The Light Within Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at http://archiveofourown.org/works/34556485.

Rating: Explicit

Archive Warning: Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings, Graphic Depictions Of Violence

Category: M/M

Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling

Relationship: Remus Lupin/Severus Snape, James Potter/Lily Evans Potter

Character: Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, Lily Evans Potter, Poppy Pomfrey, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Lucius Malfoy, Regulus Black, Avery Jr. | Severus Snape's Schoolmate

Additional Tags: Self-Harm, Implied/Referenced Suicide, Suicide Attempt, Fluff, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Eventual Smut, Eventual Happy Ending, Secret Relationship, Sleepy Cuddles, Marauders Era (Harry Potter), Marauders, Hurt Severus Snape, e, Good Remus Lupin, Evil Albus Dumbledore, Oral Sex, Frottage, Anal Sex, Insecure Severus Snape, Underage Smoking, Bottom Severus Snape, Top Remus Lupin Published: 2021-10-17 Chapters: 34/34 Words: 49158

The Light Within

by NinaSomeone123

Summary

The Slytherin boy, Severus, looked at the stars in the bright night to enjoy his last moments in peace after the incident with Lily when he suddenly heard someone. Remus stopped him before it was too late. This leads to many encounters on the Astronomy Tower where it all happened.

Remus noticed something weird when Severus had the habit of holding his left arm close to his chest, the side where the Dark Mark was usually printed. Were the rumours true and did Severus join the Death Eaters? Dumbledore gives Remus the assignment to spy on him while slowly developing feelings for him. What happens when they find themselves falling for each other and how will Remus complete the task?

Chapter one

Severus just made the biggest mistake ever. He lost his only and best friend by simply saying one word, one word had ruined it all. The one person who truly cared for Severus was ignoring him for the past week and she even refused to make eye contact with him. Lily Evans. He tried to talk to her about it and he apologized a million times but she wouldn't forgive him. Her exact last words Lily said to Severus were: "Sev, I can"t just forgive you for this. I'm sorry."

Severus was alone now that he lost her. On top of the wound, James started dating Lily while he knew that Severus was head to toe over her. He never dared to say it out loud to her but it was very obvious to everyone, especially to the "Marauders". He hated that name and thought it was childish and they even had nicknames for each other.

How pathetic he snorted. James didn't deserve Lily's love and Black and Lupin didn't deserve her friendship either.

Don’t even get him started about that moron named Pettigrew. They have never been nice to Severus so how could Lily do this to him?!

The cold breeze made Severus shiver but he still managed to hold his head up and embrace the cold. It was peaceful, it always was. He came here, up the Astronomy Tower, almost every day after curfew after the incident with Lily. Severus would just stare at the stars and the moon. Sometimes when it was a full moon, he heard the werewolf and secretly deep down he hoped Lupin was going to be okay. It must be hard on him to be like that, Severus must admit. No, he shouldn't think about Lupin right now! He was his enemy even though mostly, Lupin didn't do anything but that was the problem: that he didn't do anything.

He didn't bully Severus like Potter and Black would but he did watch, watch him being humiliated in front of the whole bloody school.

Severus looked at the clear, black sky and it was beautiful like this. He always adored nighttime and even preferred it over the daytime. It felt like all his worries disappeared into thin air and every single one of his responsibilities vanished with it as well. The pressure to keep his status and grades high. Severus needed to get the best grades he could possibly get even though it meant having no free time. Of course, he did enjoy it but it wasn't the way he wanted to study.

He wanted to prove his father wrong about being worthless and useless. That's why his father did the things he did to him because the words Severus had been called were true. No matter how hard Severus tried to convince himself his father was wrong, the more he started to believe that it was true.

Nobody was here to rescue Severus now. Dumbledore may have been the closest thing to a father figure and he didn't want to let him down, but Severus was exhausted and drained. Dumbledore was the one who saved him last time when he tried to drown himself in the black lake.

Severus saw the hurt in Dumbledore"s eyes when he was pulled out of the freezing lake and regretted his actions immediately. He had let him down and now, Dumbledore will see him as weak and that was the last thing Severus wanted: Pity. That"s why he hid his secrets from everybody else. Severus didn't need a person to "fix" him because he wasn't broken.

His hands leaned on the railing, supporting his body that was hanging half over it. Severus" eyes

glanced down to see how high it exactly was because he didn't want to survive the fall. He could already imagine it:

Severus lay in a twisted position on the ground and unable to move. Waiting for someone to find him and when he was found, they just laughed at him. Laughing because he was a coward and even failed to commit suicide. Severus would lay still on the cold surface and incapable of protecting himself and getting out of the situation.

There was a small chance for him to actually survive and Severus was hopeless right now. This had to do. Even if he did survive, he would just try to kill himself after he would be released from the hospital wing. It didn't matter anymore. Nothing mattered.

Remus-

He was tossing and turning in his Gryffindor bed, trying to find a good position to fall asleep in. He groaned in frustration after about half an hour endlessly staring at the ceiling, now mesmerizing every single stripe the paint had made.

Remus had trouble sleeping for as long as he could remember. There were so many things in his mind the second his eyes closed. They were all hectically running around in his head, digging up the smallest awkward conversations he had in his life. Some were actually a bit funny but not something Remus wanted to relive.

He peeked his head up, gazing at his best friends. Even though they were a bloody pain in the ass sometimes, he still loved them like family. Remus and Sirius were the closest with each other and that was something that didn't go unnoticed by the group. James teased them occasionally about what a great couple they would make. Remus wanted to punch James in the face when he crossed the line with teasing. Sirius rolled his eyes at him and ignored it, knowing they would and could never be more than best friends.

Sirius was straight and made that very pronounced. He couldn't even be bi-curious. Remus on the other hand has struggled with his feelings towards people that weren't girls. Did he feel guilty about it? Yes, he did.

Remus knew that his friends would approve of it and it was more that he had problems with it himself. He always assumed that he would get married and have children with his wife.

Peter snoring loudly was definitely not helping Remus get to sleep. His eyes landed on the Marauders map next to him. Remus' curiosity took over to see if anyone would still wander around the school at this time and he opened the map.

His eyebrows furrowed when he saw someone at the Astronomy tower. Remus wasn't really surprised to see Severus there. The map was placed on the nightstand next to him again but he couldn't stop wondering what Severus would do there at this hour.

He sighed and stressed about his enemy. It wasn't like he hated him. It was more than James,

Sirius and Peter didn't like him and started bullying in their first year already. Naturally, Remus just went with it because after all they were his friends and it would be weird to do something about it even though he always felt guilty after they pulled another prank on the poor Severus. He must admit, Severus certainly wasn't the most handsome guy in the school and he may not have the rich life he had, but he didn't deserve this.

Everybody knew about Severus' home life. Well, not that Severus himself had spoken about it but there were thousands of rumours. Some people have seen his back or other parts of his body that sometimes slipped out of his robes.

They say he has an awful amount of scars everywhere. Some were consistent while others were all over the place. One of the bigger rumours was that he was doing himself harm but nobody bothered enough to actually ask if he was okay.

Remus was growing more tempted through the years to get to know Snape more. He was an interesting and special human with his obsession for Dark Arts. He also had a lot of questions about why Severus acted the way he did, always sarcastic and sneering when someone tried to talk to him. Maybe it was a defence mechanism and something to keep people away from him.

Severus was positively not a social person. In fact, you could say he detested people and any sort of affection. He hated being the centre of attention, whether it would be good or bad attention didn't even matter.

Remus grabbed the map for the second time this night. His eyes found the Astronomy Tower and Severus were still standing there. Bloody hell, Remus worries increased by the second. He had to go there, now.

He slipped in a pair of warmer clothes and pulled his cloak over his shoulders, heading to the tower.

Chapter two

Walking up the stairs took long enough and by the time Remus was on the last step, he was out of breath. He stood there quietly and took some air in his lungs, calming himself down before taking the last step. Preparing himself for what snarky comments he will get from Snape for being there. Maybe Severus was just enjoying the view and silence. Then Remus would be terribly wrong about the intentions he thought Snape would have.

Remus saw Severus, leaning over the ledge. He was shivering a bit and Remus noticed the cloak that was missing on his lean body. Did Severus really think it was a good idea to stand here in the cold at night without a cloak for hours!?

Snape didn't know that he was being observed by his new company and climbed over the railing. He wasn't a climber and even though it wasn't that high, he still had trouble. One leg was already over it before he heard a voice behind him that made him jump.

"Snape? What are you doing?" He recognized the voice and turned his head to look straight in the brown, amber eyes from Lupin. He swore under his breath so that it was impossible for Lupin to hear it. Of all moments Lupin could walk in, this was the moment?

The look in Remus' eyes worried the Slytherin. He couldn't be concerned right? That was unimaginable. Severus however, saw no reason Remus could stop him and swung his other leg over it, now sitting on the edge.

"Sna- Severus, whatever you think you"re doing, we can talk about it. I"m here for you. Please?" He looked pleading and nervous. Severus was doubting, what if this was another prank and James, Sirius and Peter were waiting around the corner for him? Severus stopped moving and his breath hitched. What was he going to do....?

"Look, I know we might have our differences but you're not alone and this isn't"t the only way out. It may look like it is, but it"s not. Please come off and talk to me?" Maybe Remus wasn't lying but Severus still hesitated because this was his chance. His chance to finally be free and happy.

"You think I believe that Lupin?" Severus sneered at the young man. Remus didn't know what to do and took a step closer to him. He said his name extra slowly to let Remus know that he can"t call him by his front name. The situation they were currently in didn't change the dynamic that was between them.

"Don't come closer or I'll jump," Severus threatened. He took a step back again without breaking eye contact with the boy on the railing that could be dead any second.

"Why do you care anyway? We have never been friends before. Better said, we are enemies of Lupin. Go away and mind your own damn business." The voice became more strict and harder. Remus suppressed the need to run towards the lonely Slytherin and hug him until he couldn’t breathe anymore. That wasn't the smartest idea though because it would give Severus a chance to genuinely jump.

"Please," he continued begging.

"No! I'm done with this. I'm done with everyone. Do you know how it feels to have nobody in your life to care for you? Do you?" Severus was furious at this point, "I have nothing. I lost everyone and everything." It almost sounded like Snape was the one who begged at the moment. Begging for Lupin to go away and let him be free. It sounded desperate under the tone of angriness.

"You are cared for Severus. I care." He had gone back to his first name again but this time, Severus couldn't dwell on it because he had other things to think about.

"You don't care so stop pretending!" His voice cracked in the middle and his vision became blurry from holding back the tears that were gonna fall any second.

"I do. Please, Severus." Tears were now rolling down his cheeks and Remus was surprised to see this. Never in his entire life had he known him had he cried. Not even when he got attacked in the Shrieking Shack Sirius had led him into.

"Let me be happy." It was now softer and nearly a whisper. Severus' body began moving and this was the cue for Remus to run towards the boy.

Severus closed his eyes, waiting for his body to hit the cold, hard stone on the surface. Yet, the smack never hit him. Remus" hand wrapped around the thin wrist to pull him back. They both fell down with a loud sound. Remus felt something falling on top of him that made him groan in pain. They laid still for a second before Severus wanted to stand up but Remus didn't let go of the wrist and only tightened it.

"Why Lupin!" Severus was on his knees next to Remus who quickly sat straight up. He saw that Severus wanted to leave but was unable to by the hand that was still clasped around his arm with a hard force.

"Why did you stop me? Why did you have to ruin my plans just like you ruin everything else in my life?" he cried out. He started thrashing around to remove himself from the strong man's grip but failed. For the first time, Severus had let his mask down. The emotions were as visible as they could be and his eyes were red and puffy from the crying. Never had Remus thought he would see Severus this vulnerable. He didn't respond to the question Severus asked and he thought that it wasn't really a question either. He pulled Severus in his chest and Remus" arms crept around the small waist. Remus could feel the bones of his ribs from the lack of eating and laid his head against the wall.

Severus struggled to get out of his grip but he refused to let go. Instead, Remus shrugged his cloak from his shoulders and gently laid it on top of the shivering body. He felt him relaxing a bit but he was still very tense under Remus' touch.

Severus felt a hand on his head that was directed towards Remus' chest. His cheek was flat against the hard, warm body. He was curled up into a foetus position with Remus' arms around him and his face buried in the clothes, unable to look at the man that was holding him.

Remus heard the Slytherin sobbing and choking a bit on his own saliva. He rocked him in his arms and hummed a song softly. In the meantime, Severus stopped trying to draw away from the warm body pressed against his, knowing it was pointless.

He would never admit it out loud but he relished having his body in his arms. It was a cute sight too: Severus with puffy eyes, red cheeks and face buried into Remus' robes. He sucked the outside air in his lungs before letting it out in a long puff before giving the man in his arms a small kiss on the forehead that had already passed out from exhaustion.

Chapter three

Remus grunted when the sunshine nearly blinded him. For a second, he wondered why he was at the Astronomy Tower before all the memories flooded back. Snape sitting on the railing wanting to jump, Remus pulled him back and then snuggled him in his arms. Remus rubbed his eyes. Did that really happen last night or was it just a dream? He noticed the warm presence he felt last night gone.

Remus was alone which made him question whether he had slept and walked all the way up the stairs. But the bruises that pained him told something else.

"Moony! Where have you been, mate?" James, Peter and Sirius all looked at the worn-out Remus standing in front of them. His hair had thousands of knots in it, he had bags under his eyes and the clothing looked like it went through the fire.

"Nothing special." He sat down while Sirius and James exchanged a quick look but they didn't ask anything about it. He glanced at the Slytherin table, eyes trying to find the person who sobbed his heart out last night. The person who he could have lost if Remus didn't go to the tower. He couldn't even think about what might have happened if he decided to go to sleep instead of to Severus.

Severus had his eyes fixed on the plate in front of himself. It had a piece of buttered toast in front of him but he felt sick looking at it and shoved it away from him. He felt eyes burning in his back and turned around to stare right in the beautiful brown eyes Lupin had. He had woken up in his arms and made a run for it, not wanting to talk about what had happened even though Severus knew he should.

Remus gave him a concerning smile and then joined the conversation James, Sirius and Peter had. This was going to be a hard day.

Severus left before breakfast ended to avoid Remus. Luckily he had Potions and Slughorn always allowed Severus to come earlier than the actual lesson. He was even luckier that Remus didn't have potions with him.

He made his way down the dungeon and the temperature fell with each step that led him farther to the potions room. Severus knocked on the door and didn't hear an answer so he took the change and walked into the room. There was no sign of Slughorn, that probably meant he was still at breakfast in the Great Hall. He sighed before dragging his feet over the ground and sitting himself in a chair. He searched in his bag for Advanced Potion Making, to read it again even though Severus knew every single sentence written in the book.

There were scribbles on all of the pages, correcting the mistakes the people made while writing the book. How can they be so foolish, making these kinds of mistakes?

The first Ravenclaws came in and Severus didn't bother to look up. He did, however, heard them snicker and he immediately knew it was about him. He wasn't an imbecile and knew about the rumours that spread around the school like wildfire.

Most of them weren't true, such as him never washing his hair. Innocent stuff like that. The big ones were mostly accurate which made Severus tense up thinking about it, knowing his secrets were out. Nobody bothered enough to check in with him. After all, they were rumours and some assume they are just made up by some people. Or maybe they didn't care enough to even ask. It didn't disturb Severus that nobody really asked. He would rather be alone and never talk about such

things.

Dumbledore was the only one who actually knew everything about the Slytherin. It wasn't like he told him, it was more that Dumbledore figured it out himself. That night at the black lake, Dumbledore found out about his suicidal thoughts and his addiction to cutting.

Of course, he already knew about his home situation. He got sent to the hospital wing after his attempt and he was held there for about two weeks. It was torture but Dumbledore kept saying he needed it and that it was good for him.

He convinced the older man to let him go and that he wasn't going to pull a stunt like that anymore. Madam Pomfrey argued with Dumbledore outside the room and Severus heard everything:

"We can't let him go, Albus. The boy is suicidal and I highly doubt he had stopped his addiction. He is a Slytherin after all." Severus grinned at the last sentence and continued listening, hoping Dumbledore could influence Madam Pomfrey.

"We can't keep him here forever. He has classes to attend and we don"t want students to get suspicious," It was funny how Dumbledore kept thinking people cared about Severus. Students wouldn't get suspicious about the sudden disappearance. In fact, they wouldn't even notice he would be gone. "I"ll keep an eye on him okay? And we will continue the appointments between Severus and the Mindhealer. Once a week."

He didn't tell the Mindhealer much. Severus didn't trust the man and was afraid that if he would spill his thoughts and feelings, he would be sent to St. Mungo. Dumbledore promised that they wouldn't take Severus there but he had his seconds thoughts about it. The headmaster had lied about multiple things throughout his stay at Hogwarts. Bastard, Severus thought. The voice connected to Slughorn interrupted his train of thoughts.

"Dreamless Sleep. This name must be familiar to you?" Severus snorted in himself. He knew exactly what the potion for Dreamless Sleep was. He had made it so many times that he could do it blindly. It helped him scare away the nightmares Severus tended to have. If he didn't take it, he would wake up his roommates in the middle of the night by screaming and turning in his bed.

Severus’ roommates never asked why it happened. They only got mad at him for disturbing their sleep. The nightmares were mostly about his father. About how he told Severus how useless he was every day and showed it by beating him with whatever he had. Mostly it was the belt, but sometimes Tobias would improvise if he didn't have the belt. The memories made him shiver.

The ingredients were already on each table. They had a theory about the potion yesterday and today they had to make it. Most people will fail to make it correctly but Severus never did. He didn't need to look in his book for directions and got started with cutting the flobberworm.

Chapter four

Potions went successful. Although Severus got in trouble for arguing with Slughorn. He told Slughorn that you had to crush it and not cut it like the book said. Slughorn always followed the book but Severus knew better, the book had so much misinformation. He was on his way to his next class: Transfiguration. It wasn't one of Severus" favourites but luckily, it wasn't really hard for him. He sighed when he remembered this class was with Gryffindor.

Remus saw Severus walk into the class. He was sitting with his friends in the back of the class like always. James and Sirius never paid attention while Remus was the one who always tried his best to follow it. Peter mostly daydreamed during classes and this class was no exception.

Transfiguration was something he had trouble with and he struggled with it most of the time. Defence Against the Dark Arts was also a challenge for Remus. He had considered asking Snape multiple times to tutor him. It wasn't the best idea but he knew about his obsession with it and he wasn't going to lie, he was good as well. But the Marauders will laugh at them and tease them about it. Moony wouldn't care but knew that Severus would get extra hard treatment from them.

Severus sat down, eyes never leaving the ground and head hanging low. It was just the way he walked. He probably did that to attract as little attention as he could and Remus couldn't blame him. His posture was terrible and he had no doubts that Severus would feel this in his twenties if he kept this up.

"Snivellus! Take a shower, I can see the grease from here." James laughed and motioned to Sirius. Lily would normally stick up for Severus and say something about it to James. But this time, she kept quiet. It pained him. Remus saw Severus tightening up a bit by the raise of his shoulders, before letting them fall again. He never knew how he could ignore the bastards he was friends with.

"Settle down," the voice from McGonagall interrupted. She gave a quick glare at the boys in the back to warn them.

The class went smoothly except for the mess Sirius and James made. Severus rolled his eyes. They always acted like they were higher than the rest. They were not and it seemed like nobody even noticed this. The Marauders got away with everything just because they were Dumbledore favourites. It was pretty obvious for Severus but again, no one sees the small details in the bigger picture.

Remus fast-walked to Severus who was walking through the corridors to lunch. Remus made a quick excuse to his friends, saying he had to go to the bathroom.

"Snape! Hold up." Severus however, recognized the voice from Lupin and started walking even faster than he did before. It practically went at a running pace at this point. Remus furrowed his brows but let it slip. This was Snape they were talking about after all. He finally made his way through the crowd of students and walked next to Severus.

"What do you want Lupin," he said annoyed. Why didn't he leave him alone? Severus didn't really expect Remus to socialize with him after that night. He was alive and that was why Lupin said those things right? He just didn't want to deal with the guilt if Severus died. At Least, that"s what he thought but Remus had other things in mind. He seemed to care for this boy and started to see him less as Snivellus and more as a genius.

An attractive, yet difficult man. He was fascinated by Severus and wanted to spend more time with

him and also talk about why he had the urge to kill himself. Remus could have guessed why but he still needed to hear it coming out of Severus" mouth because he didn't want to jump to conclusions.

"About....last night," he started hesitantly. Severus sighed and even though Remus couldn't see his face by the black curtain of hair, he had the feeling he was also rolling his eyes at him. Remus smirked at the thought of it. It was cute.

"Drop it. You saved my life, are you happy now? That was the point of it, wasn't it? Saving me so you don"t have to live with the guilt." Remus gasped. Was this really what Severus was thinking? He couldn't blame the man for thinking this because they aren't friends and never had an actual normal conversation. It still upset Remus to know Severus thought he only did it because he pitied him. He knew how much Severus hated people pitying him.

"It's not like that-" he wanted to say more but was cut off: "Save your excuses. I don"t need to hear them." Snape picked up his pace again and headed to the Great Hall even though he barely ate. Lucius spotted Severus sitting at the Slytherin table and sat next to him.

"And?" Severus nearly choked on his pumpkin juice. Lucius had his hand on the back of Severus and patted it gently. He winked at him before pointing at Remus. Severus was annoyed that nothing could go past Lucius.

"What?" he sneered.

"I saw you walking with Remus." Severus had the need to punch him in the face after Lucius said that. It wasn't any of his business.

"So?" Lucius glared at him. He saw the way Severus looked at Remus and there was definitely more to the story. Lucius had his suspicions about Severus’ sexuality since 3rd year. He was in denial and that was clear to see. But now, something has changed. Severus was still looking at Remus with the: I-fancy-you look but there was something else he was hiding.

"Stop denying," he smirked before turning his head and starting a conversation with the Slytherin on the other side. Severus had no idea what he was talking about and what Lucius meant with his actions and words. He hadn't figured out about the Astronomy Tower, did he?

Severus was going to the library. It was one of his favourite spots. Normally he would go to the tree but the incident with Lily took place there and he couldn't stand to be there.

He walked into the library and to his luck, he spotted Lily. She was alone and this was the perfect opportunity to talk to her without James in his neck.

"Lily. Can I talk to you?" She looked up from her homework and narrowed her eyes.

"No," she simply answered. Severus didn't expect this answer and kept standing in front of her, not knowing what to do. She sighed and closed her book.

"What do you want, Sev?" His face lit up a bit after she called him Sev. It was the nickname she used before the fight.

"I wanted to apologize for....for calling you that word." Lily saw this coming already and said nothing. She couldn't just forgive him after what had happened. She tried to help him and instead she got that awful word back.

"I don't accept your apology. Now if you'll excuse me," she got up from her seat and packed her bags. She didn't even turn her head when she walked out. Severus had no other choice but to run after her.

"Lily, wait." He grabbed her arm but she yanked it from his grip. Some students looked in their direction to see what it was all about.

"No ! " They took a turn in the corridor and met Sirius and Remus. Lily rushed over to them and stood behind them like they were going to protect her from Severus.

"Snivy. Looks like she doesn't want to talk to ya," Sirius smirked. Remus blinked a few times to process the situation in his mind.

"But-" He got cut off by Sirius who grabbed his wand out of his robe and pointed it at him. Remus was freezing up and it felt like he couldn't move. In the meantime, Lily had made a run for it and was probably looking for James. Severus quickly gripped his own wand tight in his hand but before he could even pull it out of his robes completely, Sirius said: "Expelliarmus."

The wand flew out of Severus' hand which left him unarmed. Sirius pushed him at the wall with the strength of his body, pointing the wand in his neck and gripping his hair. Severus looked scared and tried to fight back but he didn't have much body strength in comparison with Black.

"If you ever-" he wanted to continue but got pulled back by someone. Severus frowned and looked over Black's shoulder to see who stood up for him

"Padfoot. Let's go." It was Remus. Sirius wanted to say something back but Remus slurred him. Severus was still standing against the wall, shocked by the actions Remus pulled. A few students were still staring at the scene that just took place and Severus wanted to die of humiliation. He found his wand on the floor and placed it back in his robes. What was happening?

Chapter five

"Moony, what was that all about?" Sirius grunted when he got pulled away from Severus.

"I was about to let him meet my fist," Remus couldn't help but laugh a bit at this comment. They didn't have any classes for the day and the friend group settled down in the common room in front of the fire for homework. Well, at least Remus was doing his assignments. James and Sirius were joking around while Peter just pretended to study but he could see the porn magazine hidden behind the book in front of his face. Peter adjusted his sitting position, probably trying to hide the growing erection.

"Just give him a break alright?" James stopped laughing and looked at Remus through split eyes.

"Give him a break? C'mon he deserves it all." Remus didn't know what to say because of course, he didn't want to get into a fight with his best friends.

"Are you seriously defending him?" Sirius added to the statement James already made. Remus rolled his eyes at them but decided not to argue with them any further.

"Whatever guys. I'm going to take a nap." He stood up from the couch and gathered his stuff for Herbology. He walked in his room that was currently empty. He sighed and tossed his stuff on the bed. The school could really be exhausting if you didn't try your best. He gave his owl a pet on his head which gave him an idea. Severus didn't want to talk to him but maybe if he wrote a letter, he may accept his request. He found some parchment and a quill.

Snape I know you don"t want to talk about what happened. If you change your mind then meet me at the Astronomy Tower after curfew. Please think about it.

(Don't worry I'll come alone. Promise) Remus Lupin

He wanted to use Snape"s front name but decided to play in the safe field. He didn't want him to get angry and not show up. Remus hesitated for a while before tying the letter to the owl and sending him to Snape, hoping for the best.

Severus was devastated by what had happened but at the same time, he felt happy. Happy that Remus finally got the courage to stand up for Severus. He still had his doubts about Lupin because he can"t just forget the 6 years of bullying and Remus who just watched. He sighed and closed his eyes while turning on his back on the bed. He still wanted to end everything even after he was saved by Lupin. He had convinced himself that it must have been a sign but deep down he knew it was just pointless. His entire life revolves around literally nothing. He had no idea what he wanted to do after school because he simply didn't see a future for himself.

The only thing that could make Severus smile was thinking about death. About being free from all worries, responsibilities, bullying, everything. It felt like he was stuck in this bottomless hole. The days melted in weeks and in months but nothing changed. It felt like he was in some kind of everyday routine and like he was on autopilot: Standing up, school, eating and sleeping. No matter what he did, it was always the same.

Nothing could give him excitement and he wasn't looking forward to something like he used to.

Better said....he felt empty. Like someone cut in his stomach and took away his organs. He gave

up trying to stand up for himself, winning Lily over and getting good grades. What if he decided to keep on living? What could possibly be there for him?

Severus searched for the thing that released him from all the stress. He had promised himself and Dumbledore to stop. Dumbledore already thought he stopped but he never actually did. Well, he tried but always relapsed sooner or later. Severus never knew why it was such a big deal for people. It wasn't like he was going to die from it and not that someone cares if he was. Dumbledore acted like he cared but Severus knew that he only used him for his own gain.

He pulled open one of the drawers and found the small bag. He left his room to find a bathroom because he didn't want to be disturbed by anyone. Severus locked the door and opened the zipper of the bag, carefully grabbing the razorblade. He sighed when he looked at it. He knew that this was wrong and not the right choice but it didn't matter at the moment. Not right now.

Those were not his worries and Severus will keep pushing them away until he can"t anymore. Severus lowered himself onto the ground with his back against the cold wall and his legs pushed against his belly. It made him feel safe.

His hand was shaking while he brought it closer to the pale skin on his wrist. His vision was blurry by the tears he was holding back. Snape refused to let the tears free because his father said it made you weak and boys aren't supposed to cry.

Deep down, he also knew that cutting was weak but it was an exception for him because he can"t live without it. It was the only way to find the release of all the stress and feelings hidden inside him that was pushed down.

The shaky hand with the blade between two fingers made its way in his skin. He dragged it across the flesh a few times and after a while, his whole left arm was filled with red cuts. The red liquid started dripping and the skin was burning and getting red around the wounds. These were deeper than normal and Severus had to take extra care of them. He didn't want to end up in the hospital wing and explaining himself to Madam Pomfrey.

Severus had done this so many times, his left wrist was becoming numb from the pain. He didn't feel as much as he used to and it scared him a bit. What if it became completely numb and then he won't feel the pain he needed anymore. He would have to go to other body parts but that's something he didn't want to do.

He felt alone and hopeless. Nobody was looking for him and nobody cared. He is unworthy of love and would never be capable of loving someone else. He isn't going to be successful in life and he is going to die alone with no purpose.

Not a single person could love this hideous monster. The snarky, unpopular and unattractive Slytherin. Severus wanted nothing more than to end his life. He got up from his position and muttered a spell to clean himself and the bathroom tiles off. He took a deep breath before walking out. An owl tapping on the window in his dormitory grabbed his attention. He opened the window to let the unfamiliar owl in.

"Hi little guy," Severus said while ignoring the painful burns from his wrist. The owl stuck out his leg to show the little note attached to it.

Snape I know you don"t want to talk about what happened. If you change your mind then meet me at the Astronomy Tower after curfew. Please think about it.

(Don't worry I'll come alone. Promise) Remus Lupin

Severus sighed, not knowing if Lupin was serious about this. Snape wanted to go but a small part of his brain said it was a trick. Lupin will meet there with him and the moment Severus is in a vulnerable spot, James, Sirius and Peter would come out of the shadows and teach him a lesson Sirius wanted to show when he ran after Lily.

On the other hand, Severus had nothing left to lose. If lupin was going to prank him, it would be their last anyway.

Severus wrote a quick note back, not really taking the effort to even write his name. A simple: See you then would be enough. He watched as the owl flew back out of the window it came in and he closed it. Severus noticed how tired he was and took a sleeping draught potion from his collection hidden from the rest. He carefully examined it before taking the top off and downing it in his throat. He had made it himself in the potions classroom and Slughorn even congratulated him for making it so perfect.

The sleep took over faster than he thought and before he knew it, Severus blacked out.

Chapter six

Remus looked down at the clock in the Gryffindor Common room. It was going to be a challenge to convince his friends he was going to the toilet. Especially because it was almost curfew which would make them easily suspicious.

"I"m going to the toilet. I"Il be right back." They didn't answer but Sirius gave a nod before returning to his conversation. They won"t notice i"m gone he thought.

He had gotten a reply from Severus that he would come but Remus wasn't 100% sure if he would actually show up. He got to his destination and no one else was there yet. He walked over to the place Severus almost died and looked at the stars. The full moon would come soon and it worried him.

He never truly apologized to Snape after it happened even though it wasn't really his fault. Remus had no idea that Sirius had planned it and of course, he had no control over his own body which made him feel even worse about himself. A monster, Snape called him after that. He couldn't agree with him more. Dumbledore made sure the boy kept quiet about it but he saw that Severus had trouble with it.

The night was warmer than the last time and Remus silently thanked the universe for it. He was freezing then, even with the cloak before he gave it to Severus.

Severus saw Remus standing at the spot he stood earlier that week. He was focusing on the stars and clearly didn't realize he had come. Severus looked around, trying to spot his friends but when he didn't see anything, he slowly walked towards the boy. Severus wasn't good at being social and small talk so decided to keep his mouth shut. He leaned his arms on the railing and followed the gaze from Remus to the stars.

Remus just looked at him, confused and happy at the same time. He didn't really think he would show up but he did and was grateful for it. He noticed how tired Severus looked. More tired than at the beginning of the day. His hair was ruffled up a bit instead of his normal sleek hair and he had visible eyebags.

Remus doubted that Severus ever had a decent night. However, he didn't comment on it knowing how self-conscious Severus was about himself. That didn't go unnoticed by Remus and most people wouldn't notice his insecurities either.

It"s like he builds their walls around him that won"t let anyone in, to protect himself. Remus hoped he could be the one for him to lower those walls and let more people in but knew that would be a hard task.

Severus ran his hand through his hair and Remus wished he was the one to do that. It seemed greasy but that was only from all of the potion fumes because, at the beginning of the day, it would always be shiny and soft.

"So....," he broke the silence hesitantly and tried to find the right words to say without scaring him away. Severus clicked his tongue but remained quiet because he didn't know what to say. He felt a bit uncomfortable and Remus noticed it by the way he shifted on his feet. This wasn't going to work if he kept feeling uncomfortable so he took the change and did the unforgivable: he hugged him from behind.

Remus' arms sneaked to the front around his thin waist and his head on his shoulder, staring at the stars together. He tensed up just like always but when he noticed Remus wasn't doing anything to harm him, he dropped his shoulders and let out a sigh. They stood there for minutes before Severus started to speak knowing what the other boy wanted to hear