I must thank my brilliant betas: Agent-Monk & vacuousnutty
Dedication: To Michael Chance
You Can't Always Get What You Want
The echo of celebration resonated throughout the Earth so vibrantly that one almost felt as if they were in the midst of the world's largest party. Overzealous wizards were blasting fireworks into the sky with such a frequency that it seemed as though they had always belonged there.
It was as if even the heavens were celebrating the vanquish of such evil from the human race.
A pleasant looking young man who appeared grey beyond his years stood alone in the crowded streets of the magical village of Hogsmeade. He was a stark contrast to his surroundings. Wizards and Muggles, young and old, were embracing and kissing each other as if they were all old friends. Several of them approached the man, and asked him why was he not shouting, dancing, or singing on such a glorious night. Was he not electrified by the news of the final defeat of the vilest dark wizard ever seen, at the hands of the Boy Who Lived? He gifted them all with a small smile and nodded his agreement. Then why, they all wanted to know.
Why are you so quiet? So he told them, each and every one:
"I am thinking of those who are not here to raise their voices with me. Those who will never dance again in this world."
Some looked at the man with sad and knowing eyes. Others would smile, clap his back, and advise him to celebrate for them. 'Life is for the living, young man. Never forget the dead, but do not let yourself be buried with them.'
Remus understood that they all meant well. Even the Order of the Phoenix itself had suffered losses. He missed James, Lily, Sirius, and Tonks so much that, at times, it seemed unbearable; it was like a heavy weight had settled permanently onto his shoulders. These were the few people in his life -- besides his parents -- that had seen him for who he was instead of what he was. With them gone, he felt more alone than ever.
Thankfully, Harry and his friends had escaped with little harm during the final battle. Remus was not even sure how they had gotten so lucky. Though the children truly cared for him, and he for them, he craved the company of those his own age. He was not immortal, and his condition robbed him of any chance at a normal wizard’s lifespan. Remus was running out of time and optimism. The fact that he was attracted to wizards of his own gender did not help matters. Although it was tolerated in the Wizarding community much more than in the Muggle world, those who shared his preference were not advertising themselves. Toleration did not mean acceptance. It just meant you ignored it and quietly hoped the offending object would go away.
And I spend most of my time blending into the background to begin with.
Remus concluded that if there was ever a night to live a little, this was it. The headmaster had insisted on throwing together a quick celebration at Grimmauld Place. He decided to stop in and relax a bit with the others.
Severus should be there. He’s pleasant enough company when he doesn’t try to rip me to shreds verbally or condemn me for what I am…
Remus couldn't put a finger on when exactly it happened, but he swore that the Slytherin had become more open and civil as the war had progressed. It was nice to talk to someone who shared the same interests and was part of the same generation. Remus was not willing to call it a friendship just yet. On the other hand, he couldn't totally discredit the fact that they had some actual conversations here and there. Severus just needed some time, and Remus was a patient man. He also had a silent fetish for the tall, dark and brooding. Since Severus had never had a female acquaintance that anyone was aware of, Remus figured that he preferred wizards. If Severus could just let go of the past they could have a future. He would not have the usual worry about explaining his affliction and waiting for the customary rejection to follow.
He could simply be Remus.
Severus Snape was in his usual habitat: the dungeons. Most found them depressing, dark, and dreary. Severus saw what others had missed in their customary dismissal of all that was not incessantly bright and cheerful. There was a subtle grace to those rooms that no other part of Hogwarts could match. The peace and quiet that he enjoyed in its confines rivalled any place he had ever been.
Severus knew Albus would be displeased when he failed to show up at Headquarters. He had no inclination to go just to debase himself in front of the other members of the Order. They did not welcome his presence there. Severus was keenly aware of how they felt. He was the snarky, unpleasant, greasy git of Hogwarts. They all acknowledged his contributions quickly enough, but they never acknowledged him. Severus was a solitary creature by nature and design, but he did have to admit to that being snubbed all the time bore an added negative impact on his temperament.
In the end, he had opted to sit by the fire in the one place he could enjoy seclusion, with a glass of firewhisky in one hand and an old book in the other. He felt secure in his conclusion that no one would interrupt his evening. The only variable he could come up with was the bloody werewolf.
Lupin had been slowly worming his way into Severus's life for the past two years. Severus had tried everything to drive the lycanthrope away, but to no avail. Eventually, he gave up on it and found he could tolerate Lupin for extended periods of time if he had no other option. On a few occasions, he had thought that it seemed as if Lupin was flirting with him, for Merlin's sake. That was a bit much for Severus. They weren’t hormonal adolescents anymore! Granted, he had no real experience with either gender. He was confident, however, that his preference would be a man if the time ever arose. The fact that the man in question happened to be a werewolf was really rather unsettling. Severus had to admit that Lupin was passably attractive. They had many likes and dislikes in common, as well. Unfortunately, he wasn't even sure what being with someone truly entailed. It sounded messy and complicated, and he was just getting too old to have his life disrupted in such a fashion. Not that any of it mattered, anyway. Lupin was well liked and generally regarded with fondness. Severus was barely tolerated and not exactly the type that dreams are made of. The aging Gryffindor would never engage himself with the surly Potions Master in any more than a friendly manner.
A loud rap upon his chamber door jarred the Head of Slytherin back into reality. Irritated at the unwelcome intrusion, he growled at who had dared to disturb him.
"If you have not been poisoned and are in need of an antidote only I can provide, I suggest you leave immediately if you value your life."
"Severus, it's me. Let me in, please."
Wonderful. Now even my train of thought is capable of cursing me.
Severus wondered how long Lupin would linger outside his door if he gave no response. Something told him that notorious Gryffindor stubbornness would rear its ugly head. The Hogwarts rumor mill would go on for months if the lycanthrope was spotted lingering outside his chambers for half the night. He reluctantly went to his door and allowed the werewolf to step inside.
"Would you quit it, Severus?"
"You dare ask me anything after you pound on my door and...quit what, Lupin?"
"Your 'sinister' glare. It doesn't work on me anymore. Not since I learned you like Cats."
"Listen, Lupin, the only reason I can provide for your dislike of that particular piece of Broadway theatre is that they are your natural enemy."
"There you go with the dog jokes, again."
"Well, I lost the obvious target quite a while ago. You happen to be the only flea-bitten mongrel in my life now."
Lupin's bright eyes had begun to glaze over, and Severus sighed. He had not meant to upset Lupin. He was no good at small talk. Everything always came out a bit harsh. He attempted to be reassuring.
"No use crying over lost dogs, Lupin."
Now tears were threatening to stream down Lupin's face. Severus thought it wise to keep quiet and went to get two glasses of firewhisky.
"Here, this should improve the mood a bit."
"Thank you, Severus. There is a cause for celebration, I suppose."
The unlikely company made their way to the overstuffed armchairs in front of the fireplace. They also made their way through two bottles of firewhisky in record time. Since neither were heavy drinkers, their conversation began to get a bit...well... you know.
"Why don't ya like th’ dog jokes, Lupin?" Severus slurred.
"Because I am not a dog, Se...Sev... you. Gods, your name is hard to say after a few, isn't it? Too many S's. Why are you so obsessed with the dog thing to begin with?"
"I rather like the idea of a man on a leash. Lupin, would you please refrain from spraying me with your drinky?"
"You just said drinky," Remus snickered, failing miserably at hiding it behind one hand.
Severus frowned. "Stop laughing, Lupin. I did not."
"You did. Stop callin’ me Lupin."
"What should I call you, then, hmm? The Big, Bad Wolf?"
"Ha, ha. Never heard that one before. Try callin’ me Remus."
"I can't say Remusss with a straight face."
"Wha’s so funny ‘bout Remus?"
"For starters, it rhymes with..."
"You really are a pervert, Sev. When you call me Lupin all the time, it sounds like I’m a product ‘stead of a person."
"A product! What kind of use could you possibly have? I can hear the ads now: ‘Do not use during a full moon for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.’ Most consumers tend to avoid products that can eat them, Remus."
"HA! You called me Remus without laughing."
"Shut it, Lupin."
"Ah, so much for progress."
"Truth or Dare?"
"What the devil are you babbling on about?"
"I said Truth or Dare. If you pick truth and I ask you a question you have to answer. If you pick dare, you have to do whatever I tell you to."
"Is this some ridiculous Muggle game?” Severus asked suspiciously.
Severus sighed. “I suppose I'll regret this, but I'll take truth."
"Okay...um...who was your first crush?"
Severus mumbled something incoherently.
"What was that?"
"Oh, sorry. All right, now you ask me."
"Ah, sweet revenge. Truth or Dare?"
"Who do you fancy right now?"
"Come now Remus, who is the lucky fellow?"
"That is not amusing, Lupin."
"I'm serious, and it's my turn. Truth or Dare?"
"If you started this game to amuse yourself at my expense, Lupin..."
"Just pick one, Sev. Are you afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?"
"If you insist on being a child…dare."
"Let me kiss you."
"The Wolfsbane Potion must have finally addled your brain. I will not."
"No, I am not. You are completely insane."
"Maybe. But if you refuse a Dare..."
"Fine, go ahead. But I will not held responsible if I have to hurt you."
"Just get on with it, Lup--"
"There, was that so bad?"
"I'm not sure, Remus. Perhaps you should try it again?"
"I think I should, just to be certain."
"Are you sure you are doing this right? I was led to believe that the tongue was involved somehow."
"Less talking, more..."
For the first time in his life, Severus Snape was struck speechless. Strangely enough, he found that he did not mind it one bit.
This was orginally part of the 'Master and the Wolf' writing festivial, and answers the following challenges: 115)The two get very, very drunk., 165) It doesn't take a genius to know that Remus/Snape is in love with the other one. Does it? and 191) Virgin!Severus.