- The Dark Arts
- Remus Lupin Severus Snape
- Angst Drama
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 12/07/2003Updated: 12/07/2003Words: 1,196Chapters: 1Hits: 1,327
In Another Season
- Story Summary:
- Lupin wanted no job, no pity, and no friends; for twelve years after the fall of Voldemort, he ran away, and for fifteen years he kept no contact with the Order. But you can't run from the past forever, especially when you've invited it into your home...
In Another Season
I have been the shadow at the heart of shadows
I have stared too many years at my own face.
-- Malcolm Cowley
When the Order met again, after the fall of Voldemort, it was the first time Severus Snape attended, and the last time Remus Lupin did.
Severus was young, and looked even younger, black eyes wide, face pale under dark hair, anxious, easily frightened. He felt that every time they looked at him they must be looking for the Mark. He wanted to wear a Muggle shirt with sleeves rolled up, to show that his Mark was gone, but he hadn't that much courage. He wore plain black robes instead, and never made eye contact with anyone.
Remus was just as young, but nobody noticed; he had never looked young, not since he left school. He was not afraid but none of the Order would meet his vicious brown eyes; it was their shame, not his.
Speeches were made, but neither young man listened. Severus was too uneasy; Remus too angry.
When Dumbledore finally spoke, most of the Order was watching the pair, and not the Headmaster. The first either young man heard was the offer being made.
"There are positions for both of you at Hogwarts, as teachers," Dumbledore said, gravely, as though conferring a great gift. "The Order will take care of its own."
None of them expected the particularly derisive snort to come from Remus. He stepped forward, and crossed his arms.
Dumbledore faced him, but his eyes still would not fix on Lupin's.
"Fuck the Order," he said, very clearly and very calmly. There were a few gasps. "Fuck your jobs, Dumbledore, and fuck you."
"Fuck your pity," Remus continued, in that still-so-reasonable voice. "And fuck your regrets that it wasn't me," he added. Several people winced.
"You don't mean that, lad," Alastor Moody muttered. Remus whirled on him.
"How dare you tell me what to think," he asked, whip-thin body trembling with rage. "How dare you spend months believing me a traitor and then presume to know anything I believe?"
He started forward, and Moody went for his wand at the same time Severus made his first and last gracious gesture to Remus Lupin. He laid his left hand on the other man's arm, and tugged gently.
Remus turned to look at him.
Their eyes met.
He slowly shrugged off the hand, and nodded to the Order.
"I decline your offer," he said. "Goodbye."
No-one stopped him as he left, though Severus watched him go with just a hint of admiration before he turned to the Headmaster.
"Any job," he said, with quiet humility. "I have nowhere else to turn."
They didn't see Remus again for twelve years, didn't hear from him for nine; Dumbledore sent a letter to him twice a year, and twice a year the owl returned with it still clutched unopened in its claws. Whether the owls were even finding him -- he was good at concealment -- wasn't known. Whether he was even still alive, though they thought he was too strong for suicide, wasn't known either.
In August of the ninth year of his exile -- Harry had just turned ten -- Moody received a thick, pale piece of paper, about the size of a postcard. The handwriting was Remus', though strangely distorted, as if written by someone not quite in control of themselves. Later he would find that Remus had been in a hospital in Beijing, delirious with fever; the nurses didn't speak his language, and he didn't speak theirs, but they brought him paper and ink to write the letter on.
It read, very simply, Tell the Order I am alive. For the moment. Which
is all anyone can ask for.
It was the only communication they had from him. He had simply vanished.
The night Sirius Black escaped Azkaban, Dumbledore sent Remus an urgent letter with the news and a plea to come home, he was in danger, and so was Harry Potter, James' son. Three days afterwards, the owl returned carrying -- Dumbledore's heart lifted in a way he hadn't thought possible -- a letter written on ragged parchment and sealed with cheap wax.
If that job is still available, I feel I could give it a go.
Dumbledore immediately contacted the man they had spoken to about the Dark Arts job, and explained that his services would not be needed.
Neither of them apologised to the other. Dumbledore treated him as any other teacher, and Remus never showed even a hint of sarcasm in his obedient respect for the Headmaster. Dumbledore heard stories of his travels second-hand from other professors, or from Rosmerta.
Invitations began to arrive for him from members of the Order -- to dinner, for a weekend stay, to a reunion of old friends. Remus preferred Severus' hatred and envy. At least those were honest emotions that Severus did not hide behind politeness or distant regard.
He wrote simple, courteous replies, declining them all.
Severus' betrayal came almost as a relief, when it happened. He was not used to people...knowing him. People seeing him for long enough to guess what he would do next. It unnerved him.
He had property from his father, the family home and some land concealed from Muggles, owned outright and, due to the concealment, untaxed. He stayed there for two weeks, and then went traveling again.
By the time he returned, on a summons from Dumbledore, he found Sirius encamped firmly in the old farmhouse.
"He's back," Sirius said simply. Remus set his bags down, took the drink that was poured for him, threw it back, and held out his glass for another. Sirius poured again. He downed the second, nodded, and sat at the kitchen table.
"Then it's starting again," he said. "When's the first meeting?"
"It's being held here."
Remus looked up at his friend, and tapped a finger on his lips.
"That bastard," he said softly.
The Order gathered in the farmhouse the next day, Molly arriving first to 'arrange things'; Sirius and Remus kept out of her way, and kept silent, sitting in Remus' bedroom, Remus on a chair with a book, Sirius crosslegged on the bed, lost in thought.
When Sirius walked in, the noise of the Order's greetings to each other dropped, then quickly rose again; they'd seen him on his rounds as messenger for Dumbledore, or heard his story from reliable sources.
When Remus followed, a minute later, the silence became absolute.
He stopped on the threshold, as two dozen faces turned to look at him.
Sirius turned too, and held out his hand, gesturing him forward. Behind Sirius, Severus Snape met his eyes squarely.
"You remember Remus Lupin," Sirius said, gently but loudly.
Some of the faces turned away. Others came forward to greet him. He was suddenly surrounded by people, shaking his hand, touching his arm, nodding greetings. Sirius' palm was warm on the small of his back.
He allowed a smile to spread across his face, as he shook hands, and touched arms, and nodded greetings back.
This was home.