A disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter Series, nor am I making any money from this.
The moon hung lazily overhead casting its cold beams down to Earth. The werewolf did not think its beams cold, they radiated with energy giving life to his limbs. He scrambled up the rocky ledge to get as close as physically possible. Here he could oversee all, his intelligent amber eyes sweeping his territory. Nothing was threatening his challenge on his land tonight, he could relax a little.
It had been raining, he could smell its scent upon the cool night breeze as it ruffled his fur. He wiggled his paws into the sticky mud created from soil and water, relishing the feeling between his claws. He took in a deep lungful of the scents of the night. There were no prey to chase which annoyed him, his fangs were just dying to sink into something warm and living.
His skin tingled with excitement as the moon continued bathing him in its light. He wanted to sing his joy to the Heavens, making everyone aware of his presence. Drawing his paws back he tilted his massive head back and howled at the moon. Venting his happiness in one powerful joyful call for all creatures to hear.
The human part of his mind was brooding, acting like a petulant cub confined to the den. The werewolf snorted, paying it no mind. This night belonged to him, the hours of the sun were far exceeded what the wolf had. Even that was not enough to appease the human inside him, it drank foul smelling water to try and curb his instincts.
Growling, the werewolf banished all thoughts of his human counterpart and enjoyed the little freedom it had.
He despised being a werewolf, they were disgusting creatures. They lacked self-control, self-discipline, and many other things that he thought imperative. The things that made him human.
Becoming a werewolf was not a tale he liked to relive. He wished he could boast he had been bitten by the insane Greyback in a duel, but it was not the case.
No, his tale was a rather dull one, highlighting his own stupidity.
He had been lost when on a raid with the Dark Lord and separated from his fellow Death Eaters in his unit. Lost deep within an unknown forsaken forest he had been starving, dehydrated and close to death. Luck had smiled upon him, he came across some water in his path, a muddy puddle but Severus Snape was able to laugh in the face of death once again.
Fate it seemed had another plan in mind.
It was only in the few seconds before his agonizing change into the foul beast that he noticed the werewolf tracks in the mud, his life saving water cradled within the hollow of one giant paw print.
It was a myth that had been disputed for years by wizards. Seemed there had been some truth in it after all.
Every effort to further contain the beast had been unsuccessful. Severus was playing host to a parasite within his mind, a parasite with its own feelings and instincts. He had no control over his body every full moon, and could only watch as the wolf took charge of his body, partaking in whatever ghastly actives the beast deemed fit. It had not decided to bite or eat humans and Severus certainly wasn't going to be held accountable for the wolf's actions.
It was only a matter of time before Severus found a way to rid himself of the beast, until then he could only hope most people would have the common sense to stay away from werewolves. He allowed himself only a small amount of anxiety over the idea that a werewolf was so near the grounds of Hogwarts. Albus had to know of his condition, it was inconceivable to think the meddling old man was oblivious to what was happening on school grounds.
If Albus did not consider Severus a potential threat...then Severus shouldn't either. Albus would have known that he would take the wolfsbane potion, that he would attempt to control what was happening, and ensure some sort of safety for his students. However, Dumbledore didn't know that his werewolf did not always retain a human mind when drinking the potion. It hadn't eaten a human… yet. But there were firsts for everything.
Severus was distracted from his melancholy thoughts by the wolf scenting something in the air, its nose twitching. A human male. A young human male. Severus felt his innards freeze, but the werewolf was not charging after the scent in full blood frenzy. It was taking its time drawing in the scent, mulling over it.
The wolf stood and looked at the rock face trying to locate its target. Something had it very interested.
Harry really should not have been out this late at night. He had been told time and time again that it was not safe outside on Hogwarts grounds late at night, but it was the only time he could be alone. Romilda Vane was very persistent and took up most of his time during the daylight hours. After her love potion attempt, it had taken all of Harry's wit to stay one step ahead of her. Juggling that, his lessons, revising for exams, and Quidditch was exhausting.
The night was breathtaking, no cloud cover just a few lonely stars paying homage to the brilliance that was the moon. It was full, but Harry saw no cause for alarm. Lupin was miles away and Harry did not know of another werewolf. He felt himself smile at the remembrance of Lockheart's Wagga Wagga werewolf.
He sighed sadly, kicking his feet through some brown leaves. Who would have thought it, the great Harry Potter lonely. Not that there was anyone he could admit it to. He had his friends and his schoolmates, but no family. He jammed his hands into his pockets angrily. He didn't often play the poor orphan card, and he knew he was lucky. Friends were the family you chose for yourself, and Harry had those in abundance.
Harry just wanted someone to love him and stand by him unconditionally.
The devil on his shoulder reminded him of past events where his friends had let him down. His school mates had turned their backs on him when they thought he was the Heir of Slytherin. Even Ron, his first friend ever had turned his back when he thought Harry had entered the Triwizard tournament. It had shaken his belief in people. Sometimes they were fickle, and some only saw Harry as the saviour of the world.
Apart from Hermione. She was a true friend in every sense of the word. She may have been bossy and obsessed with her studying, but she was a Gryffindor for a reason and had stuck loyally beside Harry every time. Even if standing with him had conflicted with her feelings for Ron.
Harry had often wondered that if Hermione hadn't been the thing Victor Krum would miss most, would she had been down in the lake awaiting Harry to rescue her, instead of Ron?
Harry picked up his pace wanting to get warm.
When would people see him as he was? Not as the hope of the world, but as someone who just wanted to finish school like everyone else, find a special someone and find a job he enjoyed. There was the secret wish of the great and indestructible Harry Potter.
He wanted a family.
It had probably stemmed from not having one, his desire growing after losing Sirius. It was that age old saying, wanting something you didn't have. But that was what he wanted. No great desire to be a powerful wizard, or to be famous. Just some close people to love him unconditionally.
His heart missed a beat as he heard a howl, deep and powerful echoing across Hogwarts grounds. Dumbledore would have warned the students if there was something to worry about. Wouldn't he? Harry remembered with a flash of anger all the other 'tasks' he hadn't been warned about to better prepare him for Voldemort.
He span on his heel, wand out and crouched into his standard attack pose at the sound of footfalls. What was Dumbledore making him fight now?
Limbs morphed into jelly with fear and he fell to his knees, propelling himself backwards, his fingers cutting on sharp rocks.
Lupin had never been this big.
Voldemort he could handle. No, that was a lie, he couldn't defeat Voldemort yet that had been proved, but at least Harry stood a chance defending himself with Voldemort. He was a man, an insane one that never seemed to die but a man.
He could see the beast's sharp fangs and his razor claws dirty with mud. The brute of a wolf merely looked and him unmoving, a sinister spectre in the night. Harry waited, his chest heaving in panic. He wouldn't be able to react fast enough and he didn't have any gold to hand. That was what Hermione had said, wasn't it? Were werewolves weak against gold?
It was fight or flight time. He had the upper hand, the wolf was stationary giving him the perfect chance to attack. No, it was silver, silver was what Werewolves were weak against. Harry didn't know of a spell to make silver, or even transfigure something into silver.
Trembling he stood, his wand shaking along with his hand. He pointed it at what he hoped was menacingly towards the wolf. The werewolf did nothing but watch him with amber eyes, clearly assessing the situation. He had known animals like to play with their food but this was torture.
Locked in a stalemate neither made any sudden moves.
Severus was cackling with glee. It echoed in his mind shared with the wolf. Harry Potter was terrified and was scrabbling in the mud. Now this was a memory to use against the Dementors. How ironic was this? Events had turned full circle and now it was James Potter's son scared by a werewolf.
He knew the wolf would not attack. If he was going to Potter would have been dead, or laying on the ground bleeding to death before he knew what had happened. Severus would have felt no sympathy, it served the boy right for being conceited. Thinking he was immune to everything.
Potter may have survived the killing curse, but there was no chance Potter would survive his bone-crunching jaws. Severus wouldn't have lost any sleep over it, but Dumbledore would have his hide, literally as a rug on his office floor.
He tried to urge the wolf into attacking. Nothing serious or life changing, a little tear in his trousers wouldn't harm the boy, but the wolf was steadfast in what it was doing. It stayed still as Potter moved and it could sense that the boy was terrified of him. Severus begrudgingly admitted he was impressed that the wolf was not attacking. Fear usually made animals attack.
Something had the wolf fascinated.
Eventually, it sat on its hindquarters to appear less intimidating to the boy, shocking both Severus and Potter. Then with a spark of intuition Severus knew what was happening and he felt sick to his stomach. He had studied werewolves after his encounter with Lupin, familiarizing himself with their rituals and habit. It had been in preparation for Lupin and his friend's expulsions out of school, but it had come in handy when he was infected.
The wolf could see a potential mate in Harry bloody Potter.
Potter let his wand fall to his side and took a shaky step forward.
Severus was wrestling with the wolf's mind, trying to get the infernal beast to snap its jaws or snarl, anything other then this soft puppy dog pose. He was a ferocious werewolf for Merlin's sake! The wolf mentally pushed back down, securing Severus in his place of only watching. Severus may have been a skilled master of his mind, but tonight the wolf was in charge.
Potter got up close and the wolf bowed playfully wagging its tail slightly. Severus was going to be sick. This was the last time the wolf was coming outside, next time Severus would take the potion and lock himself in a silver cage. This was below him.
The boy reached his hand out and once again he tried to regain control. He wouldn't kill the boy, but he could at least scare him! The wolf was a solid block against his mind and Severus could only watch in barely concealed rage at what was unfolding.
Harry reached his hand out hesitantly. It was obvious the wolf wasn't going to attack him, but what did it want? He was still a little nervous when it came bounding up to him and butted his hand with its huge furred head. He wriggled his fingers experimentally within its pelt and it seemed to work. The wolf sat looking at him, ears standing to attention.
"What do you want with me?" He whispered, gazing deep into its ochre eyes.
The wolf merely flexed its shoulders and lay down. Even lying down, its muzzle came to Harry's chest. "You're much bigger than the typical werewolf." The beast snorted and looked back up at the moon.
"Why aren't you trying to bite me?" Harry asked it, but the creature didn't move. What was Harry expecting, the wolf to open its jaws and explain?
Sighing he sat down beside it and looked at the moon with it. "I know whoever you are the human in you can hear me. How is someone at Hogwarts is hiding something like this?"
Swinging its big head down, the creature glanced at him before shuffling forward on its paws coming closer to Harry. He could feel the warmth flowing from its huge, furry body and he subconsciously leant towards it. Its fur was dark as the night and unbelievably silky to the touch, he concluded running his fingers through it once again. The wolf was clearly happy, its great tail thumping occasionally as it continued looking around.
"Are you keeping an eye out for danger?" Harry asked, but again was met with silence. "That's something I have to do as well. The world we live in, it's not safe." The wolf growled gently, almost agreeing with him. "Are you a good werewolf then? You must be if you aren't attacking humans. Or the wolfsbane potion is living up to its name."
A good werewolf? Honestly, were there no limits to Potter's stupidity? The werewolf was as terrifying as a Hinkypuff true, but Severus found it preposterous that Potter would think there was such a thing as a 'tame' werewolf. They were horrifying beasts that struck fear into every witch and wizards heart. They were the nightmares that haunted children's dreams. Potter must have heard from Lupin about Greyback, the deranged beast.
Severus had no desire to listen to Potter whine. The boy carried on talking, and no matter how Severus tried to drown it out reciting potion ingredients, he could still hear him. Was it not torture enough that he had to teach him during school hours? Or that Albus had him and the rest of the school staff keeping a surreptitious eye on the boy-who-lived. Evenings were his time in which he could relax from his obligations to the school and its headmaster, he didn't want to spend anymore time with Potter than needed.
Potter was now touching him, making his skin crawl. What gave Potter the audacity to reach out and touch something that could rip his arms off effortlessly? Severus was not some pampered pet to be fawned over. Severus contented himself with thinking up ways to make Potter suffer in the next few days. When that didn't prove distraction enough from the boy's grubby nails scratching his neck, he thought of ways to torture the boy. Even that couldn't shake the loathsome feeling of being touched by someone he detested.
"Do you have a name, besides your human one I mean?"
Let me open my mouth and tell you my name, Severus thought thinking of all his sharp teeth. The wolf didn't find it amusing. What did Potter expect? He would open his jaws and speak to him. He didn't see any reason in lowering himself to talk to Potter when he was human, why start now?
How much longer did this have to go on? Severus couldn't care less what Potter had to say. The boy had no concept of real life. Everything was handed to him on a plate, no matter how Severus tried to mess it up. No matter how many crimes he pinned on the boy Dumbledore had always found a way around it. Couldn't insult the favourite golden child now, could we? Severus sneered at himself. No matter how many times Dumbledore had asked him to be civil to the boy Severus couldn't do it, he actively chose not to. People like Potter, like James lived in worlds far beyond his own and had to be brought down into reality. Arrogant bastards who thought life owed them. Unlike Severus who was born with nothing, working hard for what he had now. Where had it led him? Severus was an esteemed potions master, safe under Albus and James Potter had ended up dead.
Cleary fame wasn't everything.
"I think I'll call you Artemis." Wheedled down into his ears. Potter surely was not so dense to call him that. Besides the fact Artemis was a female's name she had nothing to do with the moon as many people thought. Is this what they were teaching in Astrology these days?
"She's the Goddess of wild animals and later on she became identified with the Roman Goddess Diana who was also Goddess of wild animals and of the moon in Roman mythology."
Severus was surprised that Potter actually had a brain, let alone use it. It seemed his eyes were not the only thing he inherited from his Mother.
When was this night going to end? he thought in despair. The werewolf appeared to share his sentiments and stood pointing his muzzle to the light of the new dawn.
Potter stood as well patting his head in farewell. "Will I see you again?"
No! Severus hollered. The wolf whined and rubbed his head against Harry before bounding away.
Severus would not allow a next time. He had mastered all his emotions and was a master of his mind. He would find a way to master the werewolf. Regardless if it thought Harry Potter was a worthy mate.