Title: It's a Beautiful Day
By: Vaughn (Vaughn72000@aol.com)
Disclaimer: Not mine, although if it was we'd all been in trouble.
Summary: 1) Snape and Lupin are forced to live together at Grimmauld Place and one of the pairing has more than one annoying habit ...
Special thanks to my wonderful beta, MajinSakuko. Any mistakes that remain are my own.
Remus Lupin was a man cursed to live out his life marked as a dark creature. His very being struck fear into the hearts of untold magical folk. But there were things more frightening than a raging werewolf, as he himself was faced with a prospect that he ultimately decided was much more terrifying.
He had to spend at least two months under the same roof with one Severus Snape.
On top of that, only Severus Snape. There was to be no contact of any kind with anyone outside No. 12 Grimmauld Place.
Albus, in his famed wisdom, had informed him of this highly undesired living situation in a meeting that morning. Remus had thought everything was going rather well. The Headmaster and he had spoken of strategies for the war that was now in their midst and shared a lovely spot of tea and biscuits. Just when he thought it was safe, having heard no odd requests from the eccentric old wizard, a sharp knock and a swinging door announced the arrival of the most feared man in Hogwarts.
Severus strode in and gave the ex-Professor a glare that made him grateful Severus had yet to master the ability to kill with his looks. Remus thought briefly about making his thoughts vocal, but thankfully his common sense won out.
It was best not to give Severus any ideas ...
"Him? You ...!" Severus was so outraged that he did not even seem capable of forming a coherent sentence.
Remus rose quickly and began to make apologies to the Headmaster in order to flee without having to witness whatever Severus was going on about this time. He was about midway through his 'escape' speech before the Potions Master stormed out of the room, mumbling obscenities that were enough to make Remus blush.
"This is apparently a bad time, Headmaster. Severus is obviously distressed over something; I've never heard him use such language before."
"Actually, Remus, he is the reason I have asked you here today. Please do not take offence at his behaviour. He's been under entirely too much pressure as of late. I've decided he needs a bit of a sabbatical, so to speak."
"I'm sure he does, Headmaster, but I fail to see how I can help you. I can't teach his classes, and ..."
"No, no, nothing like that, dear boy. Would you like a Lemon Drop?"
Ah, the dreaded words. When Albus said 'lemon drop,' he really meant 'you're going to hate what I am about to say.' Remus shook his head, and motioned for Albus to continue.
"Severus has been under a lot of stress and I am concerned about the effect it is having on his temper. I have arranged for his classes to be covered, and for Voldemort to believe he is going on a mission for me. He will not be summoned, as Voldemort has been informed he will be surrounded by other Order members at all times in an undisclosed place."
"Voldemort actually believed you are sending Severus somewhere without telling him the location?"
Albus smiled, and Remus felt foolish for thinking that the wizard had not covered all the bases to ensure Severus' safety.
"Your concern for Severus is appreciated, Remus. At this time, Voldemort thinks I am questioning Severus' loyalty and that this is a test of sorts. He does not wish to lose his spy permanently, and willingly accepted the temporary loss of Severus for now."
Albus produced a large box of Honeydukes chocolate, and placed it within Remus' reach. He was done for anyway, so he took one of the truffles and waited for Albus to continue. Albus smiled at his gesture of defeat, and went on.
"Since you are alone at Headquarters for the moment, and will remain so for quite awhile, I thought you may enjoy some company."
Remus almost choked on the candy he was eating.
"You want Severus to stay with me?"
"Is the idea that offensive, Remus? I was under the impression you wanted to make amends with him."
"I do, but you saw how he reacted! He hates me, and twenty years of hate is not going to disappear easily nor be pleasant to live with. Even with a piece of chocolate as bribery."
Albus slid the entire box in his direction.
"It is all for you, Remus. I have another box in my desk awaiting your reply."
Remus groaned. If he was going to be forced into this, he might as well get something out of it.
"Show me the goods and you have a deal."
In retrospect, he probably should have asked for a lifetime supply instead ...
After two weeks of complete silence and avoidance from the Potions Master, Remus had decided he had enough. He was tired of feeling like he was living with a ghost instead of a human being. He informed Severus in no uncertain terms that they would be sitting in the living room together after dinner, even if they didn't speak a word to each other the entire time. Surprisingly, the Potions Master had nodded his head and walked away from the werewolf without complaint.
Remus hoped this wasn't simply the calm before the storm.
They had their meal in the usual fashion, with Remus alone at the kitchen table and Severus upstairs in his bedroom. Soon, they would have to actually cook things. The Instant-Meals that Albus had provided were nearly gone.
When he finished eating, Remus adjourned to the aged sofa in the sitting room with a book in hand. After a quarter of an hour had passed, he finally heard Severus making his way downstairs. Remus saw he had the same idea when Severus entered the room. The Slytherin was clutching a battered tome in his right hand. Severus tilted his head by way of a greeting and sat in the overstuffed chair by the fireplace. Remus gave him a small smile and returned to his own book, 'Who Am I? -The Unauthorised Biography of Gilderoy Lockhart.'
As Remus read about who REALLY defeated the Bandon banshee, he began to hum under his breath out of habit. He didn't see Severus' head snap up, with an expression of pure annoyance etched across his pale face. The Slytherin began to clear his throat loudly. Remus heard Severus, and realised he must have been humming aloud again. He thought about apologising and trying to be quiet, but in the end Remus' worn patience won out. He was tired of tiptoeing around the other man constantly. Changing his tune to a Muggle song from his youth, and he began to hum even louder. Remus hid his evil grin behind his book as he heard Severus slam his own book down. He was expecting Severus to storm out of the room in a huff, but he looked up in surprise when Severus actually said something.
"What the devil are you humming, Lupin?"
Remus couldn't resist.
"Your theme song, Severus."
"And what, may I ask, is that?"
At that, Remus burst into song. It would definitely be an interesting way to die ...
"Ding dong, the witch is dead! The wicked witch is-"
"ENOUGH!" bellowed Severus. "I hate that bloody song. Besides, in case it has escaped your notice, I am a wizard, Lupin."
"Well, I wasn't implying ... wait a minute, how in the world do you know what that song is?"
"If you must know, my mother had Muggle friends that she hid from my father. One of them was obsessed with the picture box, or whatever they call it. She insisted I watched that wretched piece of garbage once while I was there. The witch was laughable at best, and from that day on I am reminded of those miniature dancing fools every time I see Flitwick."
Remus couldn't help but laugh at the image of a young Severus scowling at the Wizard of Oz. He thought it wise not to share that with Severus.
"Poor Filius ... I thought you tolerated him more so than others, but all this time you've seen him as a dancing and singing dwarf."
Severus face became flushed with embarrassment.
"I do not! It is just that ..."
"What is it, Severus?"
"Nothing, Lupin. I do not wish to discuss this any further."
As Severus moved to resume reading, Remus knew he had to think fast. He would do anything to keep Severus talking. They were almost having a real conversation, and Remus had to admit he didn't want it to end. Luckily, inspiration struck at the last possible moment.
"If you don't tell me, I'll tell everyone what I found in your luggage."
Black eyes met his, with a horrified gleam that Remus had never seen in them before.
"I charmed them! How dare you go through my possessions, Lupin! I will-"
Remus hurriedly cut him off with a shrug.
"First of all, I know quite a bit about charms myself. Second, I figured I would need something to hold against you later."
"Blackmail? How very Slytherin of you, Lupin. All right, I will tell you. Rest assured, there will be consequences if you repeat it."
Remus nodded, eager for Severus to continue.
"As you are aware, certain events force me to race through the school corridors at times. One day, as I was in quite the hurry, I failed to see Filius and knocked him down in front of a group of Ravenclaw third-years."
Remus was confused, and it showed in his face.
"What is so bad about that, Severus? It's not like you did it on purpose."
Severus had such a serious expression on his face that one would think he was divulging the secrets of the universe.
"That was not the worst part Lupin ... when Flitwick fell, he ..."
Remus burst out laughing at the thought of the diminutive professor making such a sound.
"And what did you do, Severus?"
"I helped him up, of course. I almost laughed in front of students, Lupin! I would have damaged a reputation that I have spent years building."
Severus stood up, indicating that the conversation was over.
"Good night, Lupin."
"Good night, Severus."
Remus had lost all interest in his book, as he plotted ways to find out what actually was in Severus' bags that he was so worried about ...
Another week of isolation followed. Remus had hoped that Severus would open up a bit, but if anything, the Slytherin seemed even more private than before. In fact, he barely glimpsed the man at all in the last six days. He opted to write Severus a note and post it to his bedroom door, inviting him to dinner that evening. Remus was a decent cook, having fended for himself for so long. Before the appointed time, Remus had managed somewhat of a small banquet. Severus' silky voice started him as he was setting the table.
"Although I appreciate the gesture, Lupin, I am able to prepare my own food."
"Excellent! You can do it next time, then. Please, have a seat."
Severus grudgingly sat down, and Remus took the seat across from him. He watched with amusement as Severus took a little of everything, Remus had tried his best to remember Severus' food preferences.
As he helped himself and began to eat, a strange noise caught his ears. He glanced up to see Severus had cut everything into tiny pieces, and had one of them on his fork. He was ...
"Severus ... is there something wrong with the food?"
"I do not know as of yet, Lupin. I am sure it is adequate."
Remus watched with annoyance as Severus went right back to sniffing each piece on his plate.
"It's not poisoned, Severus."
Severus glared at him in annoyance.
"I never said it was. I am sure even you can concoct more interesting ways to eliminate me."
Remus felt his temper reach the boiling point, a feat that only Severus seemed to be able to accomplish so quickly.
"Then why, in Merlin's name, did you dissect it and decide to sniff it to death?!"
"If you must know, Lupin, I simply like to have an idea of what I am going to put it in my mouth."
"Youmustbeinterestinginbed," Remus muttered to himself.
"What was that, Lupin?"
Remus cleared his throat. "I said, no wonder you are underfed."
Severus pressed his lips together in a thin line.
"My sincerest gratitude for the meal, Lupin."
To Remus' chagrin, Severus pushed back the chair and stormed out of the room. He could hear Severus' light footsteps going back toward the bedroom. Angry at Severus' behaviour, he finished his meal alone and retired to the sitting room for some light reading by the fire. As the hours rolled by, Remus found himself feeling worse by the minute. Severus must have known his habit was annoying, which was why he had been eating in his room. He practically forced Severus to dine with him, and then picked on the Potions Master the entire time. He put his book down and searched the liquor cabinet until he found a fine bottle of Irish whiskey. Remus poured two glasses and set them down on a tray with the bottle. He only hoped Severus would accept the peace offering.
As he approached the bedroom on the second floor, he realised there were other voices coming from Severus' room. In a panic, he dropped the tray and swung open the door.
Severus was sitting on the bed, eyes closed, looking more relaxed than Remus had ever seen him. Beside him was a Muggle music player, and Remus flushed red with embarrassment as he realised the voices he had heard were from the opera Severus was enjoying. It was Carmen, one of his favourites.
Severus' obsidian eyes opened, and he bolted upright. As he reached to stop the music, Remus rushed forward and grabbed his hand to stop him. Severus looked at him, with a mixture of irritation and amusement dancing across his face. He quickly pulled his hand away, but made no move to turn the music off.
"You already knew about my affection for this, so I suppose there is no point in trying to hide it. May I ask what has caused you to blatantly invade my privacy?"
Remus went into the hall and retrieved the tray, showing it to Severus.
"Err ... a peace offering? I heard voice, and thought you were in trouble. I was going to knock."
The Slytherin appraised him for a moment, and then nodded. Remus let out the breath he had been holding, and handed a glass to Severus. He filled both of them to the top, causing Severus to raise an eyebrow.
"Are you trying to get me intoxicated?"
"That depends, Severus. What kind of drunk are you?"
Severus shrugged, another unusual gesture.
"A normal one, I suppose."
At that, he lifted the glass to his lips and downed it in one gulp.
"Umm ... Severus, you may not want to drink so fast. It's quite strong, and ..."
"And what? Are you saying I cannot keep up with you, Lupin?"
"No, no. Not at all, I just ..."
"Drink up, then. Albus says I am to relax, after all."
Remus gave in and poured Severus another. And another. And another ...
A seemingly short time later, the bottle was gone and Remus was feeling on top of the world. Since standing was way too much work, he found himself lying on the bed next to one utterly pissed Severus Snape.
It was a fantasy come true, and Remus decided it was high time to admit it.
"You have no idea how many times I've dreamed of lying next to you."
Severus snorted, and turned to face him.
"Dreamed? More like a nightmare ... Remuss ..."
"Nope, a dream. There's only one thing wrong ..."
"You still have your clothes on."
Severus looked at Remus like he had just said the most insane thing he had ever heard.
"You have got to be-"
Remus jumped on Severus, captured his soft lips with his own. To his delight, Severus returned his kiss with passion, parting his lips to allow Remus better access. He fumbled with Severus robes, why the hell did the man need so many buttons?
Severus brushed his hand aside and began to undress himself. Remus watched with growing excitement, and when Severus barked at him to remove his own clothes, he quickly complied. Once they were both naked, Remus resumed his position atop Severus' slender frame. He gently licked his way down Severus' bare chest toward his massive erection, earning louder and louder moans in the process. When he reached his destination, he noticed that Severus had gone quiet and glanced up.
The Potions Master was fast asleep, lips still parted.
Remus smiled in spite of himself. He made a mental note to ask Severus if his technique needed improvement as he curled beside the Slytherin and covered them both with a blanket. He pulled Severus close to him and drifted into a peaceful sleep.
As the light crept into the room the next morning, Remus reluctantly opened his eyes. His arm was slung over Severus small waist, who was still fast asleep and snoring softly. His pale face was remarkably relaxed in slumber, giving him a much more innocent expression than Remus was used to seeing. It was a sight he could get used to, and he snuggled closer. Severus' drowsy voice startled him.
"Yes, Severus?" He was unable to keep the nervous edge out of his voice.
"Did we do what I think we did?"
"Ummm ... no, you fell asleep." Remus said, clearly embarrassed.
Severus mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like 'pity'.
"What was that, Sev?"
"Sev? Have I acquired a pet name, Lupin?"
"It's Remus, and yes, you have. That's the price of sleeping naked with me."
Severus sighed, but he made no move to leave the bed.
"I suppose that's acceptable, Remus."
Remus couldn't believe what was happening. He was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and had to say so.
"What? No cursing or threats about hexing me into oblivion?"
To his delight, Severus laughed quietly and shook his head.
"I am not a morning person, and I will have you know that right now. I will be certain to harm you later."
He took Severus' contented purr as a yes.