A Hinging Moment
Rating: G pre slash
This is my response to my own challenge for the Snape/Lupin Fuh-Q-Fest. Third Wave
Challenge 269: What if Remus had met Snape on the train the train to Hogwarts before he meets Sirius Black and James Potter? Disgusted with their bullying, he tells the Sorting Hat in no uncertain terms he wants to be in Slytherin along with his new friend Severus Snape.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I don’t speak Latin either. There are some days I wonder if I can speak English.
Archive: Master and Wolf for thirty days then to FAP, my Lj and Lupin_Snape Community Many thanks to E. Kathleen Roper for beta reading.
No one played the slightest bit of attention has a young boy pushed his trolley through the crowds at King Cross Station looking for Platform 9 3/4. Remus Lupin sighed has he looked at the clock. The train to Hogwarts was leaving in less than fifteen minutes and he didn’t relish the thought of fire calling his father if he missed the train. Ever since his mother had died last winter, his father had hardly spoken a word to him.
“Are you looking for the train to Hogwarts?” A clear, pleasant voice asked him.
Startled, Remus looked up. A tall girl wearing a knee length flared green skirt, white blouse with a green and silver tie and a green blazer. He nodded in relief when he saw the Hogwarts crest embroidered on her blazer.
“I thought so. You looked rather lost. My name is Narcissa Black, Slytherin House. I’m the Head Girl this year.” Narcissa said in a matter of fact voice. She looked at him expectantly.
“My name is Remus Lupin. I have no idea what house I’ll be in.” Remus replied shyly has he walked beside the Head Girl. He kept stealing glances at her from the corner of his eyes. She had long blonde hair that was neatly pulled back, pale clear complexion and her eyes like the summer sky with long black eyelashes and slender eyebrows. Her school outfit was made of superfine material unlike his plain clothes. He felt like a poor country cousin walking beside her.
“I’ve never heard of your family before.” Narcissa said coolly has they walked along oblivious to his scrutiny.
“Mother and Father went to Beauxbatons. They moved to England before I was born.” Remus quickly explained sensing her coolness. “All my family has gone to Beauxbatons for the last three hundred years.”
“I see. Ah, here we are,” Narcissa suddenly stopped between platforms nine and ten. “Take your trolley and run directly at the wall.” She gave a soft laugh at Remus doubtful look. “Trust me Remus. It will work.”
Remus took a deep breath, ran directly at the wall and emerged on the other side. A small smile flickered across his face has he stared at the Hogwarts train. Narcissa gave him a friendly nod before she joined a group of girls the same age as her.
“Hallo lad, give me your trunk. Train due to go in a few minutes. Make sure you got some books and snacks. It’s a long ride.” A porter said kindly has he grabbed Remus’ trunk. “Best go and grab a seat otherwise you’ll be riding in the luggage car.”
Ten minutes later, Remus was still wandering through the train, trying to find somewhere to sit. He had been bluntly informed by several senior students that they didn’t want a first year baby sitting with them. The other carriages completely full.
“Can’t find somewhere to sit?” A familiar voice asked.
“I’m afraid not.” Remus said with a rueful smile as he looked up at the Head Girl. “No one wants a first year with them and the other carriages are full.”
“Well, my cousin is on the train. It’s his first time coming to Hogwarts. Come on, I’ll introduce you to him, I’m sure no one is sitting with him,” Narcissa replied with a knowing smile. “Severus can be, well, you’ll see what I mean when you meet him.”
A minute later, Narcissa stopped at the last carriage before the baggage car. She pushed the door open and gestured for Remus to follow her. It took Remus a moment for his eyes to adjust to the semi darkness. He could dimly make a figure hunched up in a seat with a book in his lap.
“Honestly Severus, how can see in here?” Narcissa complained has she pulled the blinds up, letting the bright sunlight flood the compartment. “You’ll be blind before you turn twenty if you’re not careful.” The Head Girl ignored the scowl that was directed at her. “This is Remus Lupin, a fellow first year. All the other carriages are full, so he’ll have to sit with you. I’ll see you at the sorting feast.”
Remus sat down on the seat across from Severus, who had gone back to reading, and gave him a quick look over. The boy had lank black hair, black eyes, a nose that been broken in the past and a sallow complexion. His robes were patched and threadbare. Remus delicately sniffed the air and much to his surprise Severus smelled of chamomile.
“So, what are you reading?” Remus asked politely after a few minutes of bored silence.
Severus looked up and glared at the boy sitting across from him. “De Gellibrand’s Book of Potions Volume Four.”
“Who?” Remus asked blankly.
“De Gellibrand was an eighteenth century Potion Master. He wrote several books on potions that you wouldn’t understand. Any fool can wave a wand but brewing a potion, now that takes real talent.” Severus explained in a condescending voice. He went back to his reading clearly indicating that the conversation was over.
Squashed, Remus opened up his book bag, randomly pulled out a book and started to read, thinking that the baggage car would have been a better choice.
Several hours had passed by. Severus was still absorbed in his reading and Remus was bored with his books. He was staring out the window, wondering how much longer they would be on the train. The sky was starting to darken and his was stomach reminding him that it was almost supper time. Severus had rudely rebuffed every attempt of conversation and refused his offer of Chocolate Frogs. Remus didn’t hear the door open.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t my favourite cousin Snivillus,” A voice sneered from the doorway. Remus glanced away from the window in surprise. Two boys stood in the doorway. Both boys stood three inches taller than himself. The first boy had shoulder length brown hair and grey eyes and the second boy had messy black hair and brown eyes. Both wore brand new robes made of expensive material. There was a fleeing family resemblance between them.
For a fleeing second, Remus caught the look of panic in Severus’ eyes before his face hardened. “I thought smelled something foul on the train and I thought it might be all the mudbloods, but I was mistaken. It was you Black, and your little flunkey James Potter.”
“The only foul thing I smell is you Snivillus.” Black snapped back, hatred gleaming in his blue eyes. “Of course, you probably can’t smell anything because you reek of potions.” Both boys laughed maliciously. They both steeped into the carriage and closed the door behind them.
“Actually, Severus doesn’t smell. Now you two on the other hand, that’s a different story.” Remus said coldly, thinking rapidly has he pulled his wand out has he stood up. He was painfully aware that both boys towered over him.
The two boys blinked suddenly aware of the second occupant of the carriage.“Who are you?” Potter snapped giving Remus a look over taking in the plain brown clothes, the strands of grey hair at his temples, amber eyes, and his lack of height.
“Oh please. Snivillus have a friend? Who would want to be friends with someone like him? Take my advice, you don’t want to be friends with a slimy git like him,” Black chortled as he elbowed Potter.
“I don’t need the likes you telling me who I can be friends with. I chose my own friends.” Remus said icily, willing his hands not to shake. If his spell didn’t work, he would be in a world of trouble.
“Why you little piece of shit,’ Black hissed has he stopped laughing, his eyes narrowing with anger. He took a threatening step forward, his hand balled up in a fist has if he meant to strike the smaller boy.
Black cried out in pain and his head snapped back has if he had been struck. Blood started to pour down his nose, staining his new robes and dripping to the floor. Remus heard a sharp intake of breath behind him.
“What the hell did you do to him?” Potter gasped in horror watching the blood pouring down Black’s face. He fumbled for a handkerchief and pressed it into Black’s hand. He took a step forward, his wand in his hand.
“I’ll do the same thing to you if you don’t get out of here,” Remus threatened, pointing his wand at the advancing boy. Potter stopped at the look on his face and took a reluctant step backwards.
“You bloody little bastard. You better watch your back at school,” Black hissed through the bloody handkerchief. “Come on James, let’s get out of here.”
Remus waited until he could no longer hear their footsteps before suddenly sitting down. His hands started to shake violently in delayed reaction. His wand fell to the floor and rolled under his seat. He started to gasp for air.
“Drink this.” A vial was pressed into his hand and Remus downed it with out a second thought and started to feel better almost immediately.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” Severus said after a few moments of uneasy silence. “They’re going to make your life miserable at school.” He reached under the seat and pulled out Remus’ wand. He gave it a quick wipe before handing it back to Remus.
“They can try,” Remus replied with false bravado, taking the wand with a nod of thanks. “Who were they? Your cousins?”
Severus gave him a disgusted look. “It’s distant relationship. My great-great-grand mother had three girls. One married my great-grandfather, one married Philip Black and the other one married William Potter. We’ve hated each other since we were children. The last time we were together was at Aunt Julia’s funeral. We got into a fight and Black broke my nose.”
“Well, if I get sorted in his house, I’m going home.” Remus said firmly. He knew that his school life would be over if he got sorted into either boy’s House.
“So tell me,” Severus said awkwardly, folding his hands on his lap, “where did you learn that spell? I’ve never heard it before.”
“I found it in one of mother’s journals after she died.” Remus replied in a grave voice. “She had a lot of spells, jinks, curses , charms and some potions instructions in her journal. Father said that she called it her little black book of magic.” He gave a nervous laugh and ran his hand through his hair. “To tell you the truth Severus, I didn’t even know if that curse would work. It’s the first time I’ve ever cast it.”
“It was bloody brilliant.” Severus said admiringly causing Remus to flush with embarrassment. “Perhaps you can lend me your mother’s book. I would love to look through it. I’m very interested in the Dark Arts.”
There was a knock on the door and one of the Prefects, a Ravenclaw, poked his head in. “Better get changed. We’ll be at Hogwarts in ten minutes.”
Remus was nervous has he walked into the Great Hall along with the other first years. He looked around in awe. Hundreds of candles floated in the air and above that he could see the night time sky. A gentle breeze caused the great house banners to move and he was aware that the entire student body along with all the professors were watching them. He listened intently has the Sorting Hat sang its song, wondering which house he would be sorted into. Professor McGonagall pulled out a long strip of parchment and started to call names.
“Count me out of Gryffindor. There’s no way I’m being sorted into that House.” A girl with red hair and green eyes muttered in a disgusted voice. “He is such a bully and his friend, James Potter, is no better.” Several students around her nodded in agreement.
Remus sat down gingerly on the stool has the hat was place on his head.
“Lots of talent, keen mind. Very interested in the Dark Arts and a werewolf as well. Very interesting. Where to place you?” A gravelly voice whispered in his mind.
“Not Gryffindor. Don’t even think about putting me there,” Remus thought firmly at the hat. “I’m leaving if you put me in that House.”
“No. Gryffindor is not the right house for you. You want a House that will stand by you. A house that will accept you for what you are. That house is-”
He hopped of the stool and nodded to Severus has he walked over to the Slytherin table. Narissca Black gave him an approving smile has his new house mates introduced themselves. He watched has a set twins, Felix and Felicity Maynard were sorted into Ravenclaw and another boy, Peter Pettigrew was sorted into Gryffindor.
“Thank you Merlin for not placing Black or Potter in Slytherin.” Remus muttered out loud, a sentiment echoed by several students at his table as Black and Potter high-fived each other at the Gryffindor table. Several professors at the high table looked at each other with unhappy expressions.
The rest of the sorting went smoothly with the majority of students being divided between Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw with three exceptions: Jessanne Rackman, Flavia Reston and Sybil Russell, were sorted into Slytherin. All three girls were greeted warmly by various friends, cousins and older siblings.
Without realizing it, Remus held his breath has the Sorting Hat was placed on Severus’ head. It seemed to him that the hat had barely touched his head before the Sorting Hat shouted:
Remus immediately moved over has Severus sat down next to him. He gave the dark headed boy a shy smile. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“So am I.”