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 The Night of the Autumn Festival

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PostSubject: The Night of the Autumn Festival   Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:36 pm

The Night of the Autumn Festival

I wrote this AGES ago. It’s a Remus and Snape fic. The two people who are alike in so many ways but don’t even know it. I took some liberties with the novels but it fits somewhere after POA and before Remus met Tonks. Slight OOC? I don’t really know. Maybe not. Maybe so. But I always welcomed the act of having Remus and Snape interacting. I love them both as characters because they just want someone to need them.

--------------------------------

It was a cool, crisp autumn evening with grey skies up above, leaves of yellow and orange falling all around him and the smell of smoke lingering in the air. Maybe Hagrid was preparing to cook something, he thought. No doubt it would be a big meal and being Hagrid, he would happily invite everyone to come and join in. He felt so at home sitting with his back against a weeping willow, smelling that smoke, looking at Hogwarts’ green landscape all around him, with a touch of those autumn colors. He especially loved it when the leaves turned dark orange. He loved that colour for some reason. It looked like the colour of the sun or a sunflower. Something that reminded him of being alive. It’s a shame that sooner or later all the lively green and vivid oranges and yellows will be buried by the whiteness of snow in no time at all. He closed his eyes, raking his hands through his long hair peppered with premature gray.

In a few hours the fireworks will start to welcome the beginning of the autumn festival. He can already hear the faraway laughter of some of his students and a game of quidditch being played in the field. Even from where he sat, their voices played in his ears like some melody he can listen to forever. He loved the sounds of life. A sound he couldn’t really describe, just that it was a sound that sounded like air and happiness and laughter and all the things that he did not have when he was younger. Until of course, he met them.

----

“Come on Remus! What the hell are you standing around for?” James looked back at him; his pale cheeks were covered with red blotches because of the cold and from playing a quick quidditch game minutes before.

“Yeah, this place is too far away to see the fireworks,” Sirius added. Sirius looked haughty. For the first time ever, James had beaten him with the sport he was obsessed with and after that day, James would always beat him. Maybe Sirius had known that then so it was why even his usual nonchalant dark, handsome face looked angry.

But Remus just stood there with his tattered school robes and scuffed shoes. “It’s alright. You go on ahead. I like it here.” Best not to say anything more, he thought.

His two friends looked at him oddly for a bit then shrugged their shoulders simultaneously. Without another word, they continued towards the bottom of the hill while Remus stayed back.

“Hey, Lily might be down there,” Remus heard James say with an excited voice. “I hear she likes fireworks and all that.”

“Who cares what that manly bloke likes,” said Sirius with irritation. “I’m going to beat you bloody hell on the next game.”

And on and on they went as Remus watched them from afar. He felt like an outsider really. He knew that Sirius and James were best friends before they ever met him, were always closer than he ever was to them and though they include him with everything they did, he still felt left out. He always did. Why would anyone hang out with a skinny, pale, and haggard looking kid anyway? Add to that, a warewolf no less. A creature whom they learned in Defence Against the Dark Arts, was a dangerous and evil wild animal that will kill anything. He wondered if anyone else knew about his secret. Maybe that was why no one really bothered to talk to him other than James, Sirius, and Peter. Except that Peter, if they were alone together usually backed away. Peter certainly felt uncomfortable around him. It was the friendship of James and Sirius that Peter wanted. Not his.

Remus sat against a willow tree with yellowed weeping leaves. He closed his eyes to feel the crisp air slowly flying about him. He loved the cold on his skin. He loved the feel of grass beneath him and the feel of the tree trunk against his back. Feeling these nature things always made him feel alive. It made him feel like he really did exist because it made him remember all the things he enjoyed when he was normal.... But that was so long ago. Being normal felt strange to him already because he felt it so rarely. Still, he closed his eyes... pretty soon the fireworks will start and he had a perfect view. James and Sirius didn’t know it but the view was nicer on top of the hill.

Sometimes, when Remus felt normal, it also made him feel even more like an outsider. Even more left out from the rest of Hogwarts. Why was that? It confused him sometimes. There was something missing. His parents were gone, he had no home, except for his friends he was certainly alone. And he knew that one day, both James and Sirius and even Peter would eventually leave him. After all, they were normal everyday wizards. He was a warewolf. He didn’t belong anywhere. He couldn’t stand it sometimes thinking about it. In the end, where will he be? What will become of him? Someday he’ll be alone again. If only he can have something to hold on to. Something to love maybe. Maybe even someone. But that’s too much to ask for isn’t it?

He dug under his dark robes in search of a large chocolate bar. Definitely eating chocolate made him feel real. The sweet milk chocolate was like water that filled him with a surge of energy.

“I figured you would be here.”

Remus was startled from the annoyed, spiteful voice which came up behind him. He thought he was the only one up on the hill. Everyone else was down on the bottom, he was sure. The wind carrying everyone’s voices quite nicely made it through his ears. But that voice was familiar and he knew that it was too much of a bother to respond. After all, that voice belonged to another person who didn’t like him very much and knew his secret, he was sure of it.
And of course, that voice continued on.

“What’s up Lupin... waiting for the moon to shine instead of joining your little pathetic gang down there?”

“Just want to be alone is all.” Remus said nonchalantly. “And I am waiting for the moon. I like the moon. Who doesn’t like the moon?”

“Don’t act so smart. I know what you really are, monster. All of you lot. Just pathetic little monsters.”

Remus again stayed quiet. It was useless to argue. It was better to listen. Remus knew that the boy who still stood behind him needed to do that. Anger can only die down once its been let go. Yes, he thought. It was better to listen. He was used to being called a monster anyway. At least it was better to be called something, something to know you existed, than to be ignored and feel like you’re nothing.

He closed his eyes to feel once again the soft, sharp wind biting his face. He felt it going through his shoulder length hair. ‘You should really cut that you know,’ Lily had once suggested. ‘I can do it for you.’

Then Sirius had cut in. ‘Don’t you do that if you know what’s good for you. Remus looks fine that way. Maybe you should cut your own hair and be the boy you were born to be.’

That did it. Shouting. Hitting. And someone, usually Lily, walked away angry and Sirius would have a smirk on his face. Even with a smirk, Sirius always maintained his handsome appearance. All he had to do was walk along the corridors or out in the wide courtyards and Remus would surely bet the girls would turn back to take a second look as his friend passed them by. During his first months at Hogwarts, he felt good to be in a group with the famous Sirius Black. Sirius after all, was everything he was not. He was strong, confident, cynical, smart. He can easily turn to any stranger and instantly become friends with them. Sirius made everything look so easy. James too made everything look easy. But it was different for him. An outsider. He would never get a girl to turn around and give him a second look. He was a fifth wheel. He wondered if Peter felt the same way. He turned to the side to look at Snape, who finally stopped talking. Snape wasn’t looking at him anymore. Instead he was looking straight ahead. From their silence, the sounds of Hogwarts students from below echoed through the wind and into their ears sounding like haunted laughter.

Remus observed Snape’s profile. Snape’s attention was so focused on what was going on at the bottom of the hill he didn’t notice Remus staring at him and observing him. Remus for the most part didn’t like Snape very much either. Not because of the reasons Sirius and James disliked him but because Snape was just... hmm... why didn’t he like Snape? Snape’s black hair hung limply on his shoulders, his pale skin turning to a golden color from the light of the autumn sun and his robes hung loosely on his skinny body. Snape’s face was sharp and long. Long chin, long nose, a thin mouth. He looked so young and very old at the same time. He had a face which can be described as a boy wanting so much to be the same as everyone else but at the same time he wanted to be old so no one can tell he wasn’t the same as everyone else. All Snape really wanted, as Remus still observed him, was to fit in.

Besides, he didn’t blame Snape for being angry. James and Sirius had done way too many pranks and laughed at him way too many times. Sometimes he was mad at himself for not trying very hard to stop his friends from doing what they found fun. They were cruel and inconsiderate. But he was too wasn’t he? From just staying back, from not really doing anything, he too was cruel. How can he be such a hypocrite? Even if Snape wasn’t so pleasant to begin with, the Slytherin didn’t deserve that. No one deserved that. He should know, he was an outsider too. He should be the one person who really understood what Snape was feeling.

“I'm sorry,” Remus mumbled after a long silence, searching for another candy bar under his robes. He wondered if his apology was sincere or if Snape even heard him.

Snape gave a short and what sounded like a bitter laugh. “You’re apology means nothing to me, monster.”

“I know,” said Remus eating a chunk out of his chocolate. He wondered when the fireworks will start exactly. It was getting dark and the sun’s light was already turning to a reddish purple hue. “Even if you won’t accept it, I just wanted to tell you because I mean it.” He sighed. And quietly, when Snape didn’t respond, he added one last thing. “Besides, I think I understand you somewhat. I’m the same as you.”

“How can a monster be the same as me?” Snape snapped back, with an angry look in his face. But strange... Remus observed. The other boy’s eyes aren’t angry were they? For some reason, the look in those eyes looked more relieved.

“Maybe you’re right.” Remus stood up, dusting bits of grass from his black robes. He put the half eaten chocolate back inside one of his pockets. “Shouldn’t you be down that hill now? The fireworks are going to start.”

“Why should I join that lot? There’s a better place somewhere else.”

“They should start soon.” Remus said quietly. Before it’s too late. Hopefully it won’t be a full moon tonight. That was what he was thinking. Why was it taking so long? Being a warewolf, he knew the moon phases. It wasn’t likely that the moon was going to be full tonight but it never hurt to be doubtful of nature. Some unexplained things are bound to happen. If it was, he would miss everything and he was looking forward to this more than any other festival or quidditch game they had because the festival welcomed the autumn.
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PostSubject: Re: The Night of the Autumn Festival   Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:36 pm

Story continued...

Autumn was his most favorite season. Autumn to him was beautiful and melancholy. It symbolized an end and a beginning. It brought vivid colors which will eventually fade away. It was a contradictory season, he decided. It played with death and birth and something more. But more than that, it really made him feel at home. He loved the smells, the look, everything that came with autumn. Even when he was a child, when he was normal, he wanted to be autumn. He remembered telling his mother that he either wanted to be a teacher or a tree which sprouted orange leaves when he grew up. His mother only smiled. She told him it was wonderful. It sometimes saddened him that he remembered the conversations he had with his parents but he couldn’t even remember what they really looked like. Sometimes when he closed his eyes... he can remember bits of those long ago memories, Like film strips of old memories going fast-forward in his brain. A smile here, a wave of good bye there, his mother’s bright colored eyes, his father’s short dark hair. He remembered the wrinkles which appeared on the corners of his fathers eyes whenever he was happy. He remembered his mother’s brown dress, her light brown hair... but he wondered if they were still living, if they passed him by out in the streets, he wondered if he would recognize them.

He wondered if Snape felt the same way. He wondered a lot about many things during those days. By the time he opened his eyes again, the sun was almost disappearing. Just to make sure, he backed away from the willow tree. Snape was still standing to his left, looking down at the bottom of the hill. He needed to have a head start before anything wrong happened.

“What’s the matter with you?” Snape asked in his usual scruffy way. Before Remus answered, Snape too looked up at the sky waiting for the outcome of the moon.

“It’s not going to be. I know it. Dumbledore even told me. But just in case.” He said quickly. Right when he got those words out of his mouth, he wondered why it even came out. Why did he even have to explain to Snape. Like he would care. It would only make him more ashamed that Snape really knew what was really going on.

For a while Snape just stared up at the sky. Then back at him. Then back to the sky. Remus noticed how Snape was trying to decide something. What it was, he didn’t know and at the time he really didn’t care. He was ready for the moon. Snape was clenching and unclenching his hands. Then stuffed it inside his robes. “Just when it’s going to start.” Snape said under his breath.

“You should leave. You should leave now,” said Remus. He didn’t even bother to look at Snape.

“Idiot. Why would I be scared of you? I can banish you with just a spell.”

Remus stayed quiet. It wasn’t in him to argue. The other boy gave a loud grunt. Remus heard it clearly even with the voices from below the hill. Then Snape was walking towards him. “What are you doing? You better get away from me if you know what’s good for you.”

“Shut up and drink this.” Snape handed him a small milk bottle which held a simmering purple liquid inside.

Remus shoved the thin hand away from him. “What is that?”

“It might help you. Not that I would want to help you. It's an experiment I made. It might stop you from turning...” Snape stopped abruptly, his face turning into his usual look of distaste. “Anyway, it might kill you too.”

Snape was so close to him he couldn’t see the moon very well. So close to him, Remus felt wisps of Snape’s black hair touching his cheek. He didn’t understand what was going on or what exactly Snape was giving him inside the bottle. What did he say again? That it might stop me from turning... into that? Was that it? Then he added it might kill too. Just looking at Snape’s face close up, Remus knew the other was serious. How can Snape pull off showing his revulsion of him being a warewolf while still looking serious and worried? Remus could hit himself for thinking such things while in a bad situation. He always did that. Still, it just came down to one thing. Did he really trust Snape? Did he trust this boy enough (who obviously didn’t like him very much) to drink some unknown concoction that might help him out. He sighed. What has he got to lose?

As if in slow motion, Snape backed away. Remus saw part of the moon hidden by clouds then. Music was coming from below the hill, it was slow and droned out, just like slow motion. Everything was moving so slow. For sure now, the fireworks were going to start. Slowly he opened that milk bottle with that simmering purple liquid and drank it all. It tasted bitter and hot on his throat. It tasted like fire if fire had a taste. He wanted to spit it all out. He felt like vomiting. Before he was able to do that however, the liquid disappeared inside his mouth. He didn’t even feel it going down. What the hell was that?

He felt something warm inside him though. Felt like it settled him down. He felt for some reason... comfortable. He and Snape both looked up at the dark sky without saying anything to each other. The dark clouds floated slowly away from the moon. Remus still felt he was in a world of slow motion. But to his relief the moon wasn’t full. It was a waxing gibbous, a 3/4 moon. So close to being full that if the clouds covered that missing part of the moon, it would seem like it was a full moon. He sighed rather loudly with relief, his hand on his heart. Snape too seemed to be relieved when Remus quickly took a glance his way but not a second later he changed that look to a look he usually gave Remus; the look of annoyance and revulsion. Snape though, still stayed there with him, not moving. Still looking up at the sky and at the 3/4 moon, waiting for the fireworks.

“A waxing gibbous,” said Remus under his breath. “I knew it was going to be that.” Still, he knew that the full moon would soon follow. He would be gone again. He'd be tired and weak. Though he loved the moon, sometimes he hated it too.

Snape stayed quiet.

“Hey, what was that stuff you gave me? It tasted awful but then it felt rather nice after I drank it. What was it?” If he knew last night he would be with Severus Snape during the Autumn Festival he would have laughed and his three friends would have thought he was reciting a very bad joke.

“Something,” Snape mumbled looking at him with his small, sharp eyes. “I’m surprised you had not died, Lupin. You didn’t even think about it did you? Do you usually drink things without knowing what it is?”

Remus shrugged. “What did I have to lose? Besides if you wanted to kill me Snape, I’m pretty sure you’d find a better way than poison.”

The Severus Scowl that Remus was also used to, appeared on Snape’s pale face. “Hah. You would think that wouldn’t you? You’d be surprised with what I can do. Too bad it really wasn’t a full moon.”

Remus smiled. For the first time in a long time, he found himself smiling like an idiot. He was even on the verge of laughter. He couldn’t help it.

“Why are you smiling like that for?” Snape asked, his whole face changing from his trademark scowl to anger. Remus wondered if Snape ever smiled. He wondered if Snape was ever happy at something. Remus always wondered. He liked the mysteries hiding behind those wonders. If he had to explain that feeling to someone, he would explain it like that. He liked the mystery hiding behind the wonder. And if they asked what that meant, he would say, I mean it just like that. Remus smiled once more. “Not only are you a monster, you’re mad.”

“Maybe I am,” he said. “It just occurred to me, that’s all. That’s why I’m laughing.”

“What just occurred to you?”

Should he answer Snape? Should he really tell him he was grateful for his presence? Should he really tell the boy who didn’t like him very much he was glad he was able to talk to someone who knew how it felt? Knew exactly the feelings of being alone? Should he thank this boy who was always the victim of the Black and Potter wrath he was thankful? Thanking someone was easy to do. Just two words. Eight letters. Much easier to say ‘thank you’ than ‘I love you anyway’. Not that he would ever say the latter to anyone. He wondered if he would even say that when he was older. He seriously doubted it. Thank - you was appropriate though. If someone told him last night Severus Snape would actually try and save him from becoming what he really was, he would laugh again. He would think it was a dream. But there he was. Even when Snape possessed those angry look he gave everyone who went by him, it was Snape who saved him or at least tried to. Remus didn’t even care what that nasty yet comforting liquid was. But he knew if he would have taken it during the night of a full moon, he knew somehow it wouldn’t have transformed him. He trusted Snape. It was why he found the need to laugh. Through their dislikes and insults towards each other, they somehow trusted one another. What a concept.

“What just occurred to you?” Asked Snape again, snapping Remus out of his small daze.

“It’s nothing,” he said. Maybe I should hold off on that thank you.

From the bottom of the hill they can hear a low whistle. A simple sign to know the first set of fireworks were finally making its way to the black starlit sky.

Snape headed towards another part of the hill. All the while just looking up at the sky.

“Where are you going?” Remus asked, not expecting Snape to answer. So he does know a better place somewhere else after all.

“Well come on if you want to see it better. I’m not waiting for you.”

The boy continued walking without turning back. His black robes and Slytherin scarf slightly billowing because of the wind. Without hesitation, Remus followed. From there Snape lead him through a group of trees, through a flower bed, through the greenhouse and then up another hill. He stopped at another willow tree set in a small clearing. Remus looked around. He’d never been around this part of Hogwarts before and he thought he knew every part of Hogwarts. Snape didn’t say anything. He was staring up at the sky, then down at the bottom of the hill of where the festival was. They were both far away... but Snape was right about this “better place somewhere else.” They can see everything. From where they stood the fireworks seemed so close he felt like he could just reach up and easily touch those sparkling lights.

“Thank you,” Remus said after the last set of fireworks.

It was the last thing he ever said to Snape until they would meet again years later. Remus hoped Snape at least understood it was sincere. But he and Snape never talked about it again. He would never forget that night he shared with the one person he knew who know how it felt to also be lonely. And he wondered if their lives might change someday. Maybe one day, both of them would finally have someone or something to make them smile.

Remus wondered what Snape would look like if he smiled. Just the thought of it made him laugh out loud again...

----

“I figured you would be here. What in bloody hell are you laughing about, Lupin?” Snape asked, in his gruff voice. “Do all warewolves laugh out loud like crazy lunatics, whenever they’re alone?” Snape pulled back his cape to hand him a simmering bottle of purple liquid. “Dumbledore never lets me forget how much I have to give this to you.”

Remus stood up, taking the bottle. He dusted his brown patched up teacher’s robes which hung like a coat over his thin frame. They were both up on the hill, the second hill that was yet to be discovered by the students of Hogwarts. He followed Snape there like he had done years before. And like years before... as the fireworks began its showcase in the black starlit sky, Remus felt like wanting to reach up to touch the sparkling coloured fire.

He smiled. It was a beautiful night. A beautiful festival. And from the corner of his eye, although it was very small, a smile turned up on Snape’s thin lips. So Snape didn’t look so ridiculous with a smile after all. But Remus was the only one to ever know that and he was glad about that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Night of the Autumn Festival   Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:01 pm

Awww I love it. Remus & Snape are 2 of my favourite characters Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Night of the Autumn Festival   Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:05 pm

This is really good, I love it Smile
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