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Severus and Werewolves

Severus and Werewolves

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Werewolves. I believe that Severus' antipathy to werewolves was due to something he believed to be Remus’ betrayal. Remus had never tormented him. That would have meant a great deal Severus, as a lonely teenager. There are two times we read about Severus following someone and spying on them for his own ends. One is Lily, in the playground, (which naturally implies more such incidents.) The other is his spying on the Marauders.

The books speak of him hiding in the bushes, watching Lily with hunger. He was not a predator, but despite everything, despite planning and cunning, he was something much more innocent. He wanted a friend.

I believe it was in the same spirit that he watched the marauders. It is true, he was amongst a gang of Slytherins, who nearly all turned out to be Death-Eaters, but they were Slytherin. They were the powerful rich old families, pure-blood, wanting for nothing. The demands put on the neglected boy we see on the train must have been enormous, and they would have had to be hidden, must be demonstrated immediately even as they were developing.

How lonely he must have been, would have been, even had Sirius, James and probably others, not tormented him while their followers jeered.

He would have noticed Remus with them, shabby and poor as himself, another boy who would have been an outcast. He would have seen the apology in Remus' eyes, the awkwardness, the inability to prevent his friends, the disinclination to participate. Intrigued, he would have watched, noticed the illnesses, the absences, perhaps scratches and minor wounds. In his mind he would have conjured sympathy in Remus - not pity, but possibility of understanding, fellow-feeling, even... even friendship.

Remus regretted not preventing his friends from tormenting Severus and as good as called himself an idiot. But this was Remus' thought. Even Sirius and Dumbledore did not share it. Severus was bullied by the leaders in the school, and by extension an entire crowd. He would have been keenly aware that Remus had been reading during his worst memory, even more aware he was frowning. He would also have assumed with the same keenness of feeling that Remus would wished he was not bullied.

The whole school, and the world, from his earliest childhood, had been against him, save his shining Slytherins. A simple refusal to participate would grow and expand into an almost convincing illusion of understanding and warmth. Severus was not lost yet. There was no brand on his arm. He was free to make his own choices. I believe something in him was still tender and wistful enough to believe he could have that friend. I believe he was innocent enough to fool himself into believing Remus would have sat with him - talked, shared books, perhaps, ideas, sympathies - if only Remus had been free to do what he really wanted.

He would have watched and waited, thinking kindly too of a boy with secrets, poverty, pain. He would have dreamt as he had of himself and Lily, prepared himself again for an approach, ineptly. The day actually came, though the message was from Sirius.

Then came the Shrieking Shack fiasco. Sirius tried to kill him, and Remus was a werewolf, vicious, terrifying. , and they all stood against him, favoured. Even Remus. Dumbledore was perhaps the only one who could have redeemed him from the Death Eaters. He waved him away, treated him as nothing, protected his young lions. It was the end of many things for Severus, and I believe he channelled all his hurt into hate and rage and dismissal. I believe he swept Remus, and werewolves by extension into this, calling him a weapon, a danger even into adulthood, trying to convince himself.

Nevertheless, I believe the earlier truth wound itself into Severus' obsession. He was somewhat obsessed. Even before Remus came to teach, his third question to Harry, in his first ever class, was about Aconite, Monkshood, Wolfsbane. I believe those sad tendrils of hope still lived, though as melancholy, as mourning, as sorrow, as part of himself he had also lost. In my world, it is this spirit, almost of a past, ghostly Severus that infuses the Wolfsbane potion which he brews for Remus.
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