Punishment, Prizes, and Promises

I know I must be such a terrible person, forgetting to update for so long. But I didn't exactly forget. I just decided to write a lot and update all at once!

So, here we go. I got the idea for this fic while writing a piece about Snape and Lupin the other day. The Hogwarts' professors must've had a lot to do that terrible night when Sirius Black attempted to murder Severus Snape . . . 8/20 summer one-shots! I'm halfway there! Whoo-hoo!

This story is set in probably fall of Snape's fourth year. I have some information I have looked up to back up my basis, but you will have to read the story and the last author's note to find them!

Dedicated to for writing a story JUST for me. Hope you like this one, Izzy, this one's JUST for you!

Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I'd be rich, famous, and not writing on fanfiction. I am not rich, nor famous and I am writing on this site.

Snape sat on the bed in the Hospital Wing. Breathing heavily, he looked up at Madame Pomfrey. "I don't need . . . rest. I'm fine . . . really, I don't need . . . to be here . . ."

Madame Pomfrey gave a sarcastic laugh. "You're fine? You've nearly just been murdered! You're in complete shock! No, you are staying right where you are, young man!"

"But, Madame Pomfrey-"

"I don't want to hear another word out of your mouth. Here-" She handed the 14 year old a goblet of potion. "Drink it." He took a sip and spluttered. The thick liquid was disgusting. It made him want to empty the contents of his stomach on to the floor. He looked up at her. She turned to look at him and put her hands on her hips, eyes narrowed in a glare. "I told you to DRINK it! Not stare at me!"

"But it-"

"Stop whining like a pathetic five year old! I told you to drink it and I don't care if it tastes terrible!"

Snape sighed. He took a big gulp, trying to get it over with. Shuddering, he took two more, then handed her the goblet. She gave him another one, this time one filled with a clear, pure liquid. "It's only water," she said, putting away some things. He took a sip, and yes, it was water. He gulped it down quickly and put the goblet down on the bedside table. He sighed again, trying to contemplate what had just happened.

He had been looking out of one of the windows on the third floor, out of bed after hours, when he saw two figures walking across the lawn to the Whomping Willow. "Weird tree, huh?" came voice behind him. Snape had turned around to see Black, smiling, behind him. Snape had pulled out his wand "No worries, Snape, I'm not here to do anything. I'm here to tell you something."

"I know, I'm ugly, I'm stupid, skinny, worthless, whatever, can't you just go away?" he had demanded, turning back to the window. The figures were gone.

"That's not what I was going to say . . . even though, it's very true. No, I was going to tell you . . . I discovered something."

"You're an arrogant arse?"

"No, Snivellus. I discovered how to get past the Whomping Willow."

Snape suddenly woke up. He what? This had to be a joke. But still . . . how did you get past that tree?

"Really?" he said, trying to hide the interest in his tone.

"Really. All you have to do is prod this knot on the tree, you know what I'm talking about, that fat thing?"

"Yes."

"Just grab a stick, touch the knot with it and the tree freezes. And you can do whatever you want with it. Then you just prod it again to get it moving." Sirius sighed. "Anyway, see you Snivelly." And he left. Snape looked curiously at the three. What if Black was telling the truth Deciding to try it out, Snape had walked downstairs and out of the school. He looked up at the sky. There was a bright, full moon among the many stars. Wishing it was darker, he slipped through the shadows towards the wild tree. When he had reached it, he looked around for a very long, firm stick. After a few minutes of searching, he found the perfect one. Taking it into his hand, he approached the tree as far as he dared to go. When he reached his boundary, he thrusted the stick forward, making it prod the knot. The tree, which was about to swoop down and pick him up, froze. Snape looked up. He looked down, seeing a tunnel.

And then he saw a werewolf who looked like it wanted to kill him and he was pulled away by someone who prodded the stick to the knot again and made the tree nearly kill them and after getting hit in the stomach eight times that sat down by a rock and Snape looked up at him to see that it was Potter who saved his life and realized that that was Lupin in the tunnel and that Black was trying to kill him.

That was lot to think about.

The door opened and Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Slughorn came in, Potter and Black behind him. Snape looked up at them. Each had a different look on their faces. McGonagall, fury and pity; Slughorn, worry and concern; Potter, pride and excitement; Black, anger and fright. Dumbledore's face was the hardest to read. He looked angry, very angry, of course. A student had attempted to murder, right on the very grounds of the school! He looked at though he was thinking very hard, trying to figure something out. But he looked a bit thoughtful . . . uncertainty. What was there to be uncertain of? Throw Black in prison, put Potter on a throne, and leave Snape alone! It was that simple, yet it did not seem that way to the Headmaster.

Nobody spoke for the longest time. Finally, Dumbledore said, "Mr. Potter, sit down on the chair beside the bed. Mr. Black, sit on the chair on the other side of the bed." The boys obliged, sitting down. "Now, as we all know, we have quite a situation here. I would like it better if Mr. Lupin was here to join us, but as you know, he is unable to at the moment. So, I believe, we will solve this problem much more quickly if we are all in the same room at the same time. But before we begin, I need to say this: All of your parents have been written to and all of them will be coming to the school tomorrow."

"But Professor-" Snape started. His father couldn't come. He was a Muggle, he couldn't see the school.

"We have already made some enchantments on the school so Muggles will also be able to see and enter."

"You're a Muggle-born?" asked James. Snape shook his head, not looking at him.

"Anyway, they will be coming and we cannot make a final desicion until they arrive. But we can make some temporary choices and clear as much as possible." He cleared his throat. "So let's begin.

"Mr. Potter, can you please tell us what happened from your prospective tonight?"

"Well," James started. "I was sitting in the common room, doing my homework, of course, when Sirius came in and told me he told Snape to poke the knot on the willow with a stick. I told him he was crazy and that Snape could get killed, because killing is wrong, and we couldn't let that happen. So I snuck down the halls, though I regret it and went to the Whomping Willow, and sure enough, Snape was there and I pulled him out of the way and saved his life. Then we came up here." Snape rolled his eyes. Potter's good boy version. Doing homework, killing is wrong, snuck down the halls, though I regret it. He was probably inventing things to hurt him with, probably said that they would get in so much trouble if Snape was killed, probably went under his stupid cloak for the thirtieth time this year. But the teacher's were perfectly content with this answer, so why trouble them more?

"Very well, Mr. Potter, thank you. Mr. Black-" Sirius woke up. "- it is your turn to tell us your view of this incident."

"Er . . ." he began, looking nervous. "I . . . uh . . . decided to . . . um . . . take a walk around the halls after hours. I wasn't feeling very good, the common room, it felt really stuffed up. Anyway, I was just walking around when I saw Snape looking out the window and I just got . . . angry . . . because I knew he was waiting to see where Remus goes every night. So I told Snape how to get past the Whomping Willow, just to keep him away from Remus-"

"So you purposely sent him to the Whomping Willow- to see Remus in werewolf form- to keep away from him?" asked McGonagall, her voice a deadly quiet.

"Y-yeah, but I just wanted to make it totally clear that what Remus does is none of his business and that he should keep his nose out of our business. I wanted to show him what his nosiness would do to him."

"If it wasn't any of his business, then why on earth make it his business?" asked Slughorn, angrily. "Instead of solving your minor problem, you have created a new, major problem!"

"But don't you see! He went to the stupid tree, just to see what would happen! It's his fault, he went-!"

"After you told him to!" said Dumbledore.

"I DIDN'T!" screamed Sirius. "ALL I DID WAS TELL HIM HOW TO DO IT! IT WAS HIS CHOICE TO GO!"

"Mr. Black!" Madame Pomfrey snapped. "Be quiet! I demand you lower your voice! And how dare you take that tone with the Headmaster?'

Black said nothing, but stared at the floor.

"Mr. Snape, would you please tell us your side of the story?" asked Dumbledore, his tone soft and gentle. Snape looked up, feeling tense.

"I . . ." he started, then paused. He breathed in and out. He started again. "I was out of bed after hours-"

"Nosing around in our business," Sirius muttered.

"Black!" McGonagall barked. "You had your turn to talk! Shut your mouth!"

"Continue, Mr. Snape," Dumbledore said.

"I was out of bed after hours and I was looking out the window."

"Why were you out of your dormitory after hours, Severus?" asked Slughorn, sounding a tinge hurt. "I'd have expected better from you."

"You can expect, but you won't get," Sirius whispered.

"BLACK! One more word out of turn and I SWEAR we will make your punishment ten times as worse as it already is!" McGonagall shouted. Black fell silent. "Go on."

"I don't know why, I was just prowling, I couldn't sleep." Black looked like he wanted to butt in, but McGonagall glared at him. "I was just looking out the window and I saw two shadows moving along in the dark. I don't know . . . but I'm guessing that was Lupin with Madame Pomfrey." He looked up at the matron, who nodded.

"Indeed it was. Continue."

"So I was just looking when Black came and told me he discovered something. He said he knew how to get past the Whomping Willow. He told me how and then just left. I thought it was a prank. I don't know why, but I decided to try it. So I snuck outside and found a stick and prodded the knot. And the tree froze and this tunnel opened up. And I . . . I saw it. The werewolf, at the end of the tunnel. It was just huge. It was covered in cuts and scars and it was literally eating itself. And it saw me. Fresh meat, I guess, by the way it stared at me, he was planning to make me a meal. And it howled. I don't why I didn't move, I was just too shocked. But by the time I realized I could run, the werewolf was about to charge right at me. Then-" He grimaced. "-Potter came and touched the knot, shutting the tunnel and nearly getting us killed because the Whomping Willow woke up and the stupid branches started hitting us, until we got out of the way. And now . . . we're here."

There was a silence. Then Dumbledore said, "Mr. Black, in case you haven't noticed, your little joke nearly cost Mr. Snape his humanity and or his life. That is nothing to forgive. You will be punished, of course. We will start with detentions every day for the rest of the year."

"WHAT?" Black shouted in outrage.

"You're lucky we've decided not to expel you . . . or send you to Azkaban!" McGonagall snapped. "I believe you'd agree that a year's worth of detention is much better than a lifetime with the dementors, do you not?"

"I-" Black started. Then he sighed. "Yes, Professor."

"When your parents arrive, we shall discuss more . . . shall we say, potent, punishments. Now-" He turned to James. "We need to discuss you. It was very brave and noble of you to go and save Mr. Snape's life even though, it was endangering yours, not to mention that you two are not the best of chums. Mr. Snape, I do believe a thank you is in order."

Snape sighed and said a quick, "Thank you." before looking away.

" 'Welcome." James replied.

"Now that that's settled," started Dumbledore. "I believe you ought to get a Special Service Award for saving the life of a fellow school mate. I'll have that arranged for you as soon as possible."

Potter beamed. "Thank you, sir!" He looked at Snape, a sneer on his face. Snape stared at him with all the fury he had inside of him. Black seemed to be doing the same thing.

"Well, I think we're done here," said Dumbledore. "Professor McGonagall, you wouldn't mind escorting Mr. Potter and Mr. Black back to their dormitories, would you?"

"Of course not," she said, ushering them out of the room, Slughorn following.

Madame Pomfrey bustled back into her office.

Snape and Dumbledore were alone.

"Severus," Dumbledore, his voice dangerously serious. "I must make one thing extremely clear to you before your parents arrive tomorrow. I know that this prank has most definetely caused your dislike for Mr. Black, Potter, Pettigrew and Lupin to grow. But that matters not. What matters is that you do not tell a single soul that Remus Lupin is a werewolf!"

Snape stared at him. "Why? Why shouldn't I? His little gang of friends are always messing with me. He was probably in on the prank! Why should I help him?"

"For one reason, a member of his 'little gang of friends', just saved your life-"

"But another one of them endangered it in the first place. Lupin was probably all for it." "You do not know what Remus Lupin is like. He would not do something like that. Has he ever taunted you? Hurt you?"

"Well . . ." Snape paused to think. He couldn't think of anything. "No . . . but, his friends do and he never has the courage to stop them!"

"Remus has trouble standing up to his friends, something most of us have trouble with. That is no reason to tell the whole school what he is."

"He's a werewolf! How can I not tell?"

"Because you will not tell. I do not know how can persuade you to change your mind Severus, but no matter what happens, I will not leave this room until I have your word that you will not tell a person in this school what Remus Lupin is."

"What about out of school?"

"No one! This secret was supposed to be between Remus, his family, and the staff here. When Remus found three friends, they discovered his secret, and he trusted them not to tell. It was a safe circle. Unfortunately, Mr. Black has destroyed the circle. Now, I plan on restoring it. I'm sure, if this was you, that you would not like it at all if, let's say, Mr. Potter, told everyone your secret."

Snape said nothing for a while, then looked up at Dumbledore. "They don't deserve my promise. They don't deserve anything from me. Isn't a shiny trophy and a year's worth of detention enough?"

"No, it is not. It took me many lengths to have Remus brought here to school and I will not have you wreck it. By betraying Remus, you are betraying me."

"They've made my time here a living hell, Professor! I don't see why I should not betray you when you just let them make me their chew toy!"

"Severus, you must understand, this is not about revenge or repayment. What they have done to you, what you have done to them, I want you to forget all of that for just a few minutes. It matters not what is in the past. What matters more is making the future as clear and clean as we can." The blue eyes pierced the black. "I want you to swear that you will not tell a soul about Remus Lupin being a werewolf and I really want you to mean it."

Snape sighed. "Fine."

"Do you, Severus Snape, swear that you will never tell another living soul that Remus Lupin is a werewolf?"

"Yes," he said quietly.

Dumbledore gave a smile. "Good. I was going to threaten to expel you next." He stood up and clasped his hands together. "Well, I ought to leave you to rest or Madame Pomfrey will have me thrown out!" He nodded to him. "Good night, Severus." Snape said nothing, so Dumbledore left the room.

Snape lay down under the cold, crisp sheets. He tossed and turned, not able to sleep.

How on earth was he supposed to keep this a secret?

I'm not to crazy about the ending, but I guess it was OK. I left ti on a cliff-hanger, just to make it more fun.

So here's my factual basis for the setting of this story.

In The Sorcerer/Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore mentions this incident. He doesn't mention any details, though, like when or where or how it occurred.

The next we hear of this incident is in the Prisoner of Azkaban from Lupin. He explains what happened, and also mentions that Snape thought he was in on the plan (something I mentioned in this story), but he makes no mention of what year it occurred in. HOWEVER, he noted that James, Sirius, and Peter didn't figure out how to become Animagi until their fifth year AND he said it took them three years to do it. So this incident had to have occurred between their second and fourth years, because James and Sirius weren't down in the tunnel with Lupin.

The last basis of fact is in the Deathly Hallows, when Snape and Lily talk about this. JKR says they seemed a bit taller and that a few years must've passed since their sorting. So that minimized it down to either their third or fourth year. I chose fourth because, Snape says in the Prisoner of Azkaban that Sirius was capable of murder at the age of sixteen, so I decided just to make them as old as possible.

And that's that! Anyone find anything wrong with this, PM me, please, and I shall rectify it. Not that it matters much, this is only a humble one-shot . . . that I hope you lot loved!