Title: When the Shadows Cry

Author: Draconn Malfoy

Email: lionora@hotmail.com

Summary: One night, staying at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, Severus Snap witnesses something about the Black-Lupin marriage he doesnít want to believe true. Little by little, he finds out that not only it is true, but also Sirius Black doesnít think that a simple rape is enough to control his submissive husband.

Challenge: 136) Lupin is in an abusive relationship because he doesnít think anyone else would want him. Snape finds out about it.

Rating: VERY hard R. And I'm serious.

WARNINGS: Half-graphic rape, violence - Well... What did you expect? ;) Oh, and an extremely bastardized Sirius. I mean it.

Beta: Briezee (to whom Iím forever grateful)

A/N: *grin* Donít you dare to ask where this came from. Okay, so, from my dirty mind of course! ;)

The bit about Remus having no sexual need/pleasure is from one of my own fics, After the Moon.

And, donít be scared because of the lyrics every now and then... This is not a songfic, Ďcause I wrote the song myself, and I wrote it after the fic! ^_^ And I know the song sucks, but it just seemed to fit, and, well... *smirks* Itís my fic, deal with it!

A picture for the ĎEavesdroppingí scene can be found at http://www.deviantart.com/view/6589538/

*sniffles* Why doesn't anybody review my last fic, "Never Alone"? Come on, it can't be quite THAT bad...

*****

When the Shadows Cry

**

In the still of the night,

When thereís no hint of light,

You tell me that the shadows cry.

*

Severus Snape lay on a couch at number twelve, Grimmauld Place. It had been a long day, and he was simply too tired to go back to Hogwarts. Fortunately, it was Friday; nobody would require his presence at school too early the next morning. As much as he despised the house of Black, which was as much as he hated the current owner of the building, he found that resting there for the night was the simply best option.

At first, he kept his eyes shut as he heard somebody enter the room. He kept his breathing light and regular. He was not consciously trying to act asleep; it was more a habit heíd never quite got rid of. A habit brought to existence with too much spying, too much fear, too much hiding. He could look to anyone like he was sleeping when he was wide awake, and he could catch noises when he was sound asleep. Now, he was acting asleep.

He heard someone rustle through some papers. Most likely the parchments left on the table after yet another Order meeting. It had taken place in the kitchen as usual, but afterwards theyíd spent a whole lot of time in this room going through all the tiny details and suspicions.

After a moment, he opened his eyes just enough to see through his lashes to see who was in the room. He immediately noticed that even if heíd purposefully wanted to act asleep, the person whoíd entered was the only one who he couldnít fool by acting. Lupin was examining the papers and organizing them into neat piles.

Suddenly, the door opened again. He could just hold back a sneer when he saw his old archenemy, Sirius Black, walk into the room. He lazily let his gaze follow Black as the Animagus walked to the table as well.

Black shot a glare towards him, then stood behind Lupin. He carefully snaked his hands around the other manís waist, smirking slightly. "Moooo-nyyy," he whispered huskily.

Lupin gasped and dropped the few papers he had in his hand. "Sirius!" he exclaimed. "You frightened me."

"Oh, Iím so sorry, Moony," Black said, not sounding the tiniest bit sorry. "What are you doing?"

"Just looking through these papers," Lupin said absent-mindedly. "Albus asked me to check something."

"But you donít have to do that right now, do you?" Black moaned hoarsely. His hands slid down to the werewolfís thighs, then backwards to cup his arse. Severus saw as he squeezed slightly Lupinís buttocks. "You know what I want," he heard Blackís lust-filled words.

"Sirius," Lupin said warningly, "stop. Severus is on the couch."

Black glared again at him, then snorted. "The greasy git is sound asleep," he observed. "And itís not like I was going to do it here anyway. There are a lot better places to have sex in than some old meeting room."

"Sirius," the werewolf said, obviously exerting a great effort to control his voice, "Iíd prefer if we didnít do it at all tonight."

"Why not?" Black asked, sounding hurt and angry.

"Try to understand, Sirius," Lupin sighed, sounding nervous and frustrated at the same time, something that confused Severus a great deal. "Itís not that I donít love you or anything. I do love you, more than you can ever understand. But I just - I just canít. Not tonight."

"You have somebody else, donít you?" Black accused, his voice rising now quite a bit. He turned Lupin around by shoulders and spat, "Youíre cheating on me!"

"No, Iím not," Lupin said weakly. "I would never even dream of cheating on you. I love you, and you only. Itís just, Sirius -"

"You are seeing someone," Black insisted, with a jealous glint in his eyes. "Thatís why you donít want me anymore. Youíre getting satisfied elsewhere!"

"No, itís not that! Siri, I love you, I really do. I just -" Lupin tried to say, but Black cut him off with a fierce kiss. The dark-haired man seemed to be so deep in his heat that he didnít even notice the utter lack of response or Lupinís practically frozen body. Not frozen by surprise, but by shock and terror.

At last Black released him and said huskily, "If you really love me," another kiss, "then youíll sleep with me."

Lupin was quiet for a moment. Then he said resignedly, "Fine," then followed Black out of the room.

Severus lay still for a moment, shocked. Had what heíd just witnessed been true?

*

Your eyes dwell with sudden tears

As you whisper what you hear,

You see, you hear all your fears

And I hold you near.

*

The next evening, Severus strolled through the corridors of the Grimmauld Place. He had a steaming goblet in his hands with a non-spilling charm placed on it. Heíd come to bring Lupin his Wolfsbane.

The Slytherin hesitated for a moment in front of Lupin and Blackís bedroom. The scene from the previous night was still disturbing him. Heíd hardly slept a moment the night before, being too full of questions and suspicions to actually calm down and fall asleep.

Then, he collected all his Slytherin pride and courage, raised his chin, and opened the door.

He was relieved to find that it was just Lupin in the room. He couldnít have faced Black after what heíd seen.

Severus laid the goblet on the nightstand, just like he always did. Lupin muttered his quiet thanks and emptied the goblet, grimacing as the last foul-tasting drops slid down his throat. He then gave the goblet back to Severus, expecting the Potions Master to leave like he always did.

When he was still there after a moment, Lupin frowned. "Was there something else you wanted, Severus?" he asked, his tone just as polite and gentle as always.

Severus decided to go right to the problem. "Lupin," he said snappishly, "what was that scene with Black last night?"

"It was nothing, really," Lupin said quietly. He didnít try to deny that some "scene" really had taken place in the house the night before, however.

"Really?" Severus asked, narrowing his eyes. "It bloody well looked like something to me. It looked like something called Ďa rape in marriage!í"

Lupin flinched like heíd been hit. He didnít say anything, however. He merely lowered his eyes to the floor and fiddled uneasily with the simple golden band in his left hand. His wedding ring.

"Donít you dare try to tell me it wasnít," Severus said sharply. "Itís only two days to full moon. You canít have any kind of sexual need or pleasure the few days prior and after the transformation. Perhaps you didnít stop him, but it bloody wasnít anything other than a downright rape, for Merlinís sake!"

"Yeah," Lupin said, still with the same quiet tone. "But Sirius doesnít know."

"Doesnít know?" Severus echoed, shocked. "Heís been married to you for Salazar knows how bloody many years and doesnít know about that? You must be kidding!"

"I wish I were," Lupin said, raising his now teary eyes at Severus. "But he wonít listen to me. I think that even if I presented him ten books all stating the same, heíd only say that Iím lying and cheating on him behind his back!"

"Then why do you put up with him?" the Slytherin demanded to know. "If he doesnít trust you, why should you cling on him?"

"You donít understand, Severus," the werewolf replied quietly. "He loves me. He loves me enough to have married me. No one else could do that for me - and no one else would. It may pain me, but Iíd do so much more for the love heís giving to me."

Severus stared to the teary golden eyes. For about the first time in his life, he found himself lacking all words. He simply couldnít say anything, anything that wouldnít sound cruel or completely unfeeling, at least.

He turned on his heels and left the room quickly.

*

You asked: ĎDonít you really hear

When the shadows cry?

Donít you see a silver tear,

Do you even try?í

*

Severus was on a bad mood. The Order meeting was getting longer and longer with no signs of ending any time soon, heíd have to check the homework of his sixth-year Gryffindor-Slytherin class, and Black had done something to Lupin, again.

It was so obvious that he genuinely wondered how nobody other noticed it. Every now and then Lupin flinched slightly as in pain, then shot a careful glance to Blackís direction. Yet nobody other than the Animagus and Severus, seemed to even pay attention to this.

Every time Lupin flinched, Black gave him a smug grin. And every time Lupin would give him a smile in return, but it was always forced and pained, never genuine. The others didnít seem to notice this either, or if they did, they ignored it.

Severus, however, noticed it very well. And it bothered him a great deal.

After the meeting, he purposefully lingered back, saying that he had to look at some Dark artefacts in one of the rooms. He was readily believed; after all, he _had_ told Albus heíd some day look at some of the objects in the house.

It didnít take long before he heard somebody enter the room. He raised his eyes from the charmed silver knife heíd been examining. He wasnít at all surprised as he saw Lupin enter the room and sit on one of the chairs.

However, he also saw how Lupin flinched in pain as he sat.

"Well," Severus asked sharply, "what did he do to you this time?"

Lupin bit his lip and kept quiet for some time. Just as the Slytherin thought he wouldnít say anything, and prepared to try and coax the information from him, the werewolf spoke, shocking him.

"No lubrication this time," Lupin said through clenched teeth, his eyes fixed on the floor, "no preparation. I told him to stop it. I told him I didnít like it, that it hurt too much, but he wouldnít listen to me. He said Iíd learn to enjoy it, but, Severus, I donít think I can ever like it." Tears filled the golden eyes. "It hurt so damn much, and he laughed as I screamed..."

"Oh, Salazar," Severus muttered to himself, horrified by what he heard.

"But afterwards he kissed me, kissed and caressed me. He apologized for hurting me, said heíd thought Iíd like it, and he said he loves me." Lupin didnít even try to hold back the tears. "I want to believe him, gods, I have to believe him!"

"Heís lying," Severus said simply. "If he truly loved you, heíd stop as soon as you say no."

"He has to love me," the werewolf said quietly. "Why else would he be with me?"

"Because he craves sex," the Slytherin snarled. "And you are always available for him. You wonít deny him anything he asks for - or anything he doesnít even bother to ask for."

Lupin flinched again, then said, "But he could have sex with anybody. I know that. _You_ know that. No matter how much you despise him, you have to admit that he is good-looking. Whyíd he sleep with such a freak of nature like me if he didnít love me?"

"A freak of nature?" Severus echoed. "Salazar, Lupin, where did you lose your self-respect? Whereís the man who spent a whole damn year trying to tell me that youíre just as human as anybody else?"

"Maybe the man realized that you were right," Lupin said, and sounded suddenly very tired. Not tired as in sleepy sense, but as if he were tired of life. Tired of everything. "Maybe the man realized that there was no use to fight against the truth, no matter how cruel and unfeeling it might be." With this Lupin stood. "Goodbye, Severus," he said briefly, then left before the Slytherin could reply with anything.

*

Your past is full of darkness,

Crying bitter tears,

Forced to a willingness

To face what you most fear.

*

Over the next weeks and months, Severus and Lupin talked more and more often. When he took the Wolfsbane to the werewolf, if not any other time. Black was never around at those times - Severus suspected that the man didnít want any reminders of his husbandís "beast" side.

During those lengthy conversations, Severus learnt a lot more about Lupin. Not only about Blackís bastardy deeds - which he didnít find the slightest bit surprising - but also the werewolf himself. His hopes, wishes, dreams - and how Black had successfully crushed those all, making Lupin think that he wasnít worth even something as simple as hope of better. The Slytherin figured this was one of the many reasons why Lupin hung on the abusive marriage, without doing anything to stand up for himself. Black had so completely managed to destroy Lupinís honour, self-respect, and sense of his own humanity, that the man truly thought he was no more than an animal. This enraged Severus, making him hate Black even more than before.

At some point, he slipped from calling the werewolf "Lupin" to calling him "Remus." The first time he used the manís given name, Remus looked a bit startled, then relaxed. He, however, begged Severus to still call him "Lupin" in the public, just as he'd already sworn Severus to secrecy about the fact that they were civil to one another. Severus understood, and did as asked. The fewer reasons Black had to suspect Remus cheating on him, the better for the werewolf.

Severus even managed to find a potion that made Blackís rapes around the full moon manageable to Remus. Not painless, and definitely not any less agonizing, but at least they didnít drive the small brunette to depression and self-blame anymore.

Well, not as much anyway.

But, over time, Severus noticed that he thought about Remus more and more often. And, he often felt honestly worried about the small man. Before, it had been just slight concern, more because of Remusís importance to their cause as a link to the Dark creatures than because of the man himself. Slowly, theyíd managed some kind of a companionship, and Severus had noticed that he cared about the _man_, not about his meaning to the Order.

Now, he was beginning to think about the man as his friend.

Some long-forgotten, hidden part of his mind told him that friends helped each other - in more than a potion here and there, or a couple of comforting words, or expressing his hate to the shared antagonist.

And this annoyed Severus more than anything, since he couldnít find any reasons to disagree with this part of himself.

*

Severus studied the silver pendant in front of him closely. There was a large, blue stone in the middle of the pendant, glowing soft and blue light in the dim room.

With a murmured incantation and a flick of his wand, he activated the pendant. It was charmed to channel all sounds from a previously defined place. Heíd activated it before in the morning as heíd been taking the Wolfsbane to Remus. Therefore, it now would channel him the sounds from Remus and Blackís bedroom.

Severus wasnít a vouyer, no, for Salazarís sake. He left that kind of activity to perverted freaks like Lucius Malfoy. But he had to know what exactly Black was doing, what he was saying that had broken so completely the strong, self-confident man heíd known not two full years ago. And he knew Remus would never tell him everything he needed to know.

So, he had to listen.

"No, Sirius," Remusís voice said tiredly. "Iím sorry, Iím just not in the mood tonight."

"Youíre never in the mood," Blackís voice grumbled. "Whatís the matter, Moony? Donít you love me anymore?" Severus flinched as he heard the malice and pure lust that was carefully hidden behind tender words of love.

"Of course I love you," Remus said softly, and these words made Severus shudder even more. "Itís just the full moon coming, I just canít -"

"Canít get up the urge around it?" Blackís harsh voice interrupted the werewolfís. "Díyou know what, Moony? I donít give a crap. I think you might be just making it up!"

"Iím not!" Remus said defensively. Then, as if in pain, "Sirius... Let go of my wrist. Please. Youíre -"

Severus could hear the sickening crack as Black twisted the delicate wrist. Remus yelped in pain, and Black let out a small, satisfied moan.

The Potions Master got a sickening feeling. He wanted desperately to stop listening, to just give it a rest like Remus had demanded him to. However, he forced himself to listen. He had to know exactly what was going on with those two; otherwise, he wouldnít be able to help Remus.

He didnít know exactly why he wanted to help the werewolf. Maybe it was that it hurt him to see the self-respecting, clever man slip back into the empty shell he had when they were young. Severus, having worked with Remus during the First War, had suspected Black of having something to do with Remus's closedness. But back then, Severus hadn't known what effect Black had. Now hw did, and wished to Salazar that he didn't.

"Iím sorry, Siri," he heard Remusís voice, half-pleading, half-sobbing. "I shouldnít have said that. I love you, Siri. I need you."

"Thatís true," Blackís voice snarled maliciously. "You need me, Moony. You need me, because no one else would ever want you. You are a freak of nature, youíve always been." A sound of a kiss, then, softly purred, "You are so lucky I love you."

"I know that," Remus said quietly. "I truly am lucky to have you. Nobody else could love me like you do."

"Youíre right," Black said with a low, lust-filled voice. "Nobody else could, and nobody else would. You are _so_ lucky that I donít care about what you are, Moony. I love you, I really do. It doesnít matter to me that youíre not a human."

"I know," the quiet voice replied, "I know, Siri. I should never have denied you anything. I am grateful that you still want me. You have every right to me - you are my husband, after all."

"So you donít refuse?" The voice was now so full of pure lust and craving for sex, and so empty of all other feelings, that hearing it distressed Severus. "Youíll give me what I want? You let me take you?"

"How could I ever refuse you, Siri?" Severus heard the smile in Remusís voice. He could tell that it was a fake.

"Probably because youíre an animal," came the muffled reply. "An animal doesnít know what it is to love." The sound of a long, passionate kiss stung in Severusís ears. Then Black continued, "Itís good for you that I know it for both of us."

For a moment Severus only heard sounds of somebody moving between sheets, then there was a pained whimper from Remus accompanied by Blackís triumphy moan. Obviously the bastard hadnít bothered with preparation this time, either. Severus could only hope, for Remusís sake, that heíd at least used some lubrication.

Whilst doing his best not to get sick at the sounds of Remusís pain and Blackís twisted pleasure, he wondered for a moment how Black could be oblivious to his partnerís complete lack of response. Then he remembered that there indeed was an erection, a mere biological reaction to being penetrated. It didnít bring Remus any pleasure, however; the whole interaction was only pain to the unwilling werewolf.

"You are so tight," Black said at one point, his voice full of pure lust. Severus wanted to scream out in anger. Of course he was tight; his werewolf nature was trying in vain to prevent the violent penetration. Which Severus hoped it hadnít done, for it only increased the pain Remus had to endure in order to hold onto the false promises of love. Every now and then Black would claim that he was the only one who could ever love Remus, that he was the only one who cared for him, that nobody other would be willing to ever lay a hand on him. Every time Remus whimpered, he told how much the werewolf sounded like the animal he was.

At last Severus heard Black moan as he came, as well as Remus groan in pain and displeasure. Black, however, either counted that on the non-existant pleasure, or he simply didnít care.

"Donít cry, Moony, love," Blackís voice purred with false sweetness that disgusted Severus even more than the sounds of the rape. "I know it can hurt a bit. You are so tight, Merlin, how can you possibly be so tight when we sleep together every night? Must be the wolf part in you."

ĎIf Black only knew how right he is,í Severus thought bitterly. ĎAlthough he probably wouldnít even care.í

"It didnít hurt," he heard Remus lie. "I just... I... Merlin, promise me you wonít leave me, Siri." Severusís heart sank to the bottom of his stomach at hearing that.

"I wonít leave you, Moony," Black promised with the same false sweetness. "Iíll never leave you. No matter what you are, I love you. I really do."

Severus broke the charm before he got to hear Remusís answer. He maybe needed to know what was going on, but he wasnít a masochist.

*

The next morning, Remus came to Severus with a broken wrist.

The Slytherin didnít say anything whilst administering him the proper healing potions.

*

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that is our present,

And as I lie I know their cryingís nowhere near an end.

*

"Why does he keep calling you 'Moony?'" Severus asked curiously one day. They werenít in the Grimmauld Place this time; they were in the Knockturn Alley purchasing some items for the Order. It was their job; with Severusís knowledge of the Dark Arts and Remusís natural sense for them there was no one else who could have done it better.

"Itís just another one of his ways to dominate me," Remus murmured while glancing through the shelves. "He says it keeps me in my place. Iím not allowed to call him Padfoot when heís not in his dog form. If I do, later he beats me and yells at me that heís not an animal like I am so I shouldnít call him like one."

"And you let him do that?" Severus asked in disgust. He couldnít believe his ears.

"Heís right, isnít he? Our nicknames count for our animal forms only, itís just that Iím an animal in my mind all the time. Oh, and donít bother with that," he added, pointing at the object Severus was examining in his hands, "itís just a fake. Those are supposed to reveal whether or not somebodyís holding a secret, but that one canít tell you that any more than it can tell what Avery ate for lunch yesterday."

The Potions Master was horrified by the everyday manner his companion discussed these things with. He didnít seem to have much self-worth remaining, he wouldnít say these things if he did.

And Black had done this to him.

In his mind, Severus vowed never to call Remus "Moony" other than on the full moon night. If even then.

*

Back then I just smiled at you,

Pulled you closer still,

Told you that I was now with you

And that Iíd always will.

You knew that I didnít believe

But you didnít mind,

You snuggled up to me and tried

To sleep through the dark night.

*

Opening the door that he knew all too well, Severus entered the room where he knew that Remus was.

"Severus!" Remus exclaimed, frightened. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to talk with you," the Slytherin replied casually. He stood in the middle of Remus and Blackís room, looking around disapprovingly. The bastard truly was messy. He knew that Remus loved tidiness, but that he was too scared to touch anything of Siriusís. Thus the mess.

Black truly was a bastard.

"If Sirius catches you here, there will be Hell to pay for both of us," Remus said nervously, eyeing the door like he expected Black to step in at any moment. "He kicked me to stomach yesterday just because Iíd spoken with Kingsley for what he thought was a moment too long. He, of course, apologized to me later, but I donít think Iíd want to face the consequences if he found _you_ here with me!"

"I have a potion that will make sure he wonít," Severus said, showing a little phial he had carried in his pocket. "Not only does this make me temporarily invisible until the counter-potion has been taken, it also masks my scent. He wonít notice me even his dog form."

"Are you sure it works?" the werewolf asked, still nervous.

"Of course I am sure," Severus snorted. "Iím a Potions Master after all. Itís my own recipe, and I have tested it. I _know_ it works."

"If youíre sure," Remus said hesitantly. He made a gesture, indicating that Severus should sit down. So, he did.

"Has anything happened recently?" Severus asked, carefully hiding the concern in his voice. "Other than Black being a jealous, sadistic bastard, of course?"

Remus chuckled tiredly. "Not really," he said, shaking his head. "I tried to take contact to a pack in Ireland, but it turned out that their old leader, a fairly smart man, had been defeated and the new alpha is leading the whole pack to Voldemort." He shook his head again, this time much slower. "Werewolves are Dark creatures," he said quietly.

Severus was silent for a moment. Then he said, with a much softer tone than he recalled using for years, "Youíre not Dark, Remus, no matter whatever crap Blackís been feeding you. Youíre one of the purest Light I know, honestly. No one in their right mind could call you Dark."

"Maybe Iím not," Remus said bitterly, "but the wolf in me is. It -" Suddenly, his eyes flew wide. "Sirius is coming," he said, his voice full of fear. "Quick, take the potion, or heíll kill us both!"

Severus didnít need another command. He gulped down the potion, feeling the cool wave go through him just as the door opened.

A big, black dog came inside, sniffed for a moment in the doorway, and then transformed back to a human. "I smell a trace of Snape," Black growled accusingly as soon as he was back in his human form. "And not an hour old, even. What was he doing here?"

"He just came to discuss my Wolfsbane," Remus said quietly. "Iíve managed to lose some weight lately, so we had to measure new doses for me to be sure it works properly." Sadly, this was true. Heíd truly been becoming even more skinny lately. Severus would have to measure new doses one of these days. It hurt him, since he knew that it was Blackís abuse and the stress the man caused that was resulting in Remusís unhealthy loss of weight.

Black snorted in disbelief. "And how do I know you didnít sleep with him?"

"Sirius!" Remus exclaimed. He hardly had to fake the shocked tone. "I would never cheat on you. Least of all with Severus! How can you really think anyone could sleep with him?" In his heart Severus hoped, no, _prayed_ that Remus was only saying that to fool Black.

"Animals have weird desires," the Animagus said emotionlessly. "But youíre right. Not a _human_ could ever sleep with Snape." Then he grimaced and continued, "Which still doesnít prove that you didnít."

Severus flinched at the words, hurt more by the insult to Remus, the man Black claimed to love, than the one directed to himself. He saw in a haze as Remus took a step forward, wrapping his arms around the taller manís neck. "But I fell for you, didnít I?" he purred, then placed a light kiss on Blackís neck. "Which must prove that I have a perfect taste for men." Over Blackís shoulder he gave a sharp glance to the point where Severus stood, silently gesturing him to leave.

"Really," Black smirked. "And you have a perfect luck, too. Why else would the man who you fell for be the only one who can stand you in his bed?" With these words, he practically tossed the smaller brunette to the mentioned piece of furniture, flinging himself on top of him.

Fighting down a sickening feeling, Severus quietly left the room.

*

But no matter how I try,

Itís you, me, and shadows those.

You always tell, ĎThe shadows cry...í

They tease you, whom they chose.

*

Unbeknownst to the others at Grimmauld Place, Severus was in the house. He was there because he wanted to work in peace with a couple of Dark objects heíd discovered in one room of the house, and he definitely didnít want to be disturbed.

Heíd placed wards around the room that only allowed him to penetrate them - him, and one other person. Therefore, he knew instantly who was coming as he heard the door creak.

"Remus," he said, turning around. He gasped as he saw the werewolfís dull expression. Dull, and obviously pained. "What now?" he asked, sincerely concerned. How the bastard had hurt Remus now? "Didnít he prepare you this time, either?"

"No, he did," Remus whispered, and suddenly burst into tears. "He indeed _did_ prepare me, Severus... Better than well... But he -" The werewolfís voice trailed off as he murmured something so quietly Severus couldnít hear him.

"What did you say?" he asked gently. "You can tell me, Remus. You donít have to feel ashamed. I know itís just Black being a bastard, nothing about you."

The now teary golden eyes rose to his face. "He did prepare me," Remus repeated, "but he had a silver ring on his finger."

The Potions Master drew a sharp breath, then muttered a curse. He had to use every last bit of his self-control not to go and kill Black at the very moment. The bastard had indeed deserved it a thousand times for everything heíd done to Remus.

"He didnít even seem to notice," Remus told with a quiet voice. "It slid all the way inside me every time and Merlin, it _hurt_... I couldnít even speak coherently enough to tell him, I was in too much pain to form sensible words. And when - when he got to the actual penetration -" The small brunette shuddered, then suddenly flung himself forward to Severus, crying like a baby, his hands clutched on the Slytherinís robes.

Severus didnít say anything. He merely held Remus, let him cry himself empty of tears, knowing that he needed it.

"You shouldnít go back to him," he said then quietly. "Not anymore."

"What options do I have?" Remus asked, raising teary eyes to him. "Heís my husband. And, of course, he demanded to be bonded as the dominant half of the bond. Even if I left, he could demand me to come back, and by law I should obey - unless we divorce, which heíll never agree to do."

"He made you bond by the firmest bond?" Severus asked, not believing his ears. The firmest marriage bond, also known as the Slaveís Bond, hadnít been commonly used for two hundred years. In ancient times, it had been used when the submissive partner was unwilling to the marriage. The bond put them wholly under the dominant oneís control. Severus had only heard of two cases of this bond in the past century or so - and now of a third one.

Somehow, it seemed to fit the picture he had of Sirius Black.

Remus nodded, biting his lip. "He said he wanted to be sure I wouldnít go away," he whispered. "He said he didnít want to let me go, ever. That he loved me too much..." His lower lip trembled, and he said then, "It wasnít until now that I notice what he wanted... How little he truly cares..."

"Iím glad that you noticed that at least now," Severus murmured quietly. "But there must be a way to break the bond - there has to be. Donít worry, Remus - Iíll help you out of this."

"Can you do that?" Remus asked, his voice thick with yet unshed tears. "Can anybody pull another up from the Hell?"

Severus hugged the werewolf even tighter against himself. He was just about to say something as a sharp sound caught his ears.

He turned around and saw Kreacher in the doorway. The insane house-elf was laughing uncontrollably, a nasty smirk on his face.

"Whatís so funny?" Severus asked sharply. He didnít feel bad about having the house-elf seeing him so near Remus - heíd charmed the creature so it wouldnít be able to tell anybody about them. The charm was a slight variation of Imperius - not strong enough to work on humans and thus not as forbidden, although it was truly Dark, but it worked well on house-elves. To Remus, of course, heíd just said that heíd slipped an Obliviation Potion to the thing. Of course he could have done that, but he wasnít sure how it would have reacted, as his knowledge of potions and their proper doses was mostly about humans, not about house-elves.

"The Potter boy wents to trap," Kreacher said with another nasty laugh. "The Potter boy wents to trap..."

"To what trap?" Severus asked sharply. He felt Remus stiffening on his arms, too.

"Kreacher sent the boy to the Ministry," the house-elf snickered. "To the Department of Mysteries. Then master will see what happens to Mudbloods!"

Severus froze. "Go away," he snarled then, loosening his arms around Remus. "Go away before I strangle you."

The house-elf took this threat to truth - as it should have - but the laughter didnít cease. It laughed all the way out of the room, Severusís sharp glare and Remusís frightened gaze on its back.

"Harryís..." Remus said, then fell silent, unable to finish the sentence.

"Go to the others now. Tell them you got a firecall from me," Severus advised. "Tell - tell them that I saw the boy disappearing to the Forest. Iíll go inform the Headmaster." He was quiet for a moment, then said, "Tell Black to keep behind, since otherwise, I just might kill him."

Remus didnít even reply to that, he simply nodded.

Severus took again a dose of his invisibility potion. Then he left the house without anyone noticing.

*

The shadows cry into your ears,

Cover my words of warmth,

I kiss away your bitter tears,

Shelter you from their claws.

*

It was very quiet in the Grimmauld Place after the fateful night in the Department of Mysteries.

People were walking on eggshells, especially around Remus. This made the werewolf simply miserable, and Severus was annoyed to no end.

"Do you want something, Remus?" Molly Weasley asked gently. Most of the remaining members of the Order were in the kitchen for a dinner - even Severus was there, although nobody but he himself and Remus knew exactly why.

"I - I think Iíll just leave now," Remus murmured, then fled the room like the devil himself was on his heels.

His so-called friends exchanged concerned glances. "Poor Remus," the Tonks girl said quietly. "He must feel so bad now that Sirius is dead."

At last, Severus had enough. "I think Remus is actually very happy with Black dead," he snapped sharply. "And heís definitely much better off than he ever was with the bastard living. So stop fussing around him and reminding him of that bastard!"

The whole Order turned to stare at him in shock and disbelief. "How can you say that?" Molly Weasley shrieked, positively terrified. "They were lovers, for Merlinís sake!"

"Yeah, they were lovers," he said dryly, trying in vain to maintain his usual cool mask even though he was fuming inside. "Married even. They slept together, true enough. Had sex together. And what about when Remus didnít want to? Black bloody well raped him! I donít think that speaks of love from Blackís side, only of need for sex!"

They paled at his accusing words. Arthur Weasley managed to stammer, "But surely Remus..."

"Thought that nobody would help him, that nobody else would want him. Thought that he was an animal, that he was not worth the name of a human. That was what Black always told him while raping him. Did you know that? Did you know that he beat Remus, and not only a couple of times? Hell, he beat Remus to blood and bruises every time he dared to refuse being fucked by him! Black broke his jaw once, his wrist twice, and seven of his ribs the last month alone!"

This time, none of them dared to say anything. They just stared at him, swallowing back whatever words came to them, obviously realizing that itíd be better if they kept quiet.

"You didnít know. Or if you knew, you refused to admit it. It was Sirius Black, your bloody precious Gryffindor, after all. The one everyone had done wrong. The one whoíd been in prison for years for nothing. Well, he damn well deserved every second of it! People have gotten longer sentences than twelve years in Azkaban for continuous rapes and abuse!"

"Then why didnít you say anything earlier?" Tonks snapped accusingly, seemingly over her initial shock. "If you truly knew all along, why didnít you say anything?"

"And would you really have believed me?" Severus snorted. "Face the truth, _Nymphadora_," he said, emphasizing the first name knowing that the young witch hated it. "None of you would have listened to me. Youíd have only said I hold silly schoolboy grudges, that I should let go at last and stop accusing your damn precious Black of everything. Remus would have kept quiet, too afraid to stand up for himself. After that, youíd have listened to me even less. And Black would have beaten Remus to shit for letting his little Ďsecretí slip, and you would have told yourselves that he fell down the stairs or something!"

This time, none of them said anything. They hang their heads in shame, not daring to look up. They knew all too well that every word heíd said was true.

"Think now just what good friends you were to Remus," he snarled, "and what you let Black do without stepping in. Iím going to talk with Remus, and I hope for your sake that none of you will upset him anymore, unless you want to be in the receiving end of my wand." He emphasized his words with tapping his wand against his palm.

"Why are you doing this?" Kingsley asked quietly.

Severusís eyes jumped to the black wizard. "Maybe I like calling myself somebodyís friend," he said silkily, then snapped, "Although I really doubt that I could do anything to deserve that title less than any of you." With these words, he turned on his heels and left the room.

*

In the still of the night,

I hold onto you tight,

You cry as the shadows cry.

*

"Remus?" Severus asked to the dark room. Even without seeing the dark bundle in the most shadowed corner, or hearing the quiet sobs, heíd known that the werewolf was there. This was the first, and only, room he checked.

The room where theyíd talked for the first time.

The werewolf didnít reply, but his sobs quieted a bit. Severus took this as an invitation, and walked over to his friend. He sat down next to the small brunette, waiting for him to say something.

"I feel so empty now," Remus whispered, his eyes cast down. "Like I was drained of everything."

"He didnít love you," Severus reminded him firmly. "He never did, no matter how much he told you he did. He was just using you on his own advantage."

"Maybe," the werewolf replied softly, "but at least he told he loved me. Who else could ever even say that? Who could claim to love a monster?"

"I love you," Severus said simply, not being able to stop the words before they were already out. Not that heíd really wanted to, either.

Remusís golden eyes shot up to him. "What?" he asked warily. "What did you say?"

"I love you," Severus repeated, and it was even easier now when heíd already said it once. "I have for quite some time." He sighed. "You are not a monster, nor are you an animal, Remus. No matter what that son of a bitch told you, you are pefectly, wholly human. You only transform at the full moon, and even then, your heart is a humanís heart, your soul a humanís soul."

"Do you believe in souls?" Remus asked with a lop-sided smile. "Interesting." Severus sensed that he was just trying to cover his nervousness and shock with jokes.

"Of course I believe in souls," he replied, allowing Remus the shelter he needed right now. "How could I not? Iíve faced enough Dementors to know very well that they do exist. And that they can be torn apart, too."

Remus bit his lip, not saying anything. Severus waited patiently, letting him take his time.

At last, the troubled golden eyes were raised to him. "Do you really mean it?" the werewolf asked, his voice hardly more than a whisper. "Do you really love me?"

"Yes, I do," he replied, trying to assure the uncertain lycanthrope of the truthfulness of his words. "I love you, Remus. Not in the way Black claimed to love you, but I truly, really love you. From the bottom of my heart."

For a moment, Remus just watched him intently, traces of dried tears still on his cheeks. Then Remus said softly, "I believe you," and leaned forward to capture his lips in a teary, warm, tender kiss.

Severus was careful at first in responding the kiss, fearing that he might scare the other man away. Then, as Remusís tongue licked his lips, demanding entrance, he opened his mouth, allowing the other man to enter.

They kissed for quite some time before breaking the kiss, both gasping for the oxygen theyíd been lacking. They wrapped their arms around each otherís waist, resting their foreheads together.

Then Remus said, breaking the not at all uncomfortable silence, "Thereís a room in the second floor that used to be mine. Is still mine, I guess. Nobody took it when I moved to Siriusís room. Most of my stuff should still be there."

"Black has not been there?" Severus asked before he couldnít help himself. He just couldnít bear the thought of sleeping with Remus in a room where Black had been raping him, hurting this beautiful, delicate creature in the worst way imaginable.

To his great relief, Remus shook his head. "Not a single time," he replied. "He stood on the doorway once, glanced around and said, ĎYou wonít stay here. Come to my room,í and ever since, Iíve been residing there."

Severus cursed Black in his mind for everything heíd done to Remus. When Remus started leading his way out of the room, however, all thoughts of Black were washed from his mind. It was just them, he and Remus, and Black no longer had any way to step between them. He could not hurt Remus anymore.

With this in mind, he gladly followed Remus to the room that hadnít been tainted by Blackís bastard character.

Severus made sure that their first time together was gentle and slow. The love-making was smooth and pleasurable to them both, thanks to the lubrication and careful preparation. Severus had no doubt that the moans coming from Remus were due to pleasure, not pain.

At the end, when they fell into a boneless heap, Remus told him that it hadnít hurt more than just a bit. He also mentioned that the pleasure had been a thousand times greater than the pain.

Severus believed him.

*

Whenever I hold you at night

I want to make them go,

To destroy shadows, light a light

And tell I love you so.

*

They quickly eased into a relationship. Severus soon spent all his nights in the Grimmauld Place, it being summer break. He thought about asking Dumbledore whether he could take Remus to his quarters in the Slytherin dungeons when the autumn would come. The house they were staying at held too many painful memories of Black.

However, they were happy with what they had right now. The others were beginning to get used to see Severus around the house at all hours of day, and Molly Weasley startled only the tiniest bit whenever she entered the kitchen and saw Severus sitting in the table, talking with Remus.

The next full moon approached. Four nights before it, Severus merely laid himself next to Remus, not making any attempts to touch the werewolf. After a moment, Remus snuggled up to his side, let out a happy sigh and fell asleep. In the morning, Severus woke to see the golden eyes shine to him lovingly and not a bit gratefully, gratefully because Severus had let him be the night before. Although showing happy face to Remus, he inwardly swore that if something ever pulled Black back from behind the Veil, heíd kill the bastard with his bare hands and make sure he couldnít return this time.

The next night, Remus again slept curled up next to him. The next one, however, the werewolf did not make a move to come nearer to him, and Severus didnít approach him, either. He knew that right now Remus wouldnít feel comfortable even with a simple touch.

The third day after the full moon, Remus again returned to his side. And the fifth night after it, he practically jumped Severus, whoíd been fully prepared for yet another night of a completely platonic relationship.

Not that heíd complained, either.

Now, it was a late August night, some time after the new moon, although the moon was already waxing. It was still over a week and a half to the next full moon. Therefore, Severus was not afraid of letting his hand wander under the covers, sliding it along Remusís bare side towards the smooth thigh.

Remus, however, pushed Severusís hand off his thigh. "Not tonight, Severus," he said quietly. "Please?"

Severus didnít say anything, didnít ask anything. He merely lay back, not touching Remus anymore. They both lay quiet for some time. Then, suddenly, Remus asked, "Why did you stop? Donít you want me anymore?"

Severus raised an eyebrow, although he knew Remus couldnít see it in the darkness. "You said, ĎNo,í" he reminded the werewolf. After a second, he realized what Remus was going after. "Oh, for Salazarís sake," he said, and sighed. "I still do love you, Remus, and I still do want you. I do want to make love to you, and to feel you make love to me. But if you say no, on any occasion, in any phase of the moon, I wonít push you further. Iím not Black."

"Good." Remus snuggled nearer to him, pushing his naked body against Severusís in a very uncomfortable fashion. Or, rather, in a too comfortable one.

Severus took a sharp breath. "Remus," he said, straining to to keep his voice under control, "I may be not Black, but Iím not a saint, either. If you keep rubbing your cock against mine, I might not be able to hold myself back."

"Doesnít matter," Remus said, and Severus felt his smile against his shoulder. "I want you, too. Youíre welcome not to hold yourself back."

"But you said..." Severus started in confusion, but Remus cut him off.

"I said no. I know. I didnít mean it." Remus breathed deep in, then continued, "I think... I think I was kind of testing you. Trying to see if Iíd indeed made the right choice."

"You donít have to test me," Severus replied huskily. "As I said, Iím not Black. Iíll never force myself on you, Remus. Never."

"I know," Remus replied, then covered Severusís lips with a demanding kiss. Then he said, with a just as lust-filled tone and equal love twinkling in his eyes, "But if you donít do anything relatively soon, I just might force myself on you."

Severus smirked slightly, and started to fulfill Remusís wishes.

Neither of them held anything back that night.

*

I try to make you forget them,

Holding you every night,

To bring your nightmares to an end.

In vain I struggle, fight.

*

Nymphadora Tonks closed the door to Remusís room quietly, satisfied with what sheíd seen. The scene had been very similar to those sheíd seen on numerous mornings before Siriusís death - two heads, one light golden with silvery streaks, the other black, lying next to each other. The two men were covered by only the fine sheets, their limbs tangled together underneath the covers. The dark-haired wizardís pale, slim form had been spooned around the smaller body. Other than the other manís harsher features, she could have sworn it was Remus and Sirius in the bed, like itíd been so many times before.

Only one thing was different, other than the room, of course. Seeing that, she knew that everything was now better for Remus, better than when the werewolf had been with Sirius.

Sheíd seen Remus smile in his dreams.

*

A/N: If youíve read this far, you have to review, or otherwise Iíll come and curse you...

Below are the full lyrics of the song. And I know itís bad, but hey, Iím not a native English speaker, Iím only doing my best... And, at least it fits the melody I created for it! ^_^

*

One night as we just lay back,

Holding each other close,

You finally found out that

I could not hear those.

That voices that were nagging at

You through the day and night,

Werenít to me. I asked what

You heard that no one might.

You asked: ĎDonít you really hear

When the shadows cry?

Donít you see a silver tear,

Do you even try?

.

In the still of the night,

Like a light far too bright,

I hear as the shadows cry...

.

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that around us is,

They cry. You are the only one I have ever told this.í

.

Back then I just smiled at you,

Pulled you closer still,

Told you that I was now with you

And that Iíd always will.

You knew that I didnít believe

But you didnít mind,

You snuggled up to me and tried

To sleep through the dark night.

We knew that any moment new

Might tear us apart,

The darkness fallen always knew

How to hit us hard.

.

In the still of the night,

When thereís no hint of light,

You tell me that the shadows cry.

.

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that taints our present,

Shadows and their cries that to you will never end.

.

Your past is full of darkness,

Crying bitter tears,

Forced to a willingness

To face what you most fear.

Whenever I hold you at night

I want to make them go,

To destroy shadows, light a light

And tell I love you so.

The shadows cry into your ears,

Cover my words of warmth,

I kiss away your bitter tears,

Shelter you from their claws.

.

In the still of the night,

I hold onto you tight,

You cry as the shadows cry.

.

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that our present is,

Knowing always better than us where to hardest hit.

.

I try to make you forget them,

Holding you every night,

To bring your nightmares to an end.

In vain I struggle, fight.

But no matter how I try,

Itís you, me, and shadows those.

You always tell, ĎThe shadows cry...í

They tease you, whom they chose.

Your eyes dwell with sudden tears

As you whisper what you hear,

You see, you hear all your fears

And I hold you near.

.

And in the still of the night,

I know that you were right,

I hear as the shadows cry...

.

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that is our present,

And as I lie I know their cryingís nowhere near an end.

.

The shadows of our pasts, never to be told,

Shadows of our future on to which we hold,

Shadows of the darkness that is our present,

And as I lie I know their cryingís never going to end.