‘Three years … ' Lupin thought, sighing deeply as he stared at the figure lying motionless on the white hospital bed. 'It has been almost three years, Sirius.'
At the end of Harry's third year, shortly after Black and Lupin made their escape, they came face to face with a dozen of Death Eater led by Peter Pettigrew charged with hunting them down. The two fought their assailants bravely, trying, against all odds, to survive the uneven battle. During the battle Black received several hexes that nearly caused his immediate death. However, he managed to pull himself together and stubbornly kept fighting.
In the end the attackers were repelled. The two Marauders managed to kill most of them, though Pettigrew managed to escape, but at a great price; as soon as the waves of hexes faded out, Black collapsed on the ground without a sound.
Lupin, desperate and afraid, picked up his lover's lifeless body and apparated to Hogwarts' front gate, seeking Dumbledore's help.
The old Headmaster pulled some strings and managed to admit Black into St. Mungo's under a fake identity. Since that time, Black had been in a deep coma.
Standing up, Lupin bent over the sleeping man, brushing his lips softly against Black's still lips before straightening up again.
"I'll see you, Padfoot," Lupin said gently before turning around and walking away.
*** *** ***
One month later…
Lupin stared blankly at the ceiling as he laid down in his bed in 12 Grimmauld Place. He was still unable to sleep even though the clock was nearing 3 am.
"Ghuh!" He huffed in annoyance and pulled the heavy blanket over his face. Few moments later, he sprung up into sitting position. It was futile!
The werewolf sat in his bed completely still for 10 minutes, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the reason of his insomnia.
'I'm not worried…' He kept chanting to himself. 'I'm not worried… I'm not worried... I'm not worried about Snape!' At the last thought, Lupin felt his heart skip a beat. This involuntary reaction, however, only helped to infuriate him further. Leaving his bed, Lupin paced his room in poor attempt to distract his thoughts from thinking of the Potions Master but without success.
“For Merlin’s sake!” he grunted. If he was to worry about someone, he should be worried about his comatose lover instead of Snape.
Lupin sighed in defeat. He was worried about Snape and nothing could change that…no matter how much he denied it.
The Order was holding a meeting the previous afternoon when suddenly Snape let out a pained hiss while holding his left forearm. Without a word, the Potions Master stood up and left the meeting. Lupin couldn’t help feeling worried…very worried.
He was worried for Snape’s safety, knowing perfectly well that every time Snape went to a Death Eaters’ meeting there was a chance he would be exposed as a spy.
Lupin bit his lower lip, feeling the guilt eat away at his heart.
During his school years, he had developed a strong liking for Snape. They had been partners in potions for many years, and there had been some sort of understanding between them, despite their houses’ rivalry.
He had been gathering his courage to confess his feelings to the dark-haired wizard in their fifth year. However, after the Shrieking Shack incident, Lupin had lost every chance to tell Snape his feelings. The dark-haired wizard had hated him for Black’s sick prank. He had hated him for being a werewolf. He had hated him for nearly killing him. Snape had cut all the connections between them for the rest of the year.
At the beginning of their sixth year, Black had confessed to Lupin that he loved him, and the two had become a couple. After a while, the wolf in Lupin accepted Black as his mate, but his heart still longed for Snape, even after learning that the dark-haired wizard had received the dark mark. Lupin’s half-hearted feelings towards Black had made the werewolf feel very guilty, as he had known that Black truly loved him. Thus, Lupin had vowed to himself that he would never betray Black; a promise he held even after Black's imprisonment.
During Harry’s third year, Lupin had tried to maintain his distance from Snape. Not only did their past history stand like a huge wall between them, but Lupin had also been worried about weakening and giving into his emotions if they had gotten too close.
Snape, on his part, had publically showed enough disgust and hatred towards the werewolf giving him all the excuses he had needed to stay far away from the bitter man.
Lupin sighed. Now, it was different.
After his return to Dumbledore, Lupin was left to care for 12 Grimmauld Place and keep it in good shape to host the Order’s meetings. This gave him and Snape lot of time to interact with each other and after almost three years of working together, Snape had started to treat him with more courtesy. Lupin knew that the Potions Master still hated him and was only treating him civilly for Dumbledore’s sake, but being able to talk to him, work with him, share some drinks during the night over a game of chess, or simply sit beside him during the Order’s meeting had all been very strong temptations for Lupin. He had wondered how long he could resist such temptation before he would surrender to his true feelings and cheat on Black.
With a heavy sigh, the werewolf sat on the edge of his bed. He had to resolve the turmoil he felt inside of him before—
Suddenly, Lupin’s high hearing caught the sound of the main door, downstairs, being knocked repeatedly and urgently.
He hurriedly picked up his wand and went downstairs. Reaching the large wooden door, he heard the door knocker. Raising his wand, the werewolf debated how he should act. Who would come to Grimmauld Place at this hour? Death Eaters?
But if they were Death Eaters, they would’ve raided the place already instead of knocking first, right?
He heard more knocks on the door.
“Remus…” the faint husky voice that followed knocks made Lupin’s heart clenched. Forgetting his earlier caution, he quickly unlocked the door and opened it. The werewolf’s heart dropped at the sight that met his eyes.
Wrapped in his Death Eater’s robes, Snape leaned heavily on the door’s frame. In the dim light of candles of the hallway, Lupin could see blue bruises on the Potions Master’s pale face.
“Rem—” The dark-haired man whispered as he tried to move but instead he collapsed.
Lupin swiftly moved and gathered the unconscious man in his arms before he hit the floor. He pulled the man inside the house before closing the door with a wave of his wand. Careful not to make much noise and consequently waking up the portrait of Mrs. Black, Lupin carried Snape into the adjutant living room and laid him down on the couch.
The werewolf sat on his knees in front of couch, staring horrified at the unconscious man. He felt his heart tightened at the view of Snape’s bruised face and neck, his stomach twisted at the smell of blood and burnt flesh that invaded his sensitive nose, and his mind didn’t even want to think about the source of the moisture that covered the other wizard’s robes.
“Severus…” he finally called out softly as his hands reached out and unbuttoned the high buttons of Snape’s robes. “Severus, please answer me.” His whole being tensed in horror as the other man shuddered violently in response and coughed, allowing blood to seep out of the corner of his mouth.
Frantically, Lupin started to open the other wizard’s robes to check the extent of his injuries. What met his eyes had sent chills down his spine.
Scars, cuts, and burns were covering Snape’s upper torso. Two large purple bruises were making a frightening contrast against his pale skin on the right side of his chest.
He couldn’t possibly heal all that by himself. Lupin concluded. Snape must be taken back to Hogwarts for Madame Pomfrey.
The werewolf jumped to his feet and rushed to the fireplace. Throwing a handful of floo-powder into it, he called “Dumbledore’s bedroom, Hogwarts.”
*** *** ***
Dumbledore sat motionless on his large armchair; eyes staring blankly ahead. Anyone who would’ve seen him would think he was merely a statute made of flesh.
Suddenly, the fire in the fireplace flared with green flame.
“Albus!” Lupin’s panicked tone snapped the old wizard out of his reverie. “Severus is badly injured. He needs help.”
““Where is he?” the old wizard rushed to the fireplace.
“He’s in Grimmauld Place with me. I’ll bring him over.” With that, the connection was cut.
With a speed that didn’t match his age, the ancient wizard rushed out of his quarters, heading to the infirmary...
*** *** ***
To be continued….
A/N: Well, what do you think?
This is my first attempt at writing a Harry Potter fic…Please, Read and Review.