Title: Perilous Links

Author: Amber_and_ash (used to be TickTock)

Beta: Missa. Thanks a million for all the work you put into this. All mistakes are still mine.

Email: amber_and_ash@yahoo.com

Webpage: http://www.geocities.com/amber_and_ash

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: SS/RL suggested

Summary: Answer to “Master and the Wolf” challenge 64: James was too late and Remus managed to bite Severus that night at the Shrieking Shack. How would it affect them as the relationship between them is irrevocably changed? A chance to see protective Wolf and resentful Sev!

Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to J.K. Rowling. I own nothing, make no money from anything, and am writing this purely for personal enjoyment.

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Everything was going to be swept under the rug. It was times like these that made me wonder how my life would have been if I hadn't been one of Headmaster's wards. All us little orphans, taken under the care of the great, benevolent Dumbledore. Yeah, right. If I had a real guardian, then perhaps something would have been done to correct this injustice, but to the Headmaster I was an easy sacrifice for the protection of his golden boys. He even went so far as to alter Potter and Black's memories. But Lupin and I knew. No getting around that one. He was my begetter, and we would be forever linked.

I was no longer alone in my mind. Every minute of every day, I could feel him, restraining me. "Keep quiet, keep still, keep safe. Be pleasant, be subservient, be safe."

That was not how I wanted to live my life! The effort and concentration it took just to act like me exhausted me long before the next full moon.

The Shrieking Shack was now out of the question. Instead, we were taken by portkey to an isolated cottage, an altogether more dangerous and expensive procedure and yet another thing I had Black and Potter to thank for.

"Severus..."

"I have nothing to say to you, Lupin."

"Last month..."

I pulled my wand and spun around.

"Never speak to me of that night again!"

I doubted I could have cursed him even if I had been under Imperious, but the threat seemed to be enough. He waited until we were both getting out of our clothing before he spoke again.

"Don't worry, Severus. There's two of us here, and plenty of room for us to run around. After the transformation itself, it won't be as bad as you're imagining."

He was wrong - it was worse than I ever expected. Not the pain, that was insignificant. No, what I hated was how I acted when I was 'wolf'. When I was 'wolf', I was strongly driven by my instincts and that damnable bond.

I had barely completed the turn when I, no, the wolf, no I, crawled over to Lupin, whimpering and licking his muzzle. And I was overjoyed when he responded by trying to slobber me to death. I watched myself play and tussle, appropriately subservient, in horror. This was the purest meaning of hell - being perfectly aware of one's actions, but being utterly powerless to stop them.

After that, the bond became harder to resist. And it took on a more terrifying twist. We were both sixteen year old boys, after all, and the wolf was no less hormonally active. We had only each other as compatible choices, now, and with the bond...

I couldn't even really blame the wolf... ; he/I was simply trying to cement his/my position in the new 'pack';. I knew what he was and what I was, and that these weren't my own feelings. But the more I fought it, the more exhausted I became, and the harder it was to fight.

My outside life wasn't helping matters. Potter and Black blamed me for the loss of their playmate during the full moon and stepped up their little pranks. The teachers, of course, assumed I was the culpable party and forced me to waste even more of my energy completing inane detentions.

My absence has not gone unnoticed either. With no friends, the headmaster thought it would be easy to conceal my disappearances. But for all his reputation as being omnipotent, he really had no understanding of how Slytherin worked. After the second full moon, I received an owl inviting me to tea with Lucius Malfoy during the next holidays. I remembered him from when he had been at school, of course, but we had no real social contact. The Malfoys did not invite the Snapes around for tea without purpose. I tried to convince myself I was being paranoid, but with little success.

Time passed terrifyingly quickly. I would shortly be expected to present myself before Malfoy, but my anxiety about that was overwhelmed by another concern. Four full moons on, and it was clear that our wolf forms weren't going to wait much longer.

By the time the holidays arrived, my control was practically non-existent. Damn it, a Slytherin did not act this way! I was prevented from making the least attempt at retribution and forced to submit to my persecutors like a good little boy. The criminals were allowed to proceed in their merry Gryffindor way, while their victim was punished. And there was nothing I could do about it.

I was picked up by the Malfoy carriage at Hogsmeade, and spent the journey trying to repair my fašade.

"Severus, how nice to see you again," said Lucius as I was escorted into the study.

"Thank you for inviting me, Mr. Malfoy. It is an honour to be here."

As we made small talk over tea and sandwiches, I ate sufficiently to be polite, wanting the moment of truth to be over. At long last, he called for the tea stuff to be removed.

"Well, let's turn to more serious matters, shall we?"

"Of course. What can I do to assist you, Mr. Malfoy?"

"Actually, I'm hoping to assist you. You seemed to have contracted a problem. A problem of the Lupine nature."

My worst fears were confirmed. If I had thought there was any chance of a life after school, that hope was now destroyed. I stayed mute on the off chance that he was still fishing for information.

"Oh, don't worry, little Sevvie. I'm not trying to trap you in a damning admission. I offer a solution, of sorts."

"Of sorts?"

"Hmm. Did you know that there is a spell that transfers the begetting link from the werewolf to the caster, if the caster is powerful enough? Well, it seems that the link has enough influence to bring almost all of the were-wolf characteristics into conscious control if it is held by a non-werewolf."

I lost control of my expression.

"Oh, Dumbledore doesn't like it to be common knowledge. You see, he's one of the few wizards powerful enough to make the transferral, and he doesn't want to be bothered by hordes of little strays. However, there is someone else who is altogether more amenable to the idea."

I didn't even question the veracity of his words. I knew quite well that the Headmaster had more important things on his mind than the mental or even physical well-being of his Slytherin wards. And shy, timid little Lupin wasn't significant enough either. But that retiring little wallflower was now in a very meaningful way my master, and being in that position was intolerable.

"Who?"

"His name is Lord Voldemort. Don't worry, Sevvie, I'll introduce you to him very soon."