Title: Wolfsbane, Love, and Physical Contact
Author: Draconn Malfoy
Feedback: lionora@hotmail.com
Summary: Post-OotP. Sixth year Gryffindors are having a DADA lesson with...
Snape? A fateful mistake with the Wolfsbane potion brings some unexpected
consequences, like heroic Snape, puzzled Pomfrey, and terrified Trio, and
some not-so-unexpected, like twinkle-eyed Dumbledore, a mysterious illness,
and the best pairing possible after OotP.
Rating: PG-13... I think.
Challenge: 32) Remus and Severus were bonded for life by a Potion accident.
A/N: What should I think about this? Well, I'd say there's something
sensible in the bottom of it. Maybe.
Feedback, please. This is my first attempt ever to participate in a FQF, and
I'd really like to know how I managed.
I don't really have to put slash warnings, have I?
- * _ * - * _ * -
The sixth year. Gryffindor DADA class.
In the dungeons with professor Snape.
Hermione had been delighted when she had heard that they'd learn the
Wolfsbane Potion in DADA, or at least they'd get to try it. The bad side of
this was that their current DADA professor, Melissa Collins, knew nothing
about Potions. That meant that Snape would get to give this particular
lesson to all sixth years.
It hadn't been a quarter of hour yet, and they'd already lost thirty points.
Well, at least professor Lupin was there as well - Hermione still referred
to him as a professor, although he didn't teach anything nowadays. He was
there to help checking the potions the students would make, since his
werewolf insticts would immediately tell if the potion had been succesful or
Not that it'd been very good - Snape kept snapping at Lupin, who just took
all the insults with a calm smile. Nothing could break his kind mask of
calmness, and that just infuriated Snape even more.
Hermione felt oddly lonely - most probably because her wand wasn't with her.
They had had to leave their wands outside, as did the two adult wizards,
because any hint of wand magic nearby could easily spoil such a special
potion as the Wolfsbane.
The Gryffindors began slowly boil in fury for their most favourite past
teacher as Snape referred to him as a half-breed. Harry had to grasp Ron's
arm in order to stop him attacking the Potions Master and losing them their
lives' worth of points and getting a detention until they'd graduate.
Lupin's smile still didn't break.
"Oh, no, Longbottom," Snape sighed as he saw Neville's potion. "That's
exactly the wrong way! You were told to _chop_ the Moonseed Hay, not _cut_
it. How stupid can a human being be?"
"I don't think you're really fair right now, Severus," Lupin told calmly
from behind the greasy-haired man. "Neville at least tries his best - and
the potion in his cauldron is this far extremely correct."
"Well, so it's supposed to be," Snape said with an exaggerrated sigh. "He's
not through the first paragraph of the recipe yet!"
"Maybe you could show him how it should be done?" Lupin suggested kindly.
Snape glared at him. "I'm the teacher here, I might remind," he spat. "Maybe
I should have asked 'how stupid can a non-human being be?'"
Lupin didn't even blink at the insult launched at him. He merely looked at
Snape, really _looked_ with his hypnotizing amber eyes.
To Hermione's great surprise the Potions Master sighed, closed his eyes for
a moment and shook his head.. Then he again snapped to action. "Okay, you
all!" he shouted. "Come here around Longbottom's cauldron and I'll show you
how this part is done correctly."
They all gathered hastily over the spot, not willing to give Snape any
opportunity to take anymore points away. They watched as Snape showed them
exactly what way the hays had to be chopped. Then he turned towards Neville,
who shivered in horror having to face his most feared teacher.
"Okay, Longbottom," Snape said. "Now but in the powdered dandelions and
then, after letting it stir for exatly three minutes, the Bringhood."
Neville added the told ingredients. As he did so, Lupin asked something and
Snape turned towards him. Seeing that he wasn't watched at the moment,
Neville took nervously the next ingredient, the Bringhood, into his hand.
Suddenly Snape seemed to sense something, because he turned around for no
seemed reason. As he saw what Neville was doing, he practically freaked out.
"No!" Snape cried out, sounding suddenly nearly horrified. "Don't add the
Bringhood yet, or we'll all..."
Frightened by his professor's sudden yell, Neville dropped the ingredients
he had had in his hands. The Bringhood fell right into the cauldron.
The liquid turned white, and it began loud popping and swirling. Hermione
saw from the corner of her eye how Snape stepped towards Lupin. It wasn't an
involuntary reflex, she knew that. Snape was trying to cover the werewolf.
He was trying to protect him.
She had no time to think over this surprising idea when there already was a
loud banging noise as the potions suddenly exploded. She flew backwards like
all the others gathered around the cauldron. She saw Ron and Harry fly to
the opposite direction, as well as the other Gryffindors nearby. She saw
Snape flying to one direction and Lupin to another.
She was unable to get on her feet. She saw the others trying to crawl away
as fast as possible. She watched in horror as the liquid that had remained
from the explosion started sliding along the floor towards them.
She tried to move, but there was a sudden burst of pain in her left leg,
forcing her to lay down again. She took a quick glance at the two
professors. Snape seemed to have got on his knees, but Lupin still laid on
the floor, seemingly unconscious.
The white liquid got nearer them. She saw as it collided with the nearest
desk. To her great horror, the desk started to dissolve in the mysterious
Another quick glance told her that it wasn't coming her way. Professor Snape
was also far away enough to be safe of it, for there wasn't very much liquid
after all.
Professor Lupin, however, laid just on the way of the acid.
She tried to shout, to wake up the werewolf, but she couldn't make a sound.
She just stared in horror along with the others as the acid licked the hem
of the unconscious man's robes, melting them as it made its way towards his
body. She saw Snape moving in the distance, but she knew that the man
couldn't get there in time to pull the other man away.
Suddenly, shocking them all, Snape sprang forward. There seemed to be some
hidden strength in him, strenght motivated by fury and fear and... worry?
For she saw worry in his eyes. It took over the other feelings as the
Potions Master ended up just in front of Lupin's feet, his beetle-black eyes
locked on the white acid.
He shoved the other man away. This action made him unable to flee in time.
They heard him scream in pain as the liquid reached his feet. The scream was
like nothing they had heard before. It was so full of pain, agony, and
sudden fear, that they felt like it was going to break their ears. At the
following second, the man lost his feeting, falling forward to the floor and
staying there, moveless as the white acid surrounded him.
"What's going -" they heard a voice from the doorway, then a sudden intake
of breath and hastily murmued, "Marninga Tevezelosa!" A bright blue beam of
light escaped the tip of Professor McGonagall's wand, colliding with the
white acid, making it vanish in an instant.
"Oh, Merlin, Severus!" McGonagall exclaimed then, rushing towards the
Potions Master. "What happened?" she asked the students, trying to turn the
man's moveless body around.
"The - the potion exploded," Hermione heard Harry explaining. "Professor
Lupin was unconscious - the acid was reaching him - Professor Snape stepped
in and got him away, but fell on the acid himself instead," her friend told
"So he traded his own life for his?" McGonagall asked. As they all nodded,
she bent her head down. "Very unexpected action, that was," she said with an
oddly soft tone. "And yet so supposed from him." She sighed deeply. "How big
cost you have to pay for your mistakes, Severus?" she asked quietly,
obviously not meaning to let the students hear her.
Hermione tried to lift up her head enough to see Snape. When she managed,
she would have thrown up should she only have been able to. The Potions
Master was laying on the ground, his face upwards now that McGonagall had
turned him around, his head reasting in her lap.
Besides that there wasn't really no face to begin with.
The skin was gone, as was his nose and most of his other features. There was
only bloody flesh in sight, and his eyeballs, staring up to the sky as the
eyelids had melted away. His lips were gone as well, showing his teeth. His
cheekbones were sticking through the flesh. All his upper body was the same
way; the clothes melted away along with the skin, bare limbs and veins
showing all the way down his body. There were small holes in his hurted
body, the ribs shining through the partially thinner layers of flesh.
Hermione tried to get up again, but didn't manage. She heard Lavender
screaming as he saw the Potions Master, and Dean and Neville threw up
immediately. Seamus, being sensible for once, said with a very weak voice,
"I - I think I'll go fetch Madam Pomfrey."
"Do it," Professor McGonagall told him. Then she went back petting Professor
Snape's hair - or rather what was left of it, as most of it had melted away
when he had lain his face down in the acid puddle for those few fateful
Suddenly she couldn't bear it anymore. Hermione felt darkness taking over
her, and she appropriated it gladly.
As the last words before she fell to the unconsciousness she heard, "his
heart is beating."
- * -
The Gryffindor students who had been in the accident were quickly healed.
Even the most serious of them was only Hermione's broken leg, which was
fixed with some potions and a quick spell. The two adult wizards, however,
were more of Madam Pomfrey's concern.
To the great surprise of them all, both adults made it. Professor Lupin had
to stay in the Infirmary for two weeks, for the explosion had somehow
affected him and he wouldn't wake up. Professor Snape, on the other hand,
laid there on the verge of death for almost a month before even waking up.
The mediwitch from St. Mungos that had come to see him, for Madam Pomfrey
didn't trust on her own skills in an emergency like that, had managed to
return him almost human-like looks, and he had recovered from most of his
He seemed to be still very weak, however. He was awake most of the time,
yes, and there was no reasons for why he couldn't heal wholly, but for some
reason he didn't seem to get better at all.
Professor Lupin would spend most of his time in the Infirmary. Even after he
himself had woke up and been released, he had been there almost as much time
as during his own recovering. When Snape had been in coma, he had sat there
and talked to him, for he had read from somewhere that comatoses would wake
up sooner if somebody talked to them. And after Snape _had_ woke up -
something that the mediwitch had admitted to be more of his work than hers -
he still stayed there, talking with the patient, or, when Snape was too
tired, merely sat there, being with him. He wouldn't leave for a single
moment. He ate his meals at the same time as Snape did, gave him his
medicines and watched over him when Madam Pomfrey was away. Only after Snape
had fell asleep, he would go to this own quarters, and when Snape woke up in
the morning, he already was there to tell him good morning.
Nobody knew what was going on in his mind. Most of them thought he felt
grateful for his life being saved, but that wouldn't have explained his urge
to spend every second of his time on the bedside of his most hated enemy.
Some had demanded an explanation, but he'd never tell anyone.
Lupin himself was the only one who knew why he stayed on Snape's side.
- * -
Remus glanced down at the moveless form on the bed. Severus had again fell
unconscious this morning, and Remus hadn't left him for a single moment. He
somehow sensed that the man was approaching consciousness again, and would
wake up soon.
Like his thoughts had summoned Severus's mind, the other man blinked once,
twice. Then he opened his eyes wholly and looked tiredly at Remus.
"Remus," he said, his tone blank. He had at some point began to call the
werewolf by his given name - none of them had even noticed the change. "I
passed out again, didn't I?"
"Yes, Severus," Remus said with a slight smile. "And for quite a while, I
might say. It's over the noon already."
"Oh, good," Severus sighed. "Well, at least I'm not in coma anymore." He
fixed his obsidian eyes back on Remus. "I'm so tired," he said quietly. "It
doesn't hurt anywhere - something I'm very grateful to the Numbness Potion
about - but I'm extremely tired."
"I know," Remus replied softly, and he really did. Somehow, through this odd
bond he had on Severus, he felt the other's fatigue like it had been his
own. "Rest, Severus. You have every right to do so."
"So do you," Severus said, with a bit sharp glint in his eyes. "Let me
guess. You haven't left for a minute, have you?"
Remus didn't reply. He merely gave him a bit ashamed grin. No, he hadn't
even stopped looking at Severus excluding the time he had used to eating.
"I figured so." Severus sneered. "You aren't doing any good for yourself
with this, Remus. You still need rest yourself, I know it. You should
"But I don't want to leave you," Remus replied stubbornly. He didn't even
think about how weird his words would sound before they had left his mouth,
but it didn't matter - he knew that the other man felt the same way. They
were both aware of the newly-created bond between them, even when they
weren't quite sure what exactly had created it.
"Then don't leave," Severus said matter-of-factly. "There are many beds
around here. You know Poppy wouldn't mind if you slept on one, she's been
having an eye on you as well."
"In fact..." Remus eyed warily Severus's large bed. Then he grinned again
sheepishly. "Would you mind if I slept on your bed foot?" he asked. "I know
this possibly sounds weird, but..." He shrugged. "I guess it has something
to do with the wolf insticts."
"Go ahead," Severus yawned. " I won't go sleeping before you do, anyways. I
don't mind where you sleep. This bed is large enough to have room for two."
"You're right." Remus sat down on the foot of Severus's bed. Then he almost
immediately curled himself onto a half-kneeling position, resting his head
on his hands. If somebody had missed the - nowadays obvious, as he didn't
even try to hide them - signs of the connection between him and wolves, like
his little fangs or golden eyes, that somebody would surely have noticed it
now - he looked like an overgrown puppy. Rather dangerous puppy, when his
lips parted slightly revealing his fangs, but still a puppy.
Like Severus had assumed, he drifted into sleep almost immediately. The
Potions Master watched him for some time, then fell asleep himself as well.
- * -
It was already the late afternoon as Poppy Pomfrey came to the Infirmary
from her office. She watched in slight amusement the two former rivals
sleeping on the same bed. Remus was still curled on the covers, but he had
rolled to the side, now resting rather comfortably on Severus's legs. The
black-haired man's sleep didn't seem to be affected by this; he slept just
as calmfully as one could be assumed in his condition.
Poppy sighed heavily. She sensed that something had happened between these
two, and therefore she didn't dare to say anything to Remus - the poor boy
had already so much to deal with - but she was afraid that Severus was
getting worse. Yes, he acted very healthy and well-doing at days, and Remus
seemed to be certain that the worst part was already past and Severus would
recover fully soon.
But he wasn't making any development currently. He nearly always had a high
fever during the nights, but when she checked on him at the days, he always
seemed to be all right. In fact, he was - there was nothing wrong with him
in the daylight. During nights, however, he never seemed well. She was
afraid this might mean there were some even more serious aftereffects from
the accident than she'd could have imagined.
She didn't dare to wake up either of them. Severus definitely needed his
rest - last night, he had again had over hundred degrees fever. And so did
Remus - he maybe had recovered, but she could see that the poor boy hadn't
got a good night's sleep for what seemed to be an eternity but most probably
was only after he had regained his consciousness. He also looked a bit sick
sometimes at night, when they met in the corridor when he was leaving. Maybe
she should check on him some time.
But now wasn't the time for it. They both seemed to sleep comfortably, and
if whe wasn't horribly mistaken, they'd sleep as peacefully to the morning.
She'd just leave them like that and check at night how much of fever Severus
had that time.
Poppy stared at the magical meter she had in her hands. She couldn't believe
what she saw.
She pointed the little instrument again at Severus and murmured the
incantation. Again the meter showed the same. Ninety-seven degrees
Fahrenheit. No fever. Perfectly normal temperature.
This was the first time for three weeks that Severus didn't have fever
during the night. In fact... This was the first time after Remus's releasing
that he didn't have fever.
She swallowed. There couldn't be any connection, could there? This was just
a coincidence. The werewolf's presence didn't have anything to do with the
Potions Master's better health.
Then she gave up the act. She had grown up in a magical world, after all,
and she knew what the strongest bonds could do.
If there indeed was some stronge bond created between these two, the
Headmaster would like to know about it. She had to know for sure at first -
check on Severus the next night, and maybe on Remus as well - but then she'd
go and tell Dumbledore.
With this decision, she walked back to his office.
She needed some rest as well, after all.
When Severus woke up, he felt something pressing his legs. He slowly blinked
his eyes open and saw Remus. The werewolf had curled up on his legs, laying
there rather comfortably considering that he was a grown-up man who seemed
to prefer a wolf's sleeping position.
Well, he didn't have anything to complain about. He felt warm, and Remus
wasn't too heavy. In fact it was rather comfortable to have him asleep there
on his legs. Somehow... Safe.
Remus whined slightly in his sleep and rolled around again, ending up on his
side on Severus's upper thighs. This made him feel a bit awkward, but not
enough to make him wake Remus up. He looked so peaceful when he was
sleeping. So... young. And beautiful, he had to admit. He'd never let it to
anyone, but Remus looked beautiful, yet fragile, in his eyes.
Severus was very well aware of his sexual preference, had been ever since he
had been fifteen. He had had short affairs with various men, but nothing too
serious. No one had felt special enough that he'd wanted to have something
more than just sex with them. He didn't even know if he'd ever find anyone
'special enough.'
But he definitely knew that Remus Lupin was the most beautiful man he'd ever
He glanced at the werewolf and smiled slightly. His once golden brown hair
was now nearly all silver, the over-grown fringe laying on his face. His
skin was a kind of pale; not the ghost-like paleness Severus himself had on
his face, but a slight ivory shade. His eyeflashes were long and thick,
falling to his cheeks as he was sleeping. He could imagine the bright amber
eyes under those eyelids, wandering around in sleep...
Then, suddenly, the eyes snapped open and Remus was well awake.
"Oh!" he exclaimed as he noticed his position. "I'm sorry, Severus, I didn't
realize -" He quickly got on his feet and brushed his fringe aside, wiping
some longers strands that were loose from his usual ponytail behind his ear.
"No need to be sorry," Severus said, smiling slightly. Remus looked almost
scared for some reason. "I don't really mind."
"Good." Remus looked relieved. "You see, Severus, I really didn't mean to -
to sleep on your legs, but -"
"It's fine, really," he interrupted. "It's not like I'd be using them
anytime soon. Poppy'll probably never let me go - I feel perfectly well, but
she mumbles something about 'after-infections' and 'observation' and the
like." He snorted. "She doesn't even tell what is supposedly wrong with me!"
"And still I know you're well," Remus smiled. "It's odd, really. I hope we
knew what kind of bond it is that it allows us to feel each other's
"Then we have to find out," Severus replied. "You could go to the library
tomorrow morning and find some books about bonds - especially those
involving lycanthropics."
Remus looked hesitating for a moment. "I don't know..." he said slowly.
"It could be good," Severus said. "If we knew what it is, maybe we could use
it on our advantange so I'd heal faster - whatever there's lef for me to
heal from."
This apparently made Remus make his mind, because he smiled and nodded.
"I'll go there tomorrow," he promised. "I'll only pay you a visit to see
you're all right, and -"
"No need for that," Severus interrupted him. "I assure you I'll be perfectly
healthy, like I'm always. Just come back in the afternoon when you've found
something, okay?"
Remus nodded again and smiled slightly. "Okay."
- * -
Saturday, just before lunch.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were in the library - Hermione doing some extra
research, Harry and Ron just hanging with her, not having anything else to
do. Being rather bored, Harry and Ron stood up immediately, looking around
curiously, as they heard the sound of approaching footsteps.
For their great surprise they saw Remus - it indeed was a surprise, for this
was the first time after the incident they'd seen him outside Infirmary
excluding the few times they'd caught him in the corridor when he was on his
way to the Infirmary or back to the quarters Dumbledore had given him. They
couldn't even imagine what could have brought him to the library, but were
happy he'd got something other into his mind as well.
All too soon, their happiness faded away.
Remus didn't look well at all. He was carrying some books, but every now and
then he'd stop and grasp his head, or take support from a nearby self like
he'd been having hard time to keep himself in an upright position. The Trio
exchanged worried looks.
They saw their former professor again stumble on his steps and mutter
something. Then, without any warning, he let out a little, surprised cry,
dropped the books he'd been carrying, and fell on the floor, his face first.
- * -
Madam Pomfrey sat beside the bed of the Potions Master, not knowing what to
She was now highly concerned. Severus was clearly having nightmares, and he
had a high fever - higher than ever before. The man was rolling around in
his bed, mumbling uncoherently, his arms swinging around like in defense
against some mysterious attacker.
Then, suddenly, he jumped to a sitting position. His eyes were clear and
attentive, and he was obviously well awake. He shrieked one word, "Remus!"
and then fell on the bed, unconscious.
She stared at the man in horror. Oh, there indeed was a bond. Really.
And she was afraid she knew what kind of bond it was by now.
- * -
"What happened?" Harry asked, shocked. Then, without waiting for an answer,
he rushed towards the werewolf, his two friends right on his heels. He
reached out a hand to touch his former professor, and jerked it away in
Hermione followed the suit, touching carefully his forehead. "He's boiling
hot!" she exclaimed. "He must have a really high fever!"
"Let's get him to the Infirmary," Ron said, looking pale.
Harry nodded and carefully lifted the unconscious man to his arms. He was
awfully light, being far too thin for his own good. Of course - it was just
a couple of days to the full moon, and he hadn't even got the Wolfsbane,
because Snape was still in the Infirmary. After the incident, nobody had
dared to even try brewing it for him, and Remus had quietly but sadly agreed
to get himself locked in the Shack - for he didn't want to get too far away
from Snape, Merlin knew why and Harry didn't want to.
He increased his speed, and soon he was running through the corridors, Ron
and Hermione right on his heels.
- * -
"Madam Pomfrey! Madam Pomfrey!" someone shrieked. She turned around to see
Harry with his two friends run through the door of Infirmary. On the boy's
arms was laying Remus, pale and unmoving.
There was no time for questions. According to Severus's condition, they both
were deep in unconsciousness and had an extremely strong fever. "Put him
there," she ordered and pointed at the bed next to Severus's. "If I'm indeed
Harry didn't ask anymore questions; he was a good boy. He merely put Remus
on the bed, then stepped aside to give her a full extension on her newest
Without any hesitating, she stepped between the beds, grasping both Remus's
and Severus's hands. Then she lifted them from the beds and made them touch
each other.
She felt how the fewer slided off from Severus's body as well as Remus's.
Within seconds, the both men were sleeping peacefully, without any signs of
sickness at all. Remus instictively rolled on his stomach and curled on a
little ball, like he had done the night he'd slept on Severus's legs.
Severus didn't move, but he now looked relaxed and calm. There was even a
little hint of smile on his lips.
She felt the three students' surprised gazes on her. She stepped backwards,
grasping the bed pole for support as she tried to figure it all out. "Go and
get Headmaster Dumbledore," she commanded. Young Weasley left immediately.
"What's wrong with them?" asked Miss Granger then. She was an intelligent
girl, really, but obviously she couldn't quite understand what was going on
for once.
"The accident they were in," she said softly. "It wasn't the Wolfsbane
Potion, was it?"
"It was," Harry gave his verification. "It was only halfway done, however."
"It doesn't matter," she replied. "The only important things are that it
already had the Wolfsbane in it, that the explosion hit them both, and that
Severus indeed saved Remus's life, almost sacrifying his own whilst it."
"So what's been done to them?" Harry asked, frustrated. Granger's eyes,
however, flew wide.
"Oh My God," she whispered, the sudden realization hitting her. She turned
towards her friend. "Harry - in all spells, charms and rituals, trading you
life for another's is considered the most complete evidence of love."
"And?" Harry asked, still seemingly astonished. "Snape showed a gesture of
love to Remus - surprising, yes, but what has that to do with anything?"
"Harry," Granger said, changing her voice to the most effective
professor-like tone, "Wolfsbane, a simple physical contact and some gesture
of love are the main elements in a werewolf's Mating Ritual."
The boy gasped in surprise. "You aren't saying that -" He didn't finish his
sentence, he merely turned around to stare at the two men, who now were both
sleeping peacefully on their beds.
"That they've become mates? Very much so," the Headmasters's ever-cheerful
voice said behind them. They turned around to see him walking inside the
Infirmary, Weasley right on his heels.
"Headmaster!" she exclaimed. "How did you get here this fast?"
"Fortunately, young Mr. Weasley was smart enough to contact me from the
nearest fireplace. He's pretty clever to act so sensibly even in a confusing
situation like this, I might say." This made Weasley's face turn nearly as
red as his hair, but Dumbledore didn't seem to notice. He walked nearer,
eyeing Remus and Severus curiously.
"They saw Remus passing out in the library," Poppy explained. "Meanwhile,
Severus woke up from his nightmares, shrieked Remus's name and blacked out
as well. They both had a high fever, but as soon as I caused a contact
between their hands, the fever went away and they started just sleeping."
"Indeed." Dumbledore nodded. "In fact I've been suspecting something like
"Something like what?" they heard a sleepy voice. Severus blinked a couple
of times and sat up on the bed he'd been equipping for quite some time.
- * -
"Something like what?"
Hermione startled a bit as Snape suddenly woke up. She, as well as Harry and
Ron, was more than a bit startled to see their usually so snarky and even
menacing professor like this - sleepy, seemingly quite weak, his hair a bit
muzzled by the pillow. They hadn't seen his new features before, either. His
re-created nose was now straight, his features a bit rounder - the acid must
have wiped off all sharp edges, she thought, shivering a bit - and his hair
short, curling slightly now that it wasn't glued down with various potions.
He looked like a wholly different person. He wasn't handsome - that was
something he could never be considered to be - but he was, in his own, harsh
way, somehow... good-looking. In some very, very odd way.
"Something like the bond between you and Remus," Dumbledore replied
joyfully. "I'm sure that you're aware of it."
"I am," Snape said, "but we're not quite sure what it is." Then his eyes
widened slightly and his face gained a worried expression Hermione had never
seen on it. He turned around on his bed to look at Remus. "What's wrong with
him?" he demanded to know.
"Nothing, by now," Madam Pomfrey said with a little smile. "Nor is anything
wrong with you, either, for we've found out what's been causing your
lingering sickness."
"So what it is, then?" the Potions Master asked, sounding impatient. He
fixed his eyes on the mediwitch, but every now and then he would steal a
quick, concerned glance at Remus. Hermione blinked. It looked like Snape
really cared.
"It's the aforementioned bond between you two," Dumbledore told him, his
eyes twinkling just like always. "To be exact... The Mating Bond."
Snape paled, now turning his head to stare at the still sleeping werewolf.
"But - a werewolf's Mating Bond only works one way," he said, sounding a bit
uncertain. His expression was an interesting mix of confusion, disbelief
and... hope?
"In theory, you're right," Dumbledore admitted. "But as the evidence of love
you committed was so strong - the strongest in existence - it seems that the
bond now works both ways."
"Fuck," Snape whispered weakly. "Fuck, fuck, fuck." He still hadn't lifted
his eyes from the former DADA professor.
"Now, now, Severus," Madam Pomfrey said in a maternal tone. "No matter how
surprising these news are to you, they're not a reason to swear. In front of
students, on top of all!"
It wasn't until now that Snape seemed to notice the three Gryffindors. He
went now even paler, if possible. "Oh, yes," he sighed, covering his eyes
with his hand in a resigned gesture. "I'm dead."
"No you aren't," said a muzzled voice from the bed next to him. "Because if
you were, I don't think I'd be this well off." Remus yawned slightly, his
tiny fangs glowing in the light. Then he got to a sitting position as well.
"Someone better explain me what's going on," he muttered, glancing from
Snape to Dumbledore, then to Pomfrey, then to the Trio. "Last thing I
remember is walking in the library and not feeling very well."
"I can imagine that," Madam Pomfrey snorted. "Over fifteen hours away from
your mate! I'm very surprised I don't have to keep you here for a new
Remus blinked. "Excuse me?" he said. "My mate?"
"Yeah, your mate," Snape sighed, his eyes downcast. He then reached out a
hand to touch the werewolf's shoulder. "Remus... It looks like they've found
out what kind of bond we exactly have."
The amber eyes widened. "You - you aren't saying that -" He didn't seem to
be able to finish the sentence.
"I can assure you, yes, he is," Dumbledore said cheerfully. "The accident
has bonded you two mates." His blue eyes went twinkle-twinkle-twinkle.
"Congratulations, my boys," he grinned.
"Yeah... Fine..." Remus whispered, his eyes still very wide. Then he merely
stared at the ceiling, seemingly speechless. The Trio, Madam Pomfrey,
Dumbledore and Snape all had their eyes fixed on him.
Then Snape proceed to get up from his bed and sit down on that Remus had
been occupying. The werewolf  immediately fell purposely backwards and let
his head fall right on Snape's lap. They two fixed their eyes to each other,
Remus's head resting on Snape's white hospital gown, Snape's black hair
falling around his face as he bent his head down to have a look on his
just-revealed mate.
Dumbledore smiled slightly. "Let's leave them alone," he murmured to the
three sixth-years. "I do believe they have a lot to sort out."
They followed the old wizard out of the Infirmary, none of them saying
anything. Once outside, Ron couldn't keep his curiousity back anymore.
"How on Earth did they become mates?" he demanded to know. "And what's this
stuff about being away from the mate for too long and thus becoming sick?"
"Yeah, and how could they be mated involuntarily?" Harry questioned. "It's
very strong bond, for the little that I've heard about it. It can't be
created by an accident!"
"They become mates as the required things were all in the same place at the
same time," Dumbledore answered Ron's first question, his eyes twinkling
like always. "And if a werewolf is separated from their mate - or, in this
case, if the mate is separated from the werewolf - it causes physical
reactions, such as sickness, fever and, eventually, death. Through time they
can bear more time parted, even a couple of days, before the reactions show
up. Right now, however, as the bond is still rather fresh and raw, the limit
of safe time away from each other's presence, preferably physical contact,
is about two hours."
"But it can't be just an accident!" Harry exclaimed. "Surely there is some
kind of verification required for the bond to be created?"
Hermione bit her tongue to prevent the answer that was jumping on her
tongue. Yes, it could be an accident. And yes, there was some kind of
Dumbledore smiled even more broadly, the twinkle of his eyes growing
multiple times stronger. "Oh, yes, there is," he chuckled. "Should it been
any other werewolf but Remus, or any other wizard but Severus, it couldn't
have happened. Because those three - Wolfsbane, the physical contact, and
the evidence of love - aren't the only things required." There wasn't a
twinkle in his eyes anymore. There were eyes in his twinkle. "The Mating
Bond also requires - like I'm certain Remus and Severus are currently
realizing - genuine, pure love. From both participaters of the bond."
For a moment Ron and Harry stared at him in surprise and shock. Then, very
weakly, Harry asked, "You - you mean that Remus _loves_ Professor Snape?"
"And Snape loves _him_?" Ron joined the questioning. His expression was a
mix of confusion and disgust that, under any other circumstances, would have
made Hermione laugh aloud. Now, however, she was uncharacteristically too
stunned to do very much.
"Indeed," Dumbledore verified. "And quite a lot, I daresay." The twinkling
didn't at least cease.
"Well..." Hermione said thoughtfully. "I think Professor Snape will be
released from now on?"
"Right, Ms Granger," Dumbledore replied cheerfully. "And if I'm right,
there'll soon be wedding invitations."
The Trio glanced at each other.
Then they bursted into laughter, parted from the Headmaster and walked down
the corridor, the old wizard's kind eyes following them as they proceeded
their way to the Gryffindor Tower to spread the news.
- * -
Meanwhile, in the Infirmary, Poppy Pomfrey had left to her office.
A minute later Severus Snape collected himself and asked Remus Lupin to be
bonded to him, not only as a mate but as a husband.
After a second, Remus Lupin accepted.
And Albus Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling as he walked to his own office.