Redemption - Part 1 - Reconciliation

Redemption - Part 1 - Reconciliation

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Prompt: 5 - Chocolate
Claim: Remus/Severus
Warnings: Pre-slash
Word Count: 752
Series so far:
1. Reconciliation 2. Rehabilitation 3. Recovery 4. Reply 5. Rediscovery 6. Receiving 7. Repartee 8. Relapse 9. Requisite 10. Retreat 11. Refining 12. Repose 13. Reconsidering 14. Renaissance 15. Retribution 16. Return 17.Rematch 18. Redefining 19. Relishing 20. Recognition21. Remembering 22. Refrain 23. Reformation 24. Recrimination 25. Reliance 26. Reverting 27. Repercussion 28. Reminder 29. Retracing 30. Reassurance 31. Restoration 32. Reverence 33. Respect

“I brought you chocolate.”

Remus blinks and lifts his gaze from the shiny gold-wrapped packet to stare at Severus.  “Er, thank you, Severus.”

It’s obvious the werewolf doesn’t understand.  Severus makes an annoyed sound and leans forward.  “I heard you liked it.”

“I’m a Dark Arts expert; of course I like chocolate.  It’s a very useful recovery aid.”  To Severus’ chagrin, the werewolf looks amused.

For a moment he considers throwing the chocolate down on the blue-and-white striped counterpane, but it has not been so very long since he was pardoned and released from Azkaban, and because Remus Lupin is one of the few people who will actually speak to him instead of spitting in his face, he reconsiders.  Instead he summons truly heroic patience (which is the only way he gets through most encounters with Lupin, despite the lack of spittle) and sits gingerly on the edge of the hospital bed, because there is nowhere else to sit.  He looks at the werewolf in confusion.  “I was under the impression that you’re a…mmm, chocoholic.”

Lupin gives him a damned cheeky grin and Severus grits his teeth.  “Well, no, actually, but I do appreciate the sentiment, Severus.”

“It—isn’t—sentiment,” Severus grinds out, wishing he could crush the last bit of humanity left in him (the bit that gets lonely enough for him to want to spend time with a werewolf who tried to eat him).

Lupin cocks his head, his eyes bright.  “Oh, so charity, then?  Pity?  Those I can do without.”  His voice is sharp, surprising Severus.

“Think who you’re talking to, Lupin,” Severus snaps.

Lupin tenses, and for a moment Severus fears he has crossed the line into unforgivable vitriol.  But then the other man chuckles.  Without meaning to, Severus relaxes slightly.  He hopes desperately that he is imagining the flash of triumph in Lupin’s golden eyes, but he knows he can’t be so lucky.

“Very good.”  Lupin’s voice is calm, satisfied.  “I shan’t give you any pity or charity if you promise to do me the same courtesy.”

Severus rears back, wanting to bristle, but then he realizes that Lupin has given him precisely the gift he has been wanting—the assurance that this, whatever it is, is unmotivated by pity.  Lupin chooses this.  Whatever it is.

After a long silence, Severus asks quietly, “How long will you be…in hospital?”

Lupin shrugs.  “No idea,” he says cheerfully.  “Takes some time for a cursed leg to heal properly, apparently.  They tell me I’ll walk again, though I’ll never be able to dash out of the way of a charging lethifold again.”

Severus snorts, then realized he has just laughed at the fact that Lupin is crippled, and feels a flash of—irritation?  It certainly isn’t remorse.

Lupin gives an exasperated sigh.  “If I’m not allowed to joke about the fact that my nerves were damaged beyond repair, I don’t know what I am allowed,” he snaps.  “It was meant to be funny, Severus.”

Feeling chastised and not liking it one bit, Severus folds his arms and glares.  “I don’t do funny, Lupin.”

After a moment, Remus grins, and Severus relaxes.  How revolting, that he has come to like the sight of that grin.

“I wanted to come to the hearings, you know,” Remus says after a long and vague (though not uncomfortable) silence.  “I had to settle for accounts from Harry and Ron, with Hermione tempering their…ah, harsher opinions.”

Severus has no illusions.  Just because Hermione Granger-Weasley doesn’t spit at him when she sees him doesn’t mean she likes him.  It just means that she is excruciatingly fair in all her dealings.  He supposes it is better than out-and-out charity, so he has stopped twitting her about her appalling judgment in marrying a Weasley.  “I hope you didn’t want to come out of some misplaced sense of duty,” he says.

Remus chuckles.  “I think we’re beyond that, aren’t we?” he asks, mystifyingly.  Severus has no idea how to answer.  He has no idea even what he is being asked.

Lupin’s fingers close over his hand, and he jumps slightly, startled.  After a moment he realizes that he is still holding the chocolate bar, and he feels the faint burn of a blush along his cheekbones.  He releases the chocolate bar.  “Sorry.”

Remus’ smile wipes out the unpleasantries of the day, the way the mediwitch called him a traitor, the wide berth the other Honeydukes’ customers had given him, the evil dreams he suffers every night.

“Why are you apologizing?” Remus asks, and his voice is warm.  “After all, you did bring me chocolate.”

Note:  I have a suspicion that this is the beginning of a series.
  • Seriously?! I missed this? Oh, well, since it's my birthday, it's lovely I've found myself a treat, then, isn't it? And one that won't put on an ounce of anything unwanted.

    Now that that is out of the way... I like Remus' attitude. I too joked like that right after my car accident in 2008. Severus' visit does seem like the start of something wonderful, too.

    I think I'm gonna enjoy this!
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