Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

Travels
'Remus was honest in more ways then one. He didn't just tell me the truth, it played out on his face. He wasn't very good at hiding his worry or other emotions. They were all right there for me to see in his eyes and the way his shoulders hunched forward or straightened when he was anxious. The more worried Remus got, the closer I knew the others were to finding us. It gave me a sense of foreboding, not knowing who the 'others' were. I knew of Dumbledore, but he was a faceless man. I knew of the Order, but they were faceless too. I'd been told of the Ministry, but I'd never met anyone in the wizarding world aside from Remus. He was a good man, but were the others good people? They didn't seem like they were if they wanted me to go back to the Dursleys. They scared me and I thought of them often.'

"Someone just tried to plot us," Remus said, startling Harry as he came out of the tent in a hurry. Harry was sitting in one of the blue camp chairs by the empty fire pit reading from a first year charms book, a Muggle lined notebook on his lap where he'd been taking notes.

"What do you mean?"

"The unplottable spell I have around the camp." Remus pointed to his watch. "I have it tied to my watch. My watch buzzed and it means someone tried to pinpoint our location on a map and it pinged off of the spell barrier."

"Do we have to move?"

"Yes but not right this moment. It's dangerous to move, more so now than before. Every second that we have the unplottable down, that's a moment where a person could plot us on a map. It means we have to apparate more times when we move and throw the protective spells up around us more quickly when we arrive."

"What can I do?" Harry was watching the man as he paced worriedly.

"Nothing at the moment Harry. Keep reading. I'm going to throw up another unplottable spell. From now on I'll need to put one up every few hours."

"Why?"

"If whoever is looking for us realizes we've got an unplottable spell up, they can preform magic to remove the spell. It takes time to work though and it's difficult magic. It would be different if we were in a stationary building... when you can weave the spell into stone or brick it becomes a permanent part of the structure. It doesn't work that way with a tent though."

Remus walked away through the trees to the point where Harry couldn't see him anymore to preform the spell. Harry had watched him put up the spell the last three times they'd moved sites. Remus typically walked the perimeter of their camp in a circle putting up the enchantment. Sometimes he made a wider perimeter like with this camp so that Harry could have some space to explore, but he had a feeling that if they were going to be in a hurry from now on that the perimeter would be rather tight around just the tent and campfire area.

When Remus returned, Harry asked, "can't we put the unplottable into the rocks around the fire pit?"

"It wouldn't be the same. They're not cemented into place. They're not part of a structure. When they put this on a home they do more than half the exterior stones or bricks and the spell is so strong that it naturally radiates out to the rest of the property."

"Oh."

"It was a good thought Harry. You're very bright, like your mother."

"Was my dad smart too?"

"Yes but in a different kind of way. I was surprised he wasn't put into Slytherin because he was very cunning. He was mischievous and always thinking about how he could stay out of trouble while he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing."

"Like what?"

"Like sneaking down to the kitchens at all hours of the night for a snack. He had to befriend the house elves who worked in the kitchens at night first. He had an invisibility cloak he used to get down there. James had an uncle who was dying who owned the cloak and it was between giving it to him and one of his cousins. He duelled his cousin for rights to the cloak and when his uncle died he got it."

"Does that mean I have other family alive?"

"No. Your grandparents died just after he graduated school and his cousin was an Unspeakable at the Ministry and had an accident with a veil of some sort."

"What does that mean?"

"James was never entirely sure. The Unspeakables aren't ever allowed to tell people what they do. James had to call in several favors just to find out that there was a veil."

"What about you, do you have family left?"

"My father died before I went to Hogwarts. The werewolf got him. He was trying to protect me from getting bitten. My mother passed when I was a fifth year. I have a brother but he is not on speaking terms with me."

"Oh," said Harry, "I'm sorry."

"Don't be. My brother Romulus got in with a bad crowd when he went to school. He was a few years behind me and they convinced him that I was dangerous because I was a werewolf. As soon as our mother died he went to stay with other family who wanted nothing to do with me and my 'furry problem' so I went to stay with James and his family."

"Furry problem?" Harry asked, eyebrows raised.

"That's what James and Sirius always called it."

Harry didn't ask about Sirius but looked up from his reading a few minutes later because he sensed Remus' eyes on him. Remus looked at him with a small smile.

"You're a good boy Harry," he said. "I want you to know you can ask whatever questions you have."

"Can you tell me about Sirius?" Remus had said little about him. Only that he was friends with James and Remus and that he would have helped Harry if he had been there. Where he was though, Harry didn't know.

"Sirius was our friend. He also ended up staying with your father and his parents the summer before our seventh year. He was a trouble maker too and he had a penchant for picking fights with students from other houses."

"Where is he?"

"Your parents chose a secret keeper... someone who knew how to get into contact with them when they were unplottable. That secret keeper gave their secret away and that's how Voldemort found you."

"Sirius?"

"Yes. We also had another friend, Peter Pettigrew. He confronted Sirius Black the day after your parents died and Sirius killed him. There was nothing left of him but his finger. Sirius didn't put up a fight when the aurors took him to Azkaban. He's still there."

"With the dementor things?"

Remus nodded and Harry frowned as he thought that over. It didn't sound pleasant, but then again, neither did the fact that one of his parent's friends had betrayed them, causing their deaths and Harry's orphan-ness. "So it's Sirius who's responsible for my parents' deaths?"

"It's Voldemort who killed them. I don't know why Sirius told their secret or to who. I doubt he would have told it to Voldemort. Whatever his reason was I can't believe it was a sinister one. James was like family to him."

"But he killed Peter."

"He did. I have never been able to bring myself to go and see him to ask him why."

Harry sighed and shook his head. The more he found out about the wizarding world which his parents had been a part of, the less he liked it. Voldemort, Death Eaters, Dumbledore, and Sirius Black. Sirius had been his parent's and Remus' friend, and Dumbledore had been their leader and their teacher, but these two men seemed little better than Voldemort or his Death Eaters. It hardly seemed fair that his parents had died and he'd been left with the Dursleys, and it seemed even more unfair that Dumbledore wanted to keep him there.

A small, short buzz emanated from Remus' watch and Harry and Remus both stared at it. "We've been pinged again. That's why we couldn't move right away. We'll move in the middle of the night tonight," he told Harry. "After dinner we'll pack. I want you to try the packing spell again."

Harry nodded and Remus began to quiz Harry on what he'd been reading, making him move the bookmark back half a chapter because Harry had been too preoccupied while reading it to answer many questions right.


They moved three times over the next seven days, and when they ran out of food Remus didn't allow Harry to go into town with him. He made Harry stay behind in the tent and study while Remus went for supplies and Harry worried the whole time he was gone. Remus came back with a smile though and gave Harry a pack of grape bubble gum before they quickly packed the tent and disapparated to a new location and threw the charms up before setting up the camp. This time they were on the banks of a little river in a forested area.

"There are lots of Muggles nearby," Remus said. "This is a popular place to camp and hike, but I've put up a lot of anti-Muggle charms so they shouldn't bother us if we stay inside the charm's perimeter. It's just around the tent and campfire though. We may see people but they won't see or hear us."

"Ok," Harry said. He sat on the grass with Remus and practiced the last five spells on the list.

"After you master these we'll go on to some of the spells in the books you've been reading from." He still wasn't able to get Expelliarmus to work but they'd been working on it every day and Remus had said it didn't count towards finishing the list.

"Can I choose some?" Harry asked, and Remus nodded with a smile.

"Yes, but I'll be assigning you more bookwork now that we've got the list down, especially out of the history book. You need to learn the history of what's gone on in the magical world to understand the world we're in now."

"Can you get me some more information on Dumbledore?"

"Unfortunately the books we have are it. I can't risk going to a wizarding book store. I imagine the Ministry has put up wanted posters around the community."

"Can we send for books by owl?" Remus had told Harry all about owls and he was now fascinated by them despite the fact that he'd yet to see one.

"Even if we had one it wouldn't be able to come back to us because of the unplottable spells. Almost as if the spell knew it was being talked about, Remus' watch buzzed and he rose to reinforce the spell. Someone was definitely looking for them, and at random times of the day the watch would buzz.

Ignoring the watch as Remus rose to walk the small perimeter, Harry reached for the pile of books that were getting rather worn and pulled the Charms book off the top. He couldn't practice without Remus' wand so he might as well read. He'd rather be reading Tales From Beetle The Bard but he knew Remus wanted him to focus on the school books. Harry had seen into the wooden trunk in the tent and there was also a second and third year Charms book as well as second and third year general spell and defense books. Harry rather liked reading the defense books. They had information about wild creatures that tried to drown you if you waded into the wrong bog, mer-people, dangerous pixies and others that interested Harry. They all seemed rather sinister but Remus had said that in Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts he would learn about other creatures that weren't out to kill you.

When it was five days until the full moon, Harry lay back on the grass by the tent looking at the sky as Remus fixed dinner. There were a lot of white fluffy clouds today and Harry squinted up at them and tried to make out shapes. One of them looked like a beast with teeth and Harry asked, "What's it like to be a werewolf Remus?"

"Not very pleasant," he said. "How your family treated you... that is how everybody treats me."

"They hurt you?" Harry sat up, concerned.

"Some have tried. They shun you and ignore you. The Ministry puts out propaganda about how dangerous myself and others like me are. They force us to register and we aren't allowed to work in the Ministry. Because of the propaganda others in the magical community won't hire us because they don't trust us. It makes it very difficult to live. I had to attend Hogwarts in secret. Very few knew that I was a werewolf. The Headmaster kept it a secret from the other students and most of the staff so that they wouldn't contact the Ministry. If the Ministry found out, I would not have been allowed to attend."

"Dumbledore was the Headmaster then?"

"Yes."

Harry frowned and went back to watching the clouds. That seemed like an awfully nice thing of the man to do, to protect Remus' secret like that. Harry wished he could have known Dumbledore then, when he wasn't so mean.

"Do you have other questions?" Remus asked, stirring whatever he was cooking in the frying pan over the fire with a metal spatula.

"Why did Dumbledore do that for you?"

"He's not necessarily a bad man. Sometimes he has very good intentions."

"But not for me. He must really hate me to put me with the Dursleys."

"I don't know why he insists you stay there. One thing is for certain: should you ever run across him, I wouldn't trust him. He lost my trust when he insisted you stay with your aunt and uncle even after I'd shown him evidence. He has ulterior motives that I'm not privy to."

"Maybe you should just bite me," Harry said, and Remus dropped the spatula into the pan with a loud clang.

"What did you say?"

Still on his back Harry looked all the way back to see Lupin upside down with his hands on his hips and looking stern.

"If you bit me and I became a werewolf then he wouldn't be able to send me back to the Dursleys... they're Muggle's right, so I'd be too dangerous to be around them."

"Listen to me Harry, I don't want you to ever speak like that again. You have to put this from your mind. It's not an option. Your life would be ruined, do you understand?"

"Isn't it already?" Harry said, feeling bitter suddenly. "My parents are gone and Dumbledore has it out for me and so does my family. The only good thing I have is you."

"Me?"

Harry sat up as Remus picked up the spatula once more and began stirring.

"Why can't you just be my dad? You could adopt me."

"I'm touched," Remus said quietly, and he was silent for long moments as he dished up scrambled eggs and potatoes onto the two metal plates for dinner. After he handed a plate and fork to Harry he sat down in the camp chair next to him and said, "I could never legally adopt you. The Ministry wouldn't allow it."

"Who cares about the Ministry anyway?"

"Unfortunately the entire wizarding community. If I send you to school they wouldn't allow you to come back to spend holidays with me."

"I wish there were a way for you to be at the school."

"There was a time when I considered teaching, and though I believe the Headmaster would once have allowed it, the parents wouldn't stand for having me there. It wouldn't have worked."

"I don't think I like the Ministry very much. Or Dumbledore."

"You're too young to be bitter about things like this. The Ministry has done a lot of good. You'll read about it in the History books."

Harry ate silently and decided to go to bed early when Remus' watch buzzed again. When Remus came back after reinforcing the perimeter, Harry was laying in bed with Tales of Beedle the Bard. He held out the book for Remus. He liked reading the book himself, but he'd grown accustomed over the last month to Remus' soft voice lulling him to sleep. Remus took it with a smile and ruffled Harry's already messy hair. He sat down on his own cot and read for almost half an hour before he looked over to see if Harry was asleep. He wasn't.

"You must be too old for bedtime stories," Remus commented.

Harry looked at him. "No. I like when you read to me. No one ever did that before I went with you. I was just thinking."

"About?"

"You won't like it if I tell you."

"I hope you're not thinking about getting bitten or scratched again."

"It makes sense to do it. Then I could be your son."

"Harry, as much as I adore you, you're not my son. You're James' son. You look like him, and I see his spirit in you every day."

"They're dead," Harry said, and there was sadness in his voice he couldn't hide. "If they loved me I don't think they'd mind if I had a dad."

"No, I don't suppose they would. But you're here with me now. You don't need to be bitten for that."

"If Dumbledore catches me-"

"If we are caught I will be in jail and you being bitten or scratched will do nothing for you but make you an outcast and prevent you from getting to go to school. You'll have no friends and all chances of you getting adopted by anyone will be gone. Then you really will be alone. I'm very serious about this Harry, I want you to stop thinking about it. This isn't an option and I will be very upset with you if I find that you've left camp on any of the nights of the full moon."

"You've never been upset with me before."

"You've never given me reason to be upset."

Hands behind his head, Harry glanced over at him and Remus raised his eyes as if asking if he wanted to find out what that was like to raise his ire.

Harry grinned. "Well you're not going to wolf out on me or anything when you get mad, at least I know that."

Remus set the book down. "Go to bed Harry." He used his wand to extinguish the lantern light and heard Harry snicker once as he rolled over to go to sleep. When Harry began to snore lightly, Remus began to run through a list of spells in his mind. He would have to protect whatever area he was going to chain himself up in. He would have to put up some kind of barrier spell to keep Harry out. That presented a problem, because to do that he'd need his wand and it would mean that Harry wouldn't be able to come and unlock him in the morning. He had planned on leaving his wand with Harry while he was transformed under the full moon, but that was no longer looking like it was an option. He'd never had the foresight to think that the child would want to take the bite. Then again, he'd never thought that the boy would ask him to be his father.

* * *

Severus Snape was irritated. He'd spent five unsuccessful days searching for Lupin and Potter before having to call off the search for the start of the term. Albus hadn't asked him for frequent updates, and he knew the man was growing anxious for news as the full moon grew closer. Severus had been calling in favors by owl for the last several weeks and going out on weekends to search, but the less evidence he found, the more irritated he grew. It wasn't just that he was irritated by the wolf and the Potter brat for running off like they had, he was angry with the Headmaster for treating him like his own personal house elf.

With the added burden of tracking them and trying to break down whatever barrier and unplottable spells they were using, he was falling behind in his brewing for Poppy, and ungraded student essays were piling up higher by the day, forcing him to stay up at all hours of the night. Severus actually rather enjoyed staying up late, but not when he had to be up early for classes or had to supervise the Weasley twins' frequent detentions. It left him feeling drained and more angry as time went on. He was going to find the idiotic werewolf if it was the last thing he did, if for no other reason than to make him pay for putting him to all of this trouble. He was going to enjoy watching him get hauled away to Azkaban and being locked up, just like Black had been. If James Potter was still alive, Severus was willing to bet that the arrogant man would have already earned himself a cell in Azkaban by now as well.

It was Sunday night, and the first night of the full moon was tomorrow. He'd just returned from another long day of searching and had barely sat down in his office chair to grade essays when Albus came in uninvited and without knocking. The gall.

"Severus, have you found any sign of them at all? The full moon is tomorrow. I worry for Harry's safety."

"I am aware," Severus said. "And no, I have yet to find any sign of them. Lupin was obviously prepared for an extended run from the law. The search would go faster with help from the Ministry."

"We've discussed why that isn't possible. Surely you must have found something."

"Not a trace. They are obviously using an unplottable spell, possibly two. I have been unable to use map spells to trace them, though I am still looking for lesser known ones that he may not have accounted for in putting up his wards. I have also been attempting to break his barriers but he must be reapplying them on a regular basis. They could be anywhere. They could be right under our own noses and we would not know."

"I've compiled a list of places Remus may have gone to hide," Albus said, and with a snap of his fingers a small roll of parchment appeared. He handed it to Severus who scanned down the very short list.

"Have you at the very least informed the Order? It is unreasonable to believe I will be able to find them on my own. I am not a miracle worker."

"I informed a select few. The Weasleys, Shacklebolt, and Minerva."

"Might I inquire as to why you have chosen them and excluded the rest?"

"I trust them and they are in singularly unique positions to be useful. Arthur works at the Ministry in Muggle affairs and if Remus has chosen to take Harry into the Muggle World he will be able to keep an ear open for any signs of them. Harry is still a child and may perform accidental magic. Kingsley recently became an auror and can help in the same way."

"And Minerva?"

"You are aware that Minerva was a close friend of the Potters, as well as of Remus. I believed she may be able to help come up with a list of places, and she has."

"It would help me find them if you could give me any reason at all why the werewolf has done this. It may point me to their location."

"I can't help you with that," Albus said. Yes I know, Severus thought to himself, irritated. You have no idea why he would go off half cocked and kidnap the Potter brat.

* * *

Harry couldn't help himself. He wanted to know what Remus looked like as a werewolf. Remus had told him to stay inside the tent for the night, and wouldn't even allow Harry to follow him to where he was going to stake himself to a boulder and spell himself off limits to others.

"I mean it Harry. Being a werewolf is no life for you. Stay away from me," Remus had told him seriously.

Harry had nodded, but he hadn't made a promise not to follow after him. Remus had left hours ago, and Harry had stayed awake all night thinking about it, thinking about the direction Remus had walked off in. A glance at his watch told him that the sun would come up in an hour. He had exactly one hour to find Remus and look at what he had transformed into. Harry pulled his zip up hoodie on and left the tent. He didn't have a wand to light the way because Remus had taken his with him, so he walked carefully, tripping over roots and rocks as he went. He kept his ears perked for any sound that was out of place, and finally after almost half an hour, heard a low growling noise. He paused, aware that it had been very close and listened, hoping it was Remus and not another wild animal. There was another growl and a scratching sound, and Harry walked off to his left, trying to be sure he didn't step on any branches or make any noise at all. Finally, just as the sky started to lighten, Harry spotted a large, hairy form chained to a silver stake embedded in a boulder. There was a circle etched in the dirt around the creature, and Harry took this to be the line Remus told him no one would be able to cross. Sensing his presence, the werewolf looked up and sniffed the air in Harry's direction. They made eye contact, and Harry knew then that though this was once Remus Lupin, that Remus was no longer inside. There was no kindness in those dark eyes, only hunger. The creature lunged at Harry, stopped abruptly only because it had reached the end of it's short tether, and writhed and scratched and howled to get free. Harry watched for several long moments, and then ran back to camp. He didn't know if Remus would remember him being there, but he didn't want him to know he'd left the safety of the wards. ‘Wolf-out' had suddenly taken on a new meaning.

Remus came into camp two hours later, looking tired, his clothes looking worse than they had before, but didn't ask if Harry had stayed at camp. He fixed Harry a bowl of cereal and then went to bed. Harry went back out the next two nights to look at Remus in his transformed self, transfixed and fascinated by the change, and Remus never knew, or at least, Harry thought he didn't.


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