Snacks And Letters - Part 89

Aurhor: [info]sionna_raven and [info]valkyriekat
Title:
Snacks And Letters - Part 89
Word Count: 1729

~Sirius~

I've stayed in my own office until dinner time. Kreacher couldn't be stopped from getting me a few sandwiches, when he found out. He tells me that Severus also missed lunch.

Regulus doesn't blame me for what happened. He knows that I tried to show Severus I respect him for himself. Regulus didn't like Lily anyway. I agreed with him until I realised that she truly loved James and tried to change him for his own good. These Occlumency lessons are a stupid idea. Severus calls me reckless? Our memories are of a kind that should be treated with caution.

I don't mind what he saw, not even the glimpses of Azkaban. He hasn't seen anything I want to forget, what I need to forget to be able to carry on. I wonder why I haven't seen one single truly happy memory in his mind. There must have been a few.

If he'd wanted to accuse me, he'd shown me more of the things we did to him, but there was only one. Regulus says he overheard that we had left Severus in the forest and went to free him. I'm glad he did. It took Remus and me a while to return ourselves. We had not noticed at first that James used a binding spell which would not fade. It wasn't the only time we went too far.

Minerva watches me at dinner, but she doesn't ask. Neville has put together his DADA notes as he has promised. I'm very grateful. Going through them will keep me busy tonight.

*

Monday morning, breakfast in the Great Hall, Severus is back. He acts his cheerful self, scowling at everyone. This is not the time or place to deal with it.

An eagle owl carrying two letters arrives at the high table. The expected letters from the Ministry. Percy tells us formally that we are expected to meet the Minister for an inspection of the cave tomorrow. Kingsley has added a personal note to mine telling me that the official rescue will only start after he has spoken to Caradoc. Severus has looked at his and folded it immediately.



~Severus~


I take the letter from Kingsley and stand. A few staff members rise too, Septima and Neville, then sit down again. Sirius catches my eye just as I go to catch his. We'll have to discuss the letters, decide on the best modus operandi for Tuesday. And I want to see if Sirius got the same message, curiosity has me as if I were Potter nosing in.


The meeting regarding the cave. I shake my head slowly and stare the ground as I walk to meet Sirius. All of the dead in that cave, all Regulus suffered, and Sirius and I escape death by Minerva's wording “sheer dumb luck” - everything else feels so petty.


Life is lived by the living not the dead.. even portraits and ghosts... and I think of that and try not to feel resentful that I never got to see Lily's doe. Sirius, the doe. I resolved not to mention it. I won't.


Sirius,” I say as I approach his just abandoned chair, casting Muffliato as I go, “I see you've had an owl from Kingsley. Mine says 11am. The time we meet the Minister for the inspection of the cave. I have no problems with the schedule. I have had to shuffle my immense number of social ventures.”


Sirius raises an eyebrow then laughs that bark of his. It was once so unwelcome. I dreaded it. Instead I offer him a dog biscuit. Sirius rolls his eyes. “Ever pleasant, Sev, Yes I got the same note. Mine has an addition from Kingsley, about Caradoc.”


Of course you had an addition. Special Gryffindor edition.” I take a hint of an ironic bow.


Sour grapes, Severus.” Sirius says with a hint of the mischief he eternally manages.


“Actually I prefer sweet wine.” I smirk slightly to myself.


“We'd better plan what we are going to do.”


“I have already done so. You interact, I skulk.” I know it's not a real plan. “I hope Kingsley doesn't send Percy instead. The Weasleys aren't defined by much stoicism.”


“We RSVP, tell Percy the date is fine.”


“Yes.”

We don't talk for a few minutes as we make it through the Great Hall and into the corridors.


“Weasleys aside, don't be stoic to the point of foolishness at the cave, Severus. One can only take so much.”


“I say the same for you. I think we know each others limits quite well by now – we warn each other to allow some feeling.” I mock slightly but he doesn't notice.


Severus Snape....use the word 'feeling'? And it's not sarcastic?” Sirius looks as if he's caught a scent.


You must have fleas bothering you after all. Kreacher's Azidirachta Indica is of some use?” I ask.


I mockingly whisk my fist though the air, my knuckles a hair away from his nose. He's laughing with his hand suspended in the air. He catches my fist and twists my wrist away. I scowl. He has limits? Yes. Boundaries? No. Trust? Yes.


Another misunderstanding? My undercurrent of Occlumency doesn't help matters.


He looks me straight in the eye, slate-grey eyes so like and so unlike Regulus'. I look back at him. I think the nasty thought that I try to avoid. Why did Regulus die and not Sirius? I smile a strained smile and I can see his tail wagging, if invisibly. This is the way it had to be.


~Sirius~

Severus is trying to be social and definitely wants to avoid any awkward topics. That's fine with me. Our friendship is too precious to risk it by rushing things.


“Back on the matters at hand, Kingsley won't take Percy. He wants to talk to Caradoc. Do you remember that they have been very close friends at school? He thinks that your involvement in Caradoc's ….. capture should stay between the three of us. No need to stir up further resentment.”


“I don't think it will take too long, after that Harry and his men will probably be called for. I'm afraid the whole affair won't get us in the Aurors good books. They won't like cleaning up the mess.” I add chuckling.


Severus throws me an unreadable glance which might mean either slight consternation about getting in trouble with the Aurors Office or sharing my malicious joy. I decide it means the latter.


“Could you be bothered to think about your own tasks incidentally, since you had a whole afternoon free?” The headmaster changes the subject to something more serious.


“I have indeed. Neville has provided me with his course notes and I went through them yesterday. You have been right with your warnings. He has had a bit of trouble with certain Slytherins.”


Severus raises his brows. I shrug.


“I intend to deal with them in my own way. I've already told you that I am not willing to cut your favourites any slack.”


Severus seems to remember that I can use sarcasm, too.


“I don't mind my staff enforcing the necessary amount of discipline.”


I had hoped we could agree on that,” I reply with a wink. “Today I have other plans, though. I need a bit of fresh air. Care to take the dog for a walk? I'd like to have a stroll over the ground and visit Hagrid afterwards. Beaky is waiting for me and I have a bag of dried cow rumen for Fang.”


Severus' face as I say cow rumen is priceless.


“I don't think I'd like to watch your share delicacies with your canine friend, but I don't mind a walk over the grounds.”


“I said it's for Fang. Padfoot prefers his rumen fresh and juicy.” I burst out in laughter as Severus turns a faint shade of green. “Just kidding, Padfoot has had enough fresh meat for a life-time. He's rather spoiled and likes well-cooked human food much better. But if you'd like a nice tasty rabbit or a piece of fowl for supper, he's at your service.”


“No thanks, “ Severus replies determinedly. “I suppose you could do with a bit of obedience training. Entrance door in ten minutes, bring a leash and a muzzle.”


“A leash, all right. No muzzle! See you in ten minutes, Sev.” I do have my limits or Padfoot has a few.


~Severus~


I wonder how well Padfoot can fetch and return anything other than a rabbit or squirrel. Sirius seems determined that I spend time with Padfoot.


What is this, Defence Against the Dog Arts?


I'll be interested to see how Sirius deals with his serpentine students. I have no doubt he can handle them 'in his own way'. Perhaps a detention involving feeding Fang dried cow rumen? Snort.


Sirius knows I don't eat much meat, and I do this out of respect for animals. I will treat Padfoot with more care than a mere human and though we haven't really discussed it I believe he understands that. I walk down to my lower office, and retrieve my cloak. I didn't check the ceiling at breakfast. I have no idea if it's snowing.


The Entrance Hall is occupied by a few Ravenclaw boys who will get detention if they continue to experiment on a salamander with a Muggle butane lighter. I thought Ravenclaws were clever.


Fawcett! Peakes!” I begin but a large and ranging hound lopes over and bares his teeth, growling.


The Headmaster's got a dog! Run for it!” Silly little popinjays reacting without thought. Don't they know better than to run from a sighthound? Or me?


I snarl out two detentions to be set by Terry Boot and pick up the salamander they left on the bannister. Padfoot knows better than to chase humans, I suppose, because he's here to nuzzle me with his nose.


We'll have to take this salamander to Hagrid's for healing.” Padfoot runs in circles around me, barking. It's very nice to have a dog. I put the salamander in my pocket, reminding myself to keep it in mind when- if- I ever reach Hagrid's door.


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October 2013

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