Title: Endless Dreams
Warnings: Dark, Implied Character Death
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: 128) One lies in a coma. The other talks to him, not knowing he can hear.
My eternal thanks to Under Lucius for beta'ing. Any mistakes that remain are due to my resistance to change.
Remus had fought right up until he was struck down by a Death Eater's curse in the midst of battle. He had remained unconscious since that fateful day, haunted in his seemingly endless dreams by various scenarios of how the war had finally ended.
Or if it even had.
He took some heart in the fact that Severus was still alive, his velvet baritone breaking the monotony of his days. Remus could not hear complete sentences, only snippets of what his lover was saying. They had been together when Voldemort had unleashed his army upon the school. The battle had raged on for at least three days, the school grounds looking more and more like a graveyard. Remus had been near exhaustion when someone had caught him with his defences down. The last thing he could recall was a blinding flash of green light, which he knew should be impossible.
How could I have survived the killing curse?
He didn't have a clue, but he was certain that was what had taken him down. He was also positive he was still amongst the living, albeit incapacitated. He felt many things: an occasional hand holding his own, being fed various healing potions, being cleaned, and other rituals relegated to the care of the sick.
Severus was speaking again and Remus struggled to hear what he was saying. He memorised had every single word that he remembered hearing, going over every possible implication that they could have.
"ůso badly wounded . . . "
Who, Severus!? Who had been badly wounded?
". . .Still . . . coma . . . why."
It's me. Remus came to the grim realisation. I'm in a coma. How long I have been like this?
Severus' voice faded away again, leaving the familiar sound of white static. He pondered over the other things Severus had said since he initially became aware of the presence at his side.
Weeks, he remembered Severus had said. That was a chilling reality, if it really had been weeks since he had last been conscious. Something about the 'best care possible', as well. And Potter, he had heard 'Potter' a number of times. Harry must still be alive, then.
Remus prayed that meant what he thought it did. Oddly enough, beyond the fact that he was in love with the Potions Master, Severus' continued presence did not ease his fears about the current state of the wizarding world. Remus had never questioned Severus' loyalty to the Order until recently, mainly because he had so much time to dwell on it.
Love truly is blind.
He had once asked Severus, in all seriousness, why he had gone to Voldemort in the first place. He could tell Severus had been surprised, owing to the fact that most people assumed he was lured by the Dark Arts and the endless promises of power. The Slytherin had quickly recovered from his shock and said that 'it was fashionable at the time'. Remus had not appreciated Severus' unusual display of humour, but knew that the subject was closed. However, Severus told him that it was an unusual question. Everyone else wanted to know why Severus had gone to the Light. Why hadn't Remus?
Remus had grinned and given Severus a passionate kiss in response, knowing full well he would evade having to answer if he kept Severus . . . preoccupied.
In all reality, he did not want to tell Severus what he thought. Hell, he did not want to acknowledge it himself.
Severus Snape, Potions Master, spy for the Order of the Phoenix, and quite possibly the love of Remus' life, had never gone to the Light. Nor was he still consumed by the Dark. It was much worse then that in Remus' eyes.
Severus was simply nothing. He felt nothing, believed in nothing, and was beholden to no one.
Not even him.
It wasn't any particular event that led Remus to this conclusion, more like the sum of a myriad of little things. When Sirius fell, Severus didn't seem to care. Remus didn't expect him to grieve over Padfoot, given their history of mutual enmity. He thought at the very least that Severus would be concerned when the Order's already sparse ranks had been depleted. Or even that Severus would be a bit happy-as much as the idea sickened Remus-that a childhood enemy had met his end. He felt a similar sentiment when Lucius Malfoy was locked up in Azkaban after being apprehended in the Department of Mysteries. With Malfoy being somewhat of a friend to Severus, Remus had hoped for a display of some sort of emotion.
No elation that some Death Eaters had been caught. Severus had just looked at Remus with indifference whenever he broached the subject. He was the very model of the detached solider, seemingly fighting someone else's war because he was told to, not because he gave a damn about what happened to the rest of the world.
What had Remus worried was who was really telling Severus to fight.
His wandering mind raced back to the present when he heard voices nearby. For the first time, he was able to make out someone else's voice other than Severus'. He also heard more than just bits and pieces.
"Don't know, Professor . . . Hermione is still researching . . . potion should be ready to brew soon . . . "
The new voice was familiar . . . Remus concentrated on hearing Severus' response.
"...Should have been done . . . Granger has been given ample time . . . try harder, or there will be consequences . . . "
If Remus was able to shake his head, he would have. Typical of Severus to issue empty threats to someone trying to help. He was warmed to hear that Hermione was still among the living. He was starting to feel secure that they had prevailed. The other voice chimed in again, clearer this time. " ...she's trying . . . want Remus to get better, too . . . "
It was Poppy that was talking with Severus, and she sounded nervous. She must need outside help. That was not a reassuring thought, there must have been a lot of injuries if she couldn't get any help from St. Mungo's.
Remus desperately tried to cling to reality as felt himself slipping back into the abyss.
He finally was able to resurface from the recesses of his mind when he heard Hermione's voice speaking to him.
"Remus? Can you hear me? Don't worry, you'll be free soon." Her hushed words were completely clear, and Remus found he was able to nod in response.
"It worked, Professor!" she called out.
"Remus, can you open your eyes?" Severus' words were like a warm embrace. He slowly opened his eyes to the brightness of the school hospital wing. He noticed Hermione was worn and dressed in nothing but filthy rags. His heart sank at the sight.
Perhaps the fighting had yet to end.
"Granger?" Severus' cold voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Yes, sir?" Hermione said, a mixture of hope and fear in her voice.
"He is in the usual location, and your voice will open the door. Next time, be sure to remember that your actions may cause someone else's suffering."
"Yes, sir." Hermione replied. She squeezed Remus' hand for a moment and literally fled the room.
Remus studied the Potions Master and was relieved to see that he was much better for wear than Hermione. In fact, he looked like he was in perfect condition.
Merlin help me.
Remus tried to keep his voice under control as he addressed Severus. "Whom is she going to see, Severus?"
"The Weasley boy, of course. Are you feeling all right, Remus? You look quite pale."
"I'm fine, Severus. What happened? The last thing I remember was being struck by the killing curse and-"
Severus lifted his eyebrows in confusion. "Well, you have been out of it for weeks due to some stubborn curses. There was no Killing Curse involved, though. You must be mistaken."
"No, I am sure of it, I saw the light-"
Severus raised his hand and cut him off a mid sentence. "Remus, you have been in a coma for nearly eight weeks. You would be dead if you had been hit in the manner that you describe. You are probably confused. It is understandable, giving what happened. Luckily, my position has earned you, as my chosen mate, the best care possible. Likewise, I was able to keep Granger for her usefulness, Madam Pompfrey for her healing skills, and Wealsey as a servant. Otherwise, they would all be as dead as Potter."
Remus went numb. "Who won, Severus?" he whispered.
"Who cares, love? All that matters is that you are still alive. You will be taken care of, I can assure you."
Blackness began to engulf Remus' vision. As he heard Severus screaming Hermione's name in a fit of pure rage, he had one final thought.
I am dead . . . and this is Hell.