AUTHOR: Eulalie Moire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter and everything belonging thereto is the property of JK Rowling. I own nothing; I do not profit from this exercise.
Author’s Notes: This is a response to the fifth wave of the Master and the Wolf FqF (which can be found at http://chance.slashcity.net/masterandthewolf), Challenge 206) Snape and Lupin are together. Snape is convinced that Lupin would leave him if he had other options. I welcome any comments/criticism. And many thanks to L. Chan, my beta.
I don’t believe in religion. I simply don’t find that the idea of God is feasible, logical. Religion is, in concept and practice, too unscientific. I have argued with Muggle-borns about this; they say a practitioner of magic can hardly use science as an excuse to decry religion. I respond—quite testily, usually—that magic is very little but science and that if they truly understood magical theory, they would know this very well. Potions, in particular, are almost pure science; they rely as much on Muggle chemistry—on chemistry, rather, as it is constant for Muggle and Wizard alike—as they do on magic. So, yes, science is a feasible excuse for a wizard to naysay religion.
Certainly, we of wizarding Britain swear by Merlin. One must have someone to swear by, after all. Merlin was simply the most powerful and most respected British wizard in his own day and has since remained peerless. His exploits are legend. He is, in that respect, godlike. But he is not a god to us and we do not worship him as such. At least, I do not.
I don’t believe in any God, but if I did, I’d spend at least a handful of minutes out of every day thanking Him or Her for the werewolf’s teeth-marks burned silver-white into Remus Lupin’s left shoulder. That bite and its curse have been my salvation.
I fought hard for Dumbledore, for what I believed in. I got nothing in return. I fought first at Voldemort’s side during the final battle; I did not reveal my true allegiance until the key moment, striking down Bellatrix Lestrange as she threw a curse to defend her lover, clearing the way for Potter’s death blow.
I fought at first at Voldemort’s side and the entire wizarding world learned what I was—what they will tell you I still am. I have not, on any day since that one, failed to suffer the whips and scorns of public opinion. Dumbledore might have prevented this, had he lived. He did not even have the decency to live for us after he used us all to destroy the Dark Lord. He did not even have the decency to say goodbye. Minerva said later that he’d been weakening by the day, that he only hung on to see it finished. This does not ease the sting.
McGonagall obviously replaced him as Headmistress. She wasn’t the old man, though, and it was beyond her power to keep me at Hogwarts. Merlin! Keep me at Hogwarts, as though I were a naughty child being taken away for punishment. In a sense, I was.
There is only so much loathing, so much disdain, so much outright hatred that you—or, at least, I—can take; eventually, as the saying goes, perception becomes reality. I became less than human for a while. I still am not wholly human; I consider the possibility that I never was. At any rate, I drowned my misery in Muggle London for a while. I drank heavily because it was better than going home sober to any empty flat. The trouble with being a career man is that when you no longer have that career, whether it be teacher or spy, you have nothing.
I had nothing, was nothing, fought my demons every day and relived my past every night. I did not have one single, earth-shattering revelation; I simply stopped ignoring what I had known and been all along—I wallowed in it.
Remus didn’t appear like an angel to illuminate my world. He wafted in quietly, in tattered robes and in need of a good meal. He had seen me on the street, he said. He was living in Muggle London, too; it was easier to get a job when people never kept track of the moon. I was drunk when he came to my door. I’d stopped hating him years before that—too much else going on—but I was, on that night, too drunk to remember that we were not friends.
I invited him in. I fed him and gave him Scotch and drank some more myself. We talked, though the conversation could not be called coherent, much less meaningful. I forgot things; I suggested we fuck. He accepted. Neither of us was sober enough to facilitate such an activity. He held me. Held me. I’m not sure whether to cringe at my lost dignity or weep at my salvation.
He held me and we slept. The next morning, we copulated. It can’t be called making love—it was nothing like what we do now—but it was something. It was comfort. It was the first time I had been deliberately touched since before the Fall.
That was four years ago.
He hasn’t left yet.
I thank his lycanthropy for that. I am not what he wants, I know this. I am not what anyone wants. And yet…life with a Muggle man would be a constant struggle to hide his magic and life with a wizard, if it were even possible, would be a constant struggle to hide what he is. I am what is left to him, a warm body and a warm bed, so he stays with me. He smiles at me, which no one but Albus ever did. The sex is good and the conversation is stimulating. I am, to my own surprise, as happy as I have ever been. He is not what I want, but there is peace between us and I am too old and too tired to be lonely, so I am content.
I used to think it might not last, but now I feel sure it will.
I very much wish that it gave me no pleasure to know that my lover is bound to me for the rest of our lives. I wish I could say I felt no warmth in the sense of security that I find in the knowledge that he will never leave because he has no reason to think he will ever find what we have anywhere else.
But I am, at heart, a selfish bastard. Or, actually, I prefer “self-preserving.” I do take pleasure in his entrapment. The truth of it is that the monster makes me happy. And the world owes me that happiness. (Quite a lot more than that, but no one else is counting.) Remus himself owes me—at least enough to never resent the pleasure I take in his captivity.