Chapter 1 : Force
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"You should be." Lupin's voice is soft, but firm all the same. He feels fury run through his veins. Lupin should be mad, furious in fact, so why isn't he? Why isn't he screaming, sobbing, yelling, telling Black to leave? "How could you? You could have killed him!" He feels almost like he is watching – well, listening to – a television show on Lily's TV again, with the way this is going on, and something stirs inside of him. Finally, finally, Lupin understands! A creak. Lupin is turning over on his side. Black's pattering footsteps lead him to believe that Black has walked in that direction, and he deems it safe to open his eyes.
It's dark, and the only way he knows Black's there is by seeing his shadow move against the walls. A lit candle is flickering on Lupin's bedside table, and casting light over the pair. Dark bags rest under Black's dark grey eyes, and Severus realises he came here because he couldn't sleep, and decided to use that opportunity to apologise. Once more, anger runs through him. Black is selfish, the only reason he came is so he could embellish the story in his own way and make it seem like he was the victim, and Severus the villain.
"But he isn't dead." Black's voice is insistent, pleading for his friend to understand. "Remus – James saved him, remember?" Severus almost scoffs, but decides against it at the last moment. Him – need saving by Potter? Potter, the weakling, obviously had gotten cold feet at the last minute, and ran in to save the day – again. Ugh. He cannot stand those Gryffindors, how they are always cast as the heroes. Life was no fairytale, and heroes had no place here.
"He wouldn't have needed to save anyone, if it wasn't for you." Using the shadows, he realises Black's shoulders have slumped in disappointment. It served him right. He had almost gotten away with killing him with the help of the werewolf, if it weren't for the ever-courageous Potter.
"I'm sorry, Rem. Please – you have to understand! I didn't – I didn't think he would actually go out there and do it!" He snorts inside his head. Black didn't think, period, all right. Lupin shared the same sentiments by the way he actually snorted, albeit rather quietly, for fear of someone hearing. Severus half-wishes Pomfrey had the sense to get up right now and stop their conversation, but despite himself, he wants to hear what Black says.
"That's because you don't think, Sirius. Snape, well – he has a curiousity problem. He's curious about pretty much everything. I'd be surprised if he didn't go out there and test it." Severus can't help but feel enraged. Lupin thought he knew him, eh? Huh! Pompous brats! He knew nothing at all! If he did, then he wouldn't have bothered going to the school, endangering everyone with his lycanthropic self – endangering himself and Lily, mostly.
"And was I supposed to know that?" Black mumbles sulkily. He can't help but roll his eyes. Obviously. He didn't realise Black was this stupid, because after all, there had to be someway he almost always remained the top of the class, and someway he managed to charm all the teachers, save a blessed few.
"Yes!" Lupin's voice is indignant and fierce, and with a jolt, he is reminded immediately of Lily – nothing new, pretty much everything reminded him of Lily – even if it is Lupin, who in reality is really nothing like Lily at all, or so he thinks. Black harrumphs loudly, and Lupin quickly shushes him, and glances nervously towards Madam Pomfrey's office. Hah – so Black wasn't supposed to be there! Severus is almost tempted to call out, just so Black could get into trouble and caught, but he was already in more than enough trouble, enough to satisfy him – there was nothing else they could make him do.
Of course, he hadn't needed a punishment, but had gotten one anyway, because the Headmaster had said that he wasn't supposed to go around poking knots on dangerous trees that could have your eye out just to find out the fatal secret of his classmate. Honestly. Stupid reason to get in trouble, in his opinion. Also in his opinion, Black got off good – tutoring the Slytherin first years in Transfiguration and Defence Against the Dark Arts until the end of sixth year, while Severus had to tutor all the Gryffindor brats in Potions for a week. A week that would do his head in, he was sure.
"Isn't having to tutor the mini snakes torture enough?" Black pleads. "Do I really have to beg for your forgiveness too?" He imagines a smug smile drifting on Lupin's face.
"Just be glad you don't actually have to grovel on your knees for me," Lupin says quietly, shifting back to face the ceiling, and he closes his eyes shut before the Marauders could see him watching. "I think it's going to take a whole lot more than begging to earn James' trust again – he did almost die out there." Lupin's voice quietens considerably. "All because of me. Merlin – this is all my fault!" He opens his eyes a crack, and sees Lupin sit up in his bed, before groaning and putting a bandaged hand to his forehead. "Why do I feel like I have a hangover?" Served him right for thinking he knew Severus – he does not have a curiousity problem!
Black gently pushes Lupin back down again. "Prongs needn't have bothered – it's not like Snivellus was grateful to him for saving his life!" Severus clenches his fists under his many sheets, his untrimmed fingernails creating half-moon marks in his palm. Saved his life – honestly! More like Potter got cold feet at the last minute! His heart pounds angrily in his chest, and it's a wonder they can't hear his loud heartbeat, at the rate it's going.
"Don't say that!" Lupin grumbles. "He's probably just embarrassed or something. And stop calling him that." Black snorts loudly, and Lupin glowers at him, sending another glance at Pomfrey's office.
"Don't think I'll ever live to see the day Snivellus ever admits he's embarrassed." Severus has had enough. He shuts his eyes once more, shifting in his bed and turning away from the two trouble-makers. He knows they have noticed, and are eying him warily, but he doesn't care at all. He can see nothing but black in his vision, but there's still an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach that he saw the briefest flash of red by the door when he closed his eyes. And if Lily found out? There would certainly be trouble, for not only the Marauders, but also him, for keeping such a large and dangerous secret from her. He has to force himself to keep quiet.
A/N: Sorry it's so short, Snape is such a hard character to write, and I had trouble with this, although writing him is fun all the same. Can you guess who is going next? Please review, hope you enjoyed it!