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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 11:14 am
Entry tags:


Rating: R (Remus/Snape)
Summary: They build a relationship around the transformation.
Warnings: None.

Also available at AO3.


It was difficult to surprise Severus Snape, but as Remus had been attempting to do so off and on for fifteen years, he'd learned a few methods. One of them was to be nice to him. Snape was unused to nice. It threw him off.

"Did you just ask me..." Snape trailed off, staring at him in something approaching shock.

"I realise it's messy, but -- "

"Are you utterly daft?"

Remus' lips quirked. "Why professor, now I know why all the children love you so."

"I've seen you before in that state, thanks, I'm not likely to want to see it again. Last time you tried to eat me. Both times."

"You were fifteen the first time, and either time you'd hardly make a decent meal anyhow -- oh, come on Severus, that was a joke. If I can laugh about it, surely you can by now."

But, Remus recalled, Severus Snape could laugh about very little, really.

"Listen, it's not like I want to give you a peep show, you know," he continued reasonably.

"You want me to lock myself in a room with a slavering wolf and -- "

"I don't slaver. I haven't slavered in years. That's the whole point of the Wolfsbane potion."

"Which as you yourself have indicated is losing its efficacy."

Remus bowed his head. "Yes. Yes I have. And since I know precisely how it works, thanks to your excellent book recommendations on the subject and your constant reminders of the difficulty involved in brewing it for me, I know that the only way to study how the potion is affecting the subject is to observe transformations in progress."

"Hence, the casual request that I endanger my life and limb."

"Listen, I'm going to be naked and turn into an animal you know, it's not all roses for me either."

Remus saw Snape draw in a breath -- he thought, to say something -- and then let it out again.

"Few people even have the opportunity. There are potions craftsmen who would kill for five minutes alone with a slavering werewolf during a transformation," he continued persuasively.

"Then why don't you pester them?"

"I don't trust them. Neither does the wolf."

Snape looked up sharply. Remus gave him his best disarming smile. "The wolf's always here, you know, but it's used to your scent. And I'm..." he shrugged. "Used to you."

"And the angels sang choruses," Snape muttered sarcastically.

"You're a bastard, Snape, and you're not even a fair bastard, but by god when someone tells you to do a job you do it," Remus said finally. "Which is an odd reason for trusting you, but there you have it," he added, spreading his hands.

He saw Snape's eyes dart down to them, watched them examine the fingers. Snape's own fingers twitched.

"Trust?" Snape asked absently. Remus, sensing that it was not a question requiring a reply, let his hands fall.

"Who else would I?" he finally said. Snape seemed to break out of a reverie.

"Indeed. Play the violins for lonely Lupin," he sneered, and Remus thought idly that twenty years ago that barb would have made him miserable for a week.

Of course, twenty years ago, he hadn't had twenty years of being alone.

"You'll make the arrangements," Snape said. It wasn't a question. "Don't expect me to feel sorry for you."

"No, I'm sure you'll enjoy watching every minute," Remus sighed under his breath.


In theory the Wolfsbane potion was supposed to make a werewolf completely harmless. In practice, nobody had ever been forced to spend the night, or even part of one, with a sedated werewolf. Snape, who had seen quite enough teeth and claws to last him several lifetimes, was not happy about the idea of being a primary test subject.

He insisted on shackles made of silver alloy -- not strong enough to harm the wolf (or perhaps just strong enough to leave a few mild burns? No...while Snape might be cruel, he wouldn't admit to sadism) but strong enough to hold it should it remember that humans were for eating and not there to throw sticks for it to fetch.

Remus privately thought that fetching a stick was probably the more embarrassing of the two options anyway.

At any rate, he borrow them from Kingsley, who knew where the Aurors kept that sort of thing, moved the bed to a wall where an ancient hook was bolted into the stone, and hung the chains there. When he snapped the shackles around his wrists they felt odd, as though they were slightly too cold, and made him uncomfortable. He realised he was not going to be able to curl up and sleep tonight. The silver wouldn't let him.

Then he picked up the third chain. He hooked the silver links carefully to the wall, and fastened the collar around his neck. It was made of alloy too. It made him twitch.

At least he didn't have to do this ridiculous display in front of Snape. Especially since he was naked. When one didn't have a job, one tended not to wear clothing that would just be ripped off during the transformation anyway; it was a waste of good trousers. He kept a blanket nearby, for when the transformation was complete, but there was no getting around the fact that Snape was going to be there when he let himself out of the shackles and collar.

He had barely enough time to make sure there was slack in the chain for him to lie down, before the sunset was fading behind dark blue clouds, and the moon came out. The other inhabitants of 12 Grimmauld Place were used to the single, pained, and prolonged howl from Lupin's room every twenty-eight days. They hardly even noticed anymore, except perhaps for a slight sensation of the hairs on the back of one's neck standing on end.

The world was different through the wolf's eyes, even when he was on the Wolfsbane. For one thing the potion made him sleepy, made him stupid, made him sluggish, as a wolf; it was hard to think, and there wasn't much desire for thought anyhow.

He wasn't sure -- as he didn't clearly remember being the wolf unless he was on the Wolfsbane -- whether the world was reduced to elements because of that, or because this was the way wolves thought. Or if this was the way monsters thought.

Either way, the world came into sharp focus. It was all very simple.

Food. Mate. Hunt. Sleep. This is my place, that is your place. A part of him even analysed the thoughts as they rose up in his mind, noting them for future reference when he was human again. The journals he'd kept since starting the Wolfsbane were full of statistics. Wolf hungry tonight, wanted food; wolf slept tonight. Never referred to it as I, or Me; it was always Wolf.

Chains. The chains were horrible things, but he couldn't undo them, not just because his paws weren't deft enough, but because if he did there was still a chance Severus would be hurt, when he came to observe the transformation back. He was very proud of following this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion while the dominant voice in his head said get these fucking chains off my fucking legs I'm going to fucking eat Snape when he comes through that fucking door.

He'd left Snape very specific instructions. When the sun was rising he would howl again, and Snape would know the transformation was coming. He was to have washed, so that the wolf could smell his scent over the scent of food and potions and all the rest of the things that clung to human beings after a day. He was supposed to keep his hands flat and palms out until the transformation was complete, and take notes by autoscribe. He should keep his voice quiet, try not to show his teeth, and if he brought a dog biscuit along or made any kind of flea jokes, Lupin was entitled to bite his fingers off.

He tried to curl up, but the shackles and collar made it difficult to get comfortable.

It was going to be a long night.


Severus Snape had long ago laid to rest his nightmares about that night in the Shack when he was -- when they all were -- fifteen; unfortunately he'd seen many things much worse, which drowned out the vague, indistinct memory of a hackles-raised shadow, yellow eyes and overlarge teeth.

Still, he wondered at the wisdom of going into a room with a werewolf, chained or not -- and did he even have any assurance that Lupin had put on the chains? Black or the Weasleys might assume that the man would, but Severus had known him at school and had seen him defy or ignore most of the Hogwarts rules, without even mentioning the rules of common decency. Lupin was just as unpredictable as Black; it was only that he was better at pretending to be a normal person. Ironically.

On the other hand, Snape would not let anyone believe him afraid, especially not Lupin, who to him now represented Black and Potter and even Pettigrew.

He sat on the step outside Lupin's rooms, having risen at three after a restless night where he'd suffered the usual tormenting dreams of being late or lost which one often has when one must wake up exceedingly early. Inside, there was the noise of soft breathing, and the occasional rattle of the chains. A good sign.

Lupin was right, of course. Most specialists would kill to be in his position, and some of them had probably made offers in the past. They'd probably even offered money. He wondered why Lupin had turned them down. Surely trust wasn't such an insurmountable object; a few hundred galleons could mean a lot to an unemployed man, more than ten minutes' worth of his dignity.

And he could almost hear Lupin's voice replying in his head: I'm a werewolf, not a whore.

The few records of transformations not written by werewolves themselves (and therefore suppressed by the Ministry as incendiary and untruthful products of a Dark Creature) were vague, and usually bloodspattered. It was a rare opportunity. Even werewolves didn't discuss it. The closest he'd ever heard was Remus and Molly talking it over, she trying as usual to horn into everything, he reassuring her that there was nothing she could do, that it was too personal, more personal even than sex.

He felt like a child sitting there on the cold stone steps, waiting. It was not a sensation he relished.

There had been mentions recently, amongst colleagues of his, that some werewolves were building a tolerance to the potion; Remus had come to him and said that he was finding it more and more difficult to keep grip on sanity during full moons, especially towards the end of the night. The indicators of efficacy were usually shown in the transformations, and hopefully it would prove to be nothing more than a need for a slight increase in the dose, but Snape was nothing if not thorough. Lupin was right about that. It would have injured his pride to be anything less than certain.

Inside, chains rattled again, and something animal panted.

And then there was the second howl -- complete with clear overtones of a summons.

Snape stood, took a breath, and opened the door.


The transformation was always a blurred time for him, a haze of pain and blinded senses, and it usually left him too weak to move. This time was no different, made worse by the presence of silver so close. Though he could hear the low murmur of Snape's voice and feel that the wolf was thankfully not reacting to it, he knew there would have been nothing he could do if the wolf had. Good on Snape for requiring chains.

The scent was familiar, anyway, and even somehow comforting; the last time someone had been with him for the change it had been Sirius, and Sirius and Snape shared a certain acidity of scent, as well as the lingering cling of dusty-old-house. By the time he felt human skin shuddering over his bones again, however, he was too exhausted to care. He wanted to rip the shackles off his wrists and the collar away from around his neck.

But he could barely move, and his body, seeking warmth, had tried with limited success to burrow under the blankets. His feet and legs were covered, but the chains were tangled up in the blanket. He gasped as he tried to move, fingers too clumsy even to undo the simple latches at throat and wrists.

Snape's scent increased suddenly, a hundredfold, a thousandfold; he wished he could see, but literal blindness was a temporary side-effect of the Change. He felt heat, though, and rasped a querying noise through his throat.

"Be still," said Snape's voice, distinct now from the background, and fingers were touching his skin, releasing the shackles, undoing the screwed-in bolts, lifting them away by the chains. The chains caught on the collar, jerking it against his neck, and he whined inarticulately; there was a muttered curse, and then the horrible collar was removed as well.

He had just enough energy to slide one hand up, rubbing the raw skin on his throat. If he blinked he could see, a little; a gleam nearby was his restraints, cast into a corner of the room, and the dark shadow must be Snape. There was a blur of red; a blanket? Yes -- covering his hips, preserving his dignity finally.

"Do you require anything?"

It took him a moment to understand the words, as his vision cleared, and he shook his head. It was cold in the dawn air of the old house, and the muscles along his shoulders shuddered; the blanket was thin, and didn't cover much of him anyway. It didn't occur to him to actually ask Severus Snape for assistance; he had been doing this alone for too long, and Sirius, when he'd come back, had always known what to do without being told.

Something warm was cast around his shoulders, and he huddled into it. It had Snape's scent; his...robes?

He opened his eyes, and saw Snape, in his black trousers and shirt, rolling his sleeves up, hands deft and sure. He recalled a time at school when he'd be willing to give anything to have hands so skilled and steady.

Or just to have those hands on him.

He moaned and tried to roll away, but then the hands were on him, steadying him as a second weight sunk onto the bed, and arms wrapped around his shoulders, pulling his face down into black fabric, stilling the shudders in his body.

"What..." he managed.

"Body heat," came the reply. And, after a pause, almost so quiet he didn't hear it, "I'd no idea."

"Of?" he asked, wanting to climb inside the sudden warmth, as unwanted as it might be from Snape and certainly as unwillingly given, as Snape would no doubt point out to him later.

"I didn't know it was that way," Snape replied. "The transformation. Had I..."

Remus waited, but the more comforting answer was the steady thud of Snape's heart, in contrast to his erratic, racing one.

"Nothing to be done," Snape said finally. "Medically."

"No," Remus managed, as his breathing slowly evened to match the other man's.

"I understand better now," Snape continued.


"Why Black chose to treat you as he did. Why all of them did. Horrifying disease."

Remus lifted his head away from the warmth of Snape's shirt, and turned his face up, seeking the other man's expression. It was...not quite pitying, but not something he'd ever seen on the face of the cold, alienated Potions Master before. A peculiar sympathy lingered in his eyes. Severus inclined his head in agreement with the expression on Remus' face, which must have betrayed surprise more than gratitude.

"I am not inhuman," Severus murmured.

"I am," Remus managed, with a shaky laugh. He saw the other man's lips tighten, slightly, and wanted to point out it was another joke, but he was too tired to form that many words. The warmth was slowly seeping into his bones, though, filling his skin, and it felt good, gave him enough energy to breathe deeply and think clearly.

"I can leave you to sleep, if you prefer," Severus offered.

"Warm," Remus slurred, in denial. He realised that their faces were close, forced close by their positions and closer by the fact that he was watching Severus' face to gauge his reactions -- and that perhaps Severus' only way of understanding him was to watch his.

He looked away, but there was no real "away" when they were this close, and the wolf was still partially in-control. The body-warmth washing over him was gathering in his hips and groin, suddenly, and he moaned with embarrassment, trying to drop his head --

Snape caught the movement and stopped it with his lips, head ducking slightly to press them to Remus', tilting his jaw back, preventing him from turning away. It was a light pressure, insistent; it caught him off-guard enough that he instinctively closed his eyes and opened his mouth to the soft, gently probing tongue that brushed his lips.

The world spun dizzily, and he clutched for support, fingers clenching on Snape's arm -- probably painfully -- and immediately the warmth withdrew, his eyes flew open, and he saw pain and rejection flit across Snape's face --

"No," he tried, tongue-tied, and then realised it was the wrong thing to say. As the other man pulled further away he blurted desperately, "vertigo," and then, "please."

They froze in the moment, he in the act of clinging weakly to a loose sleeve, Snape withdrawing.

He couldn't move. He physically could not gather the strength to follow the man who had slid across the bed, or to pull him back close again. He couldn't even speak in complete sentences, or think clearly enough to form the words he'd have needed.

So he closed his eyes, and swallowed.

"Please," he tried again.

"Please what?" Snape asked in a hushed, almost frightened whisper.


The fingers he'd watched roll those sleeves with such deftness touched his face, exploring the human distance from temple to corner-of-eye, from cheekbone to jaw. Then Snape was moving back against him, warmth enfolding him again, pressure of body-on-body momentarily distracting until their mouths met once more.

It was unfair of his body to react this way, to gather enough of his short supply of energy to support his libido but not his ability to keep his eyes open. Unfair that he could not have pulled Snape closer, but now that they were touching his hips rocked into the other man, weakly, and his breath came faster, even as he felt the pressure of Snape's erection against his own.

He heard a moan and realised it wasn't his, caught it with his mouth and stopped it, but there were whispers against his lips and a hand on his waist, turning him so that he lay on his back and that heat was withdrawn for a bare moment. He couldn't do more than tilt his head and cry out softly as Snape straddled him, exploring with his lips, their bodies fitted closer now and settling into a rhythm of gentle movements that made pleasure dart along his skin, up over the sensitive places in the hollows of his collarbones to tingle under kisses that were all the better for being unasked-for...

He moaned as Snape increased their rhythm, still fully clothed; to be writhing, naked except for a blanket across his hips, under a man who was doing exquisite things to his throat -- to feel that on the oversensitive skin where the silver collar had rested and irritated him, soothing away the chill burn of memory -- it was better than comfort, better than sympathy.

He felt his body tense, felt the short burst of energy gather in him and force one convulsive, orgasmic arch against the firm warm body above, and the moan of pleasure in reply. There was a faint voice in his head reminding him how he must look, lips half-open and heavy from the kisses, hair ruffled, naked with a blanket slung over his hips, hands clenching on Snape's arms --

When he opened his eyes, he saw the other man staring down at him with a dark look of pleasure, lips parted a little. As he watched, that nimble tongue darted out and wet them, slowly.

"Yes," he said, before Snape could say anything. The other man shook his head. "Yes," he insisted.

Snape lowered himself slowly on top of him, rolling them both so that he could burrow once more into that wonderful heat. A hand cradled his head against his neck, and he went eagerly, nuzzling as close as he could.

He fell asleep still whispering "Yes" against reluctant skin, a reassuring affirmation that chased its way through placid dreams...


...until he woke in mid-morning to find himself alone.

There was a significantly heavier blanket covering him than there had been before, and a steaming breakfast laid on a nearby table; it smelled like potatoes and sausages and eggs, Molly's cooking.

He pushed himself up slowly, muscles aching. He could probably manage to stand and walk long enough to get to the food, which smelled disgustingly appetising. He forced himself to focus on it, and not on the way his legs didn't want to function.

A hand picked up the plate, deftly gathering knife and fork along with it, and Remus closed his eyes briefly in thanks.

"You slept quietly. I thought it best to leave you to it," said a deep voice, and then another hand was pushing him upright, helping him to hold the plate, steadying it before releasing him. The silverware clattered to the blanket, and Remus carelessly began to eat with his hands, scooping the fried potatoes into his mouth, eating neatly, if without his usual excellent table manners.

There was a slight sigh, and he glanced up.

Snape was looking down at him, a vague expression of distaste on his face. Remus swallowed, and summoned the energy for a grin. He licked the grease and salt off one finger, delicately. The expression faded, and he watched Snape's adam's apple bob.

The other man sank to the bed, plucking the fork up and using it to slice a piece of fried egg. Remus obediently opened his mouth and accepted the morsel, closing his lips around the fork before it withdrew. His eyes followed it as Snape set it on the plate, and he managed to steady one hand enough to use it to eat with. Really, fingers would have been easier, but forks were for civilised human people, of which, he sometimes needed reminding, he was one.

He ate slowly and in silence for a few minutes, now that the edge was off his hunger, the only noise the click of fork on plate. It was Snape, sitting on the edge near his crossed legs under the blanket, who spoke first.

"I observed an allergic reaction," he said finally. "You've been developing an allergy to one of the infusions."


Snape's fingers lifted his left wrist, which was lying on his thigh, and turned it over, indicating a series of long red lines radiating down the arm. "Here. See this. It should fade given a few hours."

Remus stared down at the pale fingers, pressed just below his palm.

"I think a substitution can be made," Snape said, somewhat breathlessly.

"Oh," he answered weakly. He glanced up and caught Snape watching him. His eyes looked almost hungry, for a second, before they cut away.

He cut another small slice of egg and ate it, uncertainly.

"Has it always been like that?" Snape asked.

"The Change?"

"Yes. I had not..." Snape paused. "...realised."

"It was worse," Remus said, stringing the words together with care, "before the Wolfsbane."


Remus shrugged, eating the last of the potatoes.

"You must think me quite the monster," Snape continued. "To take advantage of you in such a fashion."

Remus choked on his food, and swallowed hastily.

"I liked it," he blurted, tactlessly. Snape glanced at him swiftly, sharply. He wouldn't have wanted to be a student of this man, that was for sure; a look like that could get under your skin, see things you didn't mean anyone to see. A legilimens, Remus recalled.

"I liked it," he repeated almost sulkily, looking down at his plate. "You...I..."

How did you express how it was to be half-and-half, to feel fully human desire because of a scent that was familiar to the wolf, to know that it was the person you wanted while still knowing it was the mate-instinct that made you want it?

"" he asked, instead. "I...are, are"

Snape nodded, looking away again.

"Oh," Remus said, in a small voice. "That's...all right then."

"All right?" Snape snorted. Remus reached out with his left hand to turn the pale jaw back so that they faced each other; he let his other hand drift up to Snape's mouth, drawing his thumb across the lips that had made him moan and cry out earlier. They parted, and Snape's tongue licked away a little salt.

"All right then," Remus repeated. Snape nodded slowly.

"I have work to do," he announced, pulling away. "No doubt Molly will prepare an equally disgusting lunch for you. I'll bring it up in a few hours. Do you require anything else?"

Remus gave him a slow smile that seemed to make the Potions Master blush to his toes.

"Not right now," he said evenly. Snape was at the door before he added, "Thank you."

He saw the other man pause, and his shoulders tighten slightly. His hand curled around the doorknob for a minute, and then he was gone.

Remus smiled, and licked the taste of Severus' mouth off his fingers, before finishing his breakfast.


(Anonymous) 2006-07-15 12:57 am (UTC)(link)
I assume you must have comments for this somewhere else because this was wonderful! You have Remus just right here, I think -- accepting his fate, making those wry little jokes and knowing that being nice to Severus will throw the other man completely off balance. I love their interactions, and the way Severus finally feels compassion for Remus (not pity). And the gentle sex? Yum. :-)

[identity profile] 2007-11-09 03:30 am (UTC)(link)
I enjoyed Severus' realization that the transformation is really quite horrible. I hope his new found understanding will help their budding relationship

[identity profile] 2010-03-10 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Severus' humanity is on full display here, something that's often forgotten or left on the wayside in his depictions. You capture them both beautifully, humanely.

(Anonymous) 2010-10-17 03:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Just like, perfect. I love them both together, and, in this fic, it seems so real. An accepting Remus and a caring Snape; the last is rare avis, I think, and all the better because of that.
bonfoi: Harry_Accomplished (harry)

[personal profile] bonfoi 2010-10-31 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
Uh...Gah! doesn't even begin to cover how passionate that was! To start so lost, so bereft and to come to hope...oh, so good!

[personal profile] purpleygirl 2013-06-19 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, the ultimate hurt/comfort snupin. :-) Gorgeous. I agree with Bonfoi: I love displays of Snape's humanity, but they're a tricky thing to pull off (though you manage it).

Thank you for sharing this slice of deliciousness.