Who: Hannah Abbott, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Bill Weasley
Where: 42 Cantexp Lane; Snape Manor; St. Mungo's
Summary: Something is wrong with the Wolfsbane... and Severus and Bill have an argument
Watch For: Accusations and drawn wands
The day after Christmas, Remus thought, feeling the sort of vague post-Holiday let down that wasn't uncommon. Especially given that today was the first day that he would have to take the Wolfsbane Potion yet again... and that reminded him of Severus and his hatred and everything he was trying to forget. Just quit it, he ordered himself sternly, walking down the stairs and into the living room. Don't think about that. It's pointless. Be thankful for what you have - it's more than you deserve.
Bill had gotten up and left early that morning, heading to the Burrow to help his parents out with something. Remus had begged off, though - he knew Bill needed time alone with his family. Time for everyone to adjust, after the surprise revelation of their... relationship. Molly and Arthur and the rest of the family had been supportive, but Remus didn't want to intrude. Molly and Arthur needed Bill, perhaps even more than Remus needed him.
Dropping to the sofa, Remus ran a hand over his face, and waited.
Hannah was still reeling from the great success of the holiday... Well, success considering that she and the kids spent the day probably annoying the pants off one Severus Snape... and in his own home, no less. She pushed those pleasant thoughts aside, however, and focused on the task at hand. Remus needed the Wolfsbane Potion and she was there to deliver it. The brewing actually hadn't been that bad this time, now that she thought about it. She hadn't been nearly as nervous as she had been that first time.
She apparated to Hogsmeade and Remus' new home on Cantexp Lane and knocked on the door, steaming goblet in hand.
Hannah, Remus thought, rousing from the doze he had fallen into while waiting. The light knock was unmistakable. He suppressed a vague feeling of disappointment. You knew it wouldn't be him. Face it. Even if you would just as soon that he showed up and hurled the potion in your face, it isn't going to happen. Unless you run into him by accident... you'll never see him again. Standing, he crossed to the door, fixing a welcoming smile on his face. After all, this was not Hannah's fault. It was his, and his alone.
Opening the door, he found the young blonde witch, as expected. "Hullo, Hannah," he greeted her. "I hope you had a nice holiday... please, come in."
Hannah smiled but it didn't quite reach her eyes. Something had been... off with Remus, ever since he'd helped her move to Snape Manor. Since it originated with his helping her, Hannah felt directly responsible and was determined to find out what happened. "Good Morning, Remus. How was your holiday?"
Eyes sliding away, Remus moved so that Hannah could follow him into the house. "Fine, thanks. We went to the Burrow. How was yours?"
She smiled a bit, the memories of the previous day forcing her to. "It was.. nice. Jer and Harm enjoyed themselves. And I must say I found it quite amusing when Harmony forced Mr. Snape to play Candyland with her." Hmmm... he won't meet my eyes. Remus, just spill already! Tell me what happened!!
Remus stiffened at the mention of Severus... even though he had expected it. A ghost of a smile crossed his face at the thought of the dour, cranky Potions Master being forced to play a children's game... but then, Hannah could talk anyone into anything. No doubt her little sister was equally irresistible.
"Sounds pleasant," he said, rather lamely, giving her a lopsided smile. "Oh, please, put the potion down on the table for a moment... I have something for you." Crossing to the mantle, he returned with a thin, rectangular parcel, wrapped in red and gold, and offered it to her. "It isn't much, but... it's something I thought might please you."
Hannah set the goblet down as requested and took the parcel with a smile. "Oh, Remus that's so sweet! You didn't have to get me anything!" she said as she carefully opened the bright paper and pulled out the photo within. Her breath hitched slightly at the photo of Neville, hard at work before glancing up at the camera with a little smile and a wave. "Oh, this is absolutely adorable Remus... Thank you!" She turned to Remus and gave him a big hug. She pulled back, smiling and handed him a clumsily wrapped parcel of her own. "After this, my gift to you just seems... lame..." she said dismissively.
Remus smiled. "I'm glad you like it. It was all I could think of," he replied, taking the package. Opening it up, he looked at the scarf she had make him and smiled, a genuine smile that lit up his face. "Hannah... thank you. The fact that you made it for me makes it all the more wonderful." Leaning over, he dropped a kiss on her forehead.
"Well... I suppose I should drink that potion while it's still warm," he said, placing the scarf on the mantle and turning back to her with a lopsided smile. "Cold, it's like swallowing a combination of glue and cat litter."
Picking up the goblet, he sank down to the sofa, preparing himself. Then finally, with a sigh, he upended the goblet and downed the contents.
Hannah sighed, watching him as he drank down the goblet of Wolfsbane. "Remus.. Um, listen I've, um... noticed... quite a bit of tension around you since I moved to Snape M-Manor and... um, I was just wondering..." she trailed off, sighing. Way to be coherent, Hannah. Great Job. She shook her head. "Never mind," she muttered. "I don't know what I was trying to say..."
Something's... wrong, Remus thought, hearing Hannah's words only distantly over the sudden sound of blood rushing through his head. Something about Severus? Eyes wide, he felt his face flushing, as a sudden, agonizing burst of pain began in his gut and seemed to radiate out to all his extremities like a tide of molten lava. Gasping in shock, he turned to Hannah. "Wrong..." he groaned. "Something...wrong."
Clutching his stomach as the fire continued to spread, Remus slumped down onto the sofa. Sweat drenched his body, and then... blackness spiralled over his vision, and carried the pain away.
Hannah's eyes nearly popped out of her head in shock. Ohmigawdohmigawdohmigawd was the only thing running through her head and, just as Remus sank to the floor, her mind cleared and she began acting automatically. Snape. Get Mr. Snape. She practically flew to the fireplace, knocking the container of Floo Powder to the floor as she grabbed a handful. "Snape Manor!" she shouted, shoving her head into the green flames that appeared. "Dimpy!"
Dimpy was in the kitchen when she heard Hannah's shout. Instantly appearing in the living room, she gave the young woman a wide-eyed look. "Something wrong, Miss?" she asked, already knowing the answer.
"Get Mr. Snape here immediately! There's something wrong with the potion!" Hannah was starting to hyperventilate, her eyes still bulging as the panic began to take hold again.
Dimpy nodded, disappearing from the room with a snap of her fingers. Appearing in her Master's potions lab, she exclaimed, "Ms. Hannah needs Master's help. Something is wrong with the potion!" she exclaimed, the excitement causing her voice to tremble slightly.
Severus looked up at his house elf's words, his brow furrowed in confusion. "The potion?" he repeated, not understanding. Oh Merlin...Remus! Nodding at Dimpy, he brushed past her and made his way quickly to the sitting room, where Hannah's head was still floating in the fireplace. "Ms. Abbott, what seems to be the problem?" he asked, his voice calm even though he was not.
"Remus collapsed!" she said, pulling her head out of the flames to let Severus through.
Severus blinked, it taking a second for the words to register. Then, snapping out of it, he quickly stepped through the flames, appearing at Cantexp Lane a second later. Waving his wand around his robes to clear away the soot, he made his way to the couch, and an unconscious Remus Lupin.
Kneeling beside him, Severus placed his fingers against the man's neck, checking his pulse. "What happened," he asked, giving his assistant no more than a glance before turning back to the werewolf.
Hannah wrung her hands together biting her lip to the point where it bled as she stood by. "He took the potion and.. and his color went gray. He grabbed at his stomach and fell. Then I went got you. Maybe a minute ago."
Voices. Dim and distant as though shouted from across a lake. Echoing strangely. Remus tried to focus in the darkness around him, but he could see nothing. A brush of something that could have been a touch on his body, if he could sense his body any longer, and then a voice again, closer this time. A deep voice. A voice he knew too well. Severus.
Am I dreaming? he thought distantly. Or am I dead?
Severus's eyes widened slightly as he felt the man's pulse begin to slow down. "Ms. Abbott," he said calmly, while gently but efficiently moving Remus' body so he was lying flat on the couch. "I want you to shrink the goblet that the potion was in and secure it in your robes. It is imperative that nothing happens to it until such time we determine what has happened. Then, you are to contact St. Mungo's and inform them that we will be bringing in a sick werewolf so they may secure a room. Do you understand?"
Hannah, her blue eyes wide, went on 'auto-pilot' and immediately complied with Snape's request. Within a minute or two, the goblet and remaining potion was secured and a hurried conversation with the duty nurse at St. Mungo's took place. All the balls were in motion now as Hannah stood back, chewing her bottom lip out of existance. "Done, sir."
Severus merely nodded in reply, his onyx gaze still locked on Remus. He knew trying to wake him was probably futile. But, he also knew travelling via floo with an unconscious person was not the greatest idea in the scheme of things. "Lupin," he said, shaking the man slightly. "You must wake up." However, there was no response.
"Damn," he murmured. Looking at Hannah, he opened his mouth to make another request. He couldn't believe what he was about to say, but he also knew it was the right thing to do. However, before he could say anything, the werewolf bucked, took one deep breath, then collapsed back onto the couch once more. Quickly, Severus placed his fingers against the man's neck again and froze. There was no pulse whatsoever.
Remus felt everything receding. No pain. Just... blankness. Nothingness. An empty void. But then he thought he felt a presence nearby, and somehow it felt... familiar. Safe. Warm. Then there was light, as soft and fragile as the full moon, and someone in front of him... and in surprise he looked into the welcoming face of Sirius Black.
Severus froze, panic swelling within him. He's dead. He's actually... Shaking his head, the Potions Master narrowed his eyes. No. He is not dying. Not like this, not here, and certainly not before I do. Rising up so he was halfway over Remus, Severus paused for only a second before placing his lips on the other man's. Then, in a move he'd only read about, he began breathing life back into Remus Lupin's lungs. Pumping on his chest in between breaths, he began speaking, completely forgetting his assistant was even in the room. "Damn you, Lupin, wake up. Wake up!" he insisted. Pushing on his chest again, he insisted, "Remus, open your bloody eyes!"
Hannah began hyperventilating as she watched the scene unfold before her, the guilt coursing through her veins and rendering her paralyzed. Ohmigodohmigodohmigod... He's dead. I've killed him.. I.. I didn't mean... I did exactly like... Ohmigodohmigodohmigod...
Still trapped in his vision, Remus faced his dead lover. "Sirius?" he asked, confused. Padfoot smiled at him, reaching out a hand... but then the light began to fade. Reaching out desperately, Remus attempted to grab the hand extended to him, but he fell short. Then he was falling, and falling, back into the blackness... and back into the pain.
Severus breathed a sigh of relief as Remus began breathing on his own. Sitting back, he glanced at Hannah. "Ms. Abbott," he said sharply, hoping to pull her out of her obvious state of shock. "I do believe Lupin has a ... friend who should be apprised of the situation. Perhaps it would do you well to go find him. Tell him..." Sighing, he tried to decide what, if anything, Bill should be told. Finally, he said, "Tell him that Lupin is suffering from silver poisoning and he should apparate to St. Mungo's immediately." Not waiting for a response, he stood up and pulled out his wand. Quickly muttering a spell, he watched impassively as Remus floated into the air. Then, he made his way to the floo. Tossing in the powder, he ordered, "St. Mungo's," and gently pushed Remus inside.
Giving one last look to Hannah, he soon followed.
Severus sighed heavily, watching with a sense of detachment as the last of the mediwitches filed out of the room. They had taken every precaution with the werewolf, making certain they could keep him in the same room with relatively few alterations come the full moon. However, as the Potions Master stared at the still form in the bed across the room, he couldn't help but think that it seemed to be a bit much, given how weak Remus currently looked.
No, not weak. He looks positively fragile. Telling his mind to shut up, that he'd had quite enough second-guessing himself for one night, the man slowly rose from the chair he'd been sitting in since they'd arrived. Slowly, without even realizing what he was truly doing, he made his way across the room, only pausing once he was beside the werewolf's bed. Looking down at the sandy-haired, unconscious Remus, he felt a sigh escape his lips. "Damn you, Remus," he murmured, again using the man's given name without even realizing it. "You are forbidden to die. Not like...this."
The news about Remus' condition hit Bill like a hard whack in the chest. Hannah had told him about the poisoning... about his arrival in St. Mungo's. Bill felt himself grow weak, felt the blood recede from his face. He had promised Remus, not too long ago, that he wouldn't allow Remus to go to St. Mungo's... that he would keep him away from there, keep him safe and care for him, himself. Of course his words had to fall through.
Without a second thought, Bill apparated to St. Mungo's and burst through the hospital, murderous, worried. He felt sick and weak. Was Remus all right? How was his condition? What happened? He didn't know the full details of what happened, just that it did. Bill got the directions to his lover's room, and high-tailed his way there, only to find Severus Snape poised next to Remus' bed.
Rage took terror's place. Of course! So that's what happened... Severus had attempted to kill Remus - he was mad enough to, so why not? Bill found himself grinding his teeth together, and he stepped into the room, quite aware of the murderous look that consumed his face.
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing here, Snape?"
Severus spun around in a flash, his wand drawn and already aimed at the intruder. Instinctively, he stepped in front of Remus, worried that whoever had tried to kill the werewolf was showing up to finish the job. It took him a few seconds to realize who it was, and when he did his heart nearly skipped a beat.
So, it would appear the Bill which he referred to was the eldest Weasley. Of course. Raising his eyebrow, his face set in its trademark scowl, he eyed the man standing in the doorway. Not daring to lower his wand, he calmly replied, "The last time I checked, Weasley, I was saving your...lover's life."
Bill held his wand in front of himself, mentally going over curses and hexes that he could unleash upon the old Potion's master... nevermind the fact that the greasy git could possibly kill him faster than he could wave his wand. He did have a strong education in dark arts from his working with Gringotts in Egypt, but... none of that mattered, now. What mattered was Remus, sick, and in danger of something that Bill didn't know of.
"You? Saving his life? I'll be damned Snape, that's the most cruel lie I've ever heard escape your lips. Save his life?!" Bill's vision blurred with his anger. He could barely see Remus, for Snape was standing before him. "Why the hell are you here, seriously? Come to finish the job? Didn't kill him right the first time? Oh, come off it," he added, feeling the anger rip through his veins, "I know about it. I know what happened... I'm not daft, Snape. Of course you were angry about what happened. You just wanted to make a quick fix of it, and have it ended."
Severus blinked, momentarily stunned at the other man's words. He believes I... Thinks that I... Suddenly, he laughed, a short, hollow sound. "You honestly believe that I am the one who attempted to kill him?" he questioned, already knowing that was precisely what Bill thought. Narrowing his eyes slightly as the realization that he'd just been accused of attempted murder hit him, he crossed the room and was in the redhead's face in a matter of seconds.
Looking the man directly in the eye, Severus hissed out, "Allow me to make one thing perfectly clear, Weasley. If I wished Remus Lupin to be dead, he would be dead. Not lying in St. Mungo's with liquid silver coursing through his veins. I am not the type to do things halfway, and I have committed quite enough murders in my time to know the proper way to go about doing things."
The stench of Severus Snape's breath angered Bill all the more. "Your age must be affecting you, then." He wanted to spit in his face... the closeness was making him delusional. "It had to have been you, Snape. Who the hell else would want him dead? Tell me!"
Bill stepped around the side of Snape, or at least, attempted to, to get closer to Remus. He wanted to see him, hold his hand... make sure that he was alright. Snape was in his way, blocking him. Bill wanted to smash his face in with a cauldron. "Move, Snape. Get the hell out of my way, I want to see Remus."
Severus continued to stand there, refusing to be dismissed that easily. "I find it odd that you would blame me. Were you not the one he betrayed a few nights ago? Did you not have the motive, as well as the means to do something such as this? If I am suspect, then you, most certainly, are as well," he replied in a voice that was much calmer than he felt. Then, as if registering the other man's words, as well as his fear and pain, he stepped aside, allowing a clear path to Remus. However, he refused to leave, refused to be sent away and left to find out second-hand what was to be the fate of the werewolf.
"I can't believe you would accuse me, Snape," Bill spat, maneuvoring around the older man and stepping beside Remus' bed. He laid a hand upon his lover's and gently kneaded the flesh on the back of his hand. The presence of Snape was still there... so Bill turned around, hand still on Remus', and glared. "Of course you would. You like to play dirty."
Would Bill have done such a thing? Even if he was so upset at Remus' slight betrayal, would he have attempted to take Remus' life? Bill shuddered, feeling his heart pound harder and harder in his chest. "I'm not the type of guy that would go around and kill people, just because I have the power to. I forgave Remus, I understood his situation. Can't say the same for you, Snape. You're nothing but a manipulated, sad, sad little man. You've proved this time and time again. That's all that anyone would need to understand this situation. There's no comparison. Snape, or Bill Weasley?"
Severus ground his teeth together in an attempt to bite back the scathing remarks that were itching to come out. He knew this was not the time, nor the place, for such a display. However, at the insinuation that, were Aurors involved, he would undoubtedly be assumed guilty, something within him snapped.
"Understood his situation?" he replied, giving a snort. "What, precisely, do you understand about Remus Lupin? If you have no darkness within you, as you so loudly claim, how can you possibly understand a werewolf who constantly must battle the darkness within himself? How can you even begin to grasp how difficult it is for him, to know that one single lapse in judgment could cost someone else their very life?" Shaking his head, he looked the man up and down. "You know nothing about who he truly is, Weasley. And the sooner you realize that, the better." Then, giving one last look of concern to the still-unconscious werewolf, he gathered his robes about himself and left the room.
He was now more determined than ever to find the person who had tried to take Remus' life. And, when he did find them, there would be hell to pay.