October 24, 1981
"We all know the rules," James said. "If you have done whatever is said, you have to take a drink. If you try to resist, or get around it by thinking of some technicality, the magic will make you drink. As usual, no explanations necessary. We don't need another story about Sirius meeting some vampire chick. Ready?"
The three boys nodded and James waved his wand. The game started.
I have never lied to my friends…
Sirius started small, really, since they'd all lied to each other at one time or another. Of course, Remus had been lying to them all for far too long. He drained his shot glass.
Remus Lupin was moving once again. The flats he could afford with no job and ever-decreasing amounts of money were growing increasingly shabby. This one was in a basement with water stains on the walls and the distinct smell of mould in the kitchen. The bathroom was divided from the living room-cum-bedroom by only a curtain and a plastic runner that made a valiant attempt to protect the carpet from any stray splashes. The word that came to mind was damp.
"That's all you've got, then?" The landlady sounded vaguely suspicious. "I only have the big furniture. You need to bring your own pots and pans and linen and the like."
"A friend's dropping my things around later." A lie that slipped out as easily as the last hundred. "I just wanted to pick up the key before I go to work." The last thousand, maybe.
"Well, here you are then." She handed him two keys. "This one's for the deadlock. If you need anything, I'm in the first flat upstairs." Her hard eyes bore into him and he wondered if she could see the animal inside. "No loud parties."
With that admonishment she walked out. Remus dropped his satchel and restored his trunk to its proper size. There was no one to help him unpack. Sirius had offered but looked relieved when Remus said there was no need. James was busy with little Harry and Peter just wasn't around much anymore: a new girlfriend, most likely. Still, with no wardrobe and limited space it was easier not to unpack. He could live out of his trunk just as he had for seven years at Hogwarts.
The bed was a thin mattress on the floor and a small television sat in the corner opposite. Obviously the landlady's definition of large furniture differed significantly from his. There was an armchair and a laundry hamper.
Two years ago Remus had been preparing for the train to Hogwart's; his mother was fussing over him, his father wishing him luck for the year ahead. He'd had friends, NEWTs, a safe place to transform. Forget all that, he'd had a roof over his head and three meals a day. Now his parents were lost to this damned war and all because they were his parents. The last of his inheritance was dwindling, and even this Spartan abode would see it run out before Christmas.
Still, there were worse places to be. He could be in Bulgaria where the werewolves were locked in dungeons with a life sentence. He could be on the Deatheater's side. He could be on the streets of London in the middle of winter, which is exactly where he would be in six months time if he didn't manage to find a job.
He had a roof over his head. He draped his Hogwart's scarf over the television. The little flat now had some colour. He was not yet starving.
He picked up the key and locked up as he went out. All he had to do now was hold onto this little piece of paradise.
He walked to the public Floo two streets down and checked in with Sirius.
"New job, new flat," he said. "It's nice to have somewhere a bit bigger."
"Well, we'll come and give you a proper housewarming once you're settled."
Remus nodded even as he knew he would never invite his friends around. He could do this on his own, without their charity. "Sure thing, Sirius. I have to go and finish unpacking." He wondered when lying to his friends had become easier than telling the truth.
I have never told a Muggle that I'm a wizard…
Remus felt the compulsion to drink, and reached for the shot glass; he noticed Sirius was as well. He smiled at the way the magic was interpreting his actions.
Remus was wiping down the bar at the end of his shift, wondering how what he was going to ask would be interpreted by his new boss.
He couldn't lose the job. He'd finally found someone willing to hire him and he was managing to put food on the table, but the full moon was two nights away and he still hadn't asked for it off. The bar was called Dark Creatures and Remus had taken it as an omen when he'd walked past and seen a help wanted sign. The bar catered to some new offshoot of punk that called itself goth. Remus had wondered what piercing bits of your face and wearing lots of black had to do with ancient Germanic tribes that attacked the Romans, but his colleagues explained it was from Victorian gothic literature, a subject he knew less about. So he now had black hair and nipple piercings. He also had food on the (metaphorical) table, so he hoped missing one night once a month would not end his employment.
"Raven?" He snagged his boss as the man walked past. "I, uh, I need tomorrow night off."
"It's the full moon, Remus. It's our busiest night."
"I know, I'm really sorry. But this… thing… it's every full moon. I can't get out of it."
"You're a witch, huh? Or do you prefer warlock?"
"Um. Wizard, actually." He'd thought everyone at Dark Creatures was Muggle, but obviously he was wrong. "Are you as well?"
"Oh, no." The miniature dagger that hung from Raven's nose moved as he shook his head. "There are some around here, obviously. They follow Crowley, mostly. Wear pentagrams and think they're being all dark. All a bunch of poseurs. But if you take it seriously enough to worship every month, then you should."
The name Crowley connected to something in his brain that they'd learnt in Muggle Studies. Muggle Witchcraft, or Wicca. "My family were witches."
"Wow. Hereditary witchcraft. That’s fascinating; you'll have to tell me about it sometime. Of course you can have full moons off."
Remus felt a smile of relief split his face. "Thanks so much, Raven."
"No problems. No discrimination here." He began to walk off then turned. "And Remus? You can wear your pentagram here. You won't look out of place at all."
Remus thanked him again and left soon after, stumbling into bed as the sun started to rise. He'd have to get up early to find a pentagram before the shops closed.
I have never broken someone's nose…
Remus could feel the eyes of the other boys on him. Sirius occasionally called him professor, since he was so mild-mannered. No one would believe that he'd ever punched someone, but the magic didn't lie.
There was a loud knock on his door. Remus woke slowly and murmured tempus before letting his head thud back onto the pillow. It had only been two hours since he fell into bed. Some band called The Cure had been playing and it had taken quite a while to clean up after the show.
He opened the door to find Albus Dumbledore looking serene and Severus Snape looking disgruntled. That was before he spotted Remus. On seeing Remus his eyes widened and he tried to pull away.
"No, Headmaster. You can't be serious. That thing tried to kill me in sixth year. Or did you forget that?"
"May we come in, Mr. Lupin?" was Dumbledore's only response.
Remus automatically stepped to the side and caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. His hair was still black, and he'd opened the door shirtless so his piercings were clearly visible. He snagged a shirt from the pile on the floor and shut the door behind them.
"I'm sorry about the mess, Headmaster," he said. "Would you like a seat?" He grabbed the pile of clothing off the single armchair.
"Thank you." Dumbledore sat and Remus and Snape both stayed standing like recalcitrant children. Snape's shirtsleeves were rolled up and the tattoo on his forearm was visible.
"Not that I don't enjoy your company, Headmaster, but I work nights and I also don't normally invite Deatheaters into my home."
"Mr. Snape is not a Deatheater."
"It was you that told me they had a distinctive tattoo, rather like the one I see peeking out from under his sleeve."
"I may be a Deatheater, but at least I'm human."
Remus didn't know if it was the lack of sleep or just being treated like a human in his new job that he'd forgotten the disdain he found in the magical world, but he turned and slammed his fist into Snape's nose. There was a satisfying crunch, but he couldn't savour the sound because Snape had tackled him. They landed on the bed, fists and elbows flying for brief seconds before they both froze in place.
"I'll release you, but if you go back to brawling I'll freeze you in place and leave you there, no matter how uncomfortable the position."
Remus' muscles loosened and he and Snape both dragged themselves to their feet.
"Severus, do you want my help or not? I can hand you over to the Aurors if you'd prefer." Snape looked mutinous, but kept his mouth shut. "Good. Remus, I've come to ask for your help."
Remus said nothing.
"Mr. Snape has –" The Headmaster paused as if searching for the right words. "Has realized the error of his ways. He has sworn his loyalty to The Order of the Phoenix, and is going to continue to act under Lord Voldemort's orders so that he can pass information to us."
Remus felt his eyes widen and his eyes shifted to the man standing sullenly at his side.
"I understand your friends do not even know where you are living at the moment."
"That's correct, Sir." He noticed that it was Snape's turn to look surprised.
"Then I need you to be Mr. Snape's contact and allow this place to be his safe house. Mr. Snape's information may turn the tide of this war and your largely Muggle life will be the perfect place for him to hide if he needs to."
"I understand, Headmaster."
I have never aided and abetted the enemy…
Remus hoped the magic would leave him alone; Severus Snape was on their side. Unfortunately, he had been their opposition for all their school years. His friends would see what he had done as aiding and abetting. His hand reached for the glass.
Remus had seen a lot of Severus in December. He'd had information about attacks every second day, as if Voldemort had decided the Wizarding World did not deserve to enjoy Christmas. Or, more likely, he was taking out his frustration on not being able to find Harry Potter on anyone and everyone.
Remus thought back to the startling revelation that Voldemort was after Harry. James had taken the opportunity of the change to talk to them all before moonrise.
"I need to tell you something," James had said. "And I trust you not to tell anyone. The Marauders, we're closer than brothers, right? You deserve to know."
Remus' mouth was suddenly dry.
"Voldemort is after us."
"Us?" Peter sounded terrified. "Do you think he'll come tonight?"
"Not us, the Marauders. Us the Potters. Apparently he heard some prophecy that Harry would be the one to stop him."
"Harry's just a baby."
"I know. And he's a baby that Voldemort's trying to kill."
"What can we do?" That was Sirius.
"Dumbledore is moving us around a lot. He wants me to give up work. Wants us to hide until he can take Voldemort down. What if it takes him twenty years to take the old fucker down?"
"We're Gryffindors. Hiding isn't our way."
"Exactly. But – my family needs to come first. Harry needs to be kept safe. Can I rely on you? Whatever we decide?"
"Of course." Remus was quick to add his reassurances but his mind was racing. He remembered Severus at school, fawning over Lilly. Suddenly his change of allegiance made sense.
The conversation had left him feeling mentally exhausted, and the change brought his usual physical exhaustion, but no matter how exhausted he was, it was Christmas Eve. Dark Creatures was closed until after Boxing Day so he was spending Christmas with the Potters. Sirius was invited as well, and James' parents were always very welcoming so he was looking forward to it.
That was before Severus Snape knocked on his door.
"What's the message, Snivellus? I'm on my way out."
Snape just made a choking sound and collapsed to the floor.
Remus was remarkably handy with healing spells. If he wasn't a werewolf, Madam Pomfrey would have taken him on as her apprentice, or sent him to St Mungo's for training. As it was, he knew everything he had to do to stabilize the man at his feet. Once that was done he Apparated to Sirius' flat.
"Sirius?" He could see Sirius' arse sticking out from the fireplace.
"Remus. There was an attack –" Sirius stopped mid-sentence as he got a look at Remus. "Are you alright? Were you attacked?"
Remus looked down at himself and noticed there was blood and dirt smeared on his shirt. His hands were sticky as well and as he wiped them on his pants he transferred more blood to his thighs. "No. I'm fine."
Sirius looked dubious. "Whose blood is that then?"
"I can't come to Christmas. These are my gifts for everyone." He held out his meagre offerings. "Could you please send my apologies?"
"Remus, wait! What's going on?"
"I'm sorry, Sirius. I need to run."
As he Apparated away he wished he hadn't seen the suspicion flash through Sirius' eyes.
Back at his flat he sent a message to Dumbledore then settled in to watch Snape sleep.
I have never been friends with a Slytherin...
Remus noticed the look that James and Sirius shared as he reached for his glass. He also noticed that Peter drank as well. He'd grown more observant since becoming friends with Severus.
"Another night, another slightly battered Deatheater at my door, hey Severus?" Remus grinned at the death glare he received from the man huddled in the stairwell. He unlocked the door, knowing the wards would allow both of them to walk straight through. "Do you need a hand up?"
"No." He looked to be in pain, but Severus managed to carefully make his way to his knees and then his feet, clutching at the wall. "You look more like a Deatheater than I do tonight."
It was not the job he would have chosen for himself, but it turned out that this new goth subculture was the perfect place for a werewolf to hide-out. It did mean glamouring his hair black and drawing blood drops on his face. Also wearing more black than he'd ever owned previously. But Remus had been a werewolf for fifteen years now; he knew he was lucky to be working at all.
"What do you need healed?" he asked, ignoring the critique of his clothing.
"I heard that mad-man Moody throw a reductor curse. The shield didn't stop it all."
Remus spoke the words that had grown familiar through countless mornings with Madam Pomfrey and pinpointed Severus' injuries. Some gentle wandwork knitted the cracked ribs back together, and he retrieved some pain-relieving potion from the supplies Severus left with him.
"Good as new," he said, flopping onto the couch next to Severus. He reached for the bottle that lived beside the couch and took a healthy sip, letting the firewhiskey burn through to his stomach.
"You could at least pour it into a glass. Showing some manners would help to remind people that you're not, in fact, an animal."
Remus rolled his eyes and accio-ed a couple of mugs from the kitchen, pouring them both a generous portion. He'd stopped getting upset at the caustic remarks over Christmas when Severus spent an entire month in his apartment.
The silence was almost companionable as they sipped their whiskey from chipped ceramic.
"I take it there's nothing urgent to report," Remus said, breaking their quiet.
"Nothing to report at all, really." Severus threw the rest of the whiskey down his throat and reached for the bottle. "I guess I just apparated here out of habit. And now you've healed me and I'm drinking your whiskey and imposing on you. I'm sorry."
"No need to be sorry, Severus. That's what friends are for."
The silence grew between them again, and Remus closed his eyes and tried to gather the energy to wash the make-up off his face. It was starting to itch.
"Are we friends?"
Remus' eyes flew open at the quiet question. His mind skipped over that month Severus spent in his bed. They'd played chess, talked about the novels Severus was reading while he was at work. They'd shared a bed and all too often woke to find themselves entangled on the small mattress. Severus had even taken over the cooking, his skill in potions translating well to skill in the kitchen. It had been cosy and domestic and Remus missed it.
"We're friends," he said firmly as he saw Severus' shutters start to go up again. Definitely."
He brought his mug up and toasted Severus' own. "To friends."
"To friends," Severus murmured.
Silence fell again and Remus didn't fill it. He was too busy wondering if they could be more.
I have never masturbated while someone was asleep in the room…
They all laughed at that one, chuckles easing the tension that Remus had been feeling. Peter had forgotten that they'd all tossed off in their dorm room while the others were asleep at one time or other. The magic forced them all to take a drink, but Remus was thinking of another time.
"I really wish you wouldn't drink Odgen's five minutes after taking a pain-reliever. They don't work well together and you're doing it far too often."
"The Dark Lord suspects something, I think. That is why he takes his anger out on me."
"I didn't say stop taking pain-relievers. I said stop mixing them with alcohol."
They glared at each other.
"The alcohol helps me sleep."
Remus stalked to the bathroom and took a vial out of the cabinet before throwing it at Severus.
"Where did you get this?"
"The Headmaster keeps me supplied with more than just pain-relievers." Severus looked at it dubiously, like he didn't believe even a simple Dreamless Sleep could be made properly by anyone except him. "It's from the Hogwart's infirmary. There's nothing wrong with it."
"I'll take it when I get home."
"Stay here tonight." Severus nodded in response to the quiet statement that was really a question. He slid into the bed and was asleep in seconds.
Remus stayed on the armchair that had long been engorged to seat two sipping at firewhiskey until he had no reason to avoid the bed anymore. They'd shared the small mattress more times than he could count during the month of Severus' convalescence and he told himself that there was no reason tonight was different.
Unfortunately, it was. Because the night before he'd woken up hard and aching from a dream of Severus' mouth around his cock and he had kept that image in mind as he stroked himself to a quick orgasm.
He climbed into his side of the bed, his back pressed against the wall, and told himself all the reasons that a crush on Severus Snape was the worst idea possible. The man was a Deatheater who hated Remus' friends and was hated in return. Remus had almost killed him when they were in school – not his fault, but still a problem. They were in the middle of war and as such should have been concentrating on more important matters. And, of course, he was in love with Lilly Potter, and so, quite decidedly, straight.
Even that thought didn't quell his growing erection but Remus didn't touch it. He fell asleep ignoring the ache inside.
Remus didn't know how long it was before he woke up, but he knew he'd been moaning in his sleep since the last one still echoed in the room as his eyes opened. Another dream. If Severus had slept through it then he was still under the influence of the potion.
Remus realized he couldn't ignore his body any longer. He kicked out of the pajama bottoms, not caring that they were still caught around one ankle. He stayed on his side and grabbed his cock in both hands, keeping his eyes on his bedmate, watchful for any sign that he'd woken up. He couldn't control the way his hips thrust as he thought about being bent over the armchair with Severus sliding inside him. He imagined it was Severus' hand on his cock and felt his balls draw up. He cupped a hand around the head of his cock to stop any of the creamy white liquid hitting Severus.
As he caught his breath he wondered what the hell he was doing. A new and tentative friendship, and he risked ruining it for a quick wank. He wondered if his eyes showed the despair that he felt.
I have never suspected a friend of disloyalty…
The more the game played out, the more it felt like a test. His query prompted James and Sirius to drink and he realized how much his absences had cost him; he wondered again about the scene he suspected Sirius had witnessed.
"Good morning, Remus. Another night on the town?"
"Shut it, Severus." Remus had come straight to Knockturn Alley after an owl had reached him at work. It had impressed the shit out of Raven, but Remus was scared silly. This was the meeting place of last resort, the contact method of last resort. Something was wrong.
"Some of us have to work for a living, rather than living off the Malfoy's pleasure."
"For your information, I'm an apprentice to a Potion's Master. That's a respectable occupation for a Wizard. Unlike bartending for Muggles at an underground club."
"As I recall, you think I'm a monster, not a Wizard."
"That's true. In that case, perhaps you shouldn't be allowed to endanger the Muggles. Can they catch lycanthropy from you?"
Remus allowed the insults to wash over him. They were in public. It had to be this way.
"And what about Deatheater?" he hissed. "Is that a respectable occupation for a Wizard?"
Remus saw something like pain flash into Severus' eyes and he knew immediately that the wound was too raw. He heard a sound and pushed Severus against a wall. People snogging would not be commented on here, even if it was two men.
"What do you want, Snape?" he murmured, lips against a smooth neck.
"Tell Dumbledore that he must move them again. The Dark Lord knows where they are."
He went to take a step away, but long fingers squeezed his arse, keeping him there. "There's someone coming."
Remus felt blood rushing to his face at the same time it rushed to his cock. He was pressed tight against Severus and there was no way he wouldn't feel the erection. Then he felt an answering hardness and his hips rolled involuntarily.
"Severus," he gasped. His hand reached up to stroke the angular face and then those lips met his and he lost himself in the feel of tongue and hands and warmth and kissing Severus. He was left gasping when the lips were wrenched from his.
"The Grim," Severus said and Remus just blinked.
Severus pointed and Remus spun around but there was nothing to see.
"I'm sorry. Superstitious nonsense. I just thought I saw a dog."
He took Severus' hand. "We should go."
I have never played a drinking game…
They all laughed at Pettigrew's blatant excuse to have a drink since he hadn't been able to over the last few rounds. They clinked shot glasses and threw the whiskey back. Remus' thoughts were on Severus, though, as they so often were these days.
The rest of their little block of flats had gone to Mrs. Langley's to watch the wedding; she had the colour television and a comfy sofa. Remus had decided to stay downstairs with his little black and white. He knew that if he didn't watch it the Muggles at work would comment - missing Charles and Diana's wedding was close to sacrilege – but he'd be damned if he got dressed up for the event. Remus would sit in bed in his boxer shorts eating chocolate and watching the wedding of the century.
They were still speculating about what her dress would look like and commenting on the clothing of all the distinguished guests when there was a knock on the door.
"I'm happy watching it in here, Mrs. Langley," he yelled.
"Open up, Lupin."
Remus was on his feet in a second, yanking the door open and searching Severus' body for signs of damage. He tried not to let the other man see his relief at finding him unharmed.
"What news do you have for Dumbledore?"
"None. I –" He held up a bottle of Old Ogden's. "I thought you might find the wedding more enjoyable with this."
"All I have to eat is Honeyduke's."
Remus made room on the bed and the two of them watched Diana walk down the aisle, her train spread out behind her taking up almost the whole length of the cathedral. Severus' caustic comments made it bearable to watch. They had to drink a shot each time the words beautiful, magnificent or romantic were uttered. If the commentators used the phrase 'wedding of the century' then it was two shots. By the time the two of them were in their carriage waving at the commoners on their way to the Palace, Remus and Severus were two thirds of the way through the bottle.
"They didn't even kiss," Severus said. "How can they describe that as romantic? It's the least fucking romantic wedding I've ever seen."
Remus blinked slowly. He didn't reply because Severus still sounded somewhat eloquent and he was afraid he'd sound slurred.
"Honestly, you and I have had more romance between us than this wedding presented."
"We've kissed at least."
"Sure. And gotten drunk while watching a wedding."
Remus was suddenly very aware of his right side, which was pressed up against Severus' left side.
"Are we going to do anything else romantic?"
"I'm not sure anything can top watching the wedding of the century together."
"Wedding of the century? That's two shots, Severus."
I have never betrayed my friends…
Snape's on our side, he told himself. It's not a betrayal. But any friendship with Snape would be seen as a betrayal by the men around him. He, Sirius and Peter all reached for their drinks.
Remus had been with James and Sirius when his newly charmed pentagram had burned against his chest, alerting him to the fact that Severus had crossed the wards around his flat. It had taken a little while to get away from them without arousing suspicions. It had been almost a year since he'd agreed to Dumbledore's little favour and the necessity of sneaking around behind his friends was really starting to grate.
He apparated back to his apartment and found Snape in the stairwell.
"Just what I wanted. Another visit from the raggedy Deatheater." Since their drunken afternoon watching the wedding, the heat had gone out of their insults. Still, contempt gave their interactions structure and reminded Remus to keep his distance whenever he wanted to reach out and touch.
"What took you so long?"
"I had to get away without suspisuns. Sushpishins. That's a hard word to say." He opened the door and fell through.
"Are you drunk?"
"Typical. There's a war on, but the mighty Marauders are off getting shit-faced."
"They're my friends."
"I don't want you getting drunk with them."
Snape stepped forward and pushed him against the door. His dark eyes looked almost black. "There is a traitor in the Order, Lupin. A fact that I risked my life to tell you. It could be any one of your friends and if you get drunk and slip it's not just my life on the line."
"They wouldn't betray me."
"Really? Revealing you as a werewolf for the sake of a prank wasn't a betrayal?"
Remus remained silent; thinking about the incident still brought a sharp pang of anger and hurt to his guts.
"You watched the way they treated me," Snape continued. "There's a distinct lack of morals in the lot of them."
"They're my friends."
"Aren't I your friend as well?" Remus grabbed Severus' arm as he turned away and then he found himself pressed up against the door again, but this time with a wiry body pressed against him, holding him still. Severus' lips were just inches from his. "Am I your friend?"
"You know you are," he whispered, desperately trying to calm his heart and cock.
"Then forget about them. You have me." Severus' hand threaded through his hair, holding Remus' head in place. His lips were gentler than Remus had expected, a feathering that increased to a light pressure that took his breath away. "Forget about them."
Then Severus kissed with all the ferocity that Remus had come to recognize in the man. Their bodies were pressed so close that Remus could feel every muscle and every bone. His hands wrenched at Severus' dark robes and Severus pushed a t-shirt over Remus' head. Then there were hands on skin and fingers tugging on his nipple piercings sending shots of pleasure straight to his groin and he didn't know how they'd got there but he knew it was going to end with him bent over the loveseat just like he'd been dreaming of for months now.
He knew Severus was trying to wipe his friends from his mind, and for now he was willing to forget.
I have never had sex with a man…
The pentagram burned against his chest as Remus downed his shots.
"And I'm going to go get my leg over again. Good night, gents. Good to see you."
He was pushed up against a wall as soon as he apparated home.
"Drunk again, Remus? Another night, another betrayal."
"You should punish me." He grinned, knowing Severus would rise to that sort of cheekiness. Sure enough, his clothes vanished and he was spun around, his forearms braced against the wall. A confident hand spread his legs apart and one of those long fingers eased into his arse. He heard something slap into Severus' other hand and soon a second finger, wet with lubricant, pushed its way in.
"Sev, please. Want this." He reached behind him and grasped the erection that Severus had already released from his trousers. Teeth bit into his shoulder as he began to awkwardly stroke.
He whimpered as the fingers were pulled out of him, but Severus' hand joined his own, covering his cock with lubricant. Remus braced himself again as Severus pushed inside. He began breathing again when he could feel Severus' bony hips against him. One arm wrapped around his waist and the other went past his head to rest against the door.
"Touch yourself," Severus murmured in his ear.
"No. It will be too quick."
"Remus," Severus ground out and Remus suddenly heard the desperation in the other man's voice. Something had happened. They were forgetting again.
He grasped his cock and pushed back and that was all it took for Severus to lose control. Two hands grasped his hips and pulled him back fiercely. His hand moved just as roughly, that little bit of pain reminding him again that he was alive.
"Sev," he gasped as the orgasm ripped through him in what seemed like seconds. Severus' familiar choked groan came from behind him as the fingers on his hips tightened painfully. He would have bruises tomorrow. Then there was a gasp that had nothing to do with their pleasure but was still painfully familiar. Severus pulled away too soon, grasping his forearm.
"I have to go."
Remus nodded silently, watching with wide eyes as Severus waved his wand. The evidence of their recent activities disappeared and Severus was left in hood and robes ready for an audience with a monster.
"Check in, if you can."
Severus gave a short nod and disappeared leaving Remus with whiskey and his worry that this war would go on forever.
"Sirius? Did we do the right thing?"
"Yes, James. You know Peter's always been willing to do anything to please us; no one will suspect him of being the secret-keeper and who would he tell?"
"But Remus? A traitor?"
"I didn't believe it either, James, but you saw his answers as well as I did. With his strange disappearances, not even telling us where he lives… It must be him."
"And if there's a logical explanation?"
"Then he can't visit for a while, but no harm done overall. Have another drink and stop worrying. The switch will work. We're finally getting the upper hand."
"Pity Peter had to leave straight after the spell was done. Do you think he has a new girlfriend?"