SUMMARY: Severus Snape does not surrender to just anything.
DISCLAIMER: The characters and their world are not mine
Master and the Wolf 30-minute Challenge 39: Remus was injured in the final battle. He's at St Mungo's, essentially comatose. After six months, everyone is ready to give up. Everyone, that is, except Severus.
Harry rubbed the back of his throbbing head. This conversation was not making it any better, and the potion he'd taken had not yet kicked in. In the dimly-lit hallway of Grimmauld Place, he squinted at Hermione.
"All I'm saying," she said, "Is that his dedication seems to go beyond friendship, so how can you deny even friendship?"
How could he deny it? It had taken months for him to wrap his head around the idea of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black as lovers. The simple mechanics of it alone had been the problem, because he had always accepted them as friends. But to say that now, after everything - Sirius' death, Tonks' death, the treachery, the murder, the loss, the war - Remus could possibly have chosen to become friends with Severus Snape - and to imagine them naked, one's cock up the others' arse... It wasn't a matter of Harry denying anything... it was a matter of knowing Remus too well to believe in the impossible. Harry closed his eyes until the intense throbbing and pounding stopped.
He heard a regular thumping sound and at first took it for his headache. But then he realized it was someone on the staircase, and he recognized the footfalls. He made a less-than-subtle hushing sound to Hermione, who was already quiet, and looked deadpan as Severus Snape walked past.
"I will be there an hour and a half," said Snape, who somehow felt some compulsion to account for himself... and who, for some reason, felt the need to extend a useless invitation. "Would either of you care to go along?"
Hermione looked close to tears. Harry swallowed his own emotions back. "I have a headache."
Snape wasn't surprised to be visiting St. Mungo's alone once again. At the beginning, there was a crowd by Remus' bedside twenty-four and seven. Now, six months later, even Harry Potter had lost hope that Remus might come out of his magical coma.
"Hullo there, Lupin." Snape no longer looked around to be sure no one was watching before smoothing Remus' hair from his forehead, for there was no one around to see. He no longer refrained from touching his lips to Remus' cheek longer than was normal.
However, he no longer expected that at any moment Remus might wake up. It was possible, certainly it was possible. Remus was not dead, like so many others were. But after so long, it was going to take more than waiting.
Snape took a small vial out of his pocket and rolled it between his palms to warm it. He pulled out the stopper. He leaned over Remus. He kissed the man passionately, parting Remus' lips with his tongue and wishing it might be enough, like in fairy tales. When it was not, Snape poured a few drops of potion in, instead. He sat and watched closely for some time.
There were no twitches. There were no eyelids fluttering open. There were no stirs or starts. There was certainly no instant awakening, with Remus sitting bolt upright in the white hospital bed. There was no change whatsoever.
Snape smiled and shook his head. He would try again, without question, for as long as it took, because Severus Snape refused to give up.
Either he would brilliantly find the solution and Remus would wake up fine and well. Severus would be heralded and awarded the Order of Merlin First Class for healing one of the greatest players in the final battle. And Severus would be overwhelmed with joy and relief. Or he would continue on this way, seeing Remus regularly forever. Severus would always be able to stroke and kiss... confess and confide... obsess and love, as he would not have been able to do were Remus awake. Severus Snape refused to give up on Remus, but he had in fact given in to the strongest of feelings for a man who hated him.