Title: I Have Found What You Are Like
House Category: Gryffindor
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Lupin/Snape, Lily/Snape, Lily/James
Author: cathedral carver
Beta Reader(s): csinut214
Rating: R
Summary: Sometimes, these days, they don't know where they are, or how they even got here.

Written for the 2011 Hogwarts Houses Fest. Also written as a sort of sequel to Here Is The Deepest Secret Nobody Knows.

...

And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
quietly)almost,
your kiss

~e.e. cummings

...

Remus knows it's all stupid and pointless and painful, but he can't help it. He can't help remembering the boy's lips beneath his, or the boy's flesh and bones beneath his flesh and bones, both soft and hard beneath his fingers, his flesh his bones up against the wall, the gasping and shuffling and how the boy responded with his own gasps and jabs and grabs and clutches and—

Just thinking about it — about him— makes Remus's chest hurt, and his head. And that spot above his heart. And, other parts of his body he'd rather not think about at the moment. He just wants to forget, really, but he can't forget.

He can't forget how the boy's lips felt beneath his that night, how pliant and responsive they were, how soft and wet they were, how they moved and maneuvered until they were just so beneath his, and his hands, oh his handsand they way they twisted into the back of his jumper — Remus remembers—

He remembers everything. Too much, really. And it hurts, so bloody much, because he knows the boy probably isn't remembering him, probably isn't remembering much at all really, probably has even completely forgotten—

And knowing that hurts.

Because, for Remus, remembering is everything. And the remembering hurts, oh it fucking hurts.

Because Remus, who remembers everything, also can't forget that it's Snape he's remembering.

...

Lily knows it's all stupid and pointless and painful, but she can't help remembering the boy's lips on hers, his hard thigh jammed high and tight between hers, pushing, massaging, manipulating, the hard, tight skin/muscle/bone of his thigh between the soft/pliant/responsive flesh of her

They haven't really spoken about that night, the night of the Yule Ball, when he told her he loved her, when he told her he wanted her and the look on his face, the look in his eyes when he realized she didn't want him, but someone else that wasn't him.

No, they haven't spoken, but they have met, they have met in dark corridors and shadowed corners and she has allowed him to do those things to her that make her weak and wet and almost ashamed afterwards as she hurries away from him without uttering a single word.

And it's not pity, she tells herself repeatedly. She refuses to pity him, even though he opens himself up to pity, again and again and again, and even though she doesn't feel for the boy what he feels for her, and even though she feels for someone else what the boy wants her to feel for him, she can't send him away, not yet, at least, because, oh

—his mouth along her jawline and his hand finding the swell of her breast and she pushing into it a little. It all feels so good and she doesn't deny she is aroused, but still, but still

It's a physical response, not an emotional one, she tells herself.

This is Snape after all. It's not like she's in love with him.

...

Remus knows what it feels like, now, to die. He dies a bit each month, yes, with the fullness of the moon and the surrendering of his bones and flesh to the creature he truly is underneath it all. Under the flesh and bone, soft and hard. But that death is nothing compared to the death he feels when Snape looks at him and then looks away, his chest hitching in a small desperate sigh when Lily passes by, when Lily catches his eye. Lily, Lily, Lily. Thatpain cuts him through and through, makes him wish the floor of the Great Hall would open up and swallow him whole, never to be seen again—

So bloody dramatic, he knows, but he is a teenage boy, after all. Raging hormones and unrequited love and all.

Everything is wrong. Everything. Nothing feels like it's supposed to. No, nothing feels like he wants it to. If only he could stay a werewolf, right? naked and alone and howling and free under the moon, to run and run and run and run and run.

...

"You're too smart for him, you must realize," Snape scowls. Lily blushes (prettily), and her mouth does that thingit does when she's both pleased and irritated. She does it often when she's around Snape.

"Well, you are, too," she snaps, pressing hard on the parchment, her quill bending under the weight of her fingers. "You needn't be jealous of him."

"I'm not jealous—"

"You are—"

"Well, if I was, which I am not, it certainly wouldn't be of his intellectual abilities, I can promise you that—"

"Then what is it?" she practically shouts, then looks around the library hurriedly, her face going as red as her hair. "What is it?" she says in a hoarse whisper. "You're insufferable around him, completely different than when you're alone with me."

Snape's pale face flushes then, too, but he ignores the insinuation and the insult and breathes in deeply through his nose.

"It's just—"

She waits, eyebrows raised, but he realizes he has absolutely no clue how to finish the sentence with words found in the English language. So, he closes his eyes and shakes his head and when he opens his eyes again, her gaze is locked on something — someone — across the room and without even looking to see what — who — it is, Snape gathers his textbooks together in one fumbling swipe, staggers to his feet and lurches away. He walks slowly, just in case Lily calls out to him to stop being silly and just come back, but, she doesn't, she doesn't even seem to notice he's gone, so he just keeps walking.

...

Snape tutors him in Potions and those precious hours they spend alone together are ones Remus clings to desperately, and replays later, over and over when he's alone. But today Snape is irascible, harsh and unforgiving, cruel and taunting until even Remus's gentle demeanor cracks and splinters under the weight.

"What the hell's the matter with you?" Remus all but shouts, his hands curled into tight fists on the table. The library is quiet midday, but there are still disapproving stares from the more diligent students and from Madame Pince, of course.

"Nothing!" Snape shouts back, the tendons on his neck standing out, quivering under the skin. Remus stares at them, remembering how they felt under his tongue, under his fingertips—

"Then stop being such a prick!"

"It's just difficult to help someone who's as dense as a Troll—"

Remus gathers his textbooks together and hurries off, face burning, chest so tight it actually aches, hoping against hope that Snape calls out to him, but he doesn't of course, the arse, and when Sirius and James and Peter yell at him to come join them for lunch he only shakes his head, stomach roiling at the thought of filling it with food. He makes it to his dorm room with minutes to spare, dry heaving over the side of his bed, then collapsing on the familiar, slightly sour-smelling sheets, face rubbing against the worn smoothness, pretending it's Snape's skin, Snape's hair, Snape's mouth beneath his.

Sometimes he lies awake at night and thinks about what it would be like to fuck Snape, to actually be inside him, to hold him when he comes. Nights like that, when fantasies about kissing and touching just aren't enough, he turns on his stomach, pushes his face into his pillow to stifle his soft moans and gasps as he comes hard, damp and shaking, then lies there, limp and panting, the only other night sounds the light snores of his dorm mates, James and Sirius, as they dream and sleep.

...

She loves him, she knows, but not like that, not like her heart is invested. But she has fallen into a pattern with him, snogging in a quiet corner of the library, or a dark alleyway in the Slytherin dungeons, but now when he tries to go further with her, when his long, slender fingers stray and he pushes against her, hard and insistent, she breaks away, lips wet and swollen, face flushed and shameful, because she knows, she knows

"I can't—"

"You can't what?" Snape's breath is harsh and ragged on her neck, sending shivers up into her scalp, ohMerlinhislips

"I just…I can't keep doing this—"

"Why?"

"It's not right—"

"Why?" he begs, but he knows the answer, and he knows the real question isn't why, but, Why can't you love me instead?

...

The Gryffindor Common Room is always hellish this time of night, and James and Sirius are right in the thick of it, as always. Remus's head is pounding and all he wants to do is go to bed, but his potions assignment is only half-finished and he's fallen too far behind as it is to give up on it. If only they'd all shut the hell up.

Sirius is suddenly behind him, loud, so loud, peering over his shoulder and laughing out loud at Remus's scribbles.

"Just get Snape to finish it," Sirius advises, clapping a heavy hand on Remus's back. Remus closes his eyes and bites the inside of his cheek so hard her tastes blood. "The old git will do anything you say, anyway, won't he?" Something shiny catches his attention then, because he's gone in a flash, and Remus's head hurts more than ever.

He slams his book shut, puts it under his arm and rushes from the room. He still has two hours to curfew and he will get work done in the library if it kills him.

The corridors are dark and mostly empty and he walks quickly, head down, trying to ignore the pounding behind his eyes.

He rounds a corner and slams headlong into, of all people, Severus Snape. Remus groans aloud before he realizes, ducks his head and moves to go around, but Snape grabs one arm and holds on tight.

"What is it? What's happened? You look terrible."

"'s nothing."

"It's not."

"You've been avoiding me," Remus says at last and fuckit, he was notgoing to talk about it, but what the hell.

"Have I."

"Yeah. You have. And you bloody well know it, too."

Snape makes a noise that could be either agreement or dismissive and Remus has no desire to decipher it at the moment. Snape simply takes his elbow and guides him through the shadowed corridors to the library, to the furthest corner, to their desk, where he pushes Remus down into the seat and stands behind him and places his hands on either side of Remus's head. He begins to rub. His hands feel so good, like there's magic thrumming from their tips. Remus bites back a moan between his lips and restrains himself from turning and throwing the other boy back against the shelves and—

"Do you remember—"

Snape's fingers twitch.

"—the night of the Yule Ball—"

"Stop talking," Snape orders. His voice sounds funny.

"But, do you—

"Lupin," Snape hisses.

"—remember?—"

"Yes. Of course I do," Snape says at last, very quietly, his fingers still pressing against the sides of Remus's head.

"I meant what I said, you know," and Remus's voice is tight and dry, his heart thudding painfully against his ribs. Snape's fingers move very slowly now. "If I could only make you see how I feel—"

"I told you to stop talking, and I meant it," Snape snaps, his hands dropping to his sides, leaving Remus bereft. He slides into the seat next to him, opens the text, grabs the quill and starts writing on the parchment, his black hair falling over his face completely so Remus can't even see his expression.

...

Her face is upturned, bright and rapturous as James soars through the skies. No one can take his eyes off him, so Snape really can't blame her, but he still does, of course. The Gryffindors' screams fills the entire world as their team pummels Slytherin, again, but Snape doesn't even care about the stupid game, really, because all knows is that Lily's hands have been clutching his arm the entire time, and every time James makes an especially daring maneuver she squeals and leans against him, her hair brushing his cold cheek.

"Isn't he glorious?" she says above the shrieks and cheers. Snape closes his eyes and feels something hot and hard unfurl in his chest, but he doesn't respond, because what can he say, really?

Glorious.

...

Snape is all thunderous and unpredictable, warm and cold and so bloody beautiful and on a good day, he's better than anything in the world.

Remus catches up to Snape as he crosses the field to the greenhouses. It's just started to rain, an early spring rain, cold and unforgiving, and he only means to thank him for the Potions help, but the way Snape is looking at him, from half-lowered lids, his mouth slightly parted, it brings back all the memories from the Yule Ball, and Remus knowsSnape remembers too, just then, so he leans forward and presses his lips to Snape's and is shocked at how quickly and fervently Snape responds.

They kiss for a long time, pressed together against the trunk of a Hawthorne tree, kissing until Remus feels like he's been running for hours and may never catch his breath again.

"I know now, what you're like," Remus breathes. Snape's eyelids flutter against his pale, wet skin, then open, and his eyes are as grey as the skies. He doesn't say anything. He just waits.

"You're like the rain," Remus says in a rush, then blushes furiously, then closes his eyes and shakes his head. When he looks up again Snape is still watching, still quiet, but his cheeks have gone pink, just a bit. "I mean, you tastelike the rain, that's all."

Then, before he can say anything else stupid and embarrassing and absurdly true, he leans back in and kisses him again, his hands sliding up the sides of Snape's slick neck and into the wet tangle of his black sheet of hair, and if Snape kisses him a little bit harder, and his breath comes a little bit more ragged, he pretends he doesn't notice.

...

"Don't you mess with him," Lily hisses in his ear, her breath hot on his cheek. Remus bends his head lower over his arithmancy parchment, pretends not to hear.

"What do you care," he mutters when she doesn't move away.

"Just because he and I aren't involved doesn't mean I want to see him hurt—"

"He loves you, right? Do you get it? Do you even know?"

She pulls back then and he can see in her eyes and the funny tilt of her mouth that she does.

"I know. But, what am I supposed to do about it?"

...

He walks with James and Sirius and Peter to Hogsmeade, but he knows exactly where Snape is at all times, and right at this moment he's 10 feet behind, walking alone, head down, feet kicking at the last of the snow, dirty and slushy. James and Sirius are shoving one another and pretending to trip Peter, until they finally do, and he goes down hard, soaking his trousers. Much riotous laughter follows.

Remus goes through the motions and hangs on as long as he can, but when he catches sight of Snape's tall, dark figure swoop past the window of Honeyduke's, he manages to finally sneak away, slipping out the door and racing up the path towards the Shrieking Shack. He sees Snape's figure ahead and his heart starts to pound. He grabs him from behind and Snape doesn't seem nearly as surprised as he should, maybe he knew Remus was coming, and he allows himself to be shoved down into wet grass, his eyes already half-lidded with desire, his lips parted and when Remus presses up against him, he can feel he's already hard.

They are both gasping, hands fumbling, skin bared between them. Remus grasps Snape in his hands and strokes him until Snape arches back against the ground, a long, low moan and he bucks once, twice and comes hard, his face open and unshuttered, his fingers twisted tight in Remus's coat, twisting in the fabric of the scarf, the red and gold Gryffindor scarf until it's yanked to the ground beside them, looking for all the world like a splash of blood against the last of the winter snow.

When Lily passes him in the hallway now, her fingers entwined with James's, or James's arm slung possessively over her shoulder, she looks right at him and smiles a little, but he keeps his face averted and passive. She murmurs something to Potter, then turns and follows Snape, grabs his wrist and holds on tight.

"Sev, we're still friends yes?—"

Snape hisses, his nose inches from her upturned face.

"You kissed me. You let me touch you—"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I know, but I tried to tell you—"

"Do you let him touch you, now?"

She blushes.

"It's different with James—"

Snape claps his hands to his head.

"Different," he groans.

"Yes, I'm—"

"Don't! Don't say it, please."

"But, I am, Sev. I'm in love with—"

He chokes back a sound like a sob.

"But, I'm in love with—"

"No! No. You're not. Don't say it—"

"Why not? Don't you feel anything for me? Don't you—"

"Of course I do, Sev, but…I don't love you…like that."

"Like what?"

She chews her lip and closes her eyes briefly.

"Like you want me to."

And that, really, answers pretty much everything.

...

The castle grounds are wet and muddy this time of year and the rain just keeps falling. This is a bad day for Remus, bad all around, but he's followed Snape out to the greenhouses again, hoping for…well, hoping for something, anyfuckingthing, really, after weeks of nothing.

"Hey," he says, grabbing hold of Snape's sleeve. Snape turns, shakes him off, his face dark and bleak.

"What do you want?"

"I just…I haven't seen you and…" And I want to fucking kiss you, I want to feel your skin under my skin and I want to make you moan and make you come right now and—

"And?"

Remus shrugs, the rain soaking his hair, his shoulders. He feels small and pathetic and Snape isn't helping. He seems to be staring right through him, actually, and Remus shivers a bit.

"Need any help in the greenhouse?"

"From you?" Snape sneers.

Remus sucks in a breath. He's cold all over. "But…"

"But what?"

"I just thought—"

"Look, Lupin," Snape says, sounding for all the world like he's addressing a slightly slow child. "I don't know what you thought, to be honest, but I can assure you, right here and now, that I do not share your particular feelings on the subject."

He turns to go and Remus grabs him one more time.

"You really have no fucking clue, do you?"

Snape's mouth drops open in almost comical surprise, and Remus would be amused if his heart wasn't thudding painfully against his ribs and there wasn't a rushingroaring of blood in his ears.

"About what?"

"Us. You and I. The kissing, the everythingand us—"

"There is no us—"

"You kissed me, you wanker. You…you were fucking hard. I made you—"

Snape makes a dismissive sound and waves a long, thin hand at him. "Merely a diversion," he says, but his cheeks are pink and his eyes slide away.

"Or were you just thinking about her again? Thinking it was her hands on your cock, and her mouth on your neck and she doesn't want you, you know, you stupid git, she doesn't loveyou—"

Remus stops before he starts crying.

"You don't know anything." Snape's voice is ice. "You know nothing about it, you know nothing about love—"

"I know you don't love me…like that," Remus spits, and his spit is bitter in his mouth, between his lips.

"Lupin—"

"Don't call me that!"

Remus runs at him then and he's so happy it's raining, because he doesn't want Snape to see he's crying, on top of everything else.

They fall to the ground in the rain and the mud and Remus is hard, he's fucking hard even as he wrestles Snape, tries to pummel him.

"You take people's hearts and you smash them, you grind them. You will never have her, and you will never have me and you will never—" Remus's voice breaks there and his humiliation is complete. He sits back on his heels and stares down at Snape's still, pale face for a moment and even now the urge to kiss him is almost overwhelming.

Then he stands and turns and lurches towards the castle, slipping on mud, his hair hanging in his eyes. He turns once, just to see, just to check, and Snape is still there, sprawled on the ground, long legs angled in front of him, and he's watching Remus, and there's a funny look in his eyes, and it's almost sad and it's almost something else, and it's the something else that Remus hangs onto hard as he can. His heart is twisting and breaking inside his chest and he needs to hold onto his heart, hold onto as many pieces as possible with his clumsy, useless hands, and never give them away to someone again.

He has a hard time getting back to the castle; it seems to take hours to find the entrance, in the wet and cold. Sometimes, these days, he doesn't know where he is, or how he even got here. He swipes an angry arm over his face, wiping away all kinds of water, and tells himself it doesn't even matter, none of it even matters, because under the flesh and bone, under it all, he's just making it up as he goes along, anyway.

...

-30-