine. Look, I've got great news! Severus says Mr. Flamel has come up with something to help werewolves and he's looking for volunteers."
His parents gave each other nervous glances. They had dealt with wizards in the past who had claimed to have ways to help their son, and in the end, all it did was drain their savings dry.
"I don't know, Remus," His mother said wearily.
"Please Mum, this is Nicholas Flamel we're talking about, he's not like the others. Plus, Severus was one suggested I volunteer, and after everything he's done for me, I'd trust him with my life. Please!
Once again, his parents looked at each other. They didn't want to deny their son the opportunity for help, but still, they had concerns.
"How about we talk to Severus and Mr. Flamel, and then we'll make a decision, okay?" His Dad suggested, placing his hand on his son's small shoulder.
Remus smiled and nodded, "Okay." He knew Severus could convince his parents, the Ravenclaw may have been only fourteen, but Severus had a way about him that commanded attention, and when he spoke, people listened.
"No, absolutely not," Eileen adamantly stated, shaking her head and tuning back to the platter of cookie dough she had been shaping into Sesame Street Characters, "Completely out of the question."
Severus groaned, crossing his arms firmly over his chest. "You are being unfair Mother." He huffed.
Eileen laughed and shrugged, "And you are being ridiculous, son."
"There is nothing ridiculous about my request," he stated evenly moving himself to lean against the kitchen counter.
"You think asking me to allow you to spend the weekend alone with your girlfriend is reasonable?"
"We wouldn't be alone; Sirius, Regulus, and their Uncle Alphrad would be there as well. Besides, I believe I have proven myself mature when it comes to being alone with Lily," he replied, referring to the brief couple of days when his family had gone to visit his grandmother and he had somehow managed to convince his parents to allow him to stay. He had obeyed his Mother's request to have Lily go home at the agreed upon hour, also calling twice a day, and answering every call she made as well. She had absolutely no reason not to believe he had been nothing but completely responsible and trustworthy.
A smirk had pulled to his lips, brow arching, as he gave his Mother the same condescending look he always gave when he believed he had just won an argument.
Until that moment he had only once before given that look mistakenly. And that was to Albus Dumbledore.
Eileen laughed as she turned to look at her son. "Oh, I see," she said, wiping her hands on her apron before crossing her arms firmly over her chest, "and having a pool party in our backyard with over half a dozen friends, without consulting me or your Father, was mature?"
Severus' arrogant expression dropped like a stone. How in the bloody hell had she found out about that?
"I . . . I don't know what you're talking about."
His Mother snorted in disbelief and Severus wanted to hex himself. Had he lied to the Dark Lord that badly, he would have been dead before he finished his sentence.
"Yes, well, Mrs Miller next door certainly did when she told me all about it the day after we came back. The only reason I let it go was because the house seemed to be in one piece, plus, I had dealt with enough drama in the past couple of days, I didn't want to add any more to it."
"Oh." Shaking his head Severus instantly thought of a dozen things he should have done differently, starting with a silencing spell.
"Thankfully, I didn't have to alter her memory as she didn't actually see the so-call pool, she thought she heard you and your friends playing, which was enough for her to doubt her eighty-five year old memory."
Severus cleared his throat before standing straight and squaring his shoulders. "Yes, well, James insisted on coming over, and then Lily agreed. I felt . . . cornered."
The pureblooded witch just laughed as she turned back to her plate of cookies. "That is one of the weakest excuses you have ever given."
"It's not an—"
"The answer is no Severus." She said firmly.
Without another word, the annoyed ex-spy gave a loud huff, marched out of the kitchen, and up to his room. He spent the next two hours up there brooding before his Mother made him come down to dinner.
"Well, that sucks," Sirius sighed, "but you can still go without Lily, right?" He asked scratching an itch on the end of his nose.
"Yes, my Dad said I could. Lily's mom said she couldn't go either. She mentioned your Uncle going, but since Rose doesn't know him, she wouldn't even consider it. Not that I should have expected otherwise, I was just . . . hoping I suppose."
Severus had never been one for camping, and when Sirius had suggested it to him, he blew off the idea immediately, but when after explaining his Uncle's idea of camping, which included lavish tents and being served by house elves, it suddenly didn't seem like such a bad idea. Plus, it was a chance to get away with his friends. He had barely left the house since the Dark Lord attacked Diagon Alley, but Voldemort had been quiet since then, and as far as he could recall, he didn't believe he attack anyone until around Christmas time.
After the murders, Severus had sat down and made a long list of dates and events that involved the Dark Lord or any Death Eaters, at least ones he could recall anyway. He didn't know how, but he was determined to at least try and stop them from happening, or at least warn those involved somehow.
"Severus, you need to keep the floo line clear, the Lupin's and Flamel's will be here any minute."
Remus and his parents were coming over to hear more about Flamel's elixir and hopefully set up plans to be part of the test-trial.
"Okay, Mum," Severus called back. "I better go, I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"Okay, bye Severus."
Only seconds after the green flames dimmed from his friend's departure, they once again sprung to life.
Remus was feeling a myriad of emotions at that moment—excited, nervous, fearful—because he wanted to be a part of this trial so badly, but ultimately, it was up to his parents. Lycanthropy, as far as history has shown, had always been, for thousands of years and no one, NO ONE, had been able to come up with anything to help those who suffered from it. Not even the symptoms or the after effects could be tamed. But now, finally, one of the most renown and famous wizards in the world, along with Severus' assistance, may have found a cure. Of course, it was all theory at this point, he needed actual Werewolves to test it on to see if it actually worked, and after all Remus had suffered, he was more than willing to be Master Flamel and Severus' guinea pig.
As Remus stepped through the flames into Severus' sitting room he was welcomed warmly by the Snape family.
"Look at you," Eileen gushed, "You've grown since the last time I've seen you, at least a full inch, I think."
Remus blushed and ducked his head, "Maybe a little."
"He's been growing like a weed," Mrs. Lupin cut in. "In a couple of years, he'll be fitting into Gabe's clothes," she said looking over at her husband.
"I know what you mean, Severus is the same way," Eileen added with a laugh. "Why don't we head into the lounge, I have tea and cupcakes waiting."
The Snape's and Lupin's chatted merrily, mostly about the triplets who were looking as adorable as ever in their matching sundresses. The lighthearted conversation, however, lasted only briefly as the Flamel's arrival suddenly turned the atmosphere into a much more serious setting. Tobias took the girls upstairs for a nap, while everyone else settled in for an intense conversation.
Nicholas took a sip of his tea, his gaze moving to the young werewolf child. Only thirteen and already, his young face held the scars of his affliction.
"We've dealt with wizards who have proclaimed to be able to help Remus before," Mrs. Lupin spoke up. "Needless to say, nothing worked, and in the end, it left us disillusioned and broke."
Nicholas sighed as he place his tea cup gently back down on its saucer. "Yes, unfortunately, there are individuals out there that have taken advantage of people like young Remus and their families, however I can assure you, I am not one of them. In truth, while I had contemplated the possibility of attempting to help those suffering from Lycanthropy, I hadn't considered beginning any serious research into the idea until Severus asked me if I had ever considered the possibility. When he mentioned Remus," he said, looking at the teen and then back to his parents, "and that he had been able to create a pain reliever strong enough to help with the after effects, well, it sort of lit a candle under me, as it were, and I started taking the idea more seriously."
"Wait, Severus invented that potion?" Mr. Lupin looked not to Flamel for a response, but to Severus himself.
In response, the young-in-body Potions Prodigy simply gave small smile and nod.
"Severus, you invented that potion," Eileen spoke up, clearly as shocked as Mr. Lupin, "I thought you were just brewing it for him."
Severus cleared his throat, sitting up straighter. He hadn't thought to tell anyone; it wasn't as if it was a recent invention, at least not to him. "It was simply something I came up with when trying to brew something for a bad migraine, I hadn't expect it to work so well."
It was a complete lie of course, but it wasn't like he could tell them the truth; that he created it to help with the after effects of the Cruciatus Curse. That would have raised some incredibly difficult questions for him to answer, honestly.
"Severus is pretty much a genius," Remus spoke up, the pride he felt for his friend radiating through his words.
Nicholas nodded in agreement, "Quite true, now back to issue at hand," he continued, looking intently at Mr. and Mrs. Lupin, "Now, I know you both have concerns, but please allow me to put your mind at rest. First and foremost, there will be absolutely no charge." The Lupin's both gave a look relief; if there had been, they simply wouldn't have been able to afford it. "Also I want you to know that, at no time, will your son or anyone else be in danger, safety procedures will be taken, and taken seriously."
"What kind of safety procedures?" Surprisingly, it was Remus who asked this.
"During the full moon, you will be placed in an isolated room that will be highly warded. The room itself will be protected with a cushioning charm so there is no possibility of you harming yourself during the transformation if the potion does not have the effect we expect."
"Well, that's good to know," the young Gryffindor sighed scratching the back of his neck. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt someone, especially someone who was trying to help him.
"So aside from our son," Mr. Lupin asked, "do you have anyone else in mind to test your elixir?"
Nicholas nodded as he took another sip of his tea. "I have nine other volunteers already lined up. All from varying age ranges. Some are only just recently been afflicted, while others have suffered for years."
"Do you really think your elixir will work Mr. Flamel, or is this more of a shot-in-the-dark type of thing?" Mrs. Lupin asked.
"Severus and I both believe there is a very high probability that it will be successful."
The Lupin's look at each other in contemplation. This was a big step, and while they trusted Severus and Mr. Flamel's judgment, this was still their son, their only child. If anything else happen to him, they would never forgive themselves, and already dealt with the guilt of him being bitten at such a tender age daily.
"Mum, Dad . . . please," Remus asked, his blue eyes pleading hopefully, "let me try. Even if it doesn't work, it's not going to cost us anything. Please."
His parents looked at each other a moment before Mr Lupin gave his wife a small nod, which she then returned. "Okay Remus, we'll allow it."
The young teen jumped up from his seat, wrapping his arms tightly around his mother and then his father. "Thank you," a tear of joy slid down his cheek. "Thank you so much." This was his chance to be a normal kid again, and for the first time since the tender age of six, Remus Lupin felt hope. Hope for his life and for his future.
Severus smiled as he watched his friend embrace his parents. How ironic it was that Severus Snape once loathed Remus to the point that he once wished him dead, and now . . . now he was one of his closest friends. While he was confident the elixir would work, at least theoretically, there was still part of him that worried it wouldn't, and that part pained him greatly.
A/N: Okay there's the next chapter for you. I know its been a while since I've updated but I was out of town, then I got a new job assignment and then I got sick. Enough of my excuses, anyway, please let me know what you think. Thanks.