SS/Canon > Slash
His Own True Heir by Scaranda [Reviews - 0]
Would you like to submit a review?
Eclipsing the Wolf
Severus raised his wand and shot a Stunning Curse at Greyback, but the werewolf was still between him and Voldemort’s body. He heard the howl of fury from the awareness that was Lupin’s werewolf form; it was coming closer.
Greyback seemed to understand his intention; he drew his lips back across his teeth in a snarl. ‘Oh, no, Snape, no trophies,’ he said as he dragged himself to a sitting position. ‘If you want his body you’ll have to fight me for it.’ He raised his muzzle and gave a low growl towards where the other awareness was.
Snape faltered. He knew he was in trouble; he knew if Lupin’s werewolf tried to invade him again he would have no defence … this time it would come to him uninvited. He saw Pettigrew turn from where he’d been wringing his hands over Voldemort’s body: three against one; it wasn’t good.
He could feel the tug of Sirius’s awareness, calling to him, and then something stronger, something he gasped at as he realised who it was, something that refused to be denied. Severus knew it was Potter, but he couldn’t leave; he needed Voldemort’s body. But much more than that, he needed to do what he’d set out to do; he had to carry out his pledge to Dumbledore, the pledge Dumbledore had been loath to accept when he had first told Snape that he had to be the one to kill him when the time came. Snape had set the terms himself, a life for a life; he would not accept the task unless he could balance it. At the time he hadn’t known how he would go about it; he’d assumed he would sacrifice himself at some time in the future he hadn’t cared much about. It had only been a few days ago that he had seen it in a different light; a way that would satisfy the terms of the pact he had made with himself.
‘What are you waiting for?’ Harry accused from where McGonagall wrapped yet another blanket around him. He wished he could stop shivering. He pulled himself away from the Headmistress, hardly noticing the debris of wounded and dead Death Eaters who had responded to the Dark Lord’s last call, and had walked into the raining Curses of those who awaited them. ‘I’m going, if you don’t.’ He saw Sirius look to Lupin and to Lucius, who had already began to cross to the Veil.
‘Come on.’ Malfoy nodded. ‘Let’s finish it. I’d never get another night’s sleep again. He’d come to haunt me forever, if I know him.’
‘Don’t you need us?’ Draco asked from where his mother was trying to cocoon him a similar way to the way McGonagall was mummifying Harry, while Hermione was soundly berating both of them and crying at the same time.
‘No, not now,’ Sirius replied without turning. ‘Just don’t forget about us.’
Harry saw Sirius shudder as he watched Lupin follow Malfoy through the Veil; he hesitated for only a moment as though gathering his mental strength, and went after them before it dared to desert him.
‘Fifteen minutes, Harry,’ Sirius said and nodded to both his godson and Draco. ‘No more, no less.’
Harry balked at that; it seemed like an awfully long time. ‘What if you’re ready before that? How will you let us know?’
‘Fifteen minutes, Harry,’ Sirius repeated and held his eyes. ‘If it goes well, it doesn’t matter, and if it doesn’t ... well, it doesn’t matter either way.’
Harry wondered what they were up to now; he knew he’d had enough.
He was going to have to take some more Polyjuice; he hadn’t wanted to … it was too dangerous if any of the rest of them came back through. Surely they wouldn’t; surely Minerva and Lupin, and maybe Andromeda, would be sensible enough to stop them. If he took more, he would have a few more minutes where he wasn’t so vulnerable, not as long this time, but he was sure it would be long enough. He really wished he had found the time to have had that talk with Firenze; he had a suspicion the Centaur would know what he had not wanted to ask Lupin.
It wasn’t as though Lupin didn’t manage his life with Wolfsbane, he argued with himself, knowing he would do this anyway, as much for himself as for anyone else ... to give back a life because he had taken one, to balance the scales. He tipped the flask to his mouth, gagging as the gluey mixture coated his tongue, and watched as the injured Greyback drew back again. He felt the air stir even as he found himself rearing to his hind legs, as the wolf claimed him again and they became one. He knew he had overestimated the power of his own mind to withstand this, even as he felt someone arrive at his side. He did not know who it was: a man, more than one man; it did not matter. He would deal with them after he dealt with the greater enemy, the one of his kind who bore down on him in injured fury.
Sirius gasped as he took in the scene; for a moment he couldn’t make out which wolf was Greyback and which was Snape. He knew that this last dose of the Polyjuice would not last as long as the one before, that the reversal agent from the previous dose lingered longer in the blood than the Polyjuice did, but he didn’t know exactly when Snape had taken it. He watched with regret only that he had not been quick enough himself, as Lucius Malfoy killed Peter Pettigrew with an almost negligent flick of this wand.
Now that their efforts were concentrated only on Greyback, Lupin and Malfoy had almost reduced him to some type of submission, as Sirius dragged Voldemort’s body to the where the Veil beckoned. As Greyback finally slumped back in defeat and Lucius shot his killing curse at him, Sirius realised the new danger that presented itself to them. The werewolf form of Snape turned on its protectors; bereft of a quarry, it searched for fresher meat.
‘How do we get him through?’ Malfoy demanded as he released a Stunning Hex from his wand and watched Snape draw back a little. ‘Without killing him, or him killing us?’
Sirius hesitated. He didn’t know how long; he didn’t know when Snape had taken the second dose of Polyjuice.
‘Come on, Sirius,’ Lupin said urgently, as Snape began to advance again. ‘You’re the one who knew what he was up to.’
‘Just pin him back,’ Sirius said. ‘We’ll take him through when he changes back.’
‘When?’ Malfoy gasped.
‘I don’t fucking know,’ Sirius returned, and threw his own grudging hex on the advancing werewolf. It was obviously tiring now; even that half measure dropped it to the ground. As they watched it fall, it slipped once more to the still form of Severus Snape, and the werewolf, which had occupied him, once again fled with a miserable howl that somehow sounded even more confused than before, as though something new bewildered it. ‘Now,’ Sirius said urgently in understanding. ‘Malfoy, can you drag Voldemort through, if Lupin and I take Severus?’
Lucius nodded reluctantly. ‘I take it there is nothing else we want from this place?’
‘Come on,’ Sirius said as he shook his head; there was nothing else they needed from this place. He knew Snape wanted back through the Veil between the two beats of the second watch he wore on his right hand, the one that had beat against his pulse just once, just after Snape had slipped to the ground. He knew they needed to get to the Veil to be ready when Harry and Draco called them back; it wouldn’t do to leave anyone behind this time.
Harry thought it was a bit odd at first that they had congregated in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, but at least it afforded Snape the opportunity to be present. McGonagall had set Bill and Charlie to getting some chairs, and had summoned elves to bring food and hot drinks, even going as far as to bring Dumbledore’s portrait from her own office. Harry thought that was a touch extreme, and then stopped himself; of course it wasn’t. If there had been time she should have had the place painted and decorated too; it wasn’t every day the Dark Lord was defeated. Anyway, Myrtle held a funny little place in Harry’s affections; it felt right that she should be a part of this too. He just wished she would stop flushing the toilets every time the cisterns refilled. He watched Hermione seem to hop from foot to foot, a bit like Dobby did when he wanted attention; for some reason she wanted Snape to notice her.
Harry watched Lupin take his flask of Polyjuice from his pocket as Snape shook his head at him, closing his eyes briefly as though regretting the rashness of the action, as the nausea welled up in him again. He was standing with his back to the sink he had already made good use of. Harry wondered if he should point out that he had been throwing up into the Chamber of Secrets, and then smiled to himself; he suspected Snape hadn’t picked his sink by accident.
‘A theory is only a theory until it works, Severus,’ Hermione said meaningfully, as Myrtle once again sent a flood of water through the plumbing.
Severus knew Lupin had stayed in his Sirius form just to be a part of things, that he felt apart from the others when he was a wolf. Snape understood that; he’d felt the same when he had been Lupin’s benign wolf form. ‘I don’t know, Lupin,’ he said, and shook his head again. ‘You may not need to take that, but I ... I confess I am just not sure.’ Snape raised an eyebrow, surprised he had the strength to do so, at the audacity of the little upstart of a Granger girl, as he turned to address her dual impertinences of calling him by his given name and presuming to understand what he had in his mind. ‘And am I to believe from your attitude that you think you know what theory I am putting to test?’ As though it hadn’t been enough that he’d had to endure her fussing about his body while Poppy Pomfrey dressed the slashes on his side, the damn girl was now blushing as though she were flirting with him.
‘Yes,’ she said, not at all put out. ‘You are to assume that I think you might have done something awfully clever.’ She looked around her audience. ‘But that’s only if it has worked of course. Are you going to tell Lupin not to take that next dose of Polyjuice?’ She let the inference hang.
‘What does she mean?’ Lupin asked from beside the fire that someone had substituted for a few of the hand basins that lined the walls.
Sirius smiled. ‘I think I know too, Old Wolf. In fact, I suppose if he has done what he thinks he’s done, you’ll need a new nickname.’
‘You have been taking your Wolfsbane, Lupin, haven’t you?’ Hermione asked. ‘Just in case. I think we’ve had enough of werewolves for one night.’
‘Even so, I’d rather know what’s going on, just for this month,’ Lupin said, nodding dumbly in confusion. ‘I won’t abuse this body, I promise.’ He let his slow smile cross Sirius’s face, and looked across to where Malfoy sat, talking quietly to Andromeda. ‘I won’t even stand beside Lucius.’
Snape looked away, cursing to himself in his exhaustion; he hadn’t thought anyone knew what he was thinking. ‘Don’t take it, Lupin. I don’t think you need it.’ He sighed; he wished there were no audience, but he seemed to be stuck with half of Gryffindor and a handful of Slytherins. He suspected that only Sirius and the Granger girl had guessed, but he couldn’t really find it within himself to regret that. ‘I’m not sure, but I don’t think you need it,’ he said with more confidence that he felt.
Lupin looked at him. ‘Why?’
Snape could see Hermione was dying to spill her knowledge, insufferable little know-it-all that she was, just like in classes. He gave a start as he realised he was thinking about her with not quite affection, but not quite hostility either. ‘It will be twenty points off Gryffindor if you get one word of it wrong, Miss Granger,’ he said coolly, before he remembered he wasn’t in a position to do any such thing now. ‘And do not take all day about it.’
Hermione didn’t need to be asked twice to explain that Snape had waited behind the Veil until he knew the moon would be in eclipse for twenty-three minutes, twenty-three minutes in which he thought that neither Greyback nor Lupin’s werewolf form would be able to defend themselves to any extent; he had no way of knowing that Greyback would already be dead by then. She only looked at Snape once before turning back to her audience to make sure they were keeping up with her. He hadn’t disappointed her; his eyebrow had risen up into his black hair in displeasure of the accuracy of her explanation.
‘I could have told you that,’ Lupin said with a frown. ‘I could have told you an eclipse renders a werewolf almost as benign as an ordinary wolf.’
Hermione nodded. ‘Of course you could have,’ she agreed. ‘But you couldn’t have told him to let himself change back to his own form during the eclipse.’
‘So what?’ Lupin asked. ‘What am I missing?’
‘Something you don’t want, actually,’ Sirius replied with a grin. ‘Remember the shadow at the safe house?’ he asked. ‘Remember when Severus changed back, and the shadow ran through the bushes.’
‘Well, Severus thinks he’s left it behind the Veil,’ Sirius replied. ‘And if he has ... well let’s see, shall we.’
Lupin gasped as Sirius grinned and Lucius closed his eyes for a little longer than a blink.
His Own True Heir by Scaranda [Reviews - 0]