Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.

Notes:  My Holiday Swap fic.  No real notes.  Story takes place about two months after the death of James and Lily.  
Completely AU.  Characters are probably OOC too.  Sorry.



An Agreeable Arrangement



The horrid war was over.  They had won.  He Who Must Not Be Named was dead and long gone.

The man sitting at the bar surrounded by the sounds of merriment and celebration was trying to drink away his misery.  The
party had been going for two months.  Two months and no sign of slowing down.  He wondered if they'd celebrate the entire
year.  Some people would do anything for a reason to throw a bash.  It was easy to find reason to celebrate now though.  Not
only was that bastard dead, but it was the Christmas season as well.

In all of this festivity, Remus Lupin was not feeling the least bit jovial.  Oh there was a faint relief that came with the
knowledge that a dark wizard was dead, but the cost had been so high.  One of his best friends and his wife were dead,
another in Azkaban, and the last member of his group of friends ... all that was left of him was a finger.  

As if that wasn't bad enough.  The child that the whole wizarding world was going to hail as a savior was, at that very
moment, in the hands of the Muggle family of his mother.  Muggles raising a wizard.  Lily had once told him that her sister was
not the most tolerant of women and had not married a tolerant man.  To think that her son would be raised by those people
brought a new pain to his heart.

All that Remus loved was dead or gone.  He had nothing left.  He tried looking ahead to the future, but found only a bleak
landscape before him.  The next full moon would be another brutal trial without the presense of a friend to tame the temper of
the beast inside of him.

He doubted he'd be allowed to even see the child.  His ailment would convince the Ministry that he was a danger.  The best he
would be able to hope for is perhaps watching from a dark shadow.  He'd never be permitted to be close to him.  The thought
was hardly comforting.  Instead, it made him swallow another swig of the foul brew the bartender had filled his glass with.  It
burned all the way down and didn't really make him feel much better.

Harry.  It had been such a joy the day that child was born.  Remus had never seen his friends so happy.  Even Sirius was full
of joy over the birth of his Godson.  Considering how leery Sirius was around small children, he'd thought it a mistake on the
parents' part to give Sirius that honor.  But then, it probably would have been a worse thing to name a werewolf as godfather.  
He didn't even know if it was permitted for a werewolf to be given such an honor.  There was probably a law about it.  He
threw back another gulp of his drink at the thought.

"Give me the strongest drink you have."

Remus almost choked on his drink as a certain dark-haired wizard slid into into the seat beside his, looking as miserable as
Remus felt.  The werewolf grinned drunkenly and turned to face the man.  "Severus Snape.  What brings this on?  
Celebrating?  Or are you mourning the loss of your leader?"

Snape scowled a little more than usual.  "It's none of your concern, but that Wizard ceased to be my leader a while ago."  He
took his glass and swallowed the entire contents of the strong alcohol.  "My grief is for one who deserves it."

Remus didn't bother asking who.  He wasn't blind like so many people were.  He knew that Snape had held a great deal of
affection for Lily Evans, even after she had married James Potter and had their son, Harry.  Lily had reflected her name.  She
had been a bright blossom of humanity in a time when everything seemed bleak.  A woman who could even care about a
werewolf.  Such people were rare.  He let out a joyless chuckle.  Who else but Lily would ever marry a troublemaker like
James had been?

He raised his glass.  "To a good woman ... one of the best witches this world has ever seen."

There was a deep pain in Snape's eyes.  "We will never see one like her again," he added softly, then took a swig of his
refreshed drink.

For awhile they drank together in silence.  Remus looked over to where a group of wizards and witches were dancing like
drunken fools.  The spirits were flowing freely that night.  "I'm getting out of here."  His words sounded slurred even to his
own ears.  "It's getting too blasted noisy and crowded for my taste."  He placed a few Sickles on the bar to pay for his tab and
stood up, stumbling slightly due to the amount of alcohol in his system.  "I don't really feel like celebrating anyway."  He turned
and staggered outside into the crisp winter air.  There was a nice blanket of snow that was being added to with gently falling
flakes.

Somewhere in Remus' mind, he knew that he should take the Knight Bus home.  Then his brain decided that the bed of snow
looked far more comfortable.  So he let himself fall forward onto the cold, snow-covered ground.  It was as soft as it looked
and the coldness soothed the fire that was starting in his brain.  He always got overheated when he drank Fire Whiskey.



*****



'What the?'  Remus blinked his eyes open and frowned in confusion.  He wasn't outside.  He was in a bed, and it wasn't his
bed.  "Where am I?  How did I get here?"  Then he moved and hissed.  "And WHY does my ass hurt?"  That's when he noticed
that he was naked.  He felt like there was a piece of the puzzle missing as he looked around in dread.  The sight that met his
eyes confirmed his worst fear.  "Oh Great Merlin's Beard ..."

The other occupant of the bed was just as naked as he was from the looks of things.  A few tell tale discolorations on a slender
throat spoke of Remus' willingness and active participation in whatever had happened the previous night.  That wouldn't have
been so bad except his partner for the previous night was none other than Serverus Snape.  A man who had been a Death Eater
and had always held a dislike for Remus because of the parties he associated with.  If he had been asked, Remus would say the
dislike was mutual.  Serverus had put his own share of jibes in regarding Remus' condition.  It didn't matter that he'd been a
child at the time he had been changed, and hadn't been given any choice in the matter.  He was a werewolf.  That alone was
enough cause to hate him it seemed.  Add the fact that he had also been in Gryffindor and friends with Sirius Black and it had
seemed assured that Snape would never feel anything but hatred for him.  Remus had grown to accept that fact in his life.  He
was doomed to be despised by the majority of the world for what he was.  

The liklihood of finding himself in such a situation as he was in now had never seemed possible, so he was left unsure of what
to do.  He looked around and found his clothes strewn about the floor around the bed and leading out into the hallway in a sort
of trail.  He didn't remember last night all too well, but he guessed they had been eager to get to the bedroom and right down to
business.  Remus swallowed at the thought, his cheeks beginning to warm.

He cautiously slid out of the bed, wincing as he moved.  His muscles were sore, but his rear was practically on fire.  Damn,
Snape had really done a number on him.  As he stepped into his pants and eased them up, he cast a furtive glance at the other
man, his mind taking a perverse turn.  Was the pain in his backside caused by Snape's eagerness and a general lack of
preparation?  Or was it due to the equipment he possessed?  His curiosity made him blush a deeper shade of crimson and he
found himself fighting his urge to lift that sheet and take a peek.

He was pulling his shirt on when he trailed his eyes along the prone form of the man in the bed.  Snape was sleeping on his
back, one arm tossed casually across the bed where Remus had been laying.  His other arm was up on the pillow by his head.  
It wouldn't be all that difficult to lift the sheet and look, but it would be wrong.  Just because they had had sex, it didn't mean
Remus had the right to take a free peek.  They weren't lovers.  Hell, they weren't even friends.  A drunken stupor had led to
them sharing a bed.  Remus couldn't even remember what had happened.

He found his shoes and slid his feet into them, his conscience warring with him.  It wasn't right, but he couldn't deny he had a
strong desire to see.  He finally gave up and sneaked closer to the bed.  Pinching an edge of the sheet between his thumb and
forefinger, he lifted it, ducking his head in an effort to see underneath.

"Not bad," he murmured, smirking appreciatively.

Snape shifted, rolling onto his side.  His arm flung out, the back of his hand colliding with Remus' chest.  Remus took that as a
hint and dropped the sheet.  With a shake of his head he turned away from the bed and started gathering up his castaway
clothing.  There was no way he could stay.  Snape would more than likely kill him as soon as he woke up, if only for the fact
that he had slummed and brought the skinny werewolf into his home and bed.  He could only hope that Snape wouldn't try to
track him down and kill him later.  Actually, he was hoping Snape would have just as little memory of the previous night.

He was bending to pick up one of his socks by the bed when he felt a hand wrap around his wrist.  "Going somewhere?"

Remus inwardly cursed and turned to see that Snape was wide awake and glaring up at him.  "How long have you been
awake?" he asked nervously, fighting to put a shaky smile on his face.

Snape sat up and shrugged, releasing his light grip on Remus' hand.  "Since you woke up.  I'm a light sleeper."  He frowned,
though that was a common expression on the man's face.  "Was last night so distasteful that you had to sneak out at the first
opportunity?"  The words were said with such bitterness.

How was he supposed to tell the truth in this instance?  It would be insulting, at the very least.  But then, not saying anything at
all might get him hexed or worse.  He hung his head in guilt, his fingers moving to idly toy with the buttons of his shirt.  "To be
honest, I don't remember anything from last night.  Well, there was drinking, I do recall that.  And you walked into the bar and
sat next to me.  But beyond that, I'm drawing a blank."  He cleared his throat nervously, knowing he was babbling.  "I woke up
and figured you'd kill me for whatever happened.  After all, we've never been friends.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I was just
going to try and get home before you woke up and went hunting for me."

To his surprise, a frail smile flickered the corners of the man's lips, but it disappeared a fraction of a second later.  "Ironic.  I
feigned sleep thinking that you wouldn't kill a defenseless man for taking advantage of you in your drunken state.  Then you
lifted the sheet and ... well, I began to wonder why you were leaving."  He shifted, propping himself up with his elbow.  There
was silence for a moment as he allowed his eyes to drift down along Remus' skinny frame.  Then he muttered something
barely audible and looked away.  Remus didn't catch all of it, but he did hear something about 'best sex'.

That comment took him by surprise.  "The best, you say?  The best sex you've ever had was with me?"  He had to sit at the
edge of the bed.  He looked at Snape who looked like he was torn between feeling annoyed or embarassed.  He cleared his
throat again and turned to look away from Snape, staring at the open doorway of the bedroom.  "A relationship between us
would never work, you know.  You were a Death Eater, and I can't change what I am."

A hand grabbed his arm above the elbow, but Remus didn't turn.  He didn't have to, knowing he'd see anger in the man's face.  
"Dumbledore vouched for me."

Remus nodded.  He understood that was a sore topic for the other man.  He should have known better than to bring it up.  His
role as a spy had been looked over thoroughly, torn apart and re-examined at every angle.  Not only by the Ministry, but by the
tabloids and the general public at large.  Not everyone believed his accounts.  The only thing saving him from Azkaban was
Dumbledore's word.  That couldn't stop other people from fearing or hating him.

"That doesn't change the fact that you despise me for what I become every month."  He turned to give a withering look, only to
blink at a frail dusting of color on the man's sallow cheeks.

Snape looked away, his fingers falling away from Remus' arm.  "I admit to that.  However, my feelings on your ... condition,
have nothing to do with my motives in this."

"You just want me for my ass then?"

If anything, the color that had been reddening Snape's cheeks turned a stark scarlet.  He'd never imagined seeing the man
blush.  It was as odd as it was endearing.

Snape jerked away, grabbing the sheet and rolling over away from the werewolf.  "If you find it so disgusting, then leave!  I
don't have the patience to deal with persnickety werewolves."

Remus almost laughed at the display.  Who knew Snape to be so sensitive?  With a shrug, he shucked off his shirt and slipped
out of his shoes.  He climbed into bed and eased up behind the other man, feeling as his entire body stiffened at the first touch
of Remus' hand to his hip.  "I guess we could give it a go."  He smirked.  "If only for the time being."

"No strings attached," Snape added, rolling onto his back.  He raised a hand and lightly touched Remus' cheek.  "Winter's been
getting colder lately.  We could all do with some ... companionship these days."

Remus couldn't agree more.  With all of his friends gone, Remus had never felt so alone before.  Perhaps this could be a good
arrangement for the both of them.  If anything, at least it would keep the chill away for a little while.

He straddled the black-haired wizard and smiled down at him.  "What say you remind me about last night?  And then maybe we
can have breakfast."

Snape's hands eased up, toying playfully with the top of his trousers before sliding over the bare skin just above it.  "By the
time your memory's refreshed it will be time for dinner."  He suddenly rolled, switching their positions.  Remus found himself
looking up at Snape and smiled at the gleam in his eyes.  This could turn out to be a very agreeable arrangement.



The End