Author: Diana Moon
Summary: Severus Snape was used to being hated even before the second war. And after it, he never expected his life to get any better. A party at 12 Grimmauld Place to celebrate the surviving members of the Order changes that when he allows Remus Lupin to come back into his life.
Challenge: 280) After Harry has killed Voldemort, Snape is vindicated, but everyone hates him anyway. Snape volunteers to make Wolfsbane for Lupin, who becomes his only contact with the world.
Notes: This more or less came out the way I wanted it to. In a perfect world, it would be longer and more detailed. However I didnít give myself enough preparations for that and this is the end result. Iíd like to thank my wonderful betas for this and any mistakes therein are my own. This story is a bit of an experiment in style. Iím using the word Diaspora in the broadest meaning. And I plan to write a sequel. I do hope you enjoy. ^_^
The winter of 1998 was a tumultuous one for the Wizarding World. Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort.
reopened. And Severus Snape, supposed Traitor of the Light, received an Order of Merlin, Second Class. All three were in the newspapers, but only the news of Severus Snape caused such uproar within the community that spurred month long debates. Despite the evidence that not even the infamous Dolores Umbridge could refute, this former Death Eater was not well received. Hogwarts School
From one headline to another: "Surviving Death Eater Severus Snape Vindicated!" "Rumored Order of the
receives Order of Merlin!" "Portrait of Albus Dumbledore Tell-All Story!" "Hogwarts Re-opens! Headmaster McGonagle denies former Potions Master his Job." Phoenix
Months after the New Year, Severus Snape was out of the spotlight as quickly as he had entered it. The vast majority of the Wizarding World wanted nothing to do with the triple agent, despite all he did to aid their Hero of the Light. No one heard from or saw him until Harry Potter threw a party late spring. It was a reunion for the friends and members of the Order of The Phoenix. And everyone was invited.
"Honestly Harry, did you have to invite him?"
"Ron!" Hermione hissed as she hit Ron on the shoulder.
"What?" he hissed back.
Hermione shook her head disapprovingly and turned to look at Harry. To her dismay, he had the same annoyed look as Ron. He took a gulp of his drink before speaking.
"Actually, Hermione invited him. I could have cared less."
"Donít give me that look Ronald. I invited him because this is a reunion party for the surviving members."
"Well then, technically he was kicked out."
"Technically, Ron, it was all a ruse."
Harry turned towards his bickering mates. "Listen, it doesnít matter. Iím just surprised he even showed up. As long as he doesnít make trouble, Severus sodding Snape can do as he damn well pleases. Now, can we just drop it and try to enjoy the party?"
They nodded silently even though they gave each other looks. Hermione sighed as she set her drink down. "Well now thatís been settled, I suggest as we, the hosts, should mingle," she stated before walking towards a group of familiar faces, not caring about how her two companions will fare.
To say that Severus was surprised to receive an invitation from Harry Potter himself would be an understatement. To say that he wasnít glad for said invitation would be an outright lie. Nonetheless, he regretted accepting the instant he stepped foot into the newly renovated
12 Grimmauld Place. Anyone who had been lingering in the foyer stopped their conversations immediately and stared gawking. Age old instincts told him to immediately use his best sneer, the one he perfected for years. Instead, he pretended he was in one of Luciusí soirees, sadly never again, and put on a look of mild indifference.
After only an hour of mingling, Severus wondered why he bothered to come. Rather than admitting it, he continued to hover around the buffet table refilling his plate with various Molly Weasley signature foods. The minor stipend of being a war veteran didnít allow for such luxurious food often. Granted, Severus having never been a sociable person was still agitated that no one had dared approach him save for a brief conversation with Headmistress McGonagle. Deciding he needed a change of scenery, he took his plate and walked towards the nearest openóand emptyóbalcony doors.
The crisp cool air of the evening calmed his frayed nerves. Although a decidedly dreary evening, Severus realized he was on edge. But having various eyes on him at all times would do that to the normally reserved man. Taking in the momentary reprieve, he didnít notice someone else joining him on the balcony.
"Hello Severus! Enjoying Mollyís food I see."
Severus resisted the tug at the corner of his lips as he immediately recognized the lilting voice behind him.
"She surely outdid herself tonight," Severus replied in the most conversational tone he could manage. He pivoted to face the last remaining classmate of his year; Remus Lupin. As shocked as Remus was by Severusí polite remark, Severus himself was taken aback by how different the man before him was.
Remus looked twenty years younger, the faint silver in his hair belying his true age. His robes, well worn but remarkably without patches, displayed how well he had kept his body fit. However, the slightly strained smile upon his face bothered Severus a bit.
"You look well, Lupin."
Remus blinked and his smile faltered for a moment. Without thinking he responded, "You really think so?"
He mentally kicked himself on how idiotic he felt as Severus scowled at such a narcissistic question.
Severus placed his plate on the stone railing. "No Lupin, I really donít think so," he folded his arms across his chest, "Iím just trying to make conversation."
Surprisingly, Severusí current sardonic tone was easier for Remus to take than the amiable one earlier. Remus smiled sheepishly. Deciding to change the subject quickly he asked, "How have you been faring?"
A few years ago, Severus would probably not have dignified that with an answer. But Severus had changed since then. The precarious position he was in during the last stages of the war caused him to accept any company offered to him. That did not mean, however, that he was as conversationally inclined as his fellow peers.
"As well as can be expected, consideringÖ" Severus trailed off, not wanting to reveal very much. "I see you are doing well for yourself."
Remus nodded slightly and looked towards the distance past Severus. He had heard rumors of what happened to his former colleague after the trial but this was the first he spoke to him since beforeÖ
"Iíve been rather fortunate of late. Harry has been quite accommodating despite my protests. And Minerva was kind enough to give me a slight advance before the end of term."
Once again, Remus mentally kicked himself. Great, now heíll think Iím boasting.
"Is that so? Well Gryffindors do tend to look out for their own."
"And Slytherins donít?" Before Remus could get a chance to ask what caused that remark, Severus signaled behind him.
"It seems, Lupin, that someone wants your attention."
Remus whipped his head around. He inwardly winced as Nymphadora Tonks waved at him jovially. Apparently she had decided to come fashionably late. When he caught her eyes, he noticed that she did indeed want to speak with him. He turned back towards Severus as the other man raised his eyebrow.
"You shouldnít keep her waiting Lupin. By all means donít dally because of me."
Remus sighed, realizing that maybe it was his cue to leave, apparent that Severus still wished not to talk to the werewolf. He gave a short nod and a small quirk of lips before wordlessly leaving Severus to his balcony.
In reality, Severus was glad for the short reprieve of the man. It wasnít because he had still hated the man, quite contrary in fact, but for something that he couldnít get his mind around. When talking to McGonagle earlier, he thought the unease he felt in his chest was because of their previous misunderstandings. But even now, after only speaking to Lupin for a short amount of time he felt the unease come back and grow. This unnerved him greatly.
Unfortunately, Severus didnít have much time to calm himself down as a small group of people had started to converse near the balcony doorsóunbeknownst of anyone outside. Normally he would have ignored their idiotic chattering; however, as they were talking about him, he couldnít help but listen. And with every growing minute, his unease became annoyance which then became outright anger.
How dare they slander me!? A part of him wanted to make a huge scene, ones like he used to in Hogwarts and Order meetings, but another part of him just wanted to get away from them and this party. Seething, he took the lesser treaded option and walked out through the other balcony doors. Damn my idiocy for bothering to come!
To Severusí dismay, it was not a clear path to the exit. In his way were Remus, Tonks, and one Hermione Granger. They were so engrossed into their conversation they did not notice the dour man walk by. Just walking out of earshot he stopped suddenly when he heard Hermione apologizing to Remus for not being able to brew the Wolfsbane for him. Now piqued, Severus hung back for a few moments.
"Hermione, itís quite all right. I hadnít expected to find someone this month to be able to brew it for me."
"But I should be able to! Itís frustrating on how complicated the brewing procedure is."
Something you cannot do Ms. Granger? Pity that.
"Not all things are done by the book. Perhaps thatís the reason why only top potion brewers are able to successfully make it."
Plus it takes way too much time to be at all profitable so there arenít many willing to master it.
"Remus, surely you could just buy it off one of those top potion brewers?"
With the handouts Potterís been giving you, it should be easy enough.
"Thatís the problem Tonks. He hasnít been able to find one."
"There are only six registered brewers who can make it successfully."
Chambordblew himself up a few weeks ago.
"Right, and over half of them are already filled up with orders from the ministry."
"Hmph. Youíd think that as one of the heroes of the war youíd get top priority to receive the potion."
"Therein lays the problem. The Wolfsbane that the Ministry makes is all the same. Because of the magical injuries I sustained during the waró"
"Means you cannot use a standard formulaÖ Bollocks thenÖ"
The bint figured it out. If thatís the case Lupin, why havenít youó?
"You two shouldnít worry. This coming moon Iíll be fine. I survived the past two years without it; a few more months shouldnít be too bad."
Finally, the pieces began to form in Severusí mind. He wasnít asked because, like the rest of the Wizarding community, he wasnít wanted. No one cared for the likes of Severus Snape. Even if he was always loyal to the cause, they simply couldnít forget his murdering of the great Albus Dumbledore. Severus scanned the room, slowly backing towards the foyer. It was the trials all over again. Not one person actively noticed him; and the few who did, like one Harry Potter, eyed him with great suspicion and annoyance.
His hip pocket suddenly felt heavy. He knew the weight was of the Order of Merlin that he carried with him. The only vanity he allowed himself to have was to always have the medal by his side. Near the door, and most certainly alone, he pulled out the medal. Oh for how long had he coveted obtaining such an honor? Too long, and certainly not worth all the pains he had to go through to obtain it. For what good was it if no one thought you deserved it?
As Severus stormed out of the house, mad at himself more than anyone, he threw his medal to the ground.
It was less than a week afterwards that began a correspondence between two most unlikely people. Remus, along with the other Hogwarts teachers, was enjoying his dinner in the Great Hall, as usual, when a most rare occurrence happened upon him. Coming his way was dusty looking but huge barn owl carrying what looked to be a rather heavy package. The owl placed the package beside his soup bowl, grabbed the forgotten bread that was in Remusí hand and flew off. A few chuckles from his coworkers drew him from his temporary shock and looked at the tag that accompanied the package.
This should be a sufficient enough dosage for the week. If you happen to need more, simply tap the empty cauldron twice. There shouldnít be any complications.
And when Remus opened the package, inside was a no-spill, self-heating cauldron filled to the brim with Wolfsbane.
It took two weeks after Remusí transformation to finally track down the barn owl that had delivered the cauldron. It never did appear again in Hogwarts but Remus soon realized after a few trips to Diagon Alley, that particular owl frequented the apothecary shops nearby. So with a square of freshly baked cornbread, the owl agreed to send a note to its owner.
A few days later, Remus was happy to find the owl waiting for him in his quarters. Attached to the owl was, hopefully a reply, and not his note returned. He was not disappointed.
I should have realized that your curiosity for business that is not yours would cause you to bribe Aristides to send a note. No, I do not seek compensation for brewing what should have been a requirement for you to return to teaching. Consider it my good deed for the century. The reason I left so quickly after we had talked was not of your own blunder. Merely I had no further desire to stay at a party I was not welcomed to. From now on Lupin, if you wish to request something of me, no reason to make small talk. Just ask and you will receive a prompt answer. As to what we were discussing I have no desire to resume it. If there are any problems with the Wolfsbane, send a note with Aristides. Otherwise send him on his way.
Remus smiled to himself as he pulled out a long piece of parchment. Severus is not getting off this easy, he thought.
After sending off Aristides, Remus settled himself into his favorite chair. Never in a million years did he think heíd ever talk to Severus Snape again. Even before that eventful night two years ago, the relationship to him and the only other surviving member of his year had been rocky. Severus had always disliked him, and for a short period even feared him when he found out Remusí secret. Remus had felt only a bit of resentment when Severus ousted him in Harryís third year but in the end he realized it was his just due. Working with the man during the first months of the renewed Order had been straining. And with Sirius, dear Sirius, it was even worse.
Nonetheless, Remus still tried to make a tentative friendship with the man. No one but himself could ever fathom why Remus would try so hard to make it work. Even McGonagle thought it was hard and she was the closest to Severus next to Dumbledore. Thinking of the sparkly-eyed Headmaster was painful. He never thought he could forgive Severus or Dumbledore for the tactics they used. But during the last days of the war, when he had found out the Orderís information source was Severus himself, it was Tonks who finally convinced him to consider forgiving Severus. He had meant to go to the trials, to be a character witness. He had meant to go to Azkaban, where Severus was while the Ministry deliberated on his fate. But Remus couldnít bring himself to do it.
Even at the party, Remus could not manage to approach the former Potions Master for most of the evening. It wasnít until Severus migrated outdoors, away from the suspicious eyes that even he had felt, that Remus gathered his Gryffindor courage and followed the still billowing robes. Remus thought he could act normally around the man, and even though Severus replied amicably, it was tough to do so when face to face.
Everything Remus wanted to discuss with Severus flew out the window when he took in how different Severus looked since last time. He was almost a shadow of his former self, lost in the robes that now seemed two sizes too big. There was no color upon his skin, not even the sallow yellow that students used to comment upon. His hair, if possible, hung even more limply, the rich black color of it shown few strands of white. In short, this did not look like a vindicated man, living comfortably as most had after the war. Any animosity Remus may have harbored disappeared. Stumbling through an awkward conversation ostensibly annoyed Severus as he waved Remus off at the nearest chance.
Staring into the dying fire, Remus realized if Severus was going to reply, it wouldnít be tonight. With that thought he retired to his bed chambers.
"You poor bird," Remus whispered as he fed a tired looking Aristides. "Severus must be overworking you these past few months. Iím sorry for that but he wonít me send one of the schoolís owls. I wonder why heís so secretive of where he lives."
Remus chuckled to himself, realizing how silly it must seem if anyone saw him talking to the owl. He carefully untied the small note from Aristidesí leg and returned to his desk. He set aside the syllabus for the upcoming term and unrolled the note.
It had been four months since he started up a correspondence with Severus. In the beginning, the letters he received were short and to the point, never revealing much about Severusí personal life. Over time, however, Remus was happy to finally bring Severus out of his shell if only a little bit. The letters, though none of it too personal, became longer and more amicable. So it was to Remusí alarm when he received such a short and terse note from the man.
I will be indisposed for an indeterminate amount of time. Take care of Aristides and do not worry about your potion.
Remus frowned, wishing he knew what the matters were. Rolling the note back up, he tucked it into his pocket as he turned to the owl. "Sorry old chap, appears like youíll be staying here for a while. Aristides hooted softly and returned to his meal.
Every few days after that night, Remus sent out Aristides to see if Severus had come back from wherever he disappeared to. But the owl would always come back empty handed. Another full moon passed before he started asking around. To his near surprise, no one had heard from Severus ever since the party. The only person who seemed to care was Hermione for she had asked Remus why he hadnít visited Severusí house.
And thatís how Remus Lupin found himself in muggle
near a street called Spinnerís End. Apparently when Harry and Hermione were sending out invitations to the remaining Order members, the owls werenít able to find Severus. Hermione researched and found out he had a house in this area so she sent the invitation via muggle mail. England
All Remus needed to do now was to go up to the door and knock. Trouble was that there was no door to knock uponó nor was there a house. For all that lay in front of the now distressed werewolf was a huge burnt mountain of rubble. Oh Merlin, it canít beÖ
Severus hated hospitals. Muggle or not, they always made him feel the same. Shitty. The fact that heís been residing in one for over three weeks did not improve his mood. There was little he could do confined to a bed. If he had access to his wand, he wouldnít still be here. To his great displeasure his wand was probably lying underneath the remains of his house. Thinking about that worsened his disposition. Closing his eyes momentarily, he muttered "Youíre a bloody idiot Severus."
"I say Iím inclined to agree."
Severusí eyes widened in surprise as he sat up. At the foot of his bed was a rather annoyed looking werewolf.
"Lupin?! How in bloody hell didó"
"Did I get here? It was no simple feat I can assure you. But I am. So since youíve caused me to worry for almost a month now, I believe Iíd like an explanation on what youíre doing here in a muggle hospital with second degree burns."
"I believe youíve been to my house? That was the result of threats I had been receiving at my house for quite some time. Apparently Granger isnít the only resourceful witch when set to a task."
"You mean a witch or wizard did that?"
Severus nodded. "I was caught unawares having just sent Aristides off with the note. I had decided to leave the country for a while and foolishly did not expect them to come that night."
Remus sat down in disbelief. He couldnít comprehend how easily Severus was explaining this, as if it was an every day occurrence. "How come you didnít come to me sooner then? Or returned to the Wizarding World?"
"Unlike some people Lupin, I do not impose myself onto my colleagues."
"I donít understand though, why are Ėerr were you living in muggle
to begin with?" London
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. This was a topic he did not want to get into. Not now, not ever.
"Iím not saying thereís anything wrong with that. A lot of wizards and witches choose to live their life as muggles."
"I didnít choose to live like one! You think after years of being surrounded by magic Iíd want to give it up like that? Just as my mother didnít choose to be shunted from her family I did not choose to be shunted from the Wizarding world!"
"Thatís crazy, Severus. You are not shunted."
"I cannot believe how blind you can be! Donít you remember the headlines from almost a year ago? Even though the majority of what they printed was wrong there were grains of truth to them."
"I chose to ignore the papers at the time. They had said some slanderous things about a lot of the Order members. But what does this have to do with youó"
"EVERYTHING!" Severus roared. "Every bloody thing! For months after the trials I tried to regain my life! But no one wanted to employ a man like me. ĎBad business you see.í Bollocks! No one wanted to buy my potion skills, the apothecary organization wouldnít back me for apprentices, and the Ministry still will have nothing to do with me! All I had left was that damn house! It is as if the knowledge of what I did for our cause meant nothing to them! Half the stores in Diagon Alley refused my service and patronage. Hell, even in Knockturn it was hard for me to acquire anything!"
"So you isolated yourself in your home?" Although Severusí outburst earlier almost startled Remus, he hung on to every word. Once again he simply couldnít believe what Severus was saying to be true.
"Yes. I used Aristides to obtain whatever ingredients I couldnít grow. And of course I used him to keep in contact with you. I never expected to survive the war, but I did, so Iíve made best with what I had left. Everything was fine until the threats began slipping past my wards." Severus couldnít bear to look at the other man. The tightness in his chest returned.
"If you report this to the Ministry, maybe they can find the people who did it."
"Whatís the use Lupin?" Severus remarked dejectedly. "As it was not a muggle attack, it should have been reported. But as you can see, it wasnít or you may have visited a lot sooner. It took me a long time but I did have an epiphany at Potterís party."
Remus stared at the man before him. He couldnít help but see Severus in a different light now. He allowed the new feelings that this caused to slowly surface. He gave a slight nod to Severus to continue.
"The only person who gave a damn about me is dead. Whether I live as wizard or as a muggle does not matter to anyone else. Whether I die an old man or from an anti-Death Eater attack will not ruin anyone elseís lives. In fact Iím pretty sure the papers and the wireless would rejoice of this fact."
"I never took you to be so maudlin, Severus. But you are completely wrong." Remus stood up and leaned over the patient railing.
Severusí anxiety grew as Remus leaned closer. "Oh? And how do you figure that?"
"Because Severus, somehow over the course of our letters, I believe have fallen in love with you."
Severus wasnít sure if it was the shock of Remusí declaration or the kiss that happened right after, but he was speechless and motionless for a long time. When he finally came to his senses, Remus was gone.
The hospital had finally released Severus after a few more days of recuperation. He had insisted to the doctors that it was not needed but they would not let him go any earlier. They were amazed that he would want to leave so soon, considering he was now homeless. Severus allowed himself a small smile. He fingered the note and recovered wand in his pocket. Although he really didnít have a choice in the matter yet again, this time Severus didnít mind. He would follow through with his earlier plans; it would be safer that way. A month of traveling wouldnít be too bad. Besides, when itís time, heíll be able to go home.
I know itíll be rocky for us in the beginning, but Iíd like to try. Do what you think you have to do. No matter what Severus, youíre not alone. Whenever youíre ready, Aristides and I will be waiting.