Title: All In The Mind
Summary: Prompt 89 Lupin accidentally walks in on Snape bathing, and is horrified by the scars covering most of Snape's body.
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Severus Snape
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Author Notes: Written for the 30-minute challenge on Master & The Wolf. http://chance.popullus.net/masterandthewolf/index.html
Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter, its characters and settings are the copyrighted works of J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., her publishing companies and affiliates. No profit was made from the writing of this story.
89) Lupin accidentally walks in on Snape bathing, and is horrified by the scars covering most of Snape's body.
Severus always avoided using bathrooms except his own, for one reason - they inevitably had mirrors. Severus had removed the one from his own quarters with a well-aimed Banishment spell. He didn't need reminders of his appearance.
Lucius Malfoy had called all Voldemort's Death Eaters together, and had hosted a particularly taxing and ultimately messy meeting tonight and Severus wanted nothing more than to get into a hot bath, even though it was 2 am in the morning. To his consternation, his own bathroom was undergoing 'improvements'. This meant that the house elves were doing their annual cleaning and mending purge. Normally this took place during the summer break, but for reasons best known to them and Albus, they were doing it now, in April. Severus sighed and made his way to the teachers' bathroom on the second floor.
Sure enough, there was a plethora of mirrors. Severus stripped off his black Death Eater robes and mask and got into the water without glancing around. The relief of the hot water on tired muscles and an equally tired and dispirited mind made the trek up here worthwhile.
He didn't soak as long as he wanted to, aware he had classes tomorrow. He needed some sleep, however much he'd managed to force his body to minimize the time he spent sleeping.
Severus got out of the bath and made for the heap of large, fluffy towels placed on the dresser to one side. Of course, that wall was covered in helpful, reflective glass. As Severus draped a towel over his shoulders, his eyes caught sight of his reflection…
Remus had spent the evening waiting for Snape to visit him. He had to have his Wolfsbane. Albus had promised that Snape would be prompt and not miss a month, and so far that had indeed happened. But this evening no Snape had arrived and Remus still lacked Wolfsbane. He had to start taking it if it was going to ensure another in-control moon.
Remus sighed and took out the Marauders Map he'd confiscated from Harry. Severus Snape was not on it. Most likely he was out on Order business, or something equally secret. Snape was so private he fascinated Remus, who really would like to know him better now they were adults.
As time passed, Remus sat watching the Map, sipping wine and thinking about Snape. Midnight passed by, but no Snape appeared. This was getting to be intriguing. Remus wanted to see what time Snape returned for his own interest, never mind collecting the potion.
When Severus entered the side entrance Remus saw him. 1.52 am. Where had he been? Remus watched the dot make for the dungeons and decided to catch Snape before he got into bed. It was only a matter of handing the potion over to him, that wouldn't make Severus too angry, would it?
Remus made for the dungeons but had to do a detour when he noticed Snape's dot moving again, headed out of the dungeons. Remus pursued him to the second floor, wondering where he could be going at this time of night. Ah… the teachers' bathroom. There must be some reason he wasn't using his own tub.
Remus faced the bathroom door; he knocked. There was the sound of some splashing, as if someone was moving about in the water. He knocked again and called, but still no reply. Frowning, he wondered if Severus might be in trouble. If he'd fallen asleep in the tub…
Remus pushed the door open and said, "Severus?"
Scars. Each one a map of pain. A record of horror. Severus remembered where each had come from, how each had felt as his flesh was parted, by the blades of knives, the severing of cutting spells, the lash of hexes and whips. He remembered who had inflicted each one. His eyes fixed and his mind replaying movie-like scenes of pain, he didn't hear anything beyond a strange buzzing inside his head.
Severus forced his eyes from the wide scar which cut a diagonal swathe across his torso, the one that always caught the light and shone when looked at in a mirror. He looked up. The reflection of Remus Lupin's shocked face stared back at him.
When Remus saw the extent of Severus' scarring, he couldn't stop a jolt of shock and horror. What the man must have been through! His long, pale body was so marred it reminded Remus of his own. He looked from top to toe, at the back facing him and at the reflection of the front. It was like looking at himself in some ways, but in so many ways it was different. Remus' scars were mostly self-inflicted and for an unavoidable reason. What had done this to Severus?
As his eyes returned to Severus' head he found himself looking into Severus reflected eyes. Severus flinched, recoiling as if slapped. Severus' face was full of loathing, and Remus knew that loathing was for Severus himself, not the man who was looking at him.
"Get out," Severus said. The voice was quiet and deadly. And dead. It was as if Severus' emotions were shut in, so repressed that he didn't sound human any more.
"I said get out - you've had your eyeful. Now go and laugh yourself to sleep," Severus grated.
"There's nothing funny."
"I will not have your pity!" Severus yelled, eyes flashing. "You know nothing about me. Just leave."
"I… Severus, I don't know much. But I do know I want to get to know you better," Remus tried. "Hah!" Severus laughed bitterly. "Why? So you can admire my naked flesh? Don't make me laugh!"
Remus didn't think he'd be able to convince Severus of his sincerity with words alone, but there was a way that might just work. He started to undo his robes.
Severus turned around to look directly at the werewolf. "What - ?"
Before he could finish, Remus had swept his robes off. He was naked beneath as he'd prepared for bed earlier. He stood as naked as Severus, as scarred and as vulnerable.
"Do you think I'm something to recoil from?" he asked quietly.
Severus stared at the man standing naked before him. Remus Lupin was well-muscled, his body was stronger than Snape's and had more hair; golden-brown hair which matched his golden-brown eyes. Severus felt a bolt of sexual excitement shoot down towards his cock. “No, you're wonderful,” he admitted. To say otherwise would not just be to lie, it would be foolish. Snape was many things, but he drew back from being stupid.
Remus stepped towards Severus, slowly but inexorably. He reached out his hand and placed it on Severus' chest, right over the widest scar. “I think that of you,” he said, trailing fingers down the line of the injury. He leaned down and kissed the marks. “And I do want to know you, much better.”
Severus closed his eyes in the grip of a powerful emotion. Remus wanted him… wanted him with his marred, flawed body.
And Severus wanted Remus, had done for a long while. Remus' body was scarred, but it didn't matter. Remus was an example of male perfection. As Severus accepted that his scars could be the same - that Remus could see them as part of him and not as something to recoil from - he trembled.
His emotional life was about to start again. With Remus, he could have a future after all.