Title: Permutatio
Author: Flying Solo
Rating: R
Pairing: RL/SS
Feedback: robin_flys_solo@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: I donít own any of them. I donít make money off of them.
Warning: First part of a 2-part story.
Beta: Meg
175) Remus and Severus are sent on a mission for the Order and it all goes horribly awry, leaving them on the run and struggling to return to safety. Action/Adventure.

Permutation

By Flying Solo

"Only the mountain has lived long
enough to listen objectively to the
howl of a wolf"

--Waldo Leopold--

His eyes fluttered briefly as he tried to open them, but the pain in his head belied the action keeping them closed. The pain sharp and piercing, he could almost see it as a flare going off behind his eyes. Instead, he concentrated on what he could hear around him. The sound of skittering feet and squeaks of rodents both large and small, and also a regular drip of water that echoed faintly.

For a moment he was almost homesick for his dungeons.

Dungeons? Yes, he was sure that he was in *a* set of dungeons. Not his, mind you, but dungeons nonetheless.

The smell was dank and earthy. The scent inspired thoughts of dark root cellars, catacombs and the remembrance of an underground ossuary-- bones lining the walls as they crumbled beneath the weight of age-- roots of the trees above weaving between the bones, pushing them out of their settings. He had been quite young at the time. Water had pooled at their feet and there had been the faint drip of water that softly echoed.

His grandfather had entered the dilapidated bone house and chipped a skull from the mantel. No look of revulsion on his face as he shoved the bone into a bag over his shoulder. He turned back to his grandson and gave him a twisted smile before sneering, "Even the dead have their uses."

The skull had later been pounded into powder for a potion.

He'd never discovered the potion his grandfather had made that day, but the memory of the ossuary stayed clear and sharp throughout his life.

To him, the scent was of death. As he lay on the floor of the dungeon he wouldn't be surprised if he opened his eyes to the sight of bones and skulls decorating his cell.

He listened to the faint echo of water for a few more seconds before he noticed the slight hitch of breathing nearby. It was soft, but ragged and uneven. Cracking open his eyes, he peeked cautiously toward his injured companion and immediately felt his stomach drop.

Licking his lips, he tried to raise his head, which felt heavy and feverish. His voice was a low rasp, alien to his ears as he called out. "Lupin?"

The other man shifted slightly, bruises marring his pale face and a trickle of blood graced his lips. As light brown eyes slowly opened, he was surprised to find Lupin scrambling backwards away from him, patting his robes for a wand.

"Lupin?" He could feel the grit of dirt and tiny stones under his hands. Digging into the flesh in a way he had never noticed before as he tried to push himself into a sitting position.

"Stay back!" Unable to find his wand, the werewolf had pressed himself into a far corner and was watching him with wary eyes. "I mean it! I can still defend myself!"

He felt the sneer upon his face and opened his mouth to bite out a fitting reply as he raised his hand to point.

The sneer dropped off of his face, no reply passing his lips as he stared his hand still held suspended between them.

He knew his hands.

Hands that were always thin, stained, and hard with calluses from years of abuse while working-- scarred from burns, lacerations, scrapes, and punctures-- the tip of his small finger slightly smaller than the other due to a knife slipping when he was younger.

Yes, he knew his hands well, every little imperfection.

These were not his hands.

Despite the light covering of dust and dirt from the floor, they were much too clean to be his hands.

The fingers were shorter, thicker, and yet not fat by far. The hand was almost muscular, the skin fair and pale, but not sallow. The nails perfectly manicured and trimmed. The white crescents free from stain or the black of things best not mentioned. That would usually end up underneath of his nails until he got bored enough to scrape them out again with a knife.

He raised his left hand and held it beside the other. A matching pair, with the exception of a gold band that encircled a ring finger.

Chancing a glance at Lupin he found that the other man had not moved, but was watching him carefully, a hard look upon his face as he growled. "That's what you get for following a mad man. Face it, youíve been thrown to the wolves, you fucking prick. And Iím the wolf!"

"I donít..." He touched his chest at the sound of his voice and his eyes went wide. Beneath his fingertips, soft hair, much longer than his own hung down over his shoulder and as he looked down he could see it was long enough to brush the floor as he sat staring down at...

Blond hair.

Almost absently, his hand left his chest and touched the top of his head.

The Death Eater robes were still reasonably intact, and other than the feverish heavy feeling in his body, he wasnít injured. He turned back to Lupin who was still looking at him with cruel amusement. "Whom do I look like?"

"Like a fucking arse that will be dead by morning!" Lupin sneered.

"No! Simpleton! I meant it literally, whom do I look like?" He stood and felt stiffness in his leg-- a twinge at his knee that was unfamiliar, yet familiar at the same time. He stilled his hand before it could reach for the ache.

He stalked closer. "Whom in blazes do I look like?"

"Malfoy!" Lupin shoved himself up, his tone more a warning than an answer as he approached slowly, sniffing the air quietly.

"Well, I'm not Malfoy!" He curled his lip, his voice icy.

Lupin took a few steps backward and shook his head, his back once more to the corner. "Liar!"

"What?" Snape growled, feeling a headache begin between his eyes as he glared at the werewolf.

"You can't fool me!" Lupin laughed bitterly. "Not this close to the full moon! Even a Polyjuice potion doesnít change a personís scent!"

"I'm not Lucius!"

Lupin wrapped his arms around himself and sank back to the floor, his knees to his chest. He turned his head away and was looking at the door.

"Lupin, I am *not* Lucius Malfoy!"

Lupin snorted in disgust and shook his head, planning his escape in his mind. "Malfoy, I've no time for this..."

"Damn it, you stupid werewolf!"

The sharp pain as his head cracked against the hard floor caused lights to flash in front of his eyes as he struggled to take a breath. The hands wrapped tightly around his throat dug into the tender flesh, causing him to wince. Between clenched teeth he glared up at Lupin. "Always knew you wanted to kill me, bastard! Shame Black isnít here to cheer you on!"

The pressure on his throat increased and the spots of light turned to dark as he began to feel dizzy and faint.

"Keep Sirius out of this, you greasy bastard!" Lupin growled into his face. The expression upon his face changed quickly from anger to confusion as the words left his mouth. "Snape?"

"Geddoff." Snape shoved his hands and knees up hard, barely managing to roll the other man off. "Iím not god damned Lucius Malfoy, you infernal git! And Sirius Black was a mentally unstable mangy mutt who got what he deserved because he just could not control his baser impulses!"

Snape rolled to the side, a small twinge of satisfaction crossing his face as Lupin knocked the air out of himself as he landed where he himself had been seconds before. Snape found his feet quickly and moved to the other end of the small cell before the werewolf could pounce once more. "Always the Gryffindor, leaping first without thought."

Lupin chuckled, the sound dark and broken, looking up from the floor. "I'll hand it to you, Malfoy. You sound like the greasy bastard."

"Because I *am* the greasy bastard you short sighted moron!" Snape hissed.

"Oh, just stop, Malfoy! God only knows what you think you will accomplish, but donít think me stupid enough to believe you over my senses. You are *not* Snape." Lupin pulled himself across the floor, as far from Snape as he could get.

"Perhaps a spell?" Snape reached up and touched the pale blond hair again.

"Perhaps. Though why You-Know-Who would want to make you think you're Snape, I haven't a clue." Lupin glared at him from the other side of the room.

"I *am* Snape you slow witted imbecile!" Snape took a step forward and stopped as the stiffness in his knee warned him of impending pain.

Lupin laughed quietly. "Whatever you say, *Severus*."

Snape moved to the door and felt along it with his hand. "How long have we been here?"

He heard a low muttering and turned back to Lupin. "I said, how long have we been here?"

"I was dragged in here right away. You on the other hand didn't show up until hours later. I'm not sure when exactly, as I was unconscious, then woke. What did you do, Malfoy? Didn't bow enough? Didn't use enough tongue while kissing his scaly arse?" Lupin continued to glare.

Snape ignored him as he leaned against the door and tried to recall what had happened. He remembered the mission. It had been a simple idea. Snape was to attend the Death Eater meeting. While he attended the meeting, Lupin was to speak with one of the werewolf clan leaders to try and convince him to leave Voldemort's side and join Lupin and the others.

Something had obviously gone very wrong.

He looked back at Lupin and raised a fine eyebrow. "What happened? What went wrong?"

Lupin grunted. "As if you don't already know."

"Just tell me what the hell went wrong? You were supposed to meet with the clan leader while I attended the meeting!" Snape narrowed his eyes. "How did you get caught?"

"Snape. Traitor..."

"I did no such thing!" Snape turned on him. "How dare you!"

"I saw him there, preening for his Master! Proud of himself for revealing..."

"I did no such thing!" Snape repeated.

Lupin just shook his head and looked away.

"If I look like Lucius, then he's probably in my form." Snape said quietly, thinking out loud. "Do you realize the kind of damage Lucius could do?"

The werewolf was no longer listening, Snape could tell as the other man turned away and leaned against the wall, closing his eyes as though he were going to sleep. He could only hear the steady dripping of the water and their own breathing. It was several minutes before Lupin softly asked, "You honestly believe that you are Snape?"

"And you honestly believe that I would turn against all of you?" Snape sneered.

"You turned traitor once..."

"And you tried to kill me once!"

"I did *not* try to kill you! It was just a stupid prank!" Lupin shouted as he gave up his pretense of calm and leaned forward, a snarl on his face.

Snape crossed his arms and smirked.

"Not that I believe for a moment that you are Snape." Lupin sat back slowly. "Though, you do have his behavior down pat."

"Lupin, what would Malfoy have to gain from tricking you thus? Would if I were a traitor, it not be easier just to maintain my guise as a double agent and continue to feed information to the side I chose?" Snape asked.

"Obviously, you have fallen out of favor with your Master. Perhaps you think I and the others will help you."

"If Malfoy truly wished to get help he need only offer information in exchange for..."

"And you'd change one prison for another!" Lupin interrupted.

"I'm not Malfoy!" Snape roared at him. "I'm Severus Snape! Potions master of Hogwarts, thorn in the side of every Gryffindor to ever grace its halls from the moment I entered the God forsaken place! I am not bloody Lucius fucking Malfoy!"

"Well you sure smell like him, look like him, and sound like him in voice if not speech!" Lupin roared back.

"It has to be a spell!" Snape paced restlessly in front of the door.

Lupin shook his head and looked away."I suppose if they obliviated your memory, and then created another to convince you that you were Snape."

"I *am* Snape! Somehow, we've been... switched."

The look in Lupin's eyes was almost of pity. "All right, Malfoy, I mean... Snape. Have it your way. What do you propose to do?"

Snape narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to argue the point but was interrupted by the sound of the door opening.

"My dear Lucius!"

Snape turned and found himself looking... at himself-- two large guards on either side of 'him' waiting for orders. "Malfoy!"

"Oh..." 'Snape' shook his head slowly making soft 'tsking' noises. "Poor, Lucius."

'Snape' turned to Lupin, a taunting smile upon his lips, cruelty glittering in his eyes. "Dear Lucius was such a disappointment earlier. I'm afraid that he broke under the Cruciatus. If it weren't for obvious reasons, he would have been sent to St. Mungo's I'm afraid."

Snape put a hand to his head. Yes, he had been put under crucio at some point, but... No! He didnít break- it- no- he... did he?

For a moment he was dizzy and sat down.

"Poor Lucius, do you still think you are me?" 'Snape' asked, his voice dripping with falsified concern. "Well, no matter, the full moon is tonight. I'm sure you won't survive the experience."

"You bastard!" Snape jumped forward. He felt his knee sting in protest as his legs went out from under him. He caught himself with his hands feeling the grit and stone under them far more than he ever would have before. Soft hands stung and reddened as he looked down at them. Never before did he realize how useful calluses were.

'Snape' twirled his wand, the source of the curse that now affected him and grinned. "Now, now, Lucius, I know it's hard to accept. It was for me as well, but the rewards, well at least for me, far out weigh the inconveniences. I'm sure you understand my reasoning. We were friends at one point... More than friends."

He could feel Lupin's stare burning into him as his face flushed with the implications of that last sentence. "What did you do to me? What spell did you use?"

"The Cruciatus, don't you remember? Ah, well, considering your poor weak mind broke, I'm not terribly surprised." 'Snape' sighed and motioned toward the guards at either side of him. "I'm afraid I can't stay long... You will be missed Lucius."

The door closed behind them.

Snape continued to stare at the door after them, his legs still weakened from the curse that Lucius had thrown at him.

"Malfoy?" Lupin called softly.

Snape continued to stare at the door, wondering what information Malfoy would manage to wring from the rest of the Order by tonight.

"Malfoy?" Lupin called again. "Lucius?"

Snape turned with an irritated look. "What? And it is Snape!"

Lupin held his hands out in supplication, the pity returning to his eyes. "Look, I..."

The werewolf looked around the room then finally sighed, coming to a decision. "Look, I-I think we can get out of here, and I'll take you with me. I won't leave you here. But the full moon *is* tonight so I need to know how far I can trust you."

"You've had your potion. I should know, I made it!" Snape told him, but if it was to try and prove that he was Snape to Lupin, or to himself he was no longer sure.

"Yes, Snape did give me my potion, I can control myself tonight. But I need to know if I can trust *you*." Lupin was talking slowly, as though to a small child or a mentally damaged man.

Snape looked toward the floor, grinding his teeth together. "Of course you can trust me! Dumbledore always has..."

"Dumbledore is not here right now." Lupin sighed, his features tired. "We'll leave here in another hour. I'm taking a big risk by taking you with me."

"No more than the risk I take every time I go anywhere with you!" Snape bit back.

Lupin shook his head, "Lucius, I know it is hard... But please? Try to come back to reality!"

"I am rooted in reality! It is *you* who will not listen!" Snape struck the ground with his fist, then immediately regretted it.

The werewolf sighed again and shook his head. "I can't promise anything once we're back, but perhaps they can help you. For now, get some rest."

Unable to walk, unable to crawl too far, Snape remained in the middle of the floor. He racked his memory trying to remember any spells that would cause two people to switch places, never hearing of such a thing before. But, surely that didn't mean that such a spell did not exist. There was a slight flutter in his chest when he briefly considered, perhaps there was some truth to Lupin and 'Snape's' claims. He shook his head violently. No! No! No possible way could it be true! He was not Lucius Malfoy. He had not lost his mind!

But what if?

He closed his eyes and decided it did not matter. Until proven otherwise, he would proceed with the belief that somehow they had been switched. That he was Severus Snape.

And if he was Lucius Malfoy?

He rubbed his head. It didnít change what was right! And allowing the world to fall under the dominion of You-Know-Who was not right. A sane Snape or a crazed Malfoy, either way, he would continue as he saw fit.

Snape propped himself up on his hands and waited.

^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^

Lupin kneeled before Snape and wrapped an arm around his shoulders carefully. "It isn't too much longer till sun down. Once the sun is down and the moon glows bright, I'll change. We'll have to move now."

"My legs..." Snape began.

"It will be all right. The curse will eventually wear off, but we need to go now." Lupin pulled open his robes and played with his collar. A small nondescript pin was clipped to the edge of it. "Portkey."

Snape snorted softly. Of course, they would figure out a way of saving their pet werewolf should he be captured. He lifted his hand and touched the pin, feeling the pull of the portkey.

Lupin released his shoulder and stood.

"Where are we?" Snape asked, trying to stand, but unable to due to the persistence of the curse.

"...Safe."

"You won't tell me." Snape glared at him.

Lupin prowled the area, which was lined with trees before returning with a small huffing sound as he sat down heavily beside Snape. "If we were to walk all night we might make it to Hogwarts by morning. We are on the other side of the Forbidden Forest."

"Oh, bloody hell!" Snape cursed quietly.

"With the curse on your legs, we'll have to wait a little longer to start off, and we'll also have to take into account my transformation." Lupin continued. "I'm aware that you aren't used to extreme physical activity, but you should try and keep up."

"Are you saying I'm lazy?" Snape gave him an incredulous look.

Lupin smiled slightly. "I'm saying you probably have your house elf exercise for you."

"I have no house elves!" He gingerly moved his leg satisfied that control though returning slowly, was in fact returning.

With a snort the other man leaned back and stared at the sky. The same small grin upon his face. Snape was well aware that he was being watched closely. "Can you at least humor me and call me Snape?"

"No, I do not believe in furthering the state of your condition." Lupin shook his head as he crossed his legs at the ankles and propped his head on his folded hands.

"What if I'm telling the truth? What if I really *am* Snape?" He asked.

"Then I will apologize and you can take the opportunity to rub it in my face at any given time from that point on. Which I have no doubt you would do, if you really are Snape." Lupin smiled.

"You are an irritating creature." Snape snarled.

"So I've been told." Lupin agreed readily. "Now, if you don't mind... I'd like to rest, we have a long way to go before it is over."

His legs felt as though ants were crawling up and down them, a faint tickling that became annoying as the minutes stretched. The sun was a dark orange that lit the sky and turned it into varying shades of pink and purple as it sank below the horizon. The sounds of the forest came alive as things best left alone woke and began to prowl for food. The tickle became an itch and he couldnít resist the impulse to scratch despite knowing that it would neither relieve the feeling nor help in any possible way.

Managing to pull his leg up to reach under his thigh he was surprised to find Lupin grabbing his hands and pulling them away. "You'll damage yourself!"

Snape sneered, trying to pull out of the grip and reach his ankle.

"No! You'll hurt yourself! Sensation is returning, but it won't tell you if you are digging too hard. You could hurt yourself and not know it!" Lupin held his hands tightly. "I know it is hard, but try to ignore it."

"Release me!" Snape tried to pull his hands away.

"Not until you promise to not scratch at yourself. Besides..." Lupin smirked. "You might leave scars! Couldn't have that could we?"

"Iím *not* Malfoy!" Snape told him in a low growl.

Lupin sighed and released his hands. "Don't dig at yourself! Don't make me restrain you, because I will!"

"I'd like to see you try!" Snape shot back.

"Didn't know you were into bondage!" Lupin smirked. "Though I shouldn't be surprised!"

Snape struggled to his knees as Lupin retreated stiffly. "Careful, Malfoy. The moon is coming."

The sun had quickly faded and the first few stars of the evening were peeking through the clouds. "Oh, bugger!"

"Indeed." Lupin agreed as he slowly began to remove his clothing.

Overly thin, bones protruded leaving shadows along his body and even Snape who was usually much too thin was taken back by how undernourished Lupin tended to look prior to the change. Scars covered his body from years of abuse before the development of the Wolfsbane potion. Bruising marred the pale skin while scratches crisscrossed his back.

Lupin saw him watching and favored him with a sour expression. "Your friends had a little fun..."

"Not my friends!" Snape sneered at him. "Not for a very long time!"

He looked up at the moon; big and beautiful like a silver coin in the sky.

Lupin turned and folded his clothing, comfortable with his nudity, ignoring the slight chill in the air. "Normally, I avoid everyone during a transformation. All I can tell you at this point is don't be afraid. I won't harm you."

He didn't have time to reply as the transformation was already taking place. Muscle and skin began to shift. Snape wasn't sure what he had expected. Perhaps something closer to a transfiguration--painful yes--but...

But it was nothing like it. As screams tore through the air, Snape found himself scrambling backwards away from the werewolf form. The sound of bones breaking before they reformed, blood poured from wounds that opened then closed just as quickly, and above it all the howling of a human in terrible pain changing slowly into the howling of a wolf. The sound was enough to make Snapeís breath hitch.

Snape gasped, feeling the bark of a tree beneath his fingers as his back slammed against the trunk. The mild discomfort of his legs was forgotten as he struggled to get them to lift him, so that he may run.

No, it was nothing as clean as a transfiguration.

The creature lay a few feet from him, panting for breath, unable to move so soon after the change. Snape's legs which had only just begun to get their strength back collapsed once more leaving him sprawled on the ground beneath the tree.

Snape watched the wolf warily as it looked back. Each waiting to see what the other one would do first. Slowly the wolf stood, tall and straight, holding his tail high. He walked toward Snape, sniffing the air before squinting and pulling his ears slightly back. The ears flickered back up and he came to stand in front of the man who pressed his back against the tree.

Lupin yawned, his tail beginning to wag as he reached out a paw and slapped at Snape's outstretched ankle.

With an effort Snape forced himself to relax fractionally. "Ah, Lupin..."

The wolf reached out and slapped at Snape's ankle again and bobbed his head once before turning and looking toward the forest. "My legs..."

A low whine-yawn interrupted him as Lupin lay down and stared up at him with disinterested eyes.

Frustrated, Snape pushed the long blond hair out of his face and reached down to rub at his knees. The itching had returned full force and he could feel the sensation of 'pins and needles' start to prickle the bottom of his feet. Intent upon relieving the feeling, he didn't notice the wolf stand and walk closer until the large body bumped into his and knocked him sideways.

Severus rolled away quickly, holding an arm up to fend off an attack. The wolf sat down and scratched idly, watching Snape.

With a glare, he forced himself to stand, ignoring the brief pain as he picked up Lupin's clothes and boots, tucking them under his arm. The wolf on the other hand, whine-yawned again and stretched before laying back down.

"I'm ready to leave."

The wolf's tongue lolled as he wagged his tail once and curled up at the base of the tree.

"I'm ready to leave!" Snape repeated, taking a stiff step closer.

Lupin made a low questioning noise that lilted at the end as he tilted his head and flickered his ears.

"Of course I'm sure!" Snape huffed quietly, turning to walk into the tree line.

A soft rustle and Snape looked down to see the wolf amble along beside him gracefully, a sharp contrast to the rigid steps he himself was taking. They walked for quite a while before Snape finally deigned to speak. "How long I wonder will it take us to..." he trailed off pulling his robes closer as he became aware of the ridiculousness of speaking to an animal.

The wolf made another low noise deep in its throat and Snape muttered. "You don't know? Do you happen to know the way at all?"

The wolf stopped and looked up at the sky, tilting his head as though listening to something in the distance. Snape tensed, preparing to run when the wolf let out a sharp bark and ducked his head down before tucking his tail down by his leg and whined.

"You don't know?" Snape gaped.

The wolf whined again.

"Bloody brilliant! Lost!" He threw his hand up with an annoyed sigh.

Lupin made a low growling noise and flipped his tail up straight as he took the lead.

"You better figure a way out of here..." Snape mumbled to himself.

More growling.

"It wasn't me who brought us here! You had the portkey! You should be familiar with how to..." Snape broke off as he watched the wolf in front of him hike his leg up into the air and piss on a tree. "Oh, that wasn't necessary! Have you no manners at all?"

Lupin's tongue lolled again and he wagged his tail as he took a few steps toward Snape, head lowered.

"Don't you even think about it!" Snape pointed at him. "Wand or no wand, I'd make you regret it!"

Lupin's growl seemed disappointed, but his tail continued to wag slightly as he leapt back toward the trees and started to walk once more. Snape continued to mutter about 'disgusting Gryffindors and bawdy bathroom humor.'

The first howl was low, trilling, as it seemed to slide further down the musical scale. Snape looked back at Lupin, his mind racing. Lupin's ears flickered, as he looked first one way then another. Another howl joined the first in a duet and Lupin jogged to Snape's side, grabbing the edge of his robe in his sharp teeth, pulling him through the trees. The howls faded then grew stronger and Lupin released the edge of his robe and slammed his body into Snape's legs sending him into some brush just as two large bodies jumped forward.

Growls and snarls.

Snape crawled backwards into the brush as far as he dared, thorns and twigs poking into his skin, burning as they scratched him, and catching in the long blond hair, tearing at his clothes. He watched as three full grown wolves tried to tear each other apart over him. There was a sharp 'yip' as one of the wolves pulled back, snout bloody and only one amber eye untouched as he ran in the opposite direction leaving only two wolves snarling at each other.

Lupin stood between Snape and the other wolf, fur bristling along the nape of his neck, tail and ears straight up while large sharp fangs were bared in rage. A low rumbling growl from both wolves before the stranger flattened its ears and turned to run, Lupin snapped at it as it jumped between two trees, disappearing from sight.

For several minutes Lupin continued to growl then he raised his head and howled. Snape pulled further back into the brush as the lycanthrope raised his head again and howled two more times before quieting and listening.

As the wolf turned toward him, for a moment Snape was back in the Shrieking Shack. The wolf's growls and snapping jaws directed at him, unable to move then, unable to move now.

But there was no more growling, and Lupin's mouth was closed as he crept closer, almost shy in appearance. He lay down on the ground and crawled closer, making soft whimpering noises. Noises that Snape eventually realized was intended to be soothing. Snape supplied his own version of a growl as he forced himself to crawl out of the brush, ignoring the sting of stickers. "I'm quite all right, you may cease that annoying sound."

He brushed himself off, mustering as much dignity as he could while leaves and sticks tangled in his hair. Sweat dripped from the sides of his head and he wiped that away as well. The hair that he was more and more aware of, as it continuously got in his way he brushed aside. He flung it back over his shoulder only for it to make its way back again as he looked down to brush away dirt and brambles. He grabbed two handfuls and glared at them before patting down his robes, checking pockets for something, anything to tie it back. He was rewarded by a ribbon, which he quickly put to good use. The ponytail was uneven and messy as well as dirty but he didn't much care. As far as he was concerned, as soon as they were back at Hogwarts, the Headmaster would surely put things to rights and he would have his own shorter--if greasier-- shoulder length hair back.

If he had a knife, he'd cut it without compunction. As he sneered at the long strands that escaped and draped around his face, he found himself contemplating cutting his own hair once he had it back as well.

The wolf watched him from the ground, tongue once more lolling to the side as his tail wagged and Severus realized that the wolf was laughing in his own way at him. "Laugh now, but as soon as I'm back in my own body..."

Making a small sighing noise, the wolf looked from side to side as he watched and listened carefully to the forest.

With narrowed eyes, Snape followed Lupin at a much slower pace. His heart seemed to skip a beat and he took a labored breath as for a moment there was a heavy weight on his chest. Still he swallowed and spoke are the feeling. "You will see! I am who I say I am."

Lupin glanced back and Snape could have sworn he saw the wolf roll his eyes.

"I could recite instances that only you or I know." Snape continued. He felt himself becoming angry as Lupin continued to ignore him. "You are one of the most annoying creatures Iíve ever had the displeasure to meet!"

That seemed to get Lupin's attention as he looked back for a moment and made a huffing noise.

Lupin led the way through the forest, scenting the air frequently and occasionally running ahead then running back stopping for a moment to urinate on yet another tree. Snape sneered at his antics and pointedly looked away.

Several minutes passed before Snape spoke again. "I think we are going in circles."

Lupin stopped and looked over his shoulder and growled as he stalked to another tree and hiked his leg before running on ahead once more.

Severus leaned against a tree, tired, but unwilling to admit it. He was still perspiring heavily despite the faint chill in the air, and he was surprised to find himself feeling nauseous. He blink slowly as he tried to clear his vision which was blurring to the point he could barely make out the wolf that was sitting at his feet watching him.

His skin felt as though it were on fire.

Particularly where he had been scratched. He squinted down at one such scratch on his wrist and watched as faint, but angry red lines wound their way through his veins up his arm. Poison? Yes, poison. He took a deep breath as he tried to focus his mind, think past the dull pain that had started pounding in his head to remember what the bush he had found himself in had looked like.

The low whining started again as he slid down the tree, clasping his wrist loosely in his other hand. "I think... we... miscalculated... how long... it will take." Snape breathed.

Snape was aware of a faint snuffling noise, as Lupin seemed to inspect the more visible scratches.

"Poison." Snape gasped for breath. "If... I was..."

He shook his head, it was hard to think and he felt alternately hot and cold. He looked down at the scratches on his hands and he swore he could almost see the red lines inching up his arms. Blood poisoning? Already? Not yet. Maybe?

He pressed a hand to his head and tried to think through the confusion. It was the thorns, but they hadn't looked out of the ordinary had they? He couldn't remember and the memory was becoming hazier. He shivered and his heart seemed as though it were skipping beats in his chest.

There was a pressure on his leg and he looked down to see Lupin was standing on it as he levered himself up to look Snape in the eyes, while sniffing in that odd snuffling way. "Lupin, the bushes... thorns..."

Snape held his hand up and gestured vaguely the way they had come.

The wolf tilted his head before looking to the side, back in the direction Snape waved at. Jumping off of his leg he jogged a few steps back then returned with a low whine.

"Lupin, go to Hogwarts." Snape swallowed hard. "I'll be fine right here..."

A distant howl was followed by another and another; Snape swallowed again. "Or at least I'll poison those bastards if they try to eat me." He felt out of breath as he finished talking. He laid his head back against the tree and tried to concentrate on breathing.

The pressure on his leg returned and he looked down to see the large wolf's head on his leg, looking up at him with concern. "Lupin..."

He laid the hand that he still could not think of as his own on top of the wolf's head and found himself stroking it, feeling the rough fur under his fingers. "Lupin, go."

The annoying whine-yawn returned and Lupin shifted to lie on his side, closing his eyes.

"You fucking, bastard." Snape half laughed. "A Gryffindor to the last? Even for someone you believe to be Lucius Malfoy?"

Lupin opened his eyes, snuffled softly and then closed his eyes once more.

"You know, if I have to die, of something stupid, at least I will die knowing he'll have to live with my nose and hair for the rest of his life!" Snape closed his own eyes as he fought to control the shivering. "Bloody hell... what a cock up!"

He found that if he spoke in something close to a whisper he didn't have to take deep breaths between words. His fingers unconsciously rubbed small circles in the fur beneath his hands.

"I'll die here, in Lucius... body, thought to be mad as a hatter, and that bastard wearing my body. No telling how much information he's managed to wring out of the Order by now. Do me a favor? Don't let him get away with it. Even if you never believe me, even if you never trust that the real Severus Snape, me, had honest intentions, don't let Lucius and Voldemort win." He licked his lips and kept his eyes closed as he spoke. He felt the head move under his hand, but it didn't move away. He imagined that Lupin was looking up at him.

"Don't let him win. He won so much..." Snape's voice still barely above a whisper trailed off then returned a little stronger. "Bastard's taken so much."

The low whimpering that Snape had learned was meant to be 'comforting' rose again and he stroked the head in his lap with shaking fingers. "You were always the best of them..."

The whimper dropped away and Snape forced his eyes open to look down. "You weren't like them. I didn't want to believe it. Never wanted to... but hard to hate..."

The amber eyes that stared up at him never left his face even as he could see the wolf's brows go up and down.

"My one victory. Tasted terrible." Snape brought his other hand over to the wolf's head and he rubbed his fingers into the ruff of his neck. "I remember, you in the staff room... with your bag as you said goodbye."

The head slowly tilted in his hands and Snape closed his eyes as he leaned forward and laid his head against the warm fur. He was shivering despite the sweat on his brow as he continued to whisper. "You were wearing the robes you had arrived in. There was a place, torn on your hip. I wondered why you hadn't mended it yet, but you looked so... tired... and I finally figured you were exhausted. I knew you knew about it, your fingers kept dropping to it as you said goodbye. As though you were trying to hide it..."

The low keening whine started in the wolf's throat and he knew the instant that the wolf started to believe him. He kept his eyes closed and held onto the wolf's fur. "Before you took your leave, the rip was mended... I'm sure you thought Dumbledore... I couldn't let you leave like that."

Lupin shifted restlessly and pulled away, the low keening becoming longer.

"I'm sorry, for many things in my life, but I think maybe that time..." Snape's head dropped back against the tree and he closed his eyes again, swallowing hard and concentrating on just breathing. He could hear the sound of the wolf pacing back and forth, circling the area, but always returning to his side, the low keening rumbling through his chest. "Lupin, just go... Stop Lucius!"

Snape's eyes opened in shock as he felt sharp teeth touch his skin. Lupin let go as one of his brows moved up then down then the other followed suit as he looked from side to side then up at Snape and took his wrist into his mouth once more, but did not bite down.

"You want to bite me? Now?" Snape asked, incredulous.

The low keening started again, followed by the low whimper that he was sure was meant to mean 'it'll be all right, you'll see.'

Snape found himself blinking, feeling flushed as the headache sent sparks across his vision. "If you bit me, I would become a werewolf."

Lupin dropped Snape's wrist and placed a large paw on his leg and made more whimpering noises, snuffling at his throat before pulling back and shifting upon his feet.

"Or rather, Lucius would be a werewolf once I was restored to my proper body." Snape whispered. "One night of inconvenience, in exchange for..."

He felt a stabbing pain in his chest and held out his trembling wrist. "...Do it!"

Snape closed his eyes, not wanting to actually watch, but he could feel as the teeth closed around his wrist again and he could feel as Lupin carefully applied pressure. Just enough to break the skin, then he began to lick the wound, all the while whimpering.

As liquid fire seemed to course from the bite to his heart, Snape understood fully. Lupin whimpered once more, and Snape finally heard it as it was intended... like a mother to a pup, or an Alpha to a favored...

He screamed, his head thrown back as muscle and bone twisted. His body racked with pain. His last thought was that of the moon and that it was not beautiful after all.

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He didn't want to open his eyes.

Cruciatus Curse?

It certainly felt like it.

He curled around himself, shivering in the cold. The ground felt wet. His eyes cracked open a little as he tried to re-orient himself. Moaning softly, he realized he was naked, but as he tried to sit up to cover himself better, his muscles cramped.

"Just... relax. It'll stop soon."

He turned his head to the side and peered at Lupin who was lying nearby.

Lupin forced himself onto his hands and knees, watching Snape carefully. "Severus?"

Snape almost smiled, but it turned into a wince as his calf knotted up. He reached down to rub at it and was surprised to find other hands helping him.

Lupin looked at him from under his lashes, as he rubbed Snape's leg. "I'm sorry, about before."

With a grunt Snape pushed himself into a sitting position. "I promise not to rub your nose in it too often."

Lupin smirked. "I appreciate it, truly."

Carefully, Snape stretched his leg and grimaced. "So, it's always like this?"

"Afraid so. But, hopefully you won't..." Lupin looked away.

Snape winced at both the tone and the bruises that covered his body. "What the hell happened?"

He gently touched one such bruise covering his stomach and pulled his fingers away quickly as the pain flared around the touch.

Lupin bit his lip and looked away. "Um, Centaurs."

"What?" Snape looked up. "Centaurs?"

"Well..." Lupin ran a hand through his long and graying hair. "You..."

"I what?" The cold tone was familiar, comforting.

"You're... very..." Lupin seemed to search for an appropriate term to use. "Rambunctious."

"What?" Snape drew his knees up and wrapped his arms around them.

"Energetic?" Lupin tilted his head and shrugged. "I was able to keep you from wandering *out* of the woods and getting into trouble. It was almost like what Sirius, James, and Peter used to do for me, but I couldn't seem to keep you from..."

"Spit it out, Lupin!" Snape growled.

"You teased the Centaurs!" Lupin sighed. "Wolf or human, you annoy the hell out of people!"

"It's a gift." Snape muttered inspecting another hoof print.

He startled as he heard the first bark of laughter beside him. After a few seconds, he smiled and chuckled softly. "I annoyed them that badly?"

"I have never seen them so angry. And you just wouldn't quit!" Lupin shook his head still smiling. "I'd manage to lead you away for a few minutes, then you'd go right back at it! Snapping at their heels!"

Snape laid his head on his knees and shook his head. "I can't believe it."

Lupin reached over and laid a hand on his shoulder. "All things considered, it could have been worse. If you'd stayed completely human..."

"I'd be dead." Snape finished. "I think I figured out what was on those thorns. By themselves they'd have been all right, but I think there was a fungus on them. I'd be very interested to find them again. It would probably make a very powerful poison. Not to mention they might be useful in a potion..."

Lupin held up a hand. "For now, I think it would be best to get back to Hogwarts. My clothes are still intact, I can let you borrow my outer robe until we get you back and cleaned up."

Rolling his eyes, Lupin stood up. He couldn't believe that Snape had gone from contemplating his own death to the idea of making poisons and potions from the substance. Unbelievable!

"You were able to carry them?" Snape asked.

"Well, they are ...relatively... intact. A few bite marks through them Iíll admit." Lupin flushed. "But they'll keep us more covered than we currently are!"

"True." Snape agreed as he reached out to steady himself against a tree as he stood up. He swayed for a moment and then chuckled. Sticks and leaves were all throughout his hair and he was caked with dirt and mud. "Could you imagine Lucius' face if he saw his body now?"

Remus' eyes slowly traveled over the body in question and smiled. "If it werenít for the fact that you are living in it at the moment, I'd say he deserved it!"

"Indeed. Still, he's dealing with problems I'm sure he didn't count on." Snape smirked.

"Such as?" Lupin finally looked away and found the bundle of clothing.

"Oh, such as when I left my body I had one hell of a sinus infection started. Nothing will ever take care of the oil in my hair, no matter what he tries. And I happen to be prone to migraines." Snape smiled ruefully as he shrugged on the robe that was handed to him, noting that had he been in his real body it would have fell short by several inches, but as it was, it fit well length wise, though tight around the chest.

He took a step and grimaced as what was a mere 'twinge' the day before became a sharp stabbing pain. "On the other hand, he appears to have a bad knee."

"Probably made worse by your 'playing' last night." Lupin reached out to help balance him.

"How far are we from Hogwarts?" Snape asked looking up at the sun that had already risen high in the sky.

"There were times last night that we were pretty close, I could see the towers. But I kept leading you away again." Lupin's hand drifted over to Snape's waist as he hobbled a few steps then sank down. Lupin braced Snape's arm as he sprawled back onto the ground.

"I do believe that this body is accident prone." Snape snorted softly.

"You *have* managed to get into one predicament after another in the last twenty four hours." Lupin agreed with a slight smile. "But all things considered, it has been a especially odd, twenty four hours."

"Odd is a kind term for it, Lupin." Snape glared at the knee that still throbbed in counterpoint to the bruises all over his body.

"Do you think you can walk on it?" Lupin asked, leaning closer and pulling a twig out of the long blond hair before raising his hand again and pushed a strand of hair out of Snape's face.

Snape's eyes closed as he leaned into the hand that had begun to stroke just behind his ear. With a gasp he jerked away. "What the hell?"

Lupin's breath was slightly ragged as he stared at the hand that had been touching Snape.

Snape stared at Lupin for a moment before speaking again. "What is going on here?"

He half shrugged, looking as confused as Snape felt then he tilted his head and looked away to the side. "I'm not sure... exactly."

"Well, tell me... exactly... what you think it is?" Snape curled his lip into a sneer and glared at Lupin.

Lupin looked at the hand that rebelliously still reached for Snape and with an effort pulled it back to his chest. "What are you feeling right now?"

Snape snarled to himself without answering, concentrating instead on forcing his knee to cooperate so he could stand.

Lupin scrambled up and followed as Snape took a couple of shaky steps forward. "I'm not trying to pry. I'm trying to figure this out."

The glare that Snape directed at Lupin summed up his thoughts on the subject succinctly. He rushed forward and pulled a branch out of Snape's path before he had to try and step over it. Snape paused long enough to level another glare his way before leaning a hand against the trunk of a tree to rest.

"I'm also feeling..." Lupin growled in frustration, this time dragging both his hands through his hair while he ground his teeth together.

"...Feeling what?" Snape asked after a moment.

"Like wringing your fucking neck!" Lupin hissed.

The snort of amusement from Snape changed Lupin's snarl into a look of surprise.

The 'senior' werewolf stalked closer and pressed Snape against the tree, and for a brief moment there was fear in Severusí eyes. "I also feel like doing this..."

Severus closed his eyes and dropped his head to one side as lips ghosted his neck. His breath caught in his throat as fingers dug into his hips, pressing them closer. The thin robe offered little in the way of a barrier between himself and Lupin. He heard a small whimper and was horrified to discover that the sound was coming from himself, but he was unable to pull away, instead he found his arms winding their way around Lupin's thin frame and pulling him closer.

Teeth scraped behind his ear and dragged their way toward his collarbone. He gasped, tilting his head back further to allow more access, his eyelids drooping as a haze seemed to fall over him. A knee insinuated itself between his legs as he found himself simultaneously leaning against the tree and clinging to the other man. "Lupin?" He breathed.

He flinched as he jarred his tail bone landing on the ground. He looked up at the other man with a glare.

Lupin, several feet away, looked back, horrified. "I-I didn't mean..."

"To drop me on my arse?" Snape growled. He reached behind him and grasped the tree, levering himself up.

Lupin took a half step toward him, unsure of himself before stepping back. Snape could swear he could almost hear a low whine from him.

Snape leaned against the tree and glowered at Lupin. "I've never read about anything like this when studying werewolves."

Wrapping his arms around himself, Lupin backed up against a tree and then slid to the forest floor. "I haven't either, but then, there isn't a whole lot of truth written on the subject."

"Have you talked to other..."

Lupin interrupted. "No. Not many. I'm afraid that we don't tend to be sociable outside of our chosen packs. And my pack was always made up of humans."

Snape's mouth twisted into a disgusted grimace.

"Don't start, Snape!" Lupin warned. "I'm not in the mood to hear about Sirius, James, or... anyone else."

Snape shifted uncomfortably upon his feet, feeling the twigs and needles dig into the skin of his feet. "We need to go. The sooner we're back, the sooner things can be put right."

Lupin nodded, the look on his face still unsure as he stood and came to stand beside Snape. He raised his hands then lowered them again as Snape lurched forward, once more starting to walk in an uneven step.

Snape ignored the pain as he concentrated instead on leaving the woods and returning to Hogwarts.

He bit back a cry of pain as he stepped wrong and nearly collapsed back to the ground. He would have fallen had Lupin not given into his impulses and grabbed him before he could hit the forest floor.

Lupin held him tightly against his chest, his head buried in the back of Snape's neck.

Severus tilted his head to the side and gasped as he was rewarded with the feeling of soft lips brushing underneath of his ear. One of the arms wrapped around him loosened and a hand stroked up and down his chest for a few moments before moving down...

"Lupin?"

Snape winced as his knees impacted the ground. "Would you please quit doing that?" He growled, still in pain as he forced himself back to his feet.

He turned his head and glared at Lupin who had moved back a good five feet, his arms wrapped around himself as he wordlessly opened and closed his mouth several times.

Finally, Lupin gestured vaguely and managed a soft. "I-I'm sorry. I don't know why..."

Snape continued to glare as he pointedly turned his back on him and started walking, trying to ignore the sting as his bare feet and the ache in his knee.

He heard when Lupin began to follow him, and he could feel when Lupin fell in step beside him.

The sounds of the forest were louder, the colors by contrast were dimmer, more gray, but moreover the smells... The smells were overpowering. Without looking at him he began to speak. "I think you know more than you are saying."

Lupin didn't speak and Snape found himself momentarily distracted by the sound of birds singing in the trees. With difficulty he pulled himself back to the subject at hand. "Lupin..."

"It doesn't matter." Lupin told him quietly.

"Of course it matters!" Snape snarled.

"No, it doesn't. Because once you are in your own body, it'll be mine and Malfoy's... problem." Remus' voice was quiet and almost sad.

"What happened?" Snape demanded. He turned to face Lupin, stopping in his tracks as he folded his arms over his chest.

Lupin shook his head and continued to walk until he realized that Snape had not moved another step. Finally, with a frustrated sigh, he returned. "Snape?"

"Until this body goes back to its proper owner, it is in my possession and thus anything that concerns Malfoy concerns me!" Snape hissed. "You will tell me the truth!"

"You won't like it." Remus looked away again.

"No doubt."

Still, Remus looked reluctant to explain and instead found a fallen tree to sit on, looking at his hands as he took the opportunity to rest.

Easing himself to the same log, mindful of the bruises that still pained him Snape sat beside him. "I'm waiting."

"Dog with a bone, Severus."

"I'm not amused, Lupin."

"Of course not." Remus sighed. "Do you--do you remember me saying you were... rambunctious?"

Snape nodded before gesturing for him to continue.

"You were actually very aggressive. You tried to declare yourself the Alpha. Tried to overpower me and lead what you perceived as 'the Pack'. I couldn't get you to follow me, or even obey me in any way until I could prove to you that I was the leader. Not you." Lupinís voice was quiet as he spoke. "You're a bastard, even as a wolf."

"What did you do?" Snapeís voice was dark.

Lupin glanced up and saw the anger in Snapeís eyes.

"I declared myself the Alpha." Lupin said simply.

Snape closed a hand around the Lupinís collar and pulled him up. "What the fuck did you do?"

Lupin growled low in his throat and Snape instantly let go, his eyes dropping to the ground.

Severus didn't know what frightened him more-- the fact that he wasn't quite sure what had happened the night before or the fact that he didn't understand why he had released Lupin so quickly.

Remus made a soft noise, a cooing sound and Severus turned toward him, leaning in, as Remus raised a hand to stroke the hair behind his ear.

"What did you do to me" Snape asked, his voice strangled as he as he found himself wanting more of Lupin's touch.

Remus' thumb ghosted over Snape's lips as he cupped his cheek. "I intended only to... show you who was the boss."

The thumb stroked Severus' bottom lip again and Remus closed his eyes. "The wolf apparently had... other... ideas."

"Oh, god." Snape swallowed around a large lump in his throat.

"I... I didn't... take advantage. But... I didn't... I didn't..." Lupin pulled his hand away and turned it into a fist, which he pressed tightly against his eye. "I didn't exactly indicate I was adverse."

"What exactly does *that* mean?" Snape asked as he swallowed convulsively.

"You were... playful... once... I established my rank." Lupin said.

"How playful?"

"Am-amorous playful?" Lupin half shrugged.

"And you didn't reject my advances?" Snape stared. Remus looked away.

"Why?" Snape demanded.

"There didn't seem to be any harm... at the time." He finally conceded. "I guess-I just didn't really think about it! It seemed... like the thing to do!"

"Typical Gryffindor rationalization!" Snape ranted. "My wolf side gives yours a bit of a what? Canine equivalent of a snog? And you see nothing wrong with... enjoying it?"

"It wasn't like you were going to remember!" Lupin yelled back.

"And that makes it better?" Snape gaped in disbelief. "Should I be grateful you didn't mount me?"

"I told you I didn't take advantage!" Lupin jumped to his feet and rounded on Snape.

"But you did! In some-way-you did! Because now all I want is for you to touch me again and I don't even know why!" Snape stood awkwardly, still screaming at Lupin.

"Think how I feel? I know it is you inside that body and all I want to do is throw you down and shag you senseless!" Lupin screamed back.

"So, it's only the body you want. Voldemort himself can be inside this shell..." Snape growled, fingers flexing as he contemplated attacking the other man.

"No!" Lupin shouted. He fell silent and looked toward the sky helplessly. "Yes. No. I donít know. I don't know what went wrong. I'm sorry."

"For as long as I've known you, you've been sorry." Snape snarled.

Lupin's fist pulled back and Snape closed his eyes waiting for the blow-- a blow that never fell.

Severus opened his eyes and was surprised to see Lupin standing in front of him with very little expression on his face.

"It doesn't matter. Once we are back, you'll return to your body and..." Remus broke off and turned and walked away.

As Severus stood to follow, inexplicably, he felt as though he were on the verge of losing something very important.

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The walk back to Hogwarts was in silence. Neither man spoke to the other as they entered the grounds, but Severus' thoughts never strayed too far from the subject of Lupin and whatever it was that had happened to them.

Entering the castle proved a bit more of a problem when Hagrid saw their approach and intercepted them. Hagrid would not allow Snape to enter, calling him Malfoy the entire time he ranted about calling the Aurors. If not for Lupin, Severus was sure he would have soon been sitting in Azkaban.

But, finally, Lupin convinced the half-giant to fetch Dumbledore, who upon entering the Hall where they were standing, smiled and held out his hands. "Severus! We've been quite worried!"

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Severus sat heavily in a chair, cleaned and in fresh robes, though they still did not quite fit right, not being of the right height and width for him. "How did you know?"

Professor Dumbledore sat across from him and Remus in his chair. Crumbs from the biscuit he was eating tumbled into his beard and he offered the plate once more only to sigh as both men once more refused. "Severus, you are without a doubt, the most original and most unique man I know. Lucius had revealed himself within minutes to us."

Remus flushed faintly. He hadn't noticed a difference, in fact, he'd thought Lucius had done quite well in regards to pretending to be Severus. He clasped his hands loosely in his lap and studied them as Albus continued to speak. "Of course, we didn't play our hand until later, allowing him to believe that we were misled by his ruse." The older man beamed for a moment, then his face turned thoughtful, almost sad as he looked Snape over.

"Where is he now?" Severus asked, his voice dark with menace.

"Being held..." Albus started then stopped before starting again. "Severus, I know you are a very private man, and that you..."

He laced his fingers together and took a thoughtful deep breath. "You should have told us of your condition." The Headmaster finally looked up. "We were taken quite by surprise, but thanks to the quick reflexes of the Aurors present, Lucius didn't manage to harm anyone."

"What are you talking about?" Severus asked in confusion. "What condition..."

"Severus..." The Headmaster looked into his eyes. After a few minutes his brows rose. "You only just last night..."

He looked toward Remus and blinked thoughtfully. "Well, that is quite interesting!"

"What is interesting?" Severus lost his patience, raising his voice.

"Last night, your body, changed into a werewolf!"

"That is impossible!" Severus roared standing suddenly.

The Headmaster sat back and steepled his fingers together. "No, I don't think so..." His voice was faint, contemplative as he thought about the situation. "It is in fact very possible. The Curse of the Werewolf is just that. A Curse. And it affects the entire being... Mind, body, and soul. This might not be such a bad thing!"

Remus shifted in his seat looking from one man to the other. "I'm not sure I'm following..."

"The fact that the curse has traveled to both of them, means that they are still connected in some way. Which means, we may be able to reverse this switch!" Albus gave them both a small smile. "He hasn't been very forthcoming on how it would be done, and I have the feeling that he doesn't know. Voldemort probably arranged it himself without explaining it to Lucius... But if the curse is present in both, then it means that we can use that connection to place Severus' consciousness back into his body where it belongs." Albus finished.

Remus looked back at Severus with almost predatory calculation, invoking an involuntary shiver in the Slytherin. "Who would end up with the curse? Or would both still be infected?"

Albus opened his mouth to answer then abruptly closed it shaking his head. "I don't know. It is possible... both of them..."

Remus groaned softly, leaning his head back against the chair. "Bloody fabulous!"

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to be continued in the next wave ;)