Thirteen Hairs

By Em Conway (poy_sin@yahoo.com)

Warnings~ Spoilers for all books, hints at prior abuse

Rating~ R Just to be safe.

Disclaimer~ I own nothing in J.K. universe (except for the stuff she sells.) I make no money off of this story.

Challenge #14~ Snape needs a werewolf "part" (i.e. fur, spit, semen...) for a very challenging potion that could win him great renown. The only thing is, the part must be willingly contributed.

Archiving~ If you think its worth it, just let me know. Master and the Wolf get it for the first month.

A/N~ This is my first time writing a slash story. (Oh sure I have thought about, just it but never put it to paper.) Any and I do mean ANY comments would be welcome. Special thanks to my beta’s Purple Kitty, LilPoppy and GH. There combined efforts primarily kept me writing, and thus any mistakes in the story I fully claim.

“When everybody is running in the big race
And having a good time
Who am I to cast a shadow
Who am I?
I looked Death in the face last night
I saw him in a mirror
And he simply smiled
He told me not to worry
He told me just to take my time

And if you come to me
And if you touch my hand
I might just slip away
I might just disappear
Who am I?
And if you think I'm worth it
And if you think it's not too late
We might start falling
If we don't try to hard
We might start falling in love

~Onigo Bongo “We close our eyes”

   *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*

 

Thirteen Hairs

 

 

It was a rare find. One he had never hoped to even exist much less posses. And yet, here it was lying on his desk smelling of old parchment and dreams. Once the dust had been delicately removed the words appeared before him, ‘The poison of the werewolfe.’

 

What was even better, the proverbial icing on the cake, was that he could do it. Oh that wasn’t to say that it was easy. It was going to be a bitch to brew, but he could do it. He could make someone into a werewolf. That in and of itself was enough to be in The Dark Lord’s favor for a good while. It also wouldn’t hurt his cover as bastard extraordinaire. The halls of Hogwarts would echo a new insult to his person. “Yeah that’s him, the greasy git. Watch out or he’ll turn you into a werewolf.”

 

They would eat their words. He would actually allow himself to laugh as they did so. For while they were quick to accuse him and fast with their ridicule, they never took a deeper look at him. He didn’t even think that the majority of those he knew thought of him as a human being. They may see him as a good potion master but they did not know was that there was not a poison that he could not find an cure for. It was only a matter of time before he cured the lycanthropy. Then they would revere him as the humanitarian with soft silky hair.

 

Not that he would be particular pleased to hear these comments. All that would matter to him was just one Hogwart residing werewolf. A small smile crept upon the corners of his mouth. He could fix Remus in the only area that Remus needed fixing. It wasn’t fair that someone so caring and loving should be labeled as a ‘dark creature’. No Severus would fix that, and all he would need was thirteen hairs.

 

That of course would be the real challenge of the potion. For the recipe specified that the hairs had to be from a werewolf, given in exchange for a service rendered. Each hair was to be counted separately. No sneaking around or buying the hairs from a vendor, he would be forced to go to the source. How was he to explain the potion and expect Remus to oblige him? Every slytherin cell his body possessed was going to be called in for the task, as well as some nice emotional blackmail he was sure to be able to manipulate Albus to provide.

 

Severus leaned into the parchment, picked up a quill and set himself to work.

 

*~*~*~*

 

“Albus can we talk for a moment talk?” Remus asked politely. He hated to make waves, but the situation was more delicate now that he had returned to Hogwarts as the DADA instructor. With Umbrige gone, Albus had simply informed the parents that he was unable to find another teacher and thus would be dropping the subject from the curriculum. It was his students who rallied for him ‘the best teacher ever’ to return. With their support and the threat of war on the horizon, the parents resigned and asked Dumbledore to reinstate him. He was cautious however, he knew how fickle society could be.

 

“Yes, yes my child come in. Care for a lemon drop?”

 

“No thank you” Remus replied.

 

“Just as well, more for me” the headmaster chatted “Now what has got you all frazzled?”

 

“Sir, it’s Severus,” Remus to paused a moment to draw a deep breath for he knew how the headmaster tended to protect the potion master. Not that he would ever do it in front of Severus, Griffendors were brave not suicidal.

 

“He wants my help brewing a potion.” He stated flatly.

 

“You don’t say.” The headmaster replied with an unusual amount of twinkle in his eyes. ”Don’t think I have ever heard of a potion master making that request.”

 

“With all due respect Headmaster, It isn’t like that. He wants me to help him create a werewolf potion.”

 

“Well I suppose it is about time you learned first hand how to prepare the wolfsbane potion.”

 

“Headmaster.” Remus tried to interrupt to explain the hideous nature of this particular potion. The idea of subjecting anyone to his affliction made him sick, but the idea that a potion slipped into anyone’s drink had the same possibility, that was created because he donated the hairs was beyond revolting. It didn’t even matter if it would only last one phase of the moon. He couldn’t do it.

 

“This reminds me of a time once when Severus came to me and wanted to brew the Ossis confingo (bone destroyer). I was horrified, as I am assured you could understand. It did not help matters that I was already struggling against the effects of arthritis.” Just then a pile of biscuits appeared. Eyeing them intently he offered one to Remus. Upon hearing the decline he wiggled his fingers delicately over them humming almost to himself ‘which one, which one’. After settling for a chocolate chip and walnut cookie he continued,

“Now where was I, oh yes, Finally I gave in and permitted him to create his dark potion. Several months later he called me to his office stating it was urgent. When I walked into his lab he had two vials and a caged mouse sitting on his desk. He told me he was about to test his creation and wanted me to see. I was repulsed. I couldn’t believe he would subject me to what I was already fighting.”

 

“What made you stay?”

 

“I had no intention of staying and told him so, but then he looked at me and simply asked me to trust him. I must say there was something in his eyes that implored me to stay. He went on to tell me how he made the poison. He had a little white rat I believe he had named ‘Butters’. He gave him two drops out of the first vial. Butters let out a painful squeak. Severus performed a diagnostic spell that showed his little bones. It was appalling to see his little bones morph, all the more so as I realized the same was to be my own fate.”

 

Albus paused again looking back at the biscuit. He deftly picked up another biscuit before asking Remus to try one. The younger man resigned and picked one up.

 

“Mmm so very tasty. Yes, so there I was besides myself and he did something I had never expected.”

 

“What was that Headmaster?” Remus asked before taking a bite of the sweet.

 

“He administered two drops of a potion from the other vial. The mouse screeched again and then his bones repaired instantly. Severus began to talk, very fast. He told me that by making the poison he was able to find a cure for the arthritis.”

 

Remus chocked on his biscuit. “What?”

 

“Ah yes, Remus how rude of me. Care for a spot of tea.”

 

“Albus, everyone knows that the inventor of Ossisosano (bone repair) was..”

 

Remus froze. No it couldn’t be.

 

“Butter Aneps.”Albus finished for him handing him a cup of tea “Careful there its hot.”

 

*~*~*~*

 

Regardless of what the Headmaster had said, the thought of Severus possibly making a potion that would in the end help him was beyond him. He was sure Severus was just trying to appease The Dark Lord. That didn’t mean he couldn’t have a little fun along the way. It might even be nice to put the potion master in his place, make him uneasy and if the results fulfilled a few of his own fantasies along the way, well then everyone just came out a winner.

 

The full moon had passed two nights ago, and he had gathered as much hair as he could . It had meant staying inside, under lock and key. Thanks to the wolfsbane potion the room was still intact and nothing really out of place. He had managed to gather about twenty hairs. Now here he was standing outside Severus door. Each hair separated into a small clear bag hidden in his inner robe pocket.

 

Cautiously he knocked on the door, then let himself in. Severus was standing behind a steamy cauldron. Once he acknowledged Remus he cast a freezing charm on the cauldron.

 

“Hello Lupin.” Severus said leading him to the sitting room.

 

“Severus.” Remus acknowledged before they both sat down.

 

“Have you given any thought to the potion?” Severus asked tentatively remembering the outrage that Remus had shown the last time they talked.

 

Remus nodded. “Yes. I spoke with Albus as well. I understand that by allowing this, your relationship with The Dark Lord will improve?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Very well. For the order then I will oblige you.”

 

“Do you have the hairs?” Severs asked eagerly.

 

“Yes, but...”

“But?”

 

“Correct me if I am wrong, but each hair must be given freely in exchange for a service.”

 

“Yes.” Severus hissed through clenched teeth. Any lower it could have been in parseltonge Remus thought. Oh yes this was gonna be good. Just let him ask.

 

Several minutes passed before Severus finally gave in.

 

“Of what service may I provide?”

 

Oh that had to hurt, mused Remus. Well show time. With any luck Severus would throw him out of his office and the potion would never be made. Then again, it could be the stuff dreams were made of.

 

“I’ve been thinking Severus.” he started easy “this is a pretty personal thing to ask of me.”

 

“What do you want Lupin?” Severus demanded.

 

“Quite simply a kiss for one hair.”

 

Severus paled. Remus didn’t think it was possible.

 

“I am not here to play games Lupin.” Severus said rising from his chair, “Now tell me what you really want and quit wasting my time.”

 

“I told you,” he replied evenly in a low tone keeping eye contact. “I want a kiss.” Severus started to back away from the man, a faint color rising in his checks. Immediately Remus was up following the other man as he backed himself up into a wall.

 

“Lupin don’t toy with me like this. Were not in school anymore. No more games.”

 

Remus continued to approach Severus slowly until their faces were almost touching. “Who said I was toying with you Severus.” He answered in a husky growl. “Do you wish to make the potion.”

 

Severus nodded his head. It was only two days past the moon and Remus could smell something. Not quite fear but unease maybe.

 

“Well then, a kiss it is.” Remus leaned down but the odor was starting to smell more and more of fear. Why would Severus be afraid of a kiss. Perhaps they could just start slowly. He reached up and placed his hand on the potion masters face. Severus flinched at the touch. Swiftly Remus brought his hand down to Severus shoulder, slowly letting it drift down the other mans arm until it reached his hand. He then took it in his, squeezed it softly then brought it to his lips. He swept his thumb over the palm before replacing it with a gentle kiss. Looking back into those dark eyes he took a step back. Reaching into his robes he pulled out a small clear bag.

 

“One hair. Shall I see you tomorrow?”

 

Severus nodded, frozen in place and watched Remus leave.

 

*~*~*~ *

 

 

Remus, true to his word returned the next day. This time Severus didn’t take a seat. He paced instead. Remus took the same seat as the day before and waited.

 

“What exactly did you want this time.” Severus finally asked.

 

“Another kiss.” Remus replied.

 

“Why?” he asked automatically.

 

“That’s quite simple really. You see you asked for my help brewing a potion but in exchange..”

 

“I know that Remus.” Severus cut him off. “What I was...”

 

This time it was Remus who cut him off. “The real question remains where shall I kiss you tonight? Do you have any preference I wonder? After all I want a kiss, it might as well be where you would enjoy it.”

 

Severus who had looked away from Remus when the kiss was first mentioned now turned to face the brown haired man. He straightened his back and replied in a slightly unwavering voice, “I do not care.”

 

Remus rose and walked over to Severus, causing his to retreat once more. With Severus against a tall brick wall, he moved to capture Severus’s face in his hands. The move made Severus flinch again.

 

“Severus?” Remus asked gently.

 

“Not on the mouth.” Severus whispered before adding in an even lower voice, “Please.”

 

Remus was taken back by the request. While he had dreamed of kissing Severus since their time as students at Hogwarts, he had no intention of hurting Severus.

 

“Is there anywhere else you wish not to be kissed.” he asked softly brushing the hair away from the mans face.

 

“No where that would require...disrobing.” his voice was tight. “Is it possible to...” he paused barely looking up to meet Remus’s eyes, “To finish this tonight.”

 

“So anxious.” Remus murmured, brushing the hair away from Severus’s neck. “I think I could arrange several kisses.”

 

He bent his head and placed a feather light kiss just below the potion masters right ear, then breathing lightly into his ear “One”. Parting his lips he slowly ran his tongue up the other mans earlobe. Once he had fully tasted the lobe, he placed another kiss just at the ears entrance. Keeping one hand anchored on the mans left shoulder he gently brought his other hand easily up his body letting it rest on his chest. “Two” was repeated in a similar fashion.

He crossed his face placing a kiss on each cheek. Remus let a small smile play at his lips as he realized severus eyes were still closed. Dropping his head once more and placing a kiss on his pulse point. Then parting his lips he began to nibble and suck at that tender spot. When a low moan escaped the Slytherin’s mouth. Remus allowed his hand to roam freely, touching and caressing every inch of his chest. Moving his lips ever so slightly he found a new spot to nibble. Severus breathing grew more and more ragged as a low whimper escaped. Feeling Severus give himself over to the sensations, Remus leaned into the other mans body and was pleasantly surprised to find a hardness pressing into his thigh. “Mmmmm” he purred against the neck, letting his hand replace his thigh. The contact caused Severus to draw a sharp intact of breath.

 

“Want to take this further?” Remus said nuzzling up to the other mans ear before placing another kiss. Immediately Severus froze. Remus pulled back to look into Severus’s eyes. No warmth was left.

 

“For the rest of the hairs?” He said flatly.

 

Remus Continued to stare into those dark depths. Slowly he shook his head. “Not for the hairs.”

 

“Then my answer is no.”

 

“Alright. Shall I meet you here tomorrow?” Remus asked innocently.

 

Severus nodded his head. Remus turned to leave but was stopped by a low clearing of the voice.

 

“Oh yes, Of course the hair. Now lets see that would be..” He trailed off while fishing in his robes for the bags.

 

“Five.” came the steady reply

 

Remus allowed himself a smirk as pulled the bags from his robe. “Actually Severus it was seven. Until tomorrow.”

 

 

*~*~*~*

 

He came to him that night, slowly, walking to the bed in his red silk pyjama bottoms. For being a werewolf his chest showed a scant amount of hair.

 

“Remus?” Severus questioned.

 

“I want you Severus. Please, let me show you how much.” A hand came down and grazed the top of his bed clothes. The gentle pressure set a smouldering blaze through Severus’s body. He felt the indentation on the bed as Remus kneeled down. “I think” Remus spoke low, tenderly drawing back the blankets, “That you have far to many clothes on.”

 

With delicate fingers Remus began to undue the black flannel pyjama top, bending down to deliver a indulgent kiss on each newly exposed piece of flesh. “There are better ways to stay warm.” Unbuttoning the last button, Remus’s hands began to roam over the exposed flesh showering him with soft kisses. When his nimble fingers found his nipples, Severus let out a guttural moan.

 

“Like that do you?” Remus said flicking his tongue over a taunt nipple and sucking lightly.

 

“Yes” Severus groaned.

 

Remus let out a breath over the moist nipple before turning his attention to its neglected partner.

 

“Re...Remus, Oh merlin.”

 

“I love to hear you call my name Severus. I want to hear you scream it in pleasure.” He said nibbling his way back up towards his face. His hands gently brushing the dark strands away from his eyes. A thumb brushed Severus lower lips. “Let me kiss you here.”

 

“I...”

 

“Shhh, I wont hurt you.” Remus said slowly letting his lips brush the other mans, which tightened quickly. “Open for me Severus.”

 

And he obliged him.

 

The kiss was soft and warm. Sweet and innocent, it was everything Severus imagined. A tongue brushed over his lips causing him to gasp and causing his mouth to open more.

 

A nonthreatening tongue darted and withdrew causing Severus’s heart to jump a beat. When he felt it again he tentatively touched it with his own, leaving Remus to gasp in surprise this time. Encouraged he tried again and was rewarded. A hand came up to stroke his hair. Severus was lost to the sensation. It felt so good, so wonderful and safe.

 

Suddenly the hand in his hair tightened, pulling it painfully. He yelled out in pain. The mouth seized the opportunity and lathed forceful onto his own thrusting a thick tongue deep into his mouth before finally releasing.

 

“Remus?” Severus questioned the dark raising himself on his elbows. A cold hand dug into his shoulder pushing him back down, fingernails digging deep into his flesh. He found a pair of silver eyes glaring down at him.

 

“Oh Severus, I thought you knew better than that. You will never belong to him. Your mine.”

 

Severus soul cried out. He awoke quickly with a start, grasping for air.

 

*~*~*~*

 

By evening the next night, Severus was in a fowl mood. The nightmare he had suffered decided to play encore’s in his head. All with Lucius, all replaying the worst nights of his life. He realized somewhere around three in the morning that Lucius was right, he didn’t deserve the love that Remus was inviting. No, Severus was a dark creature by choice, no amount of amends could ever redeem that. His sleep depraved mind was sure this was just another Gryffindor prank to teach him a lesson. Not that he wouldn’t get even. He would. Just as soon as the war was over, everyone would understand that it was he, the greasy git that solved the problem of lycanthropy. Imagining the look on Lupin’s face would get him through the rest of this ordeal.

 

Right on time a knock on his door came. Severus muttered the opening charm allowing the werewolf to enter. “Hello Remus” he said devoid of any emotion.

 

“Severus, how are you this evening?” With the passing of each moon his sent of smell was wavering, but overall left him still keen to particular scents. If he wasn’t mistaken he sensed that Severus was nervous and angry. The dark mans next comment helped to decipher why.

 

“So what little prank of rudeness will we be engaging in tonight? Decided to take me Remus?”

 

Remus shook his head. Merlin Severus was so suspicious, but he guessed one would have to be to survive The Dark Lord. He needed the other man to relax. He had responded pleasantly to things last night. “No, as much as I would find that enjoyable, not for an exchange of services. I was thinking perhaps a massage.”

 

“Fine, but you should be aware I have no skill for that kind of nonsense.”

 

Remus allowed a smile to grace his lips, “Actually Severus I was thinking of administering one to you.”

 

When Severus made no attempt to move, Remus decided to push the other man further. “Here let me help you with your robe.”

 

Severus froze in place and replied in an icy tone, “I said I would not disrobe.”

 

“I am not asking you to strip naked Severus.” Remus countered gently, “I only meant your outer robe.”

 

The potion master felt heat rise to his checks. He couldn’t help but feel like he had fallen into a trap. Of course Remus wouldn’t want to see him naked.

 

Before he noticed, Remus was at his side tenderly toying with his buttons. “Let me help you.” He nodded his head and allowed the other man to slowly unfasten his little dark nubs. For the first time in his life Severus wished he did not wear so many buttons. It was painfully enticing to be undone by such a man. With the buttons undone he eased the dark robe from his shoulders, revealing a crisp white shirt underneath.

 

“It would feel better if you laid down, perhaps on your bed?” When Severus responded with a shocked look Remus continued, “Or maybe just lay down on the couch?” When Severus’s expression did not change, he offered the chair.

 

Straddling the chair Severus exposed his back to the other man. When Remus pulled up another chair and lightly placed his hands on his back, Severus felt suddenly vulnerable. Invoking his spy training he began to list mentally all the supplies in his cabinet, alphabetically.

 

Remus began by softly caressing his back, feeling how tense the other man truly was. By repeating the motion again and again he slowly felt Severus relax. The rubbing then became firmer slowing just a moment to allow to Severus to adjust. He allowed his hands to wander up to the other mans shoulders gently kneading out the tight muscles. A small sigh escaped from Severus mouth. Intent to bring more Remus continued. Fingers found wayward strands of ebony hair and gently pushed them out of the way to expose the pale neck.

 

“So soft” Whispered Remus allowing his hands to tenderly play with the black strands.

 

Severus tensed suddenly straightening his back. In a hoarse voice he stated, “ I think that is enough.”

 

Remus let his hands fall immediately not wanting to upset the man further. Severus stood up, reached for his robe and quickly pulled it on. Facing the other man he put on his most intimidating mask, and waited.

 

Reaching into his robe Remus pulled out to bags and set them down on the table. “Another kiss before I go Severus.”

 

The mask faltered slightly before resuming its place. Taking that as an invitation, Remus stood and approached the other man, placing a chaste kiss to the top of his head.

 

“Only three more hairs to go.” Remus said “I was thinking tomorrow, why don’t we have dinner in your chambers. And bring a vial of Veritaserum.”

 

“That is a restricted potion Lupin, It takes a full month to brew. With written consent from the ministry of course.”

 

“Your telling me you don’t have any?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then what do you spike the lemon drops with. I can’t quite see the Ministry giving consent for that.”

 

“How do you know about the lemon drops?”

 

“I had one analyzed. I could not for the life of me figure out what made me into a calm babbling idiot every time I was near the headmaster. Was the calming potion your idea?”

 

The only response to that was a very small, menacing smile.

 

“If you are unable to suddenly ‘find’ any Veritaserum, bring a bag of lemon drops for dessert. A calming potion wouldn’t be a miss either. Until till then.”

 

*~*~*~*

 

The next night both men were suspiciously absent from the main hall during dinner. But no one save the headmaster would have believed they were together in the potion masters chambers.

 

“It smells wonderful Severus.”

 

Severus rolled his eyes before adding sarcastically, “I’ll pass on your compliment to the house elves. I know how much it will mean to the dear things.”

 

“You don’t seem to be enjoying it though.” Remus asked with a trace of concern in his voice.

 

“I never seem to have much of an appetite.” came coldly

 

“Why is that?”

 

“Toying with prey has never been much to my liking.”

 

“I’m not sure I follow?” Remus replied

 

“I’m sure you do. I was able to obtain a vial of Veritaserum. Perhaps we could just get to that. I am not sure if you are aware but I have a potion that needs to be brewed.”

 

“Of course,” Remus returned, truth be told he was not very hungry either. He had no idea why he was about to open pandora’s box, but the hope that everything would work out in the end made him feel he had to try. Severus would never believe it any other way. “I have enjoyed the past few nights.”

 

“I’m sure you have. Griffindors are well known for their love of humiliating pranks.”

 

“It’s not a prank Severus.” Remus said with conviction, “Has it been that bad?”

 

“Rest assured Lupin, I have endured far more in my career as a spy than these past few nights.”

 

Remus was beginning to have second thoughts. Where was his Gryffindor bravery.

 

“A kiss before we begin?” Remus asked.

 

By now Severus should have expected this he had received a kiss each night. He would never admit that he took some pleasure out of it. That would be giving into the prank. He wondered what it would be like to kiss Remus proper. Would it be anything like Lucious? Would he bite him so that he could enjoy the taste of blood. Somehow he couldn’t see Remus liking that sort of that thing, as much as he despised being a werewolf.

 

Remus had risen from his seat and crossed over to where Severus was sitting. With his hand he gently brushed dark hairs away from the pale shallow cheeks. Languidly he stroked his thumb across the other mans lips. Remus whispered “Still not here.” when no response came he lowering his head he placed a soft kiss on Severus cheek bone. Severus couldn’t help but noticing the look those warm brown eyes carried. Don’t be foolish, he chided himself, this man may not bite but he is still out for blood.

 

“So do you have the Veritaserum?” he asked quietly.

 

“Yes.”It was spoken so soft that Remus might not have heard it if it was not accompanied by slight nod of his head.

 

“Then shall we.”

 

Severus reached into his robe procuring the small glass vial. “It has been sealed, as you can plainly see and not tampered with.”

 

“I didn’t think you would tamper with it Severus.”

 

Severus rolled his eyes at the obvious Griffindor stupidity. No they were such a trusting lot. Not that he had tampered with the potion. He should have, but the knowledge that this night would soon haunt Remus would get him through any humiliation the werewolf was about put him through.

 

“I trust you know how to administer it, three drops on the tongue. It is vital that you ask specific questions.”

 

“I am well aware of how the potion works, as well as your ability to administer it.”

 

“I don’t understand?

 

Remus resumed his seat and opened his mouth, slightly extending his tongue.

 

“You want me to administer the potion to you?” Severus asked in disbelief.

 

“Yes” Remus responded.

 

“Why?”

 

“I want you to trust me, to believe me. I don’t think you would do so any other way.”

 

“Believe what?” Severus snorted.

 

“That this isn’t a game, that I do fancy you and would like to take things further.”

 

Severus was dumbfounded. Surly this was a trick. But there was no way to fool the potion. What was he playing at?

 

Returning to snarly professor mode he decided to play at Remus’s game. Perhaps he didn’t think that he would actually use the potion. After three drops had been administered, he watched as the werewolves eyes dilate. A light sheen of sweat covered his face as his complexion paled. Time for the first question.

 

“Why are you allowing me to give you this potion?”

 

“So that you would know the truth and trust me.” He answered in an expressionless voice.

 

“Why should I trust you?” Severus sneered.

 

“Because I love you.” He said without hesitation.

 

Severus was taken back. Why, no How could he love him? But then he remembered that this was Remus he was talking to, Remus who loved everything.

 

“Yes, yes I am sure” He snorted “the way you love Arthur. Or even Molly?”

 

“No, I love them as friends the way I love Sirius.”

 

“You are not in love with Black.” He asked venomously

 

“No.”

 

“Were you in love with any of the marauders?”

 

“No” He replied, if a person could laugh under the effects of the potion he was sure he could almost hear it in his voice. “They were like brothers.”

 

“So who are you in love with?”

 

“You”

 

Severus was beside himself. This simply could not be.

 

“Then why did you try to kill me at the shrieking shack?”

 

“I didn’t”

 

“Why did Black?”

 

“He knew how I felt about you, what my feelings were. He knew you would never love me because of what I was. I kept telling him you were different. But he had to prove me wrong.”

 

“Why were you still friends with him after what happened that night?” Severus asked with a neediness he found appalling in his own voice.

 

“Because they knew who and what I was. They learned how to be animagi just for me. I was angry of course at him. He almost got you killed and he almost made me a murderer. I don’t think I spoke to him the rest of that year.”

 

“What convinced you to take him back as a friend?” He asked intrigue.

 

“He kept apologizing. He said he didn’t really think you would be in any danger. He said he was just trying to protect me. Sirius was a great many things, not all good but he was protecting of those he loved. Just look what he did for Harry.”

 

Severus remembered. He had thought Black was foolhardy when he went to ‘rescue’ Harry from the department of mysteries. But it wasn’t until he wanted to break cover to rescue Draco did he understand. Thankfully Albus had stopped him. Unlike Harry and Black, Draco was not the person he had really hoped he was. He had felt bad that he had outed Remus back in the trio’s third year, but that was when he had believed he was in league with Black.

 

“Are you angry at me for you dismissal?” He asked softly.

 

“Not anymore. I understand why you did what you did.”

 

“But surly you hated me?”

 

“Yes, at the beginning. But when I understood you did it to protect Harry I realized, I would have done the same.”

 

Severus looked into those soft brown eyes. He could see the pupils starting to constrict, his time was almost up.

 

“Did you enjoy kissing me?” He asked so softly he didn’t expect Remus to hear, much less to answer.

 

“Yes, I just wish I could do it more.”

 

Remus’s eyes blinked then several times before they fully rested closed. Veritaserum took a lot out of a person. He felt as tired as if he had just been restored into human form. When he finally looked up, Severus was no were to be seen.

 

*~*~*~*

 

The castle could be imposingly large for a person looking for someone who didn’t want to be found. Remus knew that Severus was teaching classes, but he never answered his knock during office hours.

 

After a week had passed he commented on the potion masters absence to the headmaster. He kindly reminded him that Severus was very busy brewing a potion and he would be sure to look in on him. The following night Severus did appear at dinner, but only long enough to grab a dinner roll, swallow some wine and nod at the headmaster.

 

Severus knew that he was being childish, but he couldn’t handle being near Remus. To know what was hidden in those eyes. To hear the words of love spoken so truthfully from the other man made him feel.....uneasy. Love was a game that Severus had no real experience in. The only partner he had ever taken was Lucius and that was more of a survival thing. He didn’t know how to act around the other man, or even what was expected of him. Truth be told he had enjoyed those nights they had spent together. Even before he had enjoyed Remus’s company, although he would never admit it. No he reminded himself. It was best just to stay away.

 

The poison of the werewolfe took Severus two weeks to brew. A week later he sent Remus’s wolfsbane potion via house elf. He couldn’t be in the same room and not worry about the thought of being kissed, or those hands touching him. He wouldn’t admit that he was afraid. Not even to himself.

 

The Dark Lord was disappointed when the potion didn’t work. Severus blamed the fact that the parchment age and incompetent transport by the death eater had caused the loss of a vital ingredient. He explained that he had tried everything he could think of but as of yet was unable to find the cure. He received a hefty dose of cruciatus and encouragement to continue experimenting. Malfoy on the other hand got a detailed in service on proper document handling.

 

*~*~*~*

 

 

It was the eve of the full moon when the Headmasters pocket watch chimed. Ever the optimistic he had hoped that Severus had finally moved out of sulking time. To his dismay when he looked at the watch, a new time had been added, “about to destroy his life.” Taking one of the many shortcuts the castle only allowed the headmaster, he reached Severus’s office within a few minutes. With a short knock he let himself right in.

 

Severus stood there over a purple concoction in a glass vial. The potion professor didn’t outwardly acknowledge his presence, just continued to stare at the potion and mumbled “I failed him.”

 

“Severus?”

 

“I failed him. I couldn’t do it.” He said with self loathing.

 

“You cannot be blamed for a parchment that was destroyed. I do believe that you have tried several different ingredients.”

 

“ We both know I destroyed the parchment’” Severus said before covering his face with his hands and turned away from the headmaster. “You know what I am talking about.”

 

The headmaster walked around the table taking Severus’s hands in his own. In a commanding voice he replied, “You have not failed him Severus. He never thought you alone to cure the lycanthropy.”

 

Severus closed his eyes and made no reply.

 

“You are a noble man for even trying.”

 

“I’m not noble.” Severus yelled throwing off the hands. “I’m weak, I have no idea why he would even want...”

 

“Want what my child.”

 

“Nothing. I’m not your child.”

 

“Talk to me Severus, tell me what is troubling you.”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“Severus.”

 

“I...I just don’t know.” Severus replied in a tight voice, still turning away from the headmaster, unable to look at the man and be so weak. “ I don’t know what to do.”

 

“Let me help you,” Albus pleaded. “No one expects you to do this alone child.”

 

“No one can help me with this.” He whispered

 

“Tell me what it is?”

 

“Remus has feelings for me.” Severus spoke softly in a tight voice finally giving in.

 

Albus nodded his head trying to catch Severus eye, “And do you return these feelings?”

 

Severus didn’t speak, he couldn’t voice this, not yet, instead he nodded his head.

 

“Oh my child,” Albus replied happily “I am happy for you both. But I must confess I am slightly more happy for you. You deserve this kind of joy in your life.” When Severus went to rebuke Albus took him by the shoulders and continued. “Yes Severus, you deserve this. Remus is a good man. He is nothing like Lucius”

 

That brought Severus face up. His eyes for the first time meet the headmasters. He had never known that he knew about Lucius.

 

“Its to late.” he spoke defeated.

 

“Its never to late, my child.”

 

“I am not acquainted with this sort of thing.” He replied faintly

 

“Severus take your time. Remus is a good man, he will understand. If he doesn’t, well then he simply doesn’t deserve you.”

 

“I don’t know how to begin.” Severus said

 

A chime sounded in the Headmasters pocket. Puzzled Severus looked at the older man. “What was that?”

 

“My pocket watch.” the older man stated pulling the old watch out of his pocket. Severus frowned, He had bought the headmaster a new pocket watch three years ago, but the old man never seemed to use it. The watch he preferred was old and practically falling apart. The watched chimed again.

 

“Sir, if you didn’t like the watch I gave you, you should have told me, you could have exchanged it.”

 

The headmaster swiftly pulled out the platinum muggle watch Severus had given him, before saying, “why would I do that, I love this watch. I use it all the time.”

 

“I just always see you with the other is all.”

 

The blasted watch chimed again. With another look the headmaster frowned.

 

“I don’t want to keep you from something important.”

 

The headmaster continued to look at watch, speaking softly he said, “I remember when I got this watch. I got it when I got a second chance. Seventeen years ago. There was an advertisement in the Daily Prophet. It allowed you to have a pocketwatch of your child. I believe it was meant for working parents”

 

Albus twinkling eyes looked up and meet Severus with sweet sorrow written explicitly over his face. “I should have told you, but I had just gotten you back from Tom. I thought you would see it as distrust and not fear of an old man losing his son again.”

 

“I don’t understand.”

 

“I have always seen you as a son. The son I never had”

 

“What a disappointment for you.”

 

“Not at all, not even for a moment. Here let me show you.” Albus said handing the watch to Severus. “I am sorry that I invaded your privacy and that I stole a hair. It was required you see. To make the watch work”

 

Severus took the watch gently from the headmaster. On the outside cover the words My Son were written. Opening the time warn watch he saw the inside and took in a deep breath. It was him. A picture of Severus was in the middle with wizard times and hands surrounding him. ‘Sulking’, ‘In dangerous Hands’, ‘Suicidal’, ‘Close to death’, and the word ‘Safe’ were written. But the hour hand was now between two hours that read ‘About to destroy his life’ and ‘About to find true love’. So that is how the headmaster knew. That was how he was always at the ‘right place at the right time’. He wasn’t sure what to make of it.

 

“Your pockets much be heavy, with all the watches like this you must posses.”

 

“I only have two watches Severus. Both from my son.”

 

There was so much love clearly written on headmasters face that the potion master knew he told the truth. A moisture found the younger mans eyes as the older man drew him in for a hug.

 

When the embrace ended, the headmaster eyed the purple potion carefully. “Shall I take this.”

 

“No I think perhaps I should deliver it to Remus tomorrow myself.”

 

“Ah,” Said Albus clearly relieved “I thought wolfsbane was brown.”

 

“Traditionally yes, but I made a few changes.”

 

“I am sure he will be pleased to hear that.” The headmaster said before leaving the man alone again in his study.

 

*~*~*~*

 

The next night found Remus pacing in his rooms. It was getting close to the moon rise and he had yet to see any sign of Severus or a house elf. He had been wrong. He never should have opened up to Severus in such a manner. Too much time had passed, without any kind of contact with Severus. The man must think him a fool. It must have really smarted to think that the potion was a failure.

 

A knock at the door pulled Remus from his thought. Speaking the opening charm he was amazed to see Severus standing in the door way.

 

“Severus, Please come in.” He spoke as a he gestured to the sitting room.

 

Severus had been in Remus’s chambers on few occasions, but what he did remember it was always bright. Tonight however the room was dark. A heavy drape closed off the massive window, as if to pretend the moon from displaying itself in the sky.

 

“I brought your potion.”Severus said lifting the goblet “I have made a few changes. Unfortunately I was unable to handle the taste problem.”

 

“I know you’ve been busy. I have hardly seen you at all.” Remus said taking the goblet from him. “Thank you for making it. I know it takes quite a bit of your time.”

 

Standing so close to the other man he could not help but to smell the odor of fear and nerves. Of course he was nervous, he hated werewolves. With a fluid movement he drank the goblet empty in a large swallow. Then almost immediately he placed a hand over his mouth and cringed. Trying not to retch, he wondered if the new potions horrible taste was some sort of punishment for the hairs.

 

Severus stood then and moved closer to the other man. “I apologize for the taste, but I think you will enjoy the improvements.”

 

That comment made Remus audibly gulp. Oh please Remus thought don’t let this hurt.

 

“Remus, I was wondering, about that night...”

 

“Yes I am sorry Severus if I made you uncomfortable. But it is getting late, perhaps if we could talk later.”

 

“This wont take long,”Severus hurried, “And besides, I should see you through the moon rise, to check the potion .”

 

“It is ugly Severus the transformation, I would hate to expose you to that again. Surly a pensive would allow you to see it clear enough.”

 

“Professionally I should stay,”Severus said.

 

“Very well, can I get you a spot of tea?”

 

Severus nodded his head deftly. Remus pointed his wand at the fireplace and called for the house elf to bring some tea and sweets. Immediately, the elf returned and placed the tray on the coffee table. Severus gave a silent thanks that it was not Dobby.

 

“So” Remus started uncomfortably as they had settled their glasses, “What was it you wanted to ask.”

 

Severus eyes did not look up from the tea cup. There was a long pause before he finally spoke. “I was wondering what,.... I mean when you were under the potion, you meant that.”

 

“You of all people understand that one can not lie under the effects of veritaserum.” Remus responded slightly intrigued. “What is it you really wanted to know” He asked gently.

 

There was another pause before Remus grabbed his hand quickly, dropping the tea cup to the floor.

 

“Remus, are you alright?” Severus asked anxiously, moving over towards the man.

 

“Yes it does not hurt. It tingles. It just startled me.” He said “But the change is coming. We need to make you safe.”

 

He was concerned about his safety. Very few ever were worried about that. Severus looked into those warm brown eyes. They were not ice blue, he told himself, he could trust these eyes. Hesitating, Severus leaned in closer to the other man wanting to kiss him. He wasn’t cautious because he was scared, he just wanted to do this right.

 

Taking another breath he leaned in closer and brushed his closed lips against Remus’s soft mouth. Hearing the other man whimper, Severus quickly pulled back.

 

“I’m sorry for taking such liberties” Severus quickly said

 

“No Severus It is me who is sorry,” Remus said. When the other man looked up confused Remus added, “I just wish we had all night to explore these ‘liberties’ but the moon I rising. Perhaps we have time for a short course?”

 

Slowly brining his hand up to Severus face he stroked the other mans face,before tracing his lips with his fingers. When Severus thought he could take no more Remus leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips. Breaking for only a moment before returning to those lips Remus thought he found heaven. A soft tongue touched Severus’s lips causing them to part slightly. The daring tongue continued it slow exploration, backing off when he sensed that Severus needed time to adjust. Remus felt his body responding to the kiss, a sensation of pins and needles filled him. It felt strange and wonderful. Somewhat like that sensation earlier.

 

Immediately Remus pulled away. “I hate to end this, but one can’t deny the moon.”

 

Severus reached into his pocket and withdrew a watch. It was just as he suspected. “I know it is not a cure Remus but the potion can help ‘deny’ the moon as you say.”

 

“What?” Remus questioned “Wolfsbane just keeps the wolfs mind away, the change is inevitable.”

 

“The new potion is different.” Severus said in a clinical manner, ‘I was hoping to find an antidote to the lycanthropy. But I failed.”

 

“You tried to find a cure,” Remus asked. “That is amazing Severus.”

 

“I failed Remus. “

 

“But you were able to find new advancements to the wolfsbane. I mean it tasted wretched but if it works....”

 

“I didn’t give you the wolfsbane potion Remus. I found a new potion created by a master named Aneps” The potion master interrupted.

 

“What?” Remus asked in disbelief. “A potion created by Butter Aneps.”

 

“I didn’t know that you were familiar with his work.”

 

“The headmaster educated me, I suppose you could say.” Remus said looking straight into the potion masters eyes and they both knew the truth.

 

“At any rate, it’s a new potion Remus, trust me I think you’ll find it works better. Although its effects are short lived”

 

“I don’t understand”

 

Severus crossed the room to open the drapes. Remus started to protest but Severus remained steadfast in the task. With them fully open Remus saw his worst fear. The moon hung high in the sky radiating light everywhere. At first he covered his face with his hand, but quickly realized it was his human hand. He looked back into the night sky and at the moon. “Is this a trick?” he muttered to himself not allowing his eyes to leave the sight of the moon.

 

“Careful there,” Severus cautioned moving in front of the man “ your eyes are very sensitive to moonlight, much like we all are to the sun. You won’t transform, but the damage could be permanent.”

 

“Severus, you said the effects were short lived.”

 

“They are. The potion will only last one full moon.” Severus said defeated 

 

“So this is the only time it will work.” Remus softly spoke.

 

“Remus, Don’t be a moron. You will simply have to take the new potion every month. I am sorry about its taste, but it is a delicate potion, changing the taste could chemically alter...”

 

Remus interrupted the long and sure complex lecture that was about to ensue. “Let me get this straight, I have to drink that disgusting potion once a month and I won’t turn into a werewolf.”

 

“Remus as I have said I am sorry about that. I was about to explain how It will be almost impossible to change the ...”

 

Remus however was no longer listening. He had moved over to the fire place, and was wildly asking the small house elf for a midnight picnic feast. Severus realized he was no longer needed and slowly made his way to the door. He knew this was going to happen. Once Remus had been lifted, no matter how temporarily, he would be moving on to other things and better people.

 

“Severus.” Remus shouted, suddenly getting an overwhelming smell of rejection and sorrow. “Don’t you worry about a getting a cloak. Basket in hand he grabbed the throw blanket that was lying on the armchair. With his inch away from the other mans he spoke seductively “I’ll keep you warm.” there lips met for a brief kiss before Remus pulled back and whispered “Don’t fret love, we will go as slow as you need.” A chaste kiss was placed as if sealing a lovers pact. Remus would never hurt Severus, and they both knew it. “Let’s go.”

 

“Where are we going Remus?” Severus said in a dazed voice already following the other man.

 

“To do something I could only ever dream about before,” He said taking the other mans hand in his. “A moonlight picnic with the man I love.” Remus smiled as they made there way outside. Hope smelled wonderful on the other man.