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Chapter 5 : The Befriending of the Prince
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Sleep evaded me that night, consumed by hatred of my older brother. I finally dragged myself out of bed around the fourteenth hour of the next day, forced to abandon my sullen brooding by the un-evadable call of my stomachic muscle imploring license to supply nutrients to my expended cerebral apparatus. Upon reaching the Great Hall, I was immensely relieved to discover that all the fifth-year students seemed to be missing, most likely due to another of their Ordinary Wizarding Level Examinations. I knew without any misgiving that had I been exposed to Sirius' presence at that time, I would have assuredly behaved in a manner most unbecoming to a member of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, an inexcusable crime which I had recently committed multiple times within the presence of the former object of my affections.
To avoid further abasement among fellow members of the Most Noble and Superior House of Slytherin, I speedily abducted a sizeable number of muffins and darted off to a more sparsely populated region. Upon my third circuit of the lake, however, my eyes involuntarily settled upon a scene of utmost vulgarity. Severus Snape was dangling upside down in midair, clothed in naught but grimy, deteriorating underpants. Manipulating him with their wands were none other than Sirius and his infamous Comrade-In-Delinquency, James Potter. A number of females were also present, viewing this abomination with an air of supreme hilarity. To my greatest horror and revulsion, the girl who had so recently captivated my heart lounged among them, gazing up at Sirius with an expression of complete adoration plastered on her exquisite face.
Never one to waste time with extravagant declarations of hatred and revenge, I merely whipped out my wand, stunned James and Sirius, released Snape, and stormed away. None verbalized their reception of my performance - Remus Lupin had rushed to the aid of Sirius and James, while Peter Pettigrew goggled at me, openmouthed. Several females gasped in shock, and one even developed highly overactive eye moisturizing glands.
Snape, after regaining consciousness, followed me towards the edge of the forest, where I collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
"Black." Snape pronounced my name hesitantly, his voice almost a personification of the oil adorning his hair. At the time, I was too deeply overcome with hatred of Sirius to find this in any way disturbing.
"Your actions seem rather unusual today. Has something happened?" he continued.
Silence permeated the atmosphere while I regained control of my respiratory system.
"I. HATE. SIRIUS." was all that I finally managed to gasp out.
"I see," replied Snape. "Did you just realize this?"
For lack of a more suitable response, I shook my head.
"Yet, you have not previously sought to physically express your hatred," Snape went on silkily. "I wonder... has something more substantial occurred?"
All the effort I had put into dutifully containing my emotions that day dissipated with his remark. My animosity towards Sirius was no longer something that could be contained within my being. Each and every one of my vexations against my brother poured out my mouth, from the time he mixed finely chopped flobberworms into the scrambled eggs the morning of my third birthday, through the extraordinarily ridiculous and unjust practice of primogeniture, to that most recent incident in the Slytherin common room which had pushed my hatred to the realm of physical expression, as Snape would put it.
Much to my surprise, Snape listened patiently throughout my whole tirade, occasionally mumbling words of sympathy. I found myself overcome with heartfelt appreciation - no one, not even Mother, had ever expressed concern as to the state of my emotional well-being. Thus I became what one could call friends with Severus Snape. Not the closest of friends, for Snape, I think, preferred a solitary existence, and did not have anyone that could truly be called a close friend, as far as I recall. However, I did become close enough to earn a little extra help in brewing particularly difficult potions, close enough to learn of the Dark Spells he invented in his spare time, and close enough to know and salute him by the title he preferred: the Half - Blood Prince.
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