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Reasonable Men

by victoria p.

Remus watched as Snape strode out of the kitchen. Sirius was scowling, Molly pale; Shacklebolt looked thoughtful.

Sirius made as if to rise from his chair. "Remus--"

Remus nodded at Sirius's urgent tone, and followed Snape into the hall.

"Severus, may I have a word?" He kept his voice mild, cordial, even. On the one hand, it seemed the adult, polite thing to do. On the other, it irritated Snape to no end. Remus wasn't sure which was his actual motivation, but either way, it pleased him.

"You may have as many words as you like, Lupin, so long as I don't have to listen to them."

"I'm afraid they're meant for you, Severus."

Snape huffed, but stopped walking. "If you must. Be quick about it."

Well, then... "You need to resume Harry's Occlumency lessons."

Remus was paying attention, so he could see the way Snape's hands tightened into fists for just a moment, the way his mouth opened before snapping shut into a grim line. Snape stared at him, but he'd faced worse in his time. He consciously kept his stance casual, his hands dangling loose at his sides.

"Like hell I do." The words sounded as if they were torn from Snape's throat.

"Be reasonable, Severus. You know what it means to the Order. What it could mean for Harry--"

"Oh yes, the great Potter. We must always be thinking of poor Potter, never mind when he breaks the rules. He's the famous Harry Potter. Rules don't apply to him."

"James saved your life. You owe--"

Snape leaned toward him, just a fraction of an inch, and Remus forced himself not to take a step back from the murderous fury in his eyes.

"Do not ever presume to tell me what I owe, Lupin. I know exactly what is owed to whom."

Remus wasn't certain if that was a yes or a no; he hadn't seen Snape so angry since the night of his reunion with Sirius in the Shrieking Shack.

"Then you'll do it?"

"No."

He bit back a growl of frustration. Apparently, an appeal to Snape's sense of honor had been the wrong way to go. He should have known better than to mention James to Snape. The man was irrational on the subject.

Sirius was going to kill him for screwing this up.

"Severus--" He tried again.

"I can see myself out." Snape swirled his cloak around him like a Muggle magician Remus had once seen in a nightclub, and then he was gone.

"Shit," Remus muttered. He closed his eyes and leaned against the door, hoping his failure wouldn't have any dire consequences.

end


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