Title: A Galleon and a Dream
By: Vaughn (Vaughn72000@aol.com)
Disclaimer: I own nothing save the shirt on my back. This is not intended to infringe on any copyrights, nor do I intend to make any profit from it.
Summary: A response to Challenge #27- Remus/Snape bought Snape/Remus in a charity auction. Humor fic is preferable. The Headmaster decides that Snape needs improve his standing in the wizarding world during a time when everyone has become a suspect. The problem is that no one wants to buy the snarky Potions Master for the weekend except a lonely werewolf who is trying to make amends.
I am eternally grateful to: majinsakuko and vacuous_nutty for being my excellent beta readers. Any mistakes left in are entirely my own.
"You have truly gone insane, Headmaster. I cannot think of any other reason why you would even suggest such a thing."
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of one of the greatest wizarding schools in Europe, Slayer of Grindelwald, holder of the Order of Merlin, First class, and a seated wizard on the Wizengamot was facing one of his life's greatest challenges. One tightly wound Potions Master named Severus Snape.
"Come now, Severus, your image could use a bit of polish in these dark times. What could be better than to participate in a public charity auction to benefit those who have lost family members to Voldemort?"
The Potions Master could feel his blood pressure rising. Ah yes, Albus, public humiliation. What could be better than that?
The Headmaster waited patiently as Severus attempted to keep control of himself. It seemed to take him longer and longer these days. Severus needed a break from the routine that had become his entire life. On the other hand, this could make matters even worse if someone along the lines of Alastor Moody won Severus at the auction. He doubted either one of them would survive that weekend. If only someone had the patience to deal with Severus...
All of a sudden, Severus could see that damnable twinkle lighting up Albus’ blue eyes. I am not getting out of this no matter what I say, am I?
"Care for a lemon drop, my dear boy?"
Severus grudgingly took one of the proffered sweets and stowed it away in his robe to be discarded of later. After all these years, Albus knew what that seemingly innocent gesture meant to the Potions Master. Defeat.
As Albus eyed the worn figure slumped in his chair he could not help but wonder why everything had to be a battle with Severus. Pushing the thought to the back of his mind, he quickly launched into an explanation of the Minister's auction and bade Severus good night. The auction was in two days' time and the good Headmaster had one important detail he still needed to iron out.
Severus Snape, Head of Slytherin House and respected Potions Master, wondered why he always ended up doing what Albus wanted. He was pleasantly surprised at his sudden dismissal from the Headmaster's office, though. No prying questions as to his health, feelings, appetite, and so forth. It was a blessed relief not to have the man pry into every aspect of his day for once. This auction was another matter entirely. Severus knew he should have given Albus the fight of his life on this one, but the Headmaster had a point. The former Death Eater was being watched closely by everyone now that the Dark Lord had risen a second time. If it had not been for Kinglsey Shacklebolt, Severus was sure he would have been followed around by Aurors constantly. He had to do anything he could to erase the paranoia that the war had brought. To be auctioned off like a piece of chattel to the highest bidder was quite a bit of his pride to swallow. Evidently that idiot Fudge had gotten the idea that this auction would improve morale and the Ministry's standing within the wizarding world. The public was still reeling from their delayed response to the Dark Lord's return and their lack of cooperation in his demise. Dumbledore had donated the Great Hall for the auction room and Minerva volunteered to be the auctioneer. The successful bidder will have the witch or wizard they had "won" from Saturday morning until sundown on Sunday. The bidder will chose all the activities during that time, but they must be "family oriented."
As Severus entered the cool dungeons, he had one simple wish.
I pray Minerva will not embarrass me any further when she realises no one wants me.
Remus Lupin entered Hogwarts with an unusual feeling of trepidation. The Headmaster's late summons had him rushing to the school grounds. What could possibly be so urgent?
As he mumbled the password to the stone guardian of Dumbledore's office, his fear increased. What if something happened to Harry at the Dursleys?
The Headmaster looked up at him and greeted him a friendly smile. Remus felt his heart returning to a normal pace.
It can't be all that bad then, whatever it is.
"Thank you for coming on such short notice, Remus.”
Before the werewolf could pour out the million concerns that were racing through his brain, Dumbledore quickly assured him that nothing had happened.
"The reason I have asked you here is to find out if you were planning to attend the charity auction on Friday."
"Um, no, actually. I don't really have the means to bid, Headmaster. I wanted to participate but no one would bid on me anyway. I highly doubt anyone would want me to bid on them, for that matter."
"The full moon is not for another two weeks, Remus. You do make for rather pleasant company, I might add."
"Thank you, Headmaster. Unfortunately, most people do not see things as you do."
"I am well aware of that, my friend. Most people see me as a senile old fool. It is all too easy to see only what is visible on the surface and not what lies beneath. Care for a lemon drop? There you go; I am rather fond of them myself. I should probably get to what I have asked you here to discuss. I have persuaded Severus to take part in the auction...what's that Remus, are you choking? Here have some water. I should hate to think of my lemon drops as being responsible for your demise. I would undoubtedly lose my taste for them. Where was I, ah yes, the auction. It would be a great boon to his image, you see. "
"With all due respect, Headmaster, I don't know if that is such a good idea. Snape is, well, Snape. He is not known to be very...um, personable. It would be awful if no one bid on him, which might be the case. Even with his potion abilities, I don't think too many people will be willing to have him for a weekend."
"I suspect that, as well. This brings me again to why I have asked you here."
Oh no, not that. Please Albus, anything but that.
"I would like you to consider bidding on him yourself. You could donate to the cause and perhaps you and Severus could forge some sort of peace."
Except for the fact that I tried to eat him twenty years ago and he despises me.
"I don't really have the means to bid, headmaster."
"I doubt there will be a bidding war on Severus. Most people are not willing to take the time to see past his exterior. You have a good night, my boy. Please think about what has been said here."
Great, now he's playing the guilt card.
"I will, Headmaster. Thank you."
"Oh, and Remus?"
"I would check your pockets if I were you."
As Remus left Dumbledore's office and made his way through the deserted grounds he found himself thinking about, of all people, Snape.
It is hard to have everyone look at you like you are a monster. I doubt those suspected of being Deatheaters are treated much better than a werewolf.
It's not that Remus did not find Snape interesting. He had been curious about the dark, serious boy back in their school days. He supposed he still was. As aloof as the professor seemed to be, Remus doubted that being shunned in public and on stage for all those to see would fail to have an effect on him. Remus unconsciously slipped his hand into the warm pockets of his robe and was surprised to feel a small, cold piece of metal in one of them. He retrieved the object and found one Galleon that he knew had not been in there before.
Dumbledore. How did he sneak that in?
Sighing, Remus hoped Snape would take this as atonement for the Shrieking Shack incident. He could not help but feel the need to be forgiven. Not for anything that he did. Only for what he was.
Severus glanced at the silver grandfather clock that adorned his chamber wall. Almost six o'clock. Fighting down the urge to curse Albus as soon as he was in eyesight, he headed to the Great Hall.
Remus could not believe that he was at the auction. He felt his nerve dissipate as Severus swept into the room amid the glares of most present.
He looks like he's on his way to his execution.
"Everyone, Everyone, your attention please. Thank you, and welcome. I am Professor Minerva McGonagall and I will be your auctioneer tonight." A loud applause filled the room. Minerva raised her hand for silence and continued. "You all know the rules and the cause, so let's begin. Our first wizard is one of our very own Professors and Head of Slytherin House here at Hogwarts, Severus Snape. I will open the bidding at six Galleons."
Remus cringed at the dead that silence filled the room.
"Anyone, six galleons? All right then, five galleons?
"Three Galleons. Did I mention that the Professor here is a Potions Master, as well?"
"Two Galleons, it's for a worthy cause!"
Remus could see that Minerva was turning bright red. As for Severus, if looks could kill the entire room would have been dead where they stood.
"One Galleon, then. Anyone, one Galleon?"
Remus could feel the weight of the coin in his fingers.
It could sure buy a lot of chocolate from Honeydukes...
"One Galleon for a Potions Master! Do you people have any idea...?”
"I bid One Galleon."
Remus could not believe the words that had escaped his mouth. He could feel Severus' onyx eyes boring two holes right through him.
"One Galleon going once, twice, sold to Mr. Remus Lupin for one Galleon!"
As Remus was paying a beaming Minerva, Severus dramatically swept by him and hissed: "I don't know what you are up to but I assure you I will find out."
Remus couldn't resist calling out after him.
"I'll see you at 9:00 o'clock sharp, Snape. Talk about a cheap date!"
Remus understood that you could not survive very long as a spy if you weren't a bit paranoid. Snape took it to a whole new level. That man thinks everything and everyone are out to get him.
I suppose he needs a break. We all do.
Next morning, Remus decided that Snape needed to expand his horizons. Having spent many an hour with Muggles in the pursuit of employment and enjoying every minute of it, Remus decided that a Muggle activity might be just what the Potions Master needed.
As Remus found himself in front of the coiled serpent that guarded the Head of Slytherin’s quarters he felt less confident about his plan.
He doesn't seem like the type to willingly try new things. I wonder if his strong sense of pride could work to my advantage...
A cold voice sliced through his thoughts.
"This is precisely how I enjoy be greeted in the morning. By an aging Gryffindor with his mouth hanging open."
"Ah, Severus. Sorry, I got lost in thought for a moment."
"Really, Lupin? I never even knew that was possible."
"Anything is possible! Now, get your scarf and gloves. You may want to take your winter robe, as well."
"In case it has escaped your keen sense of perception it is summer, Lupin."
Calm down before you respond, Remus. 1, 2, 3, 4,...
"Is there a problem, Lupin? Cat got your tongue? Although you might actually find that enjoyable. Lunch, perhaps?"
5, 6, 7, 8...
"Fine, Lupin. I do not wish to spend this entire wretched day in front of my chamber doors while you stand there like a statue. I shall retrieve what you suggested. You. wait.here."
Remus let out all the air he had been holding in as soon as Snape was out of sight. What was it with him, anyways! Merlin, it was taking all of Remus' self-restraint not to shout: I'M SORRY--LET IT GO! IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO AND WE ARE THE ONLY ONES LEFT!
When Snape finally reappeared, he actually followed Remus wordlessly as they left the castle grounds and went toward Hogsmeade. Eventually Snape's curiosity got the better of him and he began to ask questions.
"Are we going to Hogsmeade then, Lupin?"
"No, right outside of it."
"To do what?"
"There's a wizard's winter resort there called "Millian's Mountain". It's enchanted to have snow all year round and-"
"I am aware of the place, Lupin. I also know that wizards go there to make absolute fools of themselves in Muggle activities."
"Yes, well about that...um...Have you ever been on a sled, Severus?"
"Sled, you know. It's a flat board of wood that Muggles use to slide down on snow-covered slope."
"Why would I want to do something that sounds that undignified, Lupin? Some of us still respect tradition. No true wizard would want to be caught dead emulating a Muggle. You cannot possibly think...Oh, no."
"Well, the auction rule state you must do what I select. It is considered a "family" activity amongst Muggles, so I...”
"It will be fun, I promise you. Unless of course, you are not able to do it. I would understand.”
"Are you insinuating that I cannot master a Muggle activity, of all things!!? Really Lupin, have you lost what little mind you once had?”
"We're here, Severus. This map shows all of the slopes in the resort. Seeing as this is your first time, we should probably start on this one."
"I will not go near anything with the word "Bunny" in its name, thank you."
"That just means it's for beginners...What are you looking at? No, you can't go on that on. It's not even recommend for sledding. Severus?"
Remus turned around just in time to see Severus climb onto the lift on the last slope. As he rushed over, he hoped that Severus at least had the sense to wait for him before he attempted to sled. After all, Devil's Drop had rightfully earned its name.
When Severus had reached the top of the summit, he was greeted with a help sign:
"Welcome to Millian's Mountain where Muggles are king! If you need anything during your stay, please ask for it aloud. A staff member will appear to take your request shortly."
"I need a...what was it now...ah yes, a sled!"
A house elf appeared in front of him wearing a bright orange toga with Millian's emblazed across it.
"What does sir need? Grinny is happy to help!"
"I require a sled, please."
"Right aways, sir!"
The elf vanished with the customary "POP!" and reappeared a few moments later holding a wooden plank with a gnarled front and a strap of leather attached to it.
"Here it is, sir. One of the best ones, sir! Is sir wanting lessons?"
Snape couldn't help but scowl. It was Muggle made, for Merlin's sake. If he could make some of the most complex potions ever known to wizard kind, he could certainly figure out a decrepit piece of wood.
"No thank you. That will be all."
"Just a warning than, sir! Millian's does not recommend this hill for sleds, sir!"
With that, the house elf vanished.
Snape shook his head; He never quite understood house elves. All that magic and ability wasted to serve others.
Now, on to this "sledding". I'll show the werewolf how easy it is and maybe then I can be free of this place. Let's see how this works.
Severus studied the sled. It was not exactly a mark of craftsmanship. As he observed the other occupants of the hill going about their business, he saw they all had what appeared to be slender boards attached to their feet which acted as buffers as they slid down the slope upright.
Severus deducted that even though his apparatus was different, the concept would most likely remain the same. As he studied the sled, he decided that the leather strap needed to be modified for foot restraints.
There we go. Now I will just push off this tree here...1,
"Snape!! Severus!! Stop!"
"Lupin, really, I told you this would be child's play."
"No, Severus! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE-"
3. This is kind of exhilarating, I suppose...
"Standing." Remus finished weakly. He watched helplessly as Severus made it about half of the way down before he flipped over and went headfirst into the snow.
Please don't be hurt. Please don't hurt me.
As Remus watched the normally composed Potions Master flail helplessly with a sled somehow attached to his feet, he found himself starting to grin.
Bloody hell Remus, don't laugh. Whatever you do, don't laugh.
Using all of his self control he managed to pull Severus out of the snow without making a sound. Then he found himself face-to-face with a snow-covered Snape.
Severus was shaking with barely concealed fury.
"Did you find that amusing, werewolf? I should have known that you would try to kill me again, having failed the first time."
"Come off of it, Severus. It was in the past."
"How dare you trivialize-"
"I am not trivializing anything. James and Lily are dead, Sirius is gone and Peter is forever lost to me. I refuse to apologise to you anymore since you will never accept it. I have paid enough."
Remus was confused to see Snape open and then close his mouth. He was certain Snape would either hex him or deliver a stinging retort. To his surprise, Severus gazed at him thoughtfully for a moment and then walked toward a dense patch of trees. Remus called out after his disappearing form.
"Stop sulking and stomping away like a spoilt child, Severus. Let's just have it out here and...Ouch!"
A snowball had just hit him squarely in the face. A snowball fight? Snape? What the devil was going on here? If anyone could see Remus’ face at that moment they would have seen the shockingly evil grin that was worthy of a Slytherin.
"You want a war, Snape? You've got one!"
Remus ran headlong into the trees, artfully dodging several snow projectiles along the way. As he pounced on Severus, he felt twenty years younger. The hours flew by and Remus could hardly believe it. He was having a good time with Severus Snape, of all people. Not only that, but he had actually glimpsed the stoic Slytherin with a genuine smile dancing across his face. He had to admit to himself that when Severus wasn't sulking, he was actually a little attractive. The man was truly deserving of his head of house title. Never before did Remus appreciate how gracefully the man could move or how cunning he was.
Whoa, Remus. What are you doing? This is Snape! You know greasy, evil, and so forth. Why are you lusting after him? Are you that desperate?
Remus was quite lonely. People generally don't get involved with werewolves as a rule. Let alone a gay werewolf. It's just not something that makes for a good personal ad.
Let's get a few things straight, mister. 1) He hates your guts. 2) He's not interested in other wizards. Well, maybe he is. He never had a girlfriend of any sort at Hogwarts. It's not like some Syltherin girl looking for a pureblood husband would have passed him over for Crabbe or Goyle Senior. Still, he’s never actually done anything to confirm it.
The sun had set and Remus decided to surrender peacefully before it got too late.
"Severus, you win! I give up! Come out from..."
A dark figure hurled itself at Remus and whipped a snowball at him with such force that he could not keep his balance. Remus found himself slipping and felt somebody tugging on him to keep him from sliding down the hill. It was to no avail and he found himself tumbling rather ungracefully down the slope while holding on for dear life to the other person. He came to an abrupt halt and found himself squarely on top of one Severus Snape. His face was within inches of the Potion's Master's and he found himself mesmerized by the dark eyes and slightly pouty lips in front of him. Remus felt heat creeping up the back of his neck. An amused voice cut through his reverie.
"Like what you see there, Lupin?"
Turning a shade of scarlet that he didn't even know he was capable of, Remus lifted himself off and promptly offered his hand to Snape. Waving the hand away, Snape rose and began brushing the snow off his midnight black robes.
"Thanks for trying to stop my fall Severus."
"Quite all right. It was my fault, anyways."
Remus was speechless. Had Severus Snape, off all people, admitted he was to blame?
"Had I rembered that you were in Gryffindor, I would have known that you were invariably a complete klutz."
Remus grinned, launched a snowball directly into Severus' face.
"My apologies, Severus. Had you been more of a Slytherin you may have seen that one coming."
"Are you lost, Lupin?"
"Not at all, Severus. The auction rules say I get to torment you until sundown."
"I see. What brand of idiocy do you have planned for today?"
"Nothing as traumatic as yesterday. Didn't your mother ever tell you snorting is not very becoming? Anyways, I need to go to Hogsmeade to pick up a few things. I figured we'd have lunch there and then we could head to my place for dinner."
"Dinner at your place? Are you trying to poison me now, as well?"
"Don't be so skeptical. I'm going to cook you some Muggle food. Trying something different isn't fatal, you know."
"It will be if you are the one who made it. Really, Lupin, you should practise what you preach. At least my snorts sound condescending. Yours sound like they came from a deathly ill warthog."
As Remus and Severus made their way through more than half a dozen shops in the busy wizarding village, they failed to notice that their current conversation was being eavesdropped on by two rather curious Gryffindors.
"What is it Ron? I'm reading this fascinating new theory on-"
"Look-it's Snape and Professor Lupin. My dad said that Mr. Lupin had bought Snape at that charity auction because no one else wanted him, but I didn't think they'd actually spend time together. Let's go behind that tree and see what they're talking about!"
"Honestly, Ron, we really shouldn't. Besides, I think it was very nice of Professor Lupin to bid on Snape. He's a brilliant Potions Master and people should stop being so prejudiced against him just because of his past. Ron? Ron!"
As the two huddled behind the great oak, they heard everything as the unlikely pair passed by. (With the aid, of course, of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes new item, the Sonic Sound Shell. Hear voices up to 100 feet away loud and clear. An excellent gift for all those nosy people in your life. A steal at only 2 galleons each. This ad was paid for by the friends of Fred and George Weasley.)
"I simply cannot believe you paid that much for a novel. A romance novel, of all things."
"Really, Severus, it's a popular book and I like to splurge once in a while."
"It's absolutely ridiculous. Young women swooning over old men."
"I like the idea of a romance, Severus. I'm not over here eyeing up female students."
"Are you eyeing up the male ones, then?"
"Well, it's quite telling that you specified one gender but not the other."
"I am NOT looking at students that way. That is reprehensible."
"I knew it."
"Now you've pointed out you are not looking at students. You omitted the male part, again."
"Is that a problem, Severus? I can assure, I have no designs on you. I would not approach someone who did not share my preference, anyways."
"And how are you so sure, Lupin?"
"I think I would know if I was interested in you."
"That's not what I meant, Lupin. I have a few things to do back at the school before dinner. I will meet you for dinner as required. Until then, good day."
"Good day, Severus."
As Lupin began to walk away, he was somewhat puzzled by Snape's remarks. What did he mean, unless...
Hermione and Ron were startled enough by what they had just heard. It sounded like the professors were flirting, if anything else. The last thing that they heard before they were out of range was Professor Lupin's cry of victory...
"I KNEW IT!"
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Remus had decided that he more than tolerated Severus' company, he enjoyed it. He would miss Severus when the bought time ended in a few hours. He was attracted to Severus and he was tired of growing old alone. Besides, Severus seemed to have grown accustomed to his presence. Instead of snide remarks and barely concealed insults, Remus found himself getting real conversation from the man. He was pleased to find that Severus was well-read and articulate. What he didn't expect at all was that hidden underneath the sour exterior was a sense of humor, albeit a dry one. So with his decision made Remus found himself wearing his very best robe and nervously combing his hair. As he heard a knock upon the door of his small cottage, he hoped the candles and firewhiskey would not turn the other man off...
"Hello there, Severus, fancy a drink?"
Remus watched as Severus took in the candlelit dinner table and the meal spread over it. The Potions Master looked Remus up and down so carefully that he began to wonder if he had just made a huge mistake. Finally, Severus spoke in a liquid smooth voice.
"Am I on a date, Lupin?"
"Answer me, Lupin."
"Yes. Look, I apologise. I shouldn't have assumed...”
"Quit your insipid whimpering, Lupin. It does not suit you well."
Good job, Remus, now he's hissing. You've pissed away any chance of even a civil relationship now.
"I hope you know that I am not a morning person, Lupin, should we ever get to that stage. Do not expect me to fawn over your precious Gryffindors, either."
"Are you saying what I think you are, Severus?"
"Are you that much of a dunderhead? This is acceptable. Next time, if there is one, please consider asking me on the date before you go to the trouble."
"Yes, of course. Now, do you ever have Chinese food? Muggles love it, and I find it quite tasty."
After the meal and quite a few drinks later, Remus found himself sitting on the worn sofa in his living room, with Severus comfortably splayed out on the other end. They had been chattering pleasantly for hours, and Remus realised that sundown had passed.
"Severus? You're free, you know. The sun has already set."
"Did you think I just agreed to the date because of the auction, Lupin? I could have refused on the grounds that it was not "family oriented"."
"I'm going to be honest, Severus. I really enjoy your company. I'm just not sure if you enjoy mine."
"Really, Lupin. I wonder how I could remedy that."
Severus slowly leaned toward Remus until he had closed almost all the space between him. Remus could smell the mixture of herbs on him. It was a spicy, intoxicating odor that seemed to envelope him.
"I can think of a few ways, Severus."
Using the courage that can only be found after the ingestion of liberal amounts of Firewhiskey, Remus passionately launched himself at the pouty lips he had noticed only the day before. Severus returned his kiss with equal enthusiasm. After a few more minutes of groping at each other like teenagers, Remus reluctantly pulled back from the embrace. Seeing the look of confusion on Severus' face, he rushed to explain.
"I really like you, Severus, as trite as that may sound. I don't want a one night stand. I want to do it right, when we're both completely sober and in charge of our faculties."
"Agreed. I see you fancy yourself as a romantic, then. Perhaps I can cure you of that affliction."
"Perhaps. But, on the other hand, I may just pass my ridiculous notions on to you."
"Highly unlikely. Good night, Remus."
"Good night, Severus. Shall I see you tomorrow, then?"
Severus, now standing in the doorway, gifted Remus with a true smile.
"As long as you promise not to feed me more Muggle food."
Putting on his most serious face, Remus replied:
"You have my word as a Gryffindor."
"That is not very reassuring."
Later that night...
Remus’ dreams that night were not the usual kind. No one was dying in the hell that is war, or screaming about dirty, filthy dark creatures. Just two bodies, entwined in the night in a peaceful symphony.
Severus was surprised to find he had slept through the entire night for the first time in nearly twenty years. No visions of the Dark Lord torturing him for his betrayal. No haunting eyes of Dumbledore telling him that he had failed, the children he had fought so hard to protect had been lost. Just images of an amber eyed man that filled him with a feeling he had thought to be lost to him forever. Hope.
The phoenix trilled softly in the corner, startling the old man who had been dozing off in his chair.
"Had I known Fawkes, that one Galleon could buy so much, I'd have parted with it a long time ago."
Any feedback, comments, or questions are welcome. Feel free to contact me at Vaughn72720000@AOL.com