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Just another routine mission...

It had been just another routine mission.  Severus didn't like them, but he simply used Occlumency to take on the role of Death Eater as he donned the mask, feeling as if he were an actor playing a part.  It was easier to do what he had to do, when he thought of it that way.  He could be anyone at all when he told himself it was just a role to play.  It reminded him of the way he felt in the Muggle world.  Nothing felt real, nothing could touch him, nothing could hurt him. 

Wilkes, Rosier, and himself were on the water front in Muggle Kent, in what appeared to be a wealthy area.  These docks were full of yachts and schooners, and out on the dark water, Severus could see a large boat with party lights that was wafting the sounds of laughter and a string band back towards them.

Severus had been privately relieved that they didn't have a human target this time.  They were meeting someone who wasn't a Death Eater, but a private supporter of the Dark Lord, and he was to deliver to them a parcel, which they would take back with them to Headquarters.  It was simple enough.  Severus was rather nervous of the fact that the bloke delivering their parcel wasn't human, but they weren't told to expect treachery, so as they waited for the vampire barman who ran a pub in Knockturn, they were alert but relaxed.

"Still can't believe Aurors got Karkaroff and Dolohov," Wilkes muttered as he drew a fag from his mask's mouth slit, exhaling a long stream of smoke.

"They weren't even on a mission," Rosier agreed, shaking his head and leaning against the wall of the building they were hiding behind. 

"Anyone hear who got them?" Severus asked, frowning behind his mask.  From what he'd heard of the circumstances surrounding their arrest, he thought it had to be one of the Aurors who was an Order member.  He'd told Dumbledore where Karkaroff and Dolohov kept a flat in Britain, so they didn't constantly have to Apparate and Portkey back and forth to Russia.

"Old Mad Eye Moody, I heard," Rosier uttered with contempt.  "That bastard's got a lot coming to him.  If I ever run into him, I'll bloody kill him."

"I'll help," Severus uttered.

"No, we'll capture him first," Wilkes said, tossing his fag to the pavement and putting it out with the toe of his boot.  "Then Severus here can torture him with one of his special poisons, and then when we get tired of hearing him beg for death, we'll kill him."

Rosier chuckled.  "As if I'd get tired of that."

"Who's this fellow we're meeting tonight, Sev?" Wilkes asked, sticking his hands in his pockets.  "You said you knew him, right?"

"No, I just know he's that vampire that owns that pub down Knockturn," Severus said.  "I've been in there a couple times."

"I didn't know there was a vampire running a pub," Rosier said.  "What's it called?"

"Hunter's Kiss," Severus replied dryly.

Wilkes laughed.  "That's a bit obvious.  Should have known.  When's he getting here?  I'm bored."

"Supposed to be - " Rosier began, and then a gold flash of light lit up the alley and knocked the mask square off his face.

Rosier swore and spun, and Severus drew his wand, ducking as another flash of gold came straight for him.  He heard it strike the brick wall and saw sparks fall in front of him, then jumped to his feet just in time to see Wilkes toss a spell at the air that lit up the alley.

"Don't-!" Severus protested, but it was too late, the alley was bathed in light, and now whoever had shot at them not only had a clear view, but was also getting a good look at Rosier's face.

Rosier swore again, firing at a dumpster, and a man darted out from behind.  It wasn't the bar owner turning on them, as Severus had begun to think.  The figure straightened, and Severus recognised the grizzled features of Mad-Eye Moody.  Severus stared in shock, wondering if Dumbledore had told Moody they would be here, because he'd told Dumbledore about the mission tonight.

"Moody!" Wilkes bellowed, and charged.  Severus was right behind.

He collided with Rosier, who elbowed him aside and threw a hex.  Moody deftly avoided it, shocking Severus with how agile he could be when he wanted to, and then Severus remembered to fire.  He missed, just as Rosier had, but Wilkes threw a hex as Moody was dodging Severus' hex, and it struck him on the shoulder.

Moody roared.  "You are all three under arrest!  Surrender your wands now!"

Wilkes laughed.  "Oh, okay," he shouted, and sent a bolt of blue light straight for Moody's head.

Moody blocked, and Wilkes' curse rebounded, as did Rosier's.  That was a powerful shield spell, Severus realised, then threw a shield breaker at it.

Rosier crowed in triumph and threw a familiar bolt of red, and Moody was on the ground, howling in pain.  Rosier laughed angrily.

"Oh no," Wilkes said jubilantly, coming up next to him, "Now you're in for it!  Casting an Unforgivable on an Auror!"

Moody's struggles ceased, and Rosier ended the curse.  "Oh dear me," he uttered viciously.  "I've been a bad little Death Eater, haven't I?"

They all three laughed, and Wilkes kicked Moody's side for good measure.  One of the Auror's hands shot out and grabbed Wilkes' leg, yanking.  Severus realised with some relief that he'd fooled them into thinking he'd been tired out.  Wilkes gave a shout, but the surprise kept him from immediately throwing a hex, and Moody got one in right in his face.  A blast of purple sent Wilkes sailing into the wall, where his head hit with a loud thunk that could be heard throughout the alley. 

Severus didn't look to see if Wilkes was getting back up, he shot a curse that Moody rolled away from, then jumped back when a clawed hand shot at his own leg.  Rosier fired off another red light, but this time Moody blocked it, and threw himself up from the ground, tumbling into Severus. 

They both went sprawling on the pavement in a tangle of limbs and wands, Severus' breath leaving him when he landed hard on his back.  Severus let out a wordless growl as Moody pried at the bottom of his mask with his bare fingers, but it had been spelled in place and didn't move.  Then Moody was thrown back, and Severus realised that Rosier had freed him with a well-aimed hex.

Moody shook it off and fired off two hexes in a row, one aimed at Severus and one at Rosier.  Severus tried to block but wasn't quick enough; the hex hit him like a fist to the gut, and he hit the wall, seeing stars as a sharp pain flared in his head.  Then Rosier and Moody were duelling, firing off and blocking curses so fast that Severus could barely keep track.  It took a few moments for his thoughts to gather themselves, and he watched Rosier grab hold of a fire escape and pull himself up.  Severus struck Moody in the side with a stinging hex, and then as Moody turned back to him, Rosier got his feet in the rungs and hit Moody with a Reducto.

Moody's hasty shield wasn't enough for it.  He caught some of it, and all Severus could see was that his face was all over bloody.  He pulled himself to his feet as Moody threw a spell Severus didn't recognise, which sent Rosier tumbling from the fire escape.  Moody hexed him mid-air a second time, and Rosier's body spun, limp like a rag doll.  He hit the pavement head-first with a sickening crunch.

Severus just stared at his friend's limp form.  He saw Moody round on him, and yanked his mask off with the wandless counter-charm.  Moody paused, wand raised for another tense moment, then lowered his hand.  "Ought to arrest you," he uttered, sounding stuffy, and turned to Wilkes, who had not got up.

Severus rushed to Rosier's side, but he could already tell from the unnatural angle of his head that he was dead, neck snapped.  He swallowed, his throat dry.  Moody could have cushioned his fall, but he'd made it worse.  Severus could have cushioned his fall, but he'd just stood there, watching his friend tumble helplessly.

"This one's dead," Moody called.

Severus felt sick.  "Same over here," he managed weakly.

"Who were they?" Moody asked gruffly, approaching Severus.

"Cosmo Wilkes and Evan Rosier," Severus replied automatically, staring at Rosier's blank eyes.

Moody made a short, slashing motion with his wand, and fire lanced up Severus' side, buckling his knees.  "Ah, fuck!" Severus cried as he hit the pavement, curling in on himself when intense pain flared and radiated from rib to hip.  "What the fuck?" he cried, curling his hands into fists as the pain rolled over him again and again.

"Gives you an excuse when you go report to Voldemort," Moody said gruffly.  "When he wonders why you couldn't stop me."

"Merlin's tits," Severus gasped, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to will the pain away behind the black of his eyes and curling into a tighter ball, his forehead pressed into the gritty pavement.

"Is it excruciating?" Moody asked conversationally, which sent a flare of impotent anger through Severus.

"Yes!"

"You'll need a Healer to stop the bleeding, you best get yourself to your lord before you lose too much blood."

Severus began to realise he was shivering.  "How'm I s'pposed t' App'rate?"

Moody never answered. 

Severus pushed back the rising panic and focused his will, and after a few moments, managed to Apparate back to Death Eater headquarters.  He landed himself right in the main audience chamber.  Two voices stopped a beat later.

Footsteps resounded quickly across the floor.  Severus felt arms trying to lift him, caught a flash of blonde hair, and cried out as the pain redoubled itself.

"Salazar," he heard Lucius hiss, and curled up again as he was dropped.  "He's bleeding badly from somewhere."

"All I asked was for you to go retrieve something for me," the Dark Lord's sibilant voice uttered in irritation. "How difficult can it be?  Severus, where are Wilkes and Rosier?"

"My Lord, I believe he may be too injured to properly respond," Lucius said carefully.  "Perhaps a Healer, first, and then he may be able to give you answers?"

"Severus?  Severus!  Oh fine," Voldemort snapped when Severus didn't respond.  "He's useless to me like that.  Get him fixed up and bring him back.  And send someone to go look for those other two idiots.  Discreetly!"

"Yes, my Lord," Lucius replied obediently.

Severus felt himself being lifted into the air.  He dimly realised he was whimpering, but he didn't have the presence of mind to stop.

"He is dripping on my carpet," Voldemort hissed angrily.

"I'll get someone in to clear up the blood," Lucius promised absently.

Severus shivered as he floated out into the hallway, trying to still his tremors but unable to in the face of such an alarming cold washing over him.  He was glad someone was directing him, because he knew he wouldn't have been able to think about moving on his own.  It was a miracle he hadn't splinched himself.  Or maybe he had.  He couldn't really tell where all his limbs were at the moment.

He ended up shivering on a different floor while one of the Healers on call at Headquarters stripped him naked with a few spells and then pulled his arm away from his side.  The woman whistled.  "That's not pretty."

"Salazar," Lucius hissed.  "No wonder he was bleeding everywhere."

Severus tried to say something, but all he did was whimper more.

"Shh, it's all right, love," the Healer uttered, and suddenly Severus felt much warmer, his tremors slowing. 

The pain subsided enough that his head stopped swimming, and he gasped in relief.  "Fuck.  Moody.  Rosier, Wilkes, dead."

"Dead?" Lucius gasped, along with the Healer.  "Moody killed them?"

"Bloody killed them," Severus grunted, wanting to cry with relief as the pain continued to lessen.  "Didn't have to.  Did it on purpose, I'd bet anything."

"How dare he?" Lucius demanded.  "The Dark Lord's wrath will be terrible!  He will pay in blood."

"I'm going to put him in bed to rest for the night," the Healer said.

"Not yet, the Dark Lord wants to talk with him."

"He's in no condition for that," the Healer protested.

"Oh, are you going to tell our Lord he can't speak to Severus tonight?"

She sighed.  "Fine.  But after that, he's going straight to bed."

"Severus, can you speak?"

Severus nodded slowly, though he dreaded doing so.  He was so warm.

"Drink this, for the pain," the Healer whispered, pushing a vial to his lips.

Severus shook his head.  "Stubborn kid, it's your potion," she said, and slowly, he drank the trickle she poured into his mouth.

"He'll be able to speak now.  Not for too long, though, it'll put him to sleep."

"That's all we need.  Severus, can you walk?"

Severus shook his head.  He cracked open his eyes and looked at the Healer, who was frowning over him.  "I can't give him a strengthening solution now, it'll make things worse.  Our Lord will have to come to him."

"Fabulous.  I'm sure he'll be thrilled," Lucius said with resignation, and Severus heard him leave.

"The wound's closed," the Healer told him, staring down at him with strangely compassionate blue eyes.  "You've lost a lot of blood, though.  Fortunately you got to us quickly.  Once he lets you alone, I'll give you a blood replenishing potion, and you can sleep here tonight.  I'll keep an eye on you."

Severus made a protesting noise in his throat, but didn't speak, and she ignored it anyway.  Remus was going to be worried about him, but he couldn't have moved then if he'd wanted to.


*


Remus woke up sprawled across the entire bed, one arm outflung and his neck stiff.  For approximately twenty seconds he squeezed his eyes shut, trying to remember why he felt like something was wrong.  Then he shoved himself upright and jumped off the bed.

"Severus!" he shouted, struggling into a shirt and running to the bathroom.  No Severus.  Nor was Severus for some reason sleeping in the spare room.  He ran downstairs, his worry of the night before transforming into outright panic.  "Severus!" he called, hitting the door at the bottom of the stairs and pushing it open so quickly it rebounded and caught him on the elbow as he went through.

Severus wasn't asleep on the sofa, either.  "Severus!"  He ran into the kitchen, which was empty, everything as he'd left it the night before.  "Fucking hell!" he swore, and went directly to the fireplace.

"Dumbledore's office," he snapped as he threw the Floo powder in.  He stormed into the Headmaster's office and looked around anxiously, then realised he was wearing a button shirt and a pair of blue plaid boxers.  Well, Dumbledore would just have to deal with that.

"Remus?"  Dumbledore's voice was actually startled.  The Headmaster came from one of the alcoves in his office and stared frankly at him.  Remus wondered if his hair were sticking out all over.

"Severus never came home last night," he blurted.  "I know he had a mission.  Is he here?"

Dumbledore frowned.  "I haven't seen him.  He was going to Kent, to receive a delivery; he wasn't sure what."

"Well, you have to find him!" Remus said, staring at Dumbledore as some icy hand crushed his heart.  "I'll go to Kent, I'll find him, he might be hurt!"

"Remus, my boy, don't panic," Dumbledore said.  "We'll find him.  Perhaps you'd like to put some trousers on."

"Trousers don't matter if Severus is hurt!" Remus cried, his voice breaking.

Just then, the fire flared up, and Severus jumped out.  He stopped and stared at Remus, distracted by the fact that he was trouser-less.

"Oh, God, are you all right?"  Remus crossed the room in two strides, catching at Severus' shoulders, then just staring at him.

"Moody almost killed me why aren't you wearing trousers?" Severus asked, distracted.

"I just woke up and discovered you still weren't home," Remus said.  "You're lucky I remembered to put a shirt on.  Wait--Moody?  Headmaster, I thought you'd told Moody to leave Severus alone!"

"He killed Wilkes and Rosier," Severus said quietly.  "I fared better in the fight, but then he said I needed an excuse as to why I couldn't stop him.  I almost bled out on the Dark Lord's carpet.  I was stuck at Death Eater headquarters being taken care of by one of their Healers.  She made me stay overnight."

"What?"  Remus gripped Severus' shoulders more tightly.  "God!"

Dumbledore was frowning.  "Severus would you like to sit?" he asked.  "May I offer you both tea? Biscuits? Trousers?"

Remus jerked around to glare at the Headmaster, but then went obediently to sit on the sofa which had apparently replaced the chairs Dumbledore usually had, guiding Severus along with him.

Severus followed Remus to the sofa, but before he sat, he pulled up his robes (he was wearing trousers underneath) and showed Remus the ugly and crudely healed purple gash that spanned from the top of his ribs all the way down to his hipbone on his left side.

Remus just made a wordless noise of outrage and pulled Severus down so he could wrap his arms around him.

Severus pulled his robes down underneath Remus' arms and then wrapped his arms around Remus in turn, leaning against him.  "He killed them," he repeated softly, ignoring that Dumbledore was likely watching them.

"This is entirely fucked up," Remus declared in a low voice, and nuzzled just behind Severus' ear.  "Are you all right?"

Dumbledore cleared his throat and set the tea service on the table in front of them.

"I'm all right now," Severus uttered, wanting to go on ignoring Dumbledore and snog Remus a bit, though he was aware of the Headmaster by the way he cleared his throat.  "I thought I was going to die there," he whispered.  It was the last place he'd want to die, amongst the Death Eaters, alone and lost to the world as just another one of them.  And how would Remus or Dumbledore have found him, if something had happened, if he'd splinched himself or the Healer hadn't been around or even if Lucius hadn't been around to help him, because obviously the Dark Lord had not concerned himself with the fact that Severus had been hurt.

"This can't go on, Headmaster!" Remus said, turning to glare at Dumbledore.  "He's risking too much!  How many times does he have to nearly die before you realise enough is enough?"

Dumbledore sighed and poured two cups of tea.  "This continues to be Severus' choice, Remus.  He knows, as you know, how very important it is that we have eyes and ears on the inside."

"I don't care!" Remus exclaimed, and to his horror, he felt his eyes stinging with tears.  "I don't want to lose him, and you keep putting him in danger again and again."  He turned his back to Dumbledore, holding Severus tightly.  "I love him too much."

Severus held Remus snug against him, his expression sad and full of regret.  He didn't speak, feeling torn between his duty to both men.  He knew he had to do this, but he hated Remus' pain and he wanted to stop just to prevent it in future.  Remus loved him so much, and he couldn't lose that. 

Finally, he said, "I'm sorry, Remus.  It's my fault I'm in this situation, not Dumbledore's."

"No, it isn't!" Remus said.  "Don't blame yourself!  I don't care about blame.  I care about your safety.  And now we can't even count on our own allies not to hurt you!  It was bad enough when it was just the Auror cadets--now it's bloody Moody?"
 
As he spoke, he felt soft, heavy fabric settle down across his knees.  He looked and saw he had a purple brocade dressing gown on his lap.  Dumbledore was sitting in the chair across from them, looking oddly uncomfortable.  "Would you like some breakfast, Severus?  Remus?"
 
Severus pulled his head back a little, peering at Remus anxiously.  "Breakfast?"

"You've been out all night, and I sincerely doubt Remus took time for breakfast."  Dumbledore's voice was soft.
 
Remus pulled back enough to wipe the heel of his hand across his eyes.  "I didn't," he said hoarsely.

"Then we would like breakfast, thank you," Severus said politely, glancing at Dumbledore without taking his arms from around Remus or seeming embarrassed in any way by their behaviour.

Remus nodded and then just leaned against Severus, breathing in his scent.  Calm was trying to creep in, and Remus didn't want to be calm, but he was too tired to hold on to his anger.  Severus could decide how this went.
 
Dumbledore was Flooing the kitchens and ordering them a breakfast from the house-elves, so Remus nuzzled Severus' throat and kissed him tenderly.
 
Severus smiled and returned the kiss.  It felt so comforting after everything he'd been through that he gave Remus another after the first ended.  "I'm so sorry I couldn't come back earlier," he uttered softly.

"That isn't your fault," Remus whispered, lifting a hand to stroke over Severus' hair.  "You're not in pain still, are you?"
 
"No, I've taken pain potions," Severus said quietly.  "I'm not in any pain."
 
"Good."  Remus was starting to feel cold, sitting there without any trousers on.  He sighed and pulled Severus close again, just as Dumbledore came back to sit across from them.
 
"Is there anything else you need, Severus?" he asked.  "Would you like to see Poppy?"
 
Remus frowned.  "I'd like to hear more about this mission, and what you're going to do to see that Mad-Eye stops trying to kill my lover."

"Maybe after breakfast," Severus said.  "She could probably give me something to heal it better."

Dumbledore nodded and, after a moment, reached out to pat Severus' hand.  "Well.  The elves will be up in a moment with a nice hearty breakfast, and then we can talk."
 
Remus watched him in confusion.  The headmaster was acting strangely this morning.  Perhaps it was just the result of Remus' showing up sans trousers.  That might be enough to throw anyone off.
 
"Thank you," Severus uttered, then glanced down at Remus and pulled the purple dressing gown up higher across his lap.  "Are you cold?" he asked, feeling bad for Remus that he'd been so worried that he'd actually forgot trousers.

Remus shrugged.  "A little," he admitted.  "It doesn't matter."

Severus shook his head and cast a warming charm on the fabric just as their breakfast arrived, two heaping trays worth.  Severus wondered how much the house-elves thought the average wizard ate.  They seemed to be under the impression that it was about a stone's worth of food, each.

"Thanks," Remus mumbled, meaning for both the warming charm and the food.  He took a plate off the tray and balanced it on his knees as he ate.

Severus only picked at his own plate, gaze shifting between Remus and Dumbledore uncertainly.
 
Remus finally finished eating and put his hand under the dressing gown so he could tuck it against Severus' leg.  He was beginning to feel relieved enough that he could take amusement in the fact that his trouserless state had apparently embarrassed Dumbledore.
 
Dumbledore eventually must have decided they were finished, because he sat back.  "Well.  Severus, could you tell me in more detail what happened?"
 
Severus nodded, and recounted in detail how it went, all about the mission they were supposed to be doing, and then exactly how the battle progressed when Moody interfered.  He didn't linger on any one point, such as the way Rosier had looked, tumbling head-first towards the street.  He didn't want to give away that Wilkes and Rosier had been his friends, because he felt a bit guilty for it.

Remus stroked the side of Severus' leg slowly as his lover spoke, trying to impart a bit of comfort.  He seemed to remember Severus spending time hanging about with Rosier and Wilkes when they were in school; it had to be upsetting that they were dead--and to have them killed in front of him...it was horrible, even if they had been true Death Eaters.

When Severus finished, he watched Dumbledore for his reaction, pleased because he didn't think he'd given away any of his own thoughts on the matter.

Dumbledore nodded slowly.  "I am so sorry, Severus," he murmured.  "That cannot have been easy.  I will speak to Alastor, of course.  We are not here to eradicate Tom's followers; merely to prevent them from performing criminal acts.  That could have been much more gracefully done."  He sighed and rubbed at his forehead.  "I suggest you two boys go home.  You are likely both in need of rest.  Severus, I would like you to see Madam Pomfrey before you leave."
 
Remus frowned.  "I'll go with him."
 
Severus' smirk was a weak showing, but he made an effort.  "Are you certain you want to show off your shorts to another member of Hogwarts' staff?" he teased.

Remus felt his cheeks get hot, and he looked at Severus in surprise.  "I...ah.  Perhaps Dumbledore will allow me to borrow the dressing gown."  He glanced from the Headmaster to Severus, hoping Severus didn't mean for Remus not to come.
 
Dumbledore smiled slightly.  "Of course, my dear boy."
 
Severus smiled, feeling unaccountably better, now he was with Remus and the meeting was done.  "All right, let's go."  He stood and helped Remus into the dressing gown.  It looked rather nice on him, for being bright purple.
 
Remus liked how affectionate Severus was being, even if he didn't like the reason behind it.  He laced his fingers with Severus' as they walked to the spiral staircase, and then wrapped his arms around Severus once they were alone, holding him close.  "I'm so glad you're all right.  I hate that you were injured."  He kissed Severus' hair.

"I thought I was going to die and no one would know what had really happened to me," Severus muttered into Remus' hair, where he had thrust his face once Remus pulled him into his arms.  "I keep seeing them dead.  We'd just been talking about Moody before he appeared, too."

"I hate this," Remus muttered.  "This stupid war, and bloody Moody, killing people when he didn't have to.  It's nasty and dirty and I'm just so tired of it."  He wanted to protect Severus, and he felt powerless to do so.
 
Severus tightened his arms around Remus.  "I'm sick of people dying."
"Yes," Remus agreed.  "Regardless of what side they're on."  He kissed Severus' cheek and held him until they reached the bottom of the stairway.  They made their way stealthily to the Hospital Wing, where Poppy clucked over Severus and gave him another healing potion, then told him to rest.
 
It was nothing more than Severus suspected.  He and Remus Flooed home, and Severus put an arm around him as they made their way upstairs.  "You look quite decadent in that dressing gown," Severus murmured, his mouth near Remus' ear as they reached the top of the stairs. 
 
Remus felt a thrill go through him, but he shook his head.  "Do not do anything inappropriate to me while I am wearing Dumbledore's dressing gown," he warned.  "Anyway, I'm only going to take it and my shirt off so I can climb in bed with you."  He turned his head to kiss Severus deeply.

Severus returned the kiss, his gaze heated when they broke apart.  "Who cares if it's his, as long as he's not in it?" he teased.  "You look edible."
 
"God, I love you so much!" Remus whispered.  He framed Severus' face with his hands and just stared at him for a moment, then kissed him again.

Severus returned the kiss passionately.  "Love you too."

Remus drew him towards the bed.  "I'm sorry about your friends, Severus," he murmured.  "I wish..."  He sighed.  "I'm sorry."
 
"I am too," Severus said, sobering, and then drew away from Remus to flop ungracefully onto the bed.  He stared up at the ceiling.  "I don't even know how to react.  Part of me wants to fall apart, or be angry, or even go pick a fight, which would have been my first instinct a year ago, but now my instinct is to just...close off.  Not feeling is much easier.  I like not feeling anything."

Remus frowned.  "That doesn't sound like the best response, though," he murmured.  "As horrid as it is, I think it's probably best to feel something, don't you?"  He shrugged out of his borrowed dressing gown, draped it over a chair, and snuggled down next to Severus.

"I don't think so," Severus said quietly, glancing at Remus.  "Life is depressing enough as it is.  I'd rather not feel anything at all.  I did the same thing with Reg, but, there just didn't seem to be any time to think about it.  So why should I get all bothered about Rosier and Wilkes when I didn't for my best friend?"  He felt as though he were choking on the last two words, but just because he was thinking about it, he told himself, didn't mean now was the time to fall apart, either. 

"Severus," Remus whispered, stroking his hands over Severus' skin.  "There's nothing wrong with feeling things."  He hated it when he thought Severus might be Occluding around him, and suddenly it occurred to him that perhaps Severus had been doing so about Regulus for over a year.  "I wish I could help."
 
"You do help," Severus insisted, turning to face Remus on his side and give him a kiss.  "You're here."
 
"It doesn't seem like much," Remus muttered.  He kissed Severus and sighed.  "Regulus cared about you.  He wouldn't want you to shut yourself off.  I don't know much about Rosier and Wilkes, but..."  He really didn't know what to say.  He couldn't bully Severus into feeling something, but he thought it would be better if Severus let himself grieve.
 
"Then you don't understand," Severus said, sliding an arm around Remus to keep him close.  "How could it not be much, when you're the most important thing to me?"  It was true, but it was also a distraction away from the topic.  He was not interested in grieving, and shutting off was exactly what he intended to do.

Remus sighed.  He knew it could be a good thing, but it Severus was going to change the subject...  He let it drop, winding his arms around Severus.  "I'm glad you're here with me," he whispered.
 
Severus kissed him.  "I love you," he whispered.

Smiling a little, Remus held him tight.  "I love you, too," he murmured.  "And that will never change."

Comments

( 2 dark marks — howl at the moon )
dolce_luna
Feb. 27th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
I love this fic. I read it before I left for the office this morning, but didn't have time to comment. I had to pop home for lunch just to tell you how much I enjoyed this installment. I feel badly for Severus, but I guess shutting off his emotions is part and parcel of his personality.

I eagerly await the next chapter. :)
innerslytherin
Feb. 27th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We had a break in our (admittedly erratic) posting schedule because we realised we'd ordered the scenes wrong, and this is the one we were writing! I'm glad you're enjoying it!
( 2 dark marks — howl at the moon )

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About Vicious Moon

This is a joint-written story by INNERSLYTHERIN and THESNAPELYONE centered on Remus Lupin and Severus Snape. Other characters will, of course, come in from time to time.


AS THE STORY BEGINS...

It is late in 1979. Unbeknownst to his friends, Remus is gay and frequenting gay clubs, many of them in Muggle London to avoid running into people he knows. Severus and Regulus are casual lovers but Regulus' dedication to Voldemort's cause is beginning to waver.

James and Lily Potter are married. James and Sirius are in the Auror Programme as well as the Order of the Phoenix. Peter is working as a shopboy in Diagon Alley.

The war is heating up, and the Death Eaters are easily picking off Order members one by one. The Order is disorganized and ill-prepared for Voldemort's strength, and is struggling to gain a foothold against the self-proclaimed Dark Lord.

CURRENTLY...
It is November 1980.


OUR POSTING SCHEDULE

We're trying to post once a week, but we're notoriously bad at this.


WE WELCOME FEEDBACK, so feel free to comment on any and all scenes.

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