alisanne: (Snupin)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Carkitt Market
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Severus Snape/Remus Lupin, Regulus Black.
Word Count: 100 x 14
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] snape100/[insanejournal.com profile] snape100/[community profile] snape100's prompt #682: The Snapely Alphabet of Places - Carkitt Market.
Warning(s): Mild angst. My first Snupin in ages!
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and [personal profile] emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.


~

Carkitt Market

~

“Come, Sev.” Eileen Snape’s voice rose above the murmur of the crowd. “Don’t dawdle.”

Reluctantly, Severus moved away from the window display.

Eileen eyed the window, her face softening. “We can’t get your cauldron yet. Your Da’d just destroy it. But you’ll need one for Hogwarts. We’ll get it then.”

Severus nodded.

“Now come,” Eileen continued, pulling him along. “Carkitt Market’s only open for wizards during daylight hours.”

“Why?”

“Because at night they serve creatures.”

Severus blinked. “Creatures.”

“You know. Vampires, werewolves, Veela.” Eileen shuddered. “We shouldn’t be here then.”

Severus obeyed, but vowed one day to see the creatures.

~

“Carkitt Market?” Regulus raised an eyebrow. “There are…rumours.”

“I want to see if they’re true.”

Regulus sighed. “Why’re you so obsessed with creatures, Sev? He really wouldn’t approve.”

Severus didn't give a toss what Lucius Malfoy thought. “We won’t tell him.”

Regulus shook his head. “All right, but if we get caught and he says we can’t join that exclusive club he’s forming, I’m blaming you.”

“Of course you are,” Severus scoffed. “And I’m blaming you if I get caught.”

“Bloody Slytherins,” Regulus groaned good-naturedly. “Fine, let me grab my robes.”

“Hurry,” Severus said. “I want to see everything.”

~

Carkitt Market was fascinating at night. During the day the shops seemed boring, but at night the shopkeepers brought out the exotic merchandise. Severus spent ages in the potions shop alone, ignoring Regulus’ whispered exhortations to leave.

Finally, Regulus snapped. “I’m going back to school!”

“Fine,” Severus muttered, turning a beautiful scarab over in his hands. He couldn’t afford it, but it was gorgeous. “See you later.”

By the time Severus wandered back onto the street, Regulus was gone. As Severus walked, creatures stared, and deciding he’d had enough, he set off for Hogwarts. And that’s when he saw him.

~

Severus, standing still, watched as Remus Lupin walked past the shops, peering into windows.

“Knew it,” he whispered aloud. “He’s a creature.” But what kind?

The other creatures shopping in Carkitt Market didn’t spare a single glance at Lupin, confirming Severus’ long-held suspicions once and for all.

Lupin entered a store, and when he came out, Severus followed at a distance. Creatures glared at him, but he ducked his head and ignored them.

As Lupin meandered, so did Severus, so when he slipped into an alley, Severus waited a beat before following, and found a wand pointed at his throat.

~

“Snape?” Lupin lowered his wand. “Why’re you following me?”

Severus scowled. “You always try to hex innocent pedestrians?”

“No,” Lupin said slowly. “But as I see no innocent people here—”

“Har, har.”

“Why were you following me?” Lupin repeated.

“Who says I was?”

Lupin growled. “I can see why Sirius hexes you!”

Severus smirked. “Where are your sidekicks, anyway? Too afraid of your creature nature?”

Lupin’s eyes narrowed. “What’re you on about?”

“Only creatures shop Carkitt Market at night.”

“You’re here.” Lupin smirked. “Are you a creature?”

Severus bristled. “I’m a normal wizard.”

Lupin snorted. “There’s nothing normal about you.”

~

Shaking his head, Lupin turned away. “Go home, Snape.”

“Not without finding out what you are. I know! I’ll ask one of the other creatures walking around here. They’ll tell me, I bet.”

Lupin spun to face him. “Go ahead and try,” he sneered. “But you should know, there’s a code in Carkitt Market. What happens here, stays here. If you get into trouble, no one will find you until we want you found.”

Severus sucked in a breath. “Are you threatening me?”

Lupin sighed, suddenly looking tired. “I’m warning you, but take it as you like, you will anyway.”

~

Severus was seated in the library, a huge pile of books in front of him, when Regulus found him. “Sev! Guess you made it back okay.”

“No thanks to you!” Severus huffed.

Regulus rolled his eyes. “I wasn’t prepared to hex you and carry you out, although next time, I just might.”

“Next time?”

Regulus raised an eyebrow, looking pointedly at the books. “So this is research for its own sake?”

Severus coughed. “Maybe.” He sighed under Regulus’ pointed stare. “Fine! I’m going next weekend.”

“Not without backup, you’re not.” Regulus shuddered. “Carkitt Market’s creepy.”

“What about Malfoy?”

“Sod him.”

~

They arrived at Carkitt Market at dusk, concealing themselves behind charms. As creatures filtered onto the street, Severus watched for Lupin.

Regulus yawned. “This is boring.”

“Shh!” Severus hissed. “They may not be able to see us, but they can still hear us.”

Regulus rolled his eyes but said nothing.

When Lupin stepped onto the street, Severus sat up, nudging Regulus. They watched him enter the apothecary shop. “We’ll follow when he comes out,” Severus whispered.

Lupin emerged moments later, and Severus and Regulus ambled after him. Within a minute, however, Lupin stopped, turned. “I smell you, Snape. Show yourself!”

~

“He smells you?” Regulus whispered. “What the hell?”

Lupin huffed. “And now I hear you. Come out.”

“Bluff,” Severus mouthed, but it was too late, Regulus cancelled the charm.

“Reg.” Lupin didn’t look surprised. “You may as well come out, too, Snape. I know you’re there.”

Severus sighed, cancelling his spell. “How could you smell me?”

“I just could.” Lupin grinned. “You know, I’m starting to think you fancy me, given how you follow me about.”

Regulus coughed. “That’s my cue. I’ll just be in the Carkitt Market pub when you’re ready, Sev.” And with that, he left them alone.

~

“Traitor,” Severus muttered at Regulus’ retreating back.

Lupin bit his lip, clearly trying not to laugh. “Seriously, Snape. What do you hope to accomplish by following me around Carkitt Market?”

Severus huffed. “You’re hiding something.”

“Aren’t we all?” Lupin said calmly.

Severus glared. “You’re hiding something big.”

Lupin laughed. “I’ve never had complaints.”

“You—” Severus sputtered. “That’s not what I meant!”

Lupin sighed. “Enough. Since you’ve decided to follow me, we may as well hang out.”

“I’m not here to socialise—”

“Why don’t we do it anyway?” Lupin suggested. And for the life of him, Severus couldn’t think why not.

~

Carkitt Market proved fun in the company of a…whatever Lupin was. It seemed no one minded regular wizards as long as they were escorted. Severus spared a moment to hope Regulus was all right, then immersed himself in the market.

They explored the shops and stalls in oddly companionable silence, and Severus even picked up a couple of books with his precious disposable income.

“You look happy,” Lupin remarked when they got to the end of the market.

Severus bit back a smile. “That was…tolerable.”

Lupin clasped his hand, squeezing gently. “Same time next weekend?”

Severus blushed. “Fine.”

~

After the second, final war, the trials, the funerals, Severus remembered Carkitt Market. He’d never returned once Black’s ‘prank’ had destroyed his burgeoning relationship with Lupin.

Upon hearing Lupin’s body disappeared from the morgue, Severus’ heart leapt. Aware hope was futile, he’d still found himself drawn to the market, his eyes searching those of the people he walked past.

When someone with brown hooded robes and a familiar gait walked past him, Severus automatically followed. And when he turned down an alley, Severus didn’t even hesitate.

“Severus.” Lupin pushed back his hood and smiled. “I should’ve known you’d find me.”

~

“So?” Severus asked over a pint at the Carkitt Market pub. “What happened?”

Lupin shrugged. “Turns out werewolves are hard to kill. I woke that first full moon and, well, without Wolfsbane—”

Severus shuddered. “Did you—?”

“Hurt anyone? No, thank Merlin.” Lupin sighed. “I woke in the woods, having fortunately not encountered anyone.”

“Why not come forward now?”

Lupin shrugged. “I’d enough trouble before. Imagine how people would react if they thought I was immortal.”

Severus nodded. “I understand.”

“I heard. Death by snake?” Lupin shuddered.

Almost death by snake.” Severus pulled down his collar. “I came too close.”

“Right.”

~

“So you live here?” Severus asked. “I’m surprised no one’s said anything, especially with Potter offering a reward for information on your body’s whereabouts.”

Lupin smiled. “Remember the code?”

“What happens here stays here.” Severus hummed. “I could do with a place like this. Not everyone believed Potter’s testimony on my behalf.”

Lupin shrugged. “You’re welcome here. I’ve room at mine.”

“How much would you charge?”

Lupin took Severus’ hand. “We could…work something out.”

“And if…we can’t?”

“We can.” Lupin grinned. “If nothing else, you can make my Wolfsbane.”

Severus smiled. Suddenly, he could see calling Carkitt home.

~

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