By the Light of the Moon

PG / 374 words / hurt/comfort, drama / published 03/13/09

Summary: Remus Lupin had always struggled with his full-moon transformations, but suffered much less so after Severus Snape agreed to brew the antidote to lycanthropy. But how did Severus feel about it? Set during PoA.
Disclaimer: The brilliant characters belong solely to J.K. Rowling. The plot and typos are my own. No profit is being made.

The pale summer moonlight edged its way through the filthy glass window, casting its bluish tint onto the rune-etched floor of the Shrieking Shack. A thick, stale air hung palpably around the two men.

Severus sat in his usual chair, one he had occupied more and more as of late. As he sat, his wand firmly in his hands, he stared absentmindedly at the dust floating in the rays of moonlight before him. He loathed what was to come.

The room was silent, save for the quiet panting breath of Remus. The gold chalice that had contained the elixir lay empty next to his left hand. A rusted lantern sat nearby on a small, rickety wooden table, tempting darkness as it nearly flickered out.

Neither man said a word, though their minds reeled on in the silence, attempting to grasp for words that would never come – by now, their odd yet familiar ritual.

Wolfsbane was a complicated and volatile potion to brew. Although Severus was expertly skilled, there was always the chance a batch could prove ineffective, leaving its recipient in a half-state – or worse, with no protection at all. He preferred to be there when Remus transformed every full moon, to be certain of its success.

At least that was the reason he kept giving himself.

They waited, together, until the anguished cries of a bone-cracking transformation cut through the silence, only to be replaced by the soft mewling of a sedate wolf. Despite the antidote, Severus felt powerless to stop the pain Remus endured and it nearly killed him every time.

Severus gathered up Remus' tattered clothing and prepared for an even longer wait, gazing upon the wolf as it lay curled on the wooden floor, a vacant expression in its eyes.

Severus knew the wolf would not recognize him, but it didn't matter.

He could not bear to leave Remus alone.