Snacks And Letters - Part 78

Author: [info]valkyriekat
Title:
Snacks And Letters - Part 78
Word Count:
721


~Severus~


“Don't let him harm your master,” I said sardonically to Kreacher before turning into the compression of Disapparition. I focus on the one destination constantly open to me, the one in the Headmaster's office. It's there and not my real office in the dungeons near my...preferred students that I concentrate on being. The Headmaster's office is barred to all but me. I have the only decent Apparition point in Hogwarts castle. Phineas is waiting.

“Professor Snape, the meeting. It begins in ten minutes in the staff room. Longbottom wanted to hold it here. Out of the question, the dolt.”

“Enough, Phineas.” I say, smirking. “I'll be gone for the duration, then will write a note to Sirius explaining the essentials. He must be Defence teacher. If they refuse me, I'll veto them using any method, if I have to dig into past law.”

“Spoken like a true friend and Slytherin.” Phineas says airily.

I half heard him. I stood on the spiral moving staircase, an obnoxious time-wasting device, and exit the office. I hurry along in a bit of a snit toward the staff room. Two female students who are staying for the holidays skirt me when they see my expression. Good.

Then I hear a last line from the girls now turning the corner. “...wash his hair.” Giggles. They just set me in an even more edgy mood.

I'm burying Regulus and exhuming Sirius. Odd thought. I continue to stride the hallways scattering students.

I bang open the office door and see the other Professors staring at me, all present. Minerva and Longbottom with their pride, Hagrid, slightly tipsy and Horace, who I notice looks very harried, Aurora and Terry, Sybill with sherry bottle in hand, and Zacharias who is giving me a look of dislike, what's new, Septima Vector, of Arithmancy and Bathsheba Babbling who taught me Ancient Runes. They all look extremely mistrusting, excepting Septima and Minerva. I sit down at the head of the table and watch eyes narrow as they look at me.

Dislike just trails after me like a loyal, wounded dog with gnawing jaws. And I just have to feed it.

I take out my papers and people shuffle theirs. “To the point!” Minerva says with a barely concealed tight-lipped smile, “Have you decided to hire Sirius Black to the position of Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher?”

Thank you, Minerva, for not beating around the bush. It begins.


***


Fifty-seven extremely lengthy minutes later it's over with. Sirius is Defence Master. The staff file out until no one is left but me and Minerva.

“I heard that you did a very decent thing, helping Sirius in getting back...” she begins. I love to interrupt her. And I have to.

“What you've heard about my decency is overrated and to be forgotten.” I glare at her. How did she find out? Never underestimate Gryffindor nosiness. Or overestimate Slughorn.

“I am writing a letter to Sirius to tell him what occurred, letting him sit on it, and returning to Spinner's End.” I try to mislead her. Minerva takes what she knows is bait and leaves. I'm only going for a few minutes. There's a book I want to peruse. Then to Grimmauld Place for a late dinner. My stomach is in knots thinking of returning to Sirius and letting him know that it is not only for Regulus' sake and that of prudence that I want him here.

I may have to read the whole Muggle book. A newer one of Tobias' that I should have read but considered too base Muggle. How To Win Friends And Influence People. Thinking of it I flush a mite. Dale Carnegie. I need help, Slytherin help, from a nearly mindless Muggle? The name stuck all of these years. The book likely will reveal nothing.

But for Sirius' sake I have to try. Friendship. Even to go as far as to read Dale Carnegie and see what it offers.


***


I learned nothing from the endless lists of personal propaganda. How hard I tried is too telling.

Sirius will have his letter by now. The sun went under early, or did I stare at the informative, miraculous book for that long? It is eight-thirty. Time to enter the fireplace of the sitting room of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.

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October 2013

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