Who: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Dimpy the House Elf
Where: Snape Manor
Summary: Remus returns home to find Severus and Harry ... in bed ... together.
Watch For: The jealous tendencies of a werewolf.
The talk with Hermione hadn't assuaged Harry's concerns about Snape's condition or Lupin's fate at all. If anything, it had only heightened them. There had never been any love lost between Harry and Snape, and their last meeting had left yet another bad taste in his mouth, but Lupin evidently saw something in Snape to let himself be mated to him - something that Harry assumed never happened with Sirius.
Their relationship only fuelled Harry's resentment towards the Potions Master. Not only was the man a sour, embittered greasy haired git of a man, but his death was going to take away the only link Harry had left to his family. Harry knew that it wasn't his place to approve or disapprove of the werewolf's personal decisions, but it boggled him that he could find anything in Snape to like, let alone love.
While Harry would have been more than content to let the new leader of the Order pass away without (much) further thought, Lupin's decision had changed everything. If nothing else, Harry had to see his former professor to make sure that Lupin's death wouldn't be for nothing. It was because of that reason that Harry Apparated to Snape Manor, despite the ever-increasing pain wracking his body.
Dimpy was waiting at the front door for Harry, wanting to inform the man that Remus wasn’t there so he would be on his way and she could get back to sitting with Severus. The Potions Master was getting progressively worse, the pain becoming almost too much for him to bear at times, and she hated having to leave his side to make him suffer alone.
The first knock had barely finished sounding on the door when the house-elf pulled it open and peered up at The Boy Who Lived with large, somber eyes.
“How may Dimpy help Harry Potter?” she asked quietly, reminding herself just in time to actually allow him to state his request before she sent him away.
Harry was already pushing through, his reply terse enough that Hermione - were she there - would have gasped in outrage in his treatment of a House Elf. "I want to see your Master."
Dimpy gasped, quickly stepping back in front of Harry. He may already be past the door, but he wasn’t going to get any further if she could help it. “Master Remus isn’t here!” she squeaked out. “Dimpy will tell Master Remus that Harry Potter stopped by and Dimpy is sure Master Remus will contact him. But Harry Potter must leave now.”
Even in his determination, Harry wasn't about to step on a House Elf that had put herself directly underfoot. Still, she wasn't going to get rid of him that easily. Slowly tilting his head down, he loomed over her. "Not Remus. Snape. I want to see Snape." His tone brooked no argument.
The House Elf blinked, his words taking a second to register. Once they did, her first instinct was to deny him entrance. Severus was ill and was clearly not up to having visitors.
However, no one had given her a direct order stating that, so she knew there wasn’t much she could do. Finally, giving a small sigh of defeat, she nodded her head. “Follow Dimpy,” she murmured, turning around and making her way through the Manor.
As she headed up the stairs leading to the Master Suite, Dimpy found herself wishing that someone else would intercept the man. But, she knew that wasn’t going to happen. Hannah had virtually barricaded herself in the lab as she searched for the cure, Remus was out taking care of some last minute errands, and Susan had taken the children out of the Manor for the day. No, she was going to have to lead him to her bed-ridden Master and just hope that he wasn’t there with the intent to cause harm.
Finally, they reached the room and Dimpy pushed open the door. Quietly, she entered, motioning for Harry to follow her. Her gaze swept across the still form of Severus, who was dozing lightly in the bed, his face drawn and much paler than usual.
Looking at Harry, her face was solemn as she spoke. “Master Severus is very ill,” she said in hushed tones.
Harry could see that. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he was struck by how frail the formidable Potions Master looked. Snape had once been capable of striking fear into the hearts of his students with nothing but a glare, but now he just looked old and tired.
Bloody hell. Harry shoved back the empathy that was beginning to well up in him. Snape would be horrified to know that Harry Potter was feeling sorry for him, and Harry wasn't too keen on the idea himself. His world didn't need yet another realignment.
The sight of Snape on his deathbed solidified the idea that Harry had been playing with since Lupin had given him the news. How much time did the older man have? Not much, from what he'd heard. Not much, from the looks of him. How much time did Lupin have? Not much.
Harry was going to give them time.
"Thank you, Dimpy," he said quietly as he moved towards the bed. "You may go now."
Dimpy hesitated only a second before obeying the order. With one last look at Severus, she slipped back out the door and pulled it shut behind her.
Severus stirred from the sound of the door closing. Grimacing in pain, he finally managed to push through it and open his eyes. He had been hopeful that, when he woke, Remus would have returned. However, the distance he felt through their bond told him that the person standing at the foot of the bed was not his mate.
Peering through the darkness, Severus tried to force his eyes to work enough to identify the visitor. Finally, the shape came into focus and he sighed.
“Potter,” he said quietly, his voice hoarse and hollow. “What are you doing here?”
"I wanted to see you." From anyone else and to anyone else, those words could have sounded courteous, a well-wisher coming to pay his last respects. From Harry Potter to Severus Snape, it was a simple statement of truth. "Remus told me he took you as a mate." His lips twisted at that last word.
Severus raised an eyebrow, a smirk flitting across his face. “Yes,” he replied simply. “Remus and I are mated.”
I should have known this would happen. Remus said that Potter didn’t take the news as well as he had hoped, Severus thought absently, shifting slightly in the bed. Keeping his eyes trained on the young man standing before him, he stated out loud, “I fail to see how that is any concern of yours.”
"You fail to see a lot of things," Harry said shortly, unable to keep an edge of anger from creeping into his voice. As if he could just sit back and not care about the well-being of a man who had become more than a mentor. As if he could just sit back and let him die. "Get up."
Severus wasn’t at all fazed by the sharpness of the younger wizard’s voice, instead finding it rather amusing. If anyone would have told him a year ago that he would be confined to his bed while being snapped at by Harry Potter, he would have hexed them into oblivion.
Of course, there were many things that had recently happened that he never could have foreseen. And he was quickly becoming immune to the slight shock that each situation caused.
Still smirking slightly, he finally answered his visitor. “As much as I would love nothing more than to leave this bed and forcibly remove you from my home, I am afraid that is no longer an option,” he stated in an even tone. His pride was taking a severe beating at the moment, but he refused to let it show.
“I am unable to stand on my own, Potter. My legs lack the strength and my nerves are not capable of withstanding the pain that comes from any slight amount of movement,” he continued. “Now, I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave. I do not have the time nor the energy to deal with you any longer.”
Harry didn't comply. Then again, when did he ever? What he did instead was kick off his shoes and move closer to the bed, rolling up his sleeves. "That's unfortunate. I need you to be sitting for this." And so, without further elaboration, he put one knee on the mattress for leverage and reached over to help Snape up.
Severus blinked, shock filling his face. What in the name of Merlin… Schooling his features into a mask of indifference and annoyance, he gave the young man a hard look.
“Potter, I have no desire to entertain whatever half-witted plan you have come up with,” he snapped, wishing he could bring himself to inch away from the man. He knew he could call for Dimpy and insist she show his ‘guest’ to the door. However, his pride wouldn’t allow himself to be rescued by a House Elf.
Bloody hell, he thought, as Harry made no move to stop. “Potter,” he said once again, just barely forcing the slight fear from his voice. “I insist you stop and…”
The rest of his words were cut short as the younger wizard quickly and efficiently pulled him into a seated position. Surprisingly enough, the movements weren’t rapid or harsh, and he only felt the slightest hint of pain before he was leaning against the headboard and it was over.
Quickly, his fear gave way to anger and he glared at Harry. “What do you think you’re doing?” he hissed in a dangerous tone.
All hints of Snape being an old, frail man had disappeared under the force of his ire. Even as an invalid, his hiss alone would have made any wizard quail. But Harry Potter wasn't just any wizard. He was well used to the Potion Master's anger and cutting words; he hadn't been afraid of the older man as an eleven year old just learning about his magical powers, and he wasn't afraid of the dying man now.
"I am trying," Harry told him through clenched teeth as he climbed onto the bed behind the older man, "to give you more time." Snape's robes were loose on his too-thin shoulders. Harry pushed them down slightly with motions which - while careful - bordered on brusque. No need to see more of Snape's skin than he needed.
Severus stiffened as he felt the weight of the bed shift. The fact that there was someone – even if that someone was Harry Potter – in bed with him that wasn’t his mate caused the Potions Master to flinch. He was so focused on preventing his feelings of rage and horror from reaching Remus through their bond that he nearly missed the younger wizard’s next words.
“You are attempting to do what?” he exclaimed, tensing when he felt Harry move his robes.
But it was too late. Harry's palms were already on his back, chilled at first but rapidly heating up as the younger man whispered an incantation too soft to be understood. Energy - and life - flowed from one dark-haired man to the other, channelled through the point of contact that Harry had initiated.
Severus froze, his eyes widening as he felt a warmth spread through his body. It began in his back, where Harry was touching, and coursed through his chest, blossoming outward to spread through his limbs.
The pain seemed to ease somewhat as his body began feasting on the energy it was being given. The cramping in his legs disappeared and the strain on his lower back to keep him in a seated position vanished.
Helpless, Severus could only sit there, eyes wide as saucers and breathing shallow, until Harry was finished.
Harry held on for as long as he could. He was no medical expert and he was no researcher, but if he could give enough of himself to Snape, if he could give him just a little more time, he wouldn't just be sitting around idle and helpless while the Order lost its leader and he lost Lupin.
But Snape's life-starved body was sucking out Harry's energy faster than he could handle and Harry, who'd never done this procedure before and wasn't even sure if it would even work, found himself losing control of the ritual. His skin felt like it was shrivelling up and his head felt like it was going to explode as he fought desperately to regain his grasp on the energy that was coursing out of him. Finally, with a force of effort that tore a scream out of him, he wrenched himself away and fell, gasping, against the headboard.
Severus gave a gasp as Harry finally pulled away. A sense of loss washed over him as the source of energy disappeared. Shocked at what just took place, he took a moment to collect himself. His mind was whirling with thoughts and his heartbeat had skyrocketed.
Finally, the realization of what had just transpired made it way to the surface and he turned with a snarl to glower at the young man behind him.
“You stupid boy!” he hissed, barely resisting the urge to shake Harry until his teeth rattled. “You could have been killed,” he added, his anger bordering on rage. “What were you thinking, or were you even thinking at all?”
Harry hadn't been expecting Snape to fall to his knees and thank him for possibly saving his life, but he rather thought that this ire took ungratefulness to new levels, especially when he himself was still limp with the effort that nearly had killed him.
"What does it matter," he panted as he tried to push himself up, only to have his elbow collapse with the effort. "I would have died anyway. At least now you have a better chance."
The Potions Master blinked, unable to believe what he was hearing. He watched with annoyance as Harry struggled to sit up, not feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for him.
“And just how do you think Remus would have felt if you had died a pointless death?” he questioned. “Or that he and I would have had to spend our remaining time together under scrutiny from the Ministry because their precious Harry Potter died while performing a spell that he should not have known about, much less considered using, on a man who he is known to despise.”
Shaking his head, he grasped the younger wizard by the shoulders and moved him into a seated position. His movements were much as Harry’s had been moments before. Not cruel, but certainly not tender, either.
“What an idiotic thing to do,” he muttered, pulling his hands away before he tried to shake some common sense into the young man. “A thoughtless, idiotic, Gryffindor thing to do!”
Harry lolled against the headboard, hating the weakness that wouldn't let him sit up on his own strength and left him helpless in Snape's bed. Too exhausted to simply get up and leave, he settled for glaring at the other man. "Well, this is your chance to throw me out like you wanted, isn't it?"
Severus was sorely tempted to do just as Harry suggested. In fact, he would derive nothing but pleasure from watching The Boy Who Lived to Annoy Him getting tossed out on his ear – literally.
However, he knew he couldn’t do that. While Harry’s actions had been foolish, bordering on downright stupidity that he had thought only Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle were capable of, the young wizard’s intentions had been pure enough. And, while Severus could care less about such things, he knew Remus wouldn’t like it if he just kicked the boy out after he’d attempted to help.
“Believe me when I tell you, Potter,” he growled, “I would rather enjoy doing such a thing. Unfortunately, Remus would be rather upset if I were to kick you from the Manor and you were to be injured before reaching the safety of Grimmauld Place.”
Giving a slight sigh of annoyance, he shook his head. “No, you will simply have to remain there until you have regained your strength,” he stated firmly. Then, added, “Unless, of course, you believe it will take you more than a few moments to be capable of walking on your own. If that is the case, I will have Dimpy remove you from my bed and put you in one of the guest rooms to recover.”
Snape would have been horrified to know that his previous thoughts about being rescued by a House Elf were being echoed in Harry's thoughts at the moment. In Grimmauld Place, Dobby had been instrumental in keeping Harry's room habitable, but never had he actually carried Harry anywhere. The wizard's pride wouldn't allow it. "Give me a few minutes." Talking still took effort. "I'll be out of your way then."
Severus nodded, a slight scowl filling his face. “See that you are. "If you are in this bed when Remus gets back, I do not believe either of us will have to worry about living much longer,” he stated, not wanting to think about his mate’s reaction if he were to come home to this situation. Angry wouldn’t be a strong enough description, of that he was certain.
Remus apparated back to Snape Manor, brow slightly furrowed in confusion. There was something going on with Severus, for he had caught flashes of annoyance and pain from his mate. But what really disturbed him was the sudden, intense flare of shock he had picked up, as though Severus had had a sudden - and not entirely welcome - surprise.
Hurrying to the front door, he let himself in, brushing by a worried Dimpy who attempted to tell him something. But Remus wasn't listening, far too anxious to find out what had happened to Severus.
Dashing up the stairs to the Master Suite, he opened the door and entered quickly, not bothering with silence since he knew his mate wasn't sleeping. "Severus? What happened? Are you alri...."
Then his voice trailed off in shock at the sight of his mate sitting up in the bed... with Harry Potter lounging against the headboard behind him.
Unfortunately, the part of him that was Moony had a much more direct and instinctive reaction to the sight, as was evidenced by the snarl of rage that was torn from him.
"Harry... what in the bloody hell are you doing in bed with MY mate?"
Harry had been staring blankly at Snape, wondering just why Remus would be angry to see him there - aside from the whole issue of possibly killing himself from the procedure when his brain caught up to the rest of his thoughts. Instantly, a look of revulsion overtook his expression. Him? Snape? Remus would never think that he'd -- well, of course he wouldn't -- "AUGH!"
Intent on crawling off the bed using his teeth if he had to, Harry didn't hear the rapid footsteps approaching. In fact, it wasn't until he heard Remus' roar that he realized he and Snape were no longer alone. A quick look towards the door showed the werewolf in a full rage, and in an instant Harry felt something in him shatter. Remus thought that Harry had come to infringe on his territory.
A friendship that went back to the days of his father, a determination to save the greasy git at the possible expense of his own life, and Remus thought him capable of such betrayal. "Nothing," Harry growled, his eyes darkening to match Lupin's. "Nothing that concerns you."
Severus gave a mental groan at Harry’s reaction. Wrong answer, Potter. A shame I can’t simply dock points from Gryffindor for this particular display of idiocy, he thought absently, before focusing his attention on his livid mate.
“Remus, it’s quite all right. Potter was trying, in his own foolish way, to offer assistance,” he offered in a quiet tone, while sending reassurance to the werewolf through their link.
With a visible effort, Remus fought against the jealousy of the wolf. Harry... it's just Harry, he told himself firmly, fists clenched at his sides. His nostrils flared and his jaw popped audibly at Harry's challenging words, which the alpha took as a challenge.
The worry, stress and pain of the last few days had left the wolf far closer to the surface, making control far more difficult. But try he did, with all the force of his will. The reassurance Severus was sending him helped, but when he replied his voice as still tight.
"You're wrong, Harry. Everything involving Severus concerns me. He is MINE." Taking a deep breath, he stepped back. "You don't understand about werewolves, Harry. No one ever touches a werewolf's mate. No one."
"Well, it's too late now, isn't it?" Harry shouted, stung by the implied accusation that he'd even want to touch the ugly hook-nosed bastard. His common sense was desperately trying to tell him that it was dangerous to provoke an already riled werewolf, but he pushed that aside and reveled with the knowledge that he was making Remus as angry as he was at the moment.
Dredging up every ounce of strength he had, he pulled himself off the bed and staggered to his feet. "Ask your precious mate what we've been doing," he spat. "I'm leaving."
“No,” Severus said softly yet firmly, “You are not.”
Looking past the swaying young man, he locked eyes with his mate. “Potter attempted to pass some of his energy into me in a vain attempt to keep you alive. He is physically drained and incapable of making it from this room at the moment, much less to his home,” he stated calmly.
“I understand that this is not an ideal situation. And I normally would have no qualms to you defending me, as it were. However, nothing sordid has happened and he was not aware of the … loyalty that we share as mates. Now that he is aware, I’m certain he would not attempt to make any sort of contact toward me again,” he said, hoping to appease the wolf.
While he certainly agreed that Harry had overstepped his bounds, Severus also realized that the young man truly had no idea what he’d done. He just hoped he could get Remus to realize that before the werewolf ruined whatever friendship he had with the younger wizard – a fact that Severus knew would upset his mate once he’d calmed down.
Remus continued to struggle against the wolf, against the surge of anger at the continued challenge from Harry. But then Severus' words hit him, and he gasped.
"You did what?" His face went pale, and icy chill ran down his spine, helping him to keep the wolf at bay. "Harry... that... that was a very dangerous thing to do... I'm not worth you taking such a risk for! You could have been killed! And for me? Oh, Merlin..."
Remus shivered, and when he looked at Harry his eyes were bleak. Finally he drew a shuddering breath. "Harry... I'm sorry... my control of the wolf is... tenuous these days. I know you wouldn't do anything to hurt Severus... but Moony..."
He shrugged, feeling despair wash over him. This... on top of everything else.
"I'm sorry," he said again, knowing it wouldn't be enough... but it was all he had to offer.
Snape was right in that Harry was too weak to make it out of the room, although he certainly would have tried. Snape was also right in that Harry wasn't about to try that again, even if he ever regained the strength to do so. Not if it meant such a reaction from the man he so admired.
Lupin's words did assuage his wounded feelings somewhat; hadn't he argued often enough - to Snape, even! - that the man was by no means responsible for the actions of the wolf? It still rankled, though, that Lupin would immediately jump to such a conclusion, and so when he replied, it was grudging.
"Fine. I'm still leaving."
Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “Potter, if you attempt to leave on your own, you will end up face down in some puddle and drown,” he snapped, his gaze flicking from the younger wizard to Remus.
Sending slight concern, but mostly annoyance, at Remus, he hoped his mate would be focused enough to at least offer to see Harry home. That way, they could get a chance to speak and clear the air so Remus didn’t fear the young man hated him for his reaction.
"Harry, please... forgive me. And thank you for.... trying to help. No one... no one has ever done anything like that for me. Not even James or Sirius. They... they never would have been able to get past their feelings for Severus, even to help me. And that means more to me than you can possibly know," Remus said softly.
He walked over to the younger man, eyes full of regret for his loss of control. Hesitantly, he reached out to the younger wizard. "Please, sit back down, Harry. Rest for a bit longer, and then... I'll take you back home."
Harry did have enough energy to skewer Snape with a glare for his snide remark, but at Remus' apology, he turned back to the werewolf, the rest of his anger draining from him.
"All right," he agreed. By this time, Remus' hand on his shoulder was the only thing holding him up. "I could...do with a rest."
Severus gave a slight snort, but refrained from saying anything to destroy the tentative peace his mate seemed to have reached with Harry. Instead, he merely watched the interaction between the two and idly wondered if and when Remus would attempt to explain why he’d become to upset.
No doubt Potter will still take it as some sort of insult, he thought, before giving a slight sigh. Deciding to utilize what energy he now possessed, the man picked up the pile of parchments that were on the bedside table and began shuffling through them. At least now he could get some more research of his own done.
A tentative smile touched Remus' lips, as he urged Harry to sit back down on the bed, moving a couple of pillows into place so that the younger wizard could lean back comfortably.
Then he raked a hand through his hair, and sighed. "Harry, just so you know... It wasn't you, really. I knew nothing had happened. It's just... Oh, hell. It could have been Albus Dumbledore in the same position, or Minerva, or anyone, and the wolf's reaction would have been the same. It's... instinct." His eyes went to Severus then, and his face softened at seeing his mate in what was obviously much better shape than when he had left.
"You did something for him that I couldn't, Harry," he continued softly, suddenly feeling a lump in this throat. Amber eyes came back to the younger man, bright with what might have been unshed tears. "I can never repay you for that. And even if it was a damned risky thing to do... Thank you."
Remus' gratitude was as disconcerting as his anger, but in an entirely different way. Harry hadn't done it for the thanks; if he'd had his way, he would have been gone by the time Remus had returned. He certainly wouldn't be lying in Snape's bed feeling as weak as a baby. "I told you I'd do whatever I could to help you," he stated uncomfortably. Silently, he willed his energy to come back so he could get the hell out of there.
Remus nodded, then sighed, sinking down in a chair next to the bed. "Yes, indeed you did." He inclined his head slightly. "Out of curiosity... where in the world did you learn that, Harry?"
For a moment, Harry didn't answer. A muscle twitched in his jaw as he stared straight ahead, and then finally he answered without looking at Lupin.
"Something I picked up on my travels." There was no point in adding that it was his first attempt at it.
Another moment, and then he stretched his arms. He wasn't as strong as he had been when he came here - if strong could be used at that point - but he was fairly sure at this point that he'd be able to stand under his own steam. "I'm all right to go now."
Remus nodded, rising to his feet, and offering Harry a hand to help him rise. "Let me help you, Harry. Do you want to apparate, or floo back?"
Harry took the hand gratefully and let himself be helped up, not looking at Snape. "I'll floo." In his state, he wasn't sure if he could make it without Splinching himself.
Remus glanced at his mate, appeal in his eyes and in the bond they shared. Thank him, Severus... just this once. Please. "I'll take Harry downstairs, then," he said quietly.
Severus finally allowed himself to look up from the parchments, giving a silent groan at what his mate was obviously asking of him. Blood hell… Tipping his head slightly, he cleared his throat and turned his gaze to Harry.
“Potter,” he muttered, “While I still believe what you did was idiotic, I … appreciate your efforts.” With that, he quickly looked back to Remus, letting his mate know with a single look that that was as close to a thank-you as was going to leave his lips of his own accord.
Harry slowly turned around to regard Snape with unfathomable green eyes. "It wasn't for you," he said quietly. That said, he turned to head out.
Severus raised an eyebrow, silently impressed with the reaction. Waiting until Harry had reached the door, he replied in an equally quiet tone, “Nor was I thanking you for attempting to help myself.”
Then, he turned his attention to Remus, raising an eyebrow. “I will see you when you return,” he stated simply.
Remus sighed, then crossed to the other side of the bed. Bending over, he kissed his mate gently. "Back soon," he replied, before straightening and walking to Harry. "The drawing room fireplace," he said.
"That's the best one to floo from." He gave Harry another smile, then opened the door to allow the younger wizard to precede him out.
Harry kept his silence until he got to the fireplace. Then, as he stepped in with a handful of floo powder, he turned to address Remus again. "I still don't like him," he said frankly.
And then he was gone in a flash of green smoke.
Remus started into the fireplace for a moment after Harry left, feeling a conflicting blend of emotions. Surprise, gratitude, remorse... and still, in the back of his mind, the faint anger of the wolf, shunted aside but not forgotten. Shaking himself, Remus turned, and almost ran up the stairs. He needed to see Severus, to assure himself that everything that had occurred had, indeed, been of benefit to his mate, and not harm.
He entered the bedroom, closing the door behind himself and locking it. Then he crossed to the bed, sinking down near the foot of it, facing Severus. "So, would you like to fill me in on what I missed?" He gave a lopsided smile, before letting out a shuddering sigh. "May Harry never find out just how close I was to... um..." His voice trailed off uncomfortably.
Severus glanced up as his mate entered the room, his eyebrow rising as an amused look crossed his face. “Somehow I think anything you could have done would have shocked Potter more than the basic reaction you had when you first entered the room and found him in our bed,” he replied dryly.
Putting the parchments back on the table, he fixed Remus with an unreadable look. “There is not much to tell that you are not already aware of. He showed up, threw about a few thinly veiled and highly poor insults, insisted I move and, when I refused, moved me himself. He then proceeded to pass his energy onto me and nearly killed himself in the process.”
Shrugging slightly, he added, “In short, he acted very much like the Harry Potter that has been the thorn in my side since his first year at Hogwarts. Brave to the point of foolish and wholly unable to see beyond what he believes to be the best course of action.”
Smirking, he couldn’t resist the last statement. “In short, he is very much a Gryffindor.”
Remus listened, eyes searching Severus' face as the man spoke. His mate did look stronger, and a surge of relief washed over him. Perhaps Harry had, in his stupidly brave and incredibly generous gesture, managed to buy them just a little more time. "I'm torn between gratitude and wanting to kick his arse from here to China," Remus finally said, shaking his head.
He reached out to take one of Severus' hands between his own. "How are you feeling?" he asked gently. "Did whatever he did really make it better?
Severus was hesitant in his answer. Yes, he did feel better. However, he found himself worried that, if he admitted such a thing out loud, the energy would suddenly disappear and he would be in just as bad, if not, worse condition than before.
Still, he wasn’t about to hide how he was feeling from Remus. If that were even possible, of course, given their connection.
Finally, he settled for a simple nod of his head and a squeeze of his mate’s hand. “Yes,” he murmured. “Surprisingly enough, it did. I feel … almost healed.”
Remus smiled slightly, brushing a kiss across the back of Severus' hand. "I'm glad then. Whatever he did... whyever he did it." He frowned then, as the obvious suddenly occurred to him. "But... that does lessen his own time, doesn't it? Since..." his voice trailed off again, and he felt a wave of sorrow. Not so much for he and Severus, but for Harry.
They had lived their lives, and certainly he didn't want either of them to die... but Harry was still young. It seemed far more unfair for him to be facing his own death than for he and his mate to be contemplating their own. "Oh, Merlin..."
Severus nodded, trying to ease the sorrow coming from his mate. “Fortunately,” he stated, “Potter has the advantage of youth on his side. There is a strong possibility that, even with what he did hear earlier, he will still be very much alive when the cure is discovered. Then it is simply a matter of Ms. Abbott giving him the potion, which she already knows to do.”
He gave a slightly sardonic smile, squeezing Remus’ hand gently. “He will be fine, Remus. The wizarding world as a whole would not have it any other way.”
"I hope so," the werewolf sighed, shaking his head. He did it for me... and now, assuming I live, and Severus lives... I owe him a Wizard's Debt. Not that I mind in the least. I hope we are all still around for me to repay it. Then he chuckled slightly, shaking his head. "Every time I think I have him figured out, Harry does something that surprises me."
He paused, looking up into the black eyes of his mate, seeing the pain line etched between them had eased. "You're feeling stronger... would you like me to take you down to the Lab for a bit? So you can check on everything?" He knew how much Severus hated being confined to the bed.
The Potions Master considered the question. Granted, he would love nothing more than to get out of bed and see with his own two eyes that his laboratory was still in one piece. However, he was also enjoying the time he was spending with his mate and was loathe to include anyone else in his brief respite from the pain that constantly plagued him.
“Actually,” he finally answered, a sneaky smile tugging at his lips, “I believe I can think of some … other way to better spend our time…”
Inclining his head, Remus gave his mate an inscrutable look. "Oh? This must be good, if Severus Snape is turning down an opportunity to go to the lab... which, if I seem to recall, has been something which he has been complaining non-stop about for an entire week." He raised a brow. "What in the world could possibly compete in your mind with that?"
Severus grinned wickedly, leaning forward until his mouth was merely inches from Remus’. “What indeed?” he questioned, his tone breathless. Then, he closed the distance and captured his mate’s lips in a crushing kiss. Closing his eyes, he allowed all of the emotions he was feeling for the other man to course through the line as he became lost in the taste, smell, and feel that was purely Remus.
Remus' breath caught in his chest, and his arms went around his mate, holding him tightly. Severus had been in so much pain lately that he had been almost unable to bear being touched, even by Remus. To actually be able to hold him and caress him again without causing agony was a gift the werewolf didn't question, and one that he couldn't refuse.
Sending back his own feelings, through their bond, he deepened the kiss, pushing Severus back into the pillows of their bed, reveling in the feel of his mate's body beneath him. But he kept most of his weight off, supporting himself on his arms and pressing down carefully so as not to cause any hurt. After several moments he pulled back to gaze down into the midnight eyes he adored. "Anything, Severus. Anything at all you want is yours."
Severus met his gaze, peering into amber eyes that glowed with unspoken passion. Running his hands across his mate’s back, he softly murmured, “You are all I want, Remus.”
Inwardly, he winced slightly at the corniness of his statement. Yet, it was the truth and, since this could very well be the last time they were able to lay together, he wasn’t about to allow his pride to stand in the way.
“You,” he whispered again, before raising his head and kissing the man once more. Absently, in the furthest recesses of his mind, he found himself thanking every deity he knew of for this chance.
And, going against everything he stood for, he gave out a silent thanks to Harry Potter, as well. Even if he is a foolish Gryffindor who nearly got himself killed…