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New Fic: The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence
Author:  jackwabbit
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rated: PG-13
Category: Friendship, H/C. Remus Lupin and Severus Snape. Take it as you will.
Spoilers:  None per se. Can occur anytime, but in my mind it’s just after Order of the Phoenix.
Summary:  Hello, darkness, my old friend…
Note: Not a songfic, but the title is too good to let go. With thanks to the great and wonderful lolmac .
Disclaimer:  Accio, Copyrights! Oh, darn. Wand backfired. Well, it was worth a shot.

xxx

Severus Snape’s exaggerated sarcastic drawl was the last thing Remus Lupin wanted to hear.

“Really, Moony,” said Snape, allowing maximum acidity to infuse each word. “How do you manage these things? I’d suspect a rough night in the forest, but your time isn’t for another week. Perhaps this is the result of an overly emotional brawl with one of your own?”

Remus gritted his teeth. Hearing his Marauder nickname come from Snape’s mouth was nearly enough to send him into a rage by itself, but the way the potions master sneered the phrase “one of your own” boiled Lupin’s blood.

Still, Remus held his tongue.

Like it or not, Snape was the closest thing to a healer he had at his disposal. He was not about to admit this injury to Molly Weasley, and Saint Mungo’s was right out.

He really didn’t feel like all the paperwork required for werewolf treatment tonight. He could’ve done without signing another “understanding the necessity for restraints despite current human form” waiver ever again, actually, and so he settled for Snape.

Remus suddenly snorted as Severus examined his wound.

“Does something amuse you, werewolf?” sneered Snape. “Because I can assure you that I find nothing amusing in being dragged from my bed at this hour to deal with a simple laceration.”

Remus snorted again, but while the sound was close to a chuckle, there was no mirth in it. “Simple” laceration. “Settling” for Snape. Both lies, and Remus knew that well.

And suddenly, Snape knew it, too. As he realized what he’d said and who his patient was, Snape’s eyebrows drew together in an abrupt scowl. He looked up from Lupin’s wound and met the man’s eyes. His expression was a mixture of surprise and suspicion.  Remus met his gaze with a resigned look and offered a tiny shrug. After a moment, Snape spoke slowly.

“How did this happen?”

Remus swallowed. “Does it matter?”

“No, I suppose not,” sighed Snape.

“Do you have what you need?”

“I can slow the bleeding for the moment, but I need time to prepare the actual healing potion.”

“It takes several days.”

“Yes, and it’s quite a piece of work, as well. A piece of work I’ve no time for now. You’re fortunate that I foresaw this situation. I happen to have several aliquots of Argentum Antidote in storage. As I’m sure you know, it’s quite stable until the final step is completed.”

“And that step takes one hour exactly.”

“Interesting how little you know of most potions but how well you know a handful, Lupin. Occupational hazard, I suppose. Pity it’s only an academic knowledge. I do so tire of preparing treatments for your ‘condition.’ You’d think you could manage.”

“Severus…” Remus’ voice held a warning and his hand gripped his wand inside his robes. For the millionth time in his life, he cursed his lack of talent at potions. His considerable skill at charms and defense came to mind now, but he eventually relaxed his death grip on his wand and restrained himself to only glaring at Snape.

Snape held up a hand, clearly enjoying Lupin’s discomfort. “No need to get testy. I shall prepare it. I will return in one hour. Wait for me here.”

“Thank you, Severus.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Snape. Somehow he managed to make even this phrase an insult.

Snape left number twelve Grimmauld Place via the front door and apparated as soon as he hit the night air.

Upstairs, alone in the house, he left Remus Lupin. He left him nursing a thigh that was cut down to bright white bone. A thigh that was not healing as it normally would on a creature such as Remus. A thigh bound in plain Muggle bandages that was still oozing blood through them despite Remus’ Coagulus charm and Snape’s Ahemorrhagica potion application.

An hour later, Snape returned as promised. He found Remus unconscious. The werewolf’s vital signs were strong and he appeared to be merely sleeping. Snape did nothing to change that.

He treated Remus’ wound without a word and his patient never budged.

So, not just sleeping, then
, thought Snape. Still, it’s just as well.

Snape knew that his ministrations were very painful, and frankly he was glad Lupin was out of it.

That way, the two men did not have to speak, which was truly a blessing. Speaking could’ve led to all sorts of nastiness, especially since healing wounds like Remus’ took several hours, even with the proper potion.

Merlin only knows what might have come out if they’d talked through the night.

Remus might have been forced to admit to owning a dagger of pure silver. He might have confessed that while his injury was the result of an accident and not from some glorious battle, the fact that he’d been playing with the dagger while in a very dark mood when the accident occurred was not by chance.

And Snape?

He might have admitted to keeping Argentum Antidote on hand ever since he learned to make it in his fifth year.

No, that wouldn’t do. Not in either case. Silence was vastly superior.

And so Remus Lupin, though fully conscious, continued to feign sleep; and so Severus Snape, though wholly concerned, continued to feign indifference.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lolmac
Aug. 20th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Love the story -- although I like the "Sound of Silence" title better myself.

The final line is pure brilliance.
jackwabbit
Aug. 20th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
I'm still torn.

Ideas: The Sound of Silence, Silence is Golden, Just Pretend, and I just came up with Silence Screams. I also played with the words feign, feint, superior and settle.

My problem with all the "Silence" titles is that the summaries seemed all wrong somehow. The silence is the point at the end, but the point of the story starts sooner than that. It starts with Remus pretending to "settle" for Severus when in fact Snape is the only one he needs right then. I don't know. Still not set on any one title. Might still change it back or a hundred times.

I have one of three things happen to me with titles. Either: I can't find one with two hands and a flashlight. 2-I have several, but love none. Or 3-I write the fic for the title (like that Mal/Zoe fic I have to write one day called "Crimson and Clover").

This one is very much #2, huh?

---

Title aside, thanks. I enjoy this one, too, and it's nice to know I didn't get it all wrong. So much for my canon pairings, huh? You know me. Multi-shipper of doom! (Though this is not really ship/slash in any sense in my mind.)
lolmac
Aug. 20th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
OTinfinity.

I still like "Sound of Silence" best -- although "Silence is Silver" has its merits! "Silence Screams" -- please don't: OTT.

The physical silence is at the end, but there's a silence going on right through, with everything not being said.

I think part of the reason I like "Sound of Silence" so much is the aptness of the song lyrics -- people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening. Especially with the reflection back to Remus' dangerously foul mood.

Hello, darkness, my old friend . . .
jackwabbit
Aug. 20th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, I LIKE that! I was having an issue with title and summary together. But if I went back to SOS, I could just use the darkness line for the summary. That has merit. Lots. Will likely do when I get home.

Thanks.

I liked that title best, too (popped into my head in the shower in the form of the song and it took my brain a sec to realize that it was a title trying to come out, which usually means it's a good one) but I didn't like my summary and then I changed everything on a whim. But I do believe I've come back to the middle. Changes ahead!

PS-been singing the song all damn day. Sigh...

Also? The lyrics as summary works for me personally. Give me angsty fic over fluff any day!
lolmac
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
*happily preens over another successful round of enablement*

As earworms go, it's batter than many.
jackwabbit
Aug. 20th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Indeed, and I'm told its cake is yummy, too.
lolmac
Aug. 20th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
:P Batter late than never!
jackwabbit
Aug. 21st, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
BWAHAHAHA!

Is this better, oh Lord?

(Edited a bit, too. Needed sat upon, is all. Posted too quickly.)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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