Emotions on the Rocks
Past 6 of The Severus Snape Saga
A/N: My muse, Maggie, is simple girl. All she likes are plot bunnies and reviews. So be kind to Maggie and feed her review cookies please.
Big thanks to my beta Lbandoly for her hard work. She has spent countless hours editing and providing plot help for my stories. She makes my writing possible.
No copyright infringement intended. All characters are the property of JKR, Scholastic, and any number of other companies with more money than I've ever dreamed of seeing. I didn't make any money off of this, so please don't sue.
HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS
Harry stared at the page of the open tome in his lap. It seemed like he had been reading the same page for ages. In truth he had. He hadn’t flipped a page in half an hour or more. He had read the page countless times, but every time he reached the end he found he couldn’t remember a single thing he had read and once again started over at the top of the page.
For the first time in weeks the house was all but deserted save for a small group of men that never left. Severus was in his lab, presumably brewing something the Order was currently in need of, Draco was probably in his room reading or sleeping (it’s all he seemed to do outside of eating since he had arrived), and that just left himself sitting in the library of number twelve Grimwald Place attempting for the hundredth time to read the next chapter of Dark Objects and their Curses.
He had found the book earlier that week among the masses of other ancient tomes in the Black family library. It was the first in a long string of boring books with even more boring titles that seemed to offer up the first solid lead on Horcruxes. But try as he might he just couldn’t seem to concentrate on what he was reading. His mind was elsewhere. More specifically it was on someone else. His father…
It was hard to believe it had been two weeks since the largest secret of his life had been revealed to him and to his friends and the members of the Order. Severus Snape, master of Potions, former Death Eater, current Spy for the Order of the Phoenix, pseudo-adoptive father to one Draco Malfoy, was his father. His real, living, breathing, cold, distant, aloof, easy to anger, quick to judge, stubborn, caring, seemingly loving, overtly worried father.
The news had come as both a surprise and a welcome relief. Finally after so many years with no family he had a father; a man whom by definition should love him, care for him, worry for and over him. The knowledge that his mother had loved his father went far to temper the shock and awe factor that came along with the knowledge. The memory of Professor Dumbledore’s words to him in his will went far to soothing the indignant anger of being abandoned to the Dursley’s for so many years and for years of cruel biting remarks for the glowering potions master. He had taken the news rather well in his personal opinion. Sure the conversation had started off bitter and cold, but by the end both of them had ended up in tears that Harry knew were tears of relief and joy for both himself and his newly gained father.
They spent the next several hours in the kitchen talking and eating. To the few members of the Order and other assorted house guests that had wandered in during this ‘bonding’ experience it had confused and bewildered them. After all none but three knew what had changed between the two dark haired men at that point. Harry smiled to himself thinking of the first true conversation he had ever had with Severus. It almost seemed dream-like in retrospect.
At first he had been certain that he would ask the potion master to brew the antidote to the paternity altering potion first thing the next morning; before he would even tell his friends of the new development even. He was determined to accept this change in the fullest way possible. He had gone to bed that night confident that the next morning he would make the request that would release his true visage to the world forever. But like most things in life a few hours and the new light of day can change anyone’s mind. The memory of the cruciatus curse and the pain it inflicted clouded his mind after a typical dream memory. Severus…his father, had warned him that the antidote often caused pain that intense. Now that he had time to think on it, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go through that just for the sake of how he looked. Father or no, he wasn’t sure if what he looked like truly mattered or not. If he admitted to himself his own opinion on the matter he would say yes it mattered some, if only from the stance of morbid curiosity. What was he suppose to look like all these years? Would he have his father’s straight, oily black hair or his mother’s vibrant red waves? Should he be taller or was his height closer to that of his mothers? Were his eyes supposed to be his mother’s emerald green or his father’s obsidian? He admitted the questions plagued him every time he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror; so much so he avoided looking in the loo mirror at all costs.
The other thing he didn’t know that he grudgingly admitted to himself was he didn’t know if his appearance bothered his father. Truthfully his father hadn’t spoken of it. Harry did suspect his father never paid any heed to his own appearance. He wasn’t the vainest person after all. For a man that clearly didn’t suffer time and thought for his own appearance would he, does he, suffer thoughts on his son’s?
Harry sat so lost in thought he never heard the footfalls that heralded Hermione’s entrance into the dimly lit room. “So how long have you been on that page today?”
Startled Harry looked up at his best friend. “Huh?”
“That page? How long have you been trying to read it? If I’m not mistaken that is the same page you spent three hours reading and rereading yesterday before you finally gave up and went to bed..”
Harry blushed knowing she was right. “I…uh…I don’t really know, a few hours maybe.”
She laughed as she sat down next to him on the small overstuffed leather couch. “Well do tell.”
Harry gave her a confused look. “Tell what?”
“Tell me what is on you mind because until you tell me you’re never actually going to understand what you are reading. It might as well be Greek the way you’re staring at that page. Since we actually need to know that information if we ever hope to find and destroy the Horcruxes so you should just come out and tell me.”
Harry shook his head and denied her claim. “There is nothing on my mind. I just can’t concentrate.”
“You can’t concentrate because something is on your mind; something that if I had to guess has something to do with you and your father. Come on Harry, just tell me. I’m sure it can’t be all that bad. All you need is someone to listen to your thought process I’m sure…You’ll feel better if you do.”
Harry nodded. Shutting the book, he sat it on the low table in front of them. “Okay, but not here.” She nodded and followed his up to his room when he moved up from his seat and headed out of the room up and up the stairs to the room at the end of the second floor hall that he shared with Ron.
Harry shut the door behind them after taking one final look down the hall to make sure no one, more specifically Severus or Draco weren’t around.
“Well are you going to tell me or do I have to play twenty questions to get it out of you?”
“No questions. Just listen okay.”
“Of course Harry.”
Harry took a seat on his bed across from the identical one that Hermione sat on. “You remember me telling you that the reason I looked like James was because mom had Snape...”
Hermione cut him off. “He’s your dad Harry. You can call him that you know.”
Harry rolled his eyes at her. “I know that. I do call him that sometimes. I even think of him as ‘dad’ in my head. It just doesn’t always make it out my mouth okay. I am trying alright.”
“I’m sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t push. I’m sorry I interrupted.”
“Thank you. Okay where was I? Oh yeah the beginning,” he snapped.
Hermione rolled her eyes. She couldn’t help but think to herself that Harry had become noticeably more sarcastic the more time he spent with Severus.
“…so anyway I told you about the potion Dad brewed that made me look like James. Anyway what I didn’t tell everyone was that Dad says there is an antidote to it.”
Hermione sat up, clearly interested in this nameless potion and its antidote.
“The antidote would strip away anything that has made me look like James all these years. I could look like I was always suppose to if I took it.”
Hermione was enraptured. “So do you want to take it or not?”
“That’s just the problem. I can’t decide if I do or don’t. When he first told me about it, I was certain I was going to ask him to brew it. But then I remembered what he said about its side effects and I changed my mind. But I can’t help but wonder what I am supposed to look like. Every time I see myself in the mirror I see this face I’ve always had but in the same breath it seems like a lie.”
“It is a lie Harry,” she replied softly.
“I know that! That just makes it worse. I start thinking about what I should look like. Do I still have black hair or do I have moms red? Is it all greasy and straight like Snape, sorry Dad’s? Is my nose hooked like his? Should I be taller than I am or am I just this short from years of not eating properly? It’s one question after another Mione. They won’t go away. No matter what I’m doing there are constantly questions. I can’t look at him without wondering what he wants me to do. Does he want me to take it? If he does, does he want it so I’ll look like him or so I won’t look like James Potter?”
“Have you thought of asking him Harry? I’m sure he would talk to you about it. You seem to talk about lots of other things lately.”
“I can’t. What if he thinks I’m being petty or vain about the whole mess? I don’t want him to think I’m not asking him to make it because I don’t want to have any of his less desirable features.”
“Harry you’re over thinking this.”
“I’m over thinking? Well there are two words I never expected to hear out of your mouth,” he shot back.
“Harry James Potter Snape that was just uncalled for.” Hermione took a deep breath to calm down before continuing. “What I meant is he won’t think you’re vain. At least no more than any other teenager is anyway. I’m sure he would want you take it for both reasons. Think on it. What would it be like to have a son that first of all doesn’t look a drop like you? Not one tiny feature that you can claim your child got from you. All parents want their children to look like them, its human nature at its finest Harry.
Then to make matters worse your child looks like the spitting image of the same person that ended up marrying the very person you’ve always loved. Not just that, but the fact that he looks like one of a group of people who always treated you so poorly. The way you told it your father was the butt end of most of the Marauder’s pranks. It would be like you having a child with Ginny and then dosing it to look like Malfoy. If you sit there and tell me that wouldn’t bother you Harry, then you would be lying and we both know it.”
“I…yeah, okay it would still bother me.”
“Of course it would. So stop worrying about what he wants because clearly we both know what he must want and decide what you want.”
Harry picked at a fray in the quilt on the bed. “I know what I want I think,” Harry said quietly.
“I think you do too,” she said with a half smile that made her eyes twinkle in a fashion that reminded Harry greatly of the Headmaster.
Harry sat silently leaned back against the headboard of the rickety twin bed. “He says it hurts…”
“I would imagine so. Your body very well might have to grow new bone or extra muscle. I can only imagine that would be painful. Much like skele-gro I would assume.”
“He said cruciatus.”
“That’s not at all comforting. It’s no wonder you have been having trouble deciding. Clearly the fear of feeling that much pain again is impacting your judgment. As well it should I might add. But Harry some of the best things in life are very painful either emotionally or physically, sometimes both. So it’s a matter of deciding if you are willing to face that pain to look like your father or not.”
Harry nodded in understanding. It was the dream that had changed his mind originally. He had no doubt about that. Maybe now was the time to ask. If woman could voluntarily submit to hours of pain to have a baby then do it again to have more he could face a few hours…or days’ worth of pain to look like his father. “Walk with me to ask?”
She smiled and nodded.
HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS
The blonde haired teen looked up from his plate looking at the dark haired teen across from him. “So you asked him to make it?”
Harry nodded. “He seemed…”
“Less glower about it?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
Draco nodded. “You’ll get used to it eventually.”
“Severus’s non-emotive emotions. You know, telling one glare from another.”
Harry quirked a brow at Draco. “Um yeah sure.” Harry pushed his carrots around his plate idly. “So he was happy with me for asking him to make it?”
Draco nodded as he put a forkful of roast beef in his mouth.
“Good,” he replied to no one in particular.
Just that moment Molly bustled back into the kitchen of Grimwald Place. “You dears need anything else? More roast or a fresh cuppa?”
“No ma’am,” they replied in kind.
“Well then. Just as well. Have either of you seen Severus or Remus? Have either of them be in to eat?”
“No Mrs. Weasley,” Harry replied.
Molly swished her wand about and set a new pot of water to boil for tea as she set to dishing up two fresh plates of roast beef and vegetables. “Well then, if they won’t come to dinner, then dinner shall go to them.” Bustling about the kitchen she set both men’s food on trays to carry it up to their separate hide-a-ways. “I do declare. The two of them have done nothing but avoid one another since Severus came back. Honestly you would think the two of them were still firsties at Hogwarts they way they act sometimes.”
Harry chuckled and Draco smiled behind his tea cup at the matronly woman as she set out with two trays floating ahead of her.
The two continued to eat in silence for some time. The only noise in the room was the sound of the silverware against the china.
“Are you going to watch him make it?” Harry broke the silence.
Draco looked up. “Watch who, make what?”
“The potion Severus is making for me. Are you going to watch him make it?”
Draco’s eye’s lit up. “You think he’ll let me?”
“You’re asking me this?” Draco nodded. “Yeah actually I do. I suspect he’ll let Hermione too if she asked.” Draco looked a bit skeptical. “He said as much when we were first talking about it.”
Draco nodded in understanding. “Did he say when he was going to start it?”
“Mr. Weasley is supposed to be bringing home the last of the specialty ingredients today for it. I think he plans to start it tonight, but I don’t know for certain.”
“What sort of specialty ingredients?”
“He didn’t say. But Mr. Weasley took a vial of polyjuice potion base with him when he left this morning.”
Draco’s eyes shot wide open. “Knockturn.”
“Think on it Potter.”
Again Draco’s eyes shot open. “Is that so?”
Harry glared at his blonde companion then relaxed. “Okay so not in public obviously, at least not while he’s still spying for the Order, but in private yeah.”
“So why do you think he had to go into Knockturn?”
“Come on Snape? Certainly you can’t think that a man like Mr. Weasley could just walk into Knockturn looking like himself without disguising himself. Clearly that’s why Severus gave him polyjuice potion. So he could get in and out of the Knockturn without raising suspension.”
Harry looked curiously at Draco. “You got all of that out of me mentioning one tiny vial of potion?”
“It’s a Slytherin thing Potter,” catching the look in Harry’s eyes he quickly amended himself, “sorry Snape. You wouldn’t understand. You’re as Gryffindor as they come. I wouldn’t expect you to know anything at all about being Slytherin.”
“Clearly you don’t either.”
“And just what is that suppose to mean?”
“I was nearly sorted into Slytherin house.”
“No bloody way Snape. You wouldn’t have lasted a day in Slytherin house.”
“The hat wanted me in Slytherin. I refused it. ‘Anything but Slytherin’ were my exact words.”
Draco’s eyes widened in shock, “well that certainly explains a few things.”
“Now it’s my turn to ask what you mean.”
“I lied. You have more than a few traits that would have led you well in Slytherin. You’re a sneaky git if the rumors of all your night time escapades around the castle are to be believed. You clearly disregard the rules as if they don’t apply to you. I would be willing to bet all the money my father has in Gringotts that you had to talk your friends into joining you on your little adventures because they didn’t want to break the rules, so you can check a mark next to manipulative on the Slytherin traits list.”
Harry laughed. “Thought on this much have you?”
“Maybe, maybe not,” Draco replied with his patented smirk.
“You’re a git you know?” Harry said with a laugh.
“So are you Potter-Snape, so are you.”
Harry stood up from his chair and moved his empty plate and cup to the sink were Molly had charmed a brush to wash the dishes when she was out of the room.
Draco followed suit without so much as a hint of disdain at having to tend behind his own mess. The past months following the headmaster’s death really had changed him.
“So I’m tired of reading through that mountain of dark arts books for information that is nonexistent. What do you say to a game of chess?”
“Oh please, as if you could beat me?”
“Well I wasn’t planning on staking the house on it or anything. I’m sure I can at least give you a good game though. But if you really want a challenge, you should ask Ron to play when he comes back over. I’ve never been able to beat him. No one but Bill has been able to in years that I know of.”
“He couldn’t beat me either.” Draco thought on it. “But yeah, if you want to get beaten who am I to deny you. I’m bored with reading myself. There isn’t much of anything to do when you’re hiding out.”
“It’s better than being beaten and tossed in a cupboard,” Harry mumbled to himself as they walked into the library where the chess set was set up.
“What was that?” Draco asked.
“Nothing. I…uh…it was nothing.”
“Suit yourself.” Draco shrugged in indifference. “I’m going first.”
HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS
“Harry, are you certain you want to do this? I will not feel any less of you if you don’t.” Severus sat watching his son sitting on the stool in the dark lab.
“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to do it.”
“You know the risks.”
“You’ve warned me enough. I can take it.”
“You’re taking the threat of pain and it not even working too inconsequentially for me not to question you Harry.”
“You made it didn’t you?”
“Then it will work and pain I can deal with. It’s not like I haven’t experienced the cruciatus before. I got through that just fine, I can handle this too.”
Severus nodded instantly catching glimpses of accidentally projected memories of beatings at his uncle’s hand and the cruciatus applied by the Dark Lord. “Then there are only two things left to add. Have you eaten at all this morning?”
“No. You said to check with you first to see if it was done or not before I did.”
“Very well then.”
Severus picked up the double edged dagger from the work top and cut a then gash across the palm of his own right hand. Squeezing his hand tight, he held his hand over the steaming cauldron beside them till one drop of dark crimson blood fell from his fisted hand into the bubbling potion. Quickly be wrapped a piece of white bandage around his hand.
“Hold out your hand.”
Harry stuck out his left hand a bit more bravely than he truthfully felt. Severus flipped the dagger over to the second side of the blade, still clean and shining brightly, and slid it quickly across Harry’s palm. “Squeeze your hand into a fist.”
Harry did as he was told, feeling the warm blood around his finger tips. Severus guided his son’s hand over the cauldron with his uninjured hand, holding it there till a drop of Harry’s blood fell into the boiling cauldron.
Suddenly the boiled stopped as if the fire beneath it had been snuffed out. Severus grabbed a glass stirring rod from the work top and stirred the potion exactly six times clockwise and two counter clockwise. At the end of the last stir the potion began boiling furiously again and changed colors from the dark red it had been to crystal clear. “It’s done.”
Harry sat silently as Severus decanted the potion into a large glass vial. “You have one hour to drink this. After that, it’s worthless slop. Head up to your room, I’ll be along with it in a moment.”
Harry started out of the room. “I might suggest that you put your pajamas back on. You’ll want to be as comfortable as possible while you’re going through the change.”
Ten minutes later a knock sounded on Harry’s door. “Come in.”
Hermione opened the door and walked in. Harry smiled. “You’re back.”
“For the rest of the summer,” she said with a smile. “Mum and Dad decided to go to France for vacation. I asked if I could stay here since you decided to take the potion.”
“In about five minutes actually.”
Harry held up his neatly bandaged palm. “Just. Dad is bringing it up in a few moments.”
“Wow….I asked him if I could stay the rest of the summer with you guys.”
Harry looked up. “You did? I assumed you would have asked Remus since he’s here all the time as well.”
“I did first, but he suggested it might do your dad good if he had to act like one towards your friends. Scariest letter I’ve ever had to write in my life let me tell you.”
Harry laughed then sobered up. “Are you sure you want to be here for this? Dad says it could get bad, really bad. I’m not sure you’ll want to hang around to watch it.”
“Yes I’m sure. He rather reminded me of that when he agreed to let me stay. I plan to be right by your side as long as you’ll both let me.”
Harry smiled and hugged her. “Thanks ’Mione.”
“What are friends for?”
A cough interrupted the two. Severus and Draco entered the room as the two broke apart from their embrace Harry blushed at being caught hugging his best friend. “If you two are quite finished, it’s time.”
Harry climbed in the bed, and pulled the covers up over his lap. His father handed him the vial. He drank it down, if nothing else it didn’t taste as bad one might think. It certainly didn’t seem to have that air of oily darkness around it that his father has warned of more than once in the past four weeks while he and his friends had been researching information on the dark arts in hopes of finding out about the Horcruxes. Blood magic was dark, but this certainly didn’t feel or taste like darkness to him. “It didn’t taste as badly as I expected it would.”
Severus raised a curious brow. “How so?”
“Sure it tasted awful but it didn’t taste wrong. If that makes any sense.”
Severus nodded and almost hinted at the barest smile before slipping back into his mask of indifference. “That is good. It means that both of us truly gave the blood willingly.”
Hermione and Draco understood innately what that meant. “So it wasn’t dark magic after all.”
“Not in the actual since of it, no. By the ministry’s definition however it still was.”
Harry sat back against the headboard. His stomach was rolling; the underside of his tongue began to tingle and his mouth water. For the life of him he needed to chuck up.
Hermione noticed him beginning to look green. “Harry, are you okay.”
Harry shook his head rapidly and clamped his hand over his mouth as he bolted from the room dashing for the loo.
Draco grimaced as the sounds of Harry being sick reverberated through the hall. “Well that didn’t take long.”
“Indeed. Miss Granger if you would; fetch a glass of cool water and a basin from the kitchen. I dare say it won’t be long till moving out of the bed will be nearly impossible for him.” Severus left the room to go check on his son.
Severus found Harry flushed from the exertion of heaving stomach acid endlessly into the toilet. His head was lying on his arm as he slumped against the toilet. “Do you feel like heading back to bed?”
Harry nodded and spoke weakly, “I don’t think I can get there by myself.”
Severus nodded and lifted his son to his feet. “Lean against me, I’ll walk you back.”
Harry did as he was told, wrapping his arm around his father’s waist and held on as tightly as he could as the older man walked him back down the hall and into his room. He flopped onto the bed and let his father cover him with the tattered handmade quilt.
“How are you feeling Harry?”
“Hurts. I hadn’t expected that to happen so fast.”
“I told you, you weren’t taking this seriously enough.”
Harry gave a weak laugh, “noted.”
Hermione reentered the room with a glass of water in one hand and a metal basin in another. She sat the basin on the bedside table and passed Harry the glass of water. “Hopefully that will help some.”
Harry thanked her and took a tentative sip of the cool water. It felt like heaven against his heavy tongue.
HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS
Several hours later the few occupants of number twelve Grimwald Place were all thanking the gods for silencing charms. Remus paced the sitting room from end to end and back again. Molly had taken up her usual place in the kitchen baking endlessly in effort to not think of the ordeal that the young man one floor up was enduring. Arthur had returned to the Burrow an hour before to check on Ron and Ginny more to escape the oppressive feel of the Order Headquarters than out of worry for his youngest two children. Draco and Hermione were sitting together in the hall outside Harry’s door. Hermione was tossing an everlasting super bouncy ball against the opposite wall, catching it, and then tossing it again. Draco had a book in his lap attempting to read the advanced transfiguration text with no luck.
“Gods, Granger could you please stop that? That infernal noise is getting on my last nerve.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and tossed the ball at the wall again with a little more force than she had been. One the return Draco reached out and snatched the ball out of the air. “There, problem solved.”
“Give me that back Malfoy.”
“No. For the past two hours you’ve tossed that bloody thing at the same spot on that wall. I get it, you’re frustrated that Severus won’t let us back in, but for the sake of the Gods must you take it out on that poor wall and my mind?”
Hermione hung her head. “Sorry,” she mumbled.
He handed the pink ball back to her. “It’s fine, just stop doing it. Why don’t you try to read something or go for a walk or something, anything? Clearly sitting here is driving you round the twist and it’s taking me along for the ride.”
“Well excuse me for being worried for one of my oldest and best friends. I don’t even see why you’re sitting here. You don’t care one way or the other about what Harry is in there feeling. He could roll over and die and it would probably make your day.”
Draco took a deep breath to calm his quickly raging temper before he said something to her to destroy the tentative truce they had come to in the week following the ‘big announcement.’ “Look Granger I understand you have no reason to trust me. If I were you I wouldn’t do it either. But for the sake of the fact that my Godfather saved me from one hell of an awful fate and for the fact that he has said in his own way that I am as much his son as Harry is I am doing my level best to not treat you the way I always have. More importantly I’m trying to live up to the only expectations I’ve ever truly wanted to live up to, his.
Severus asked Harry and me both to make an attempt at ending the hatred between us; to try to be at the very least civil to one another. To do that I can’t very well continue to treat you the way I was raised to can I?
Look I didn’t grow up having the best home life. My parents didn’t give a fuck about me past me living up to the fucking Malfoy name. Frankly now I’ve been given a very rare second chance at having a father figure who actually gives a bloody fuck about me and a person that I think I could actually grow to consider a brother. Excuse the fuck out of me if I don’t want to toss that off like yesterday’s stale bread.”
Hermione hung her head and blushed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you or them.” She didn’t have the desire to call him for cursing a blue streak. “I don’t know what Harry or for that matter Professor Snape may have told you, but Harry’s life outside of Hogwarts wasn’t ever that great either. To say his aunt and uncle hated him wouldn’t be a stretch in the slightest. They hated magic and took it out on him. He grew up with people that knew of magic but constantly told him it wasn’t real even when they knew he was a wizard. They worked him harder than a house elf, gave him his cousin’s cast offs for clothes that were always miles to large for him, fed him just enough to keep him alive, and locked him in a cupboard till someone scared them enough to let him sleep in his cousin’s second bedroom the summer after first year. If anyone can understand the trials of home life and wanting nothing more than a family that loves you its Harry.”
Tears were streaming down her red cheeks. “It took us years to discover that his uncle would beat him when he didn’t do his chores fast enough, if he didn’t stay out of sight when he wasn’t wanted, etcetera. He was smart enough at eleven to know that he couldn’t tell them his parents had left him the Potter family fortune because his aunt and uncle would have taken it for themselves and left him in the same place he had always been….with nothing.”
She swiped at the tears that stained her face with the back of her hand and continued on. “Then he has this maniac constantly trying to kill him. No less than four times to date and we know there are more to come. Every time he’s managed to pull through on pure nerve and dumb luck. I’m tired of worrying that my best friend is going to end up dead. Now he’s in there in so much pain he’s screamed himself mute all for the sake of being closer to the family he’s finally gotten and still in the back of my mind I hear his dad warning me that the potion has killed in the past.”
Draco pulled a neatly folded handkerchief from his pocket and passed it to her as she sobbed. She continued to sob as she wrung the cloth in her worried hands. Not knowing what else to do he wrapped his arm around her shaking shoulders. “He’ll be fine. There is no way Severus would let him die. Soon he’ll be up and about and begging to go out and fly. We’ll all be good and sick of him all too soon.”
She didn’t speak only leaned closer into him, burying her face in the crook of his neck. He ran his hand down her arm in the only gesture of comfort he could think of. “It’ll all be okay. You’ll see…,” he whispered as he leaned his chin on the top of her head. “It’ll all be okay.”
That’s just how Severus found them when he stepped out of Harry’s room for the first time in several hours. Hermione was wrapped in Draco’s right arm asleep on his shoulder. Draco was reading silently from the book in his left hand. “You could have moved her you know.”
Draco looked up at the sound of his Godfather’s voice. “I…um…”
“There is no need to make a show of yourself. Obviously Miss Granger was a bit distraught and you comforted her. I should be telling you good show or something of the like for finally ending that needless grudge you have with her.”
Draco’s mouth dropped open and snapped shut repeatedly in his loss for words. Severus stooped and picked Hermione’s sleeping form up into his arms. “Go open her door.”
Draco hopped up from his seat on the floor and quickly moved down the hall to room that Hermione and Ginny shared. Opening the door, he stepped out of the way as Severus walked into the room. Slowly he lowered her onto the bed and pulled the hand woven throw blanket from the foot of the bed and laid it over her. Slipping back out of the room into the hall he gave a small smile to his godson. “You may tell her you moved her if you think it will better your cause.”
Once again Draco found himself at a loss for words. “Excuse me. I don’t have a cause.”
“Of course you do. I’ve been watching you for weeks. Now that this irrational feud has ended between you two you can attempt to make advances towards Miss Granger. You know Harry has no interest in her outside of seeing her as a sister figure. Much the way he sees Miss Weasley, however he doesn’t see that himself yet. I do believe your only obstacle, as small as it might be, is her waning affections for Mr. Weasley. Surly you can overcome that,” Severus said with a smirk. “Join me in the kitchen?”
Severus and Draco walked down to the kitchen in silence. The moment they walked into the kitchen Molly flew at them like a wild harpy. “How’s dear Harry? Can I get you some tea and a biscuit? Perhaps you would like some soup. I made chicken noodle and vegetable beef. Harry likes both. I thought he might like something light to eat when he comes around.”
Severus took a seat at the table, “tea and a bowl of the vegetable soup would be nice. Thank you.”
“And you Draco dear?”
“Chicken noodle for me please.”
Molly set off dishing up servings of soup and cups of tea. “Where is Hermione? I haven’t seen her since early this morning before Harry took the potion.”
Severus cleared his throat. “I asked her and Draco to go out when he got so bad. She fell asleep sitting in the hall. Draco moved her to her room.” He gave his godson a quick wink and bent over his bowl of soup as if he were a starving man who hadn’t seen food in ages.
“Well wasn’t that just the sweetest thing dear. If she wakes up, be sure to send her down to eat. The poor dear is too much like my Ginny. Neither of them eat nearly enough. Honestly the opinion of girls today. Worrying over how they look. How fat they are. The lot of them are too skinny if you ask me.”
Draco couldn’t resist a laugh. Neither Ginny nor Hermione were what one would consider too skinny. They certainly didn’t qualify as count your rib skinny. Not that he had ever seen either of them without a shirt on, but he had seen enough women naked or near enough so that he knew when a girl fit the too skinny category. Frankly he liked girls with curves himself. Not Bulstrode heavy curves, but nice soft hour glass curves, Hermione curves.
Draco nearly choked on his soup at that mental thought. This was leading no where good…
HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS HP SS
Hermione woke just as the sun was beginning its descent deep below the horizon. Startled to find herself tucked into her bed she found she had rested quite well considering the current circumstances. Quickly she righted her jumper and stepped out of the room in search of food. She had woken up amazingly hungry only to remember she hadn’t eaten since Mr. Weasley had picked her up from her parents. Amazed to not find Draco in the hall outside Harry’s door, she resisted the urge to poke her head in to see if Professor Snape had allowed him back into Harry’s room. Instead she paid a quick trip to the loo before heading to the kitchen in search of sustenance. The kitchen was empty; dishes cleaned and put away for the day save for two large pots of soup that sat on the magical stove under warming charms. Fishing a bowl from the cabinet she dished up a bowl of the vegetable beef soup. She gathered a glass from the cabinet and filled it with cool tap water. She took a seat at the table and began eating her soup.
Just as she was finishing her last bite the door swung open. Remus stood in the door looking tired but happy. “Hello Hermione.”
“Normally I would tell you not to call me that, but since I agreed to take the DADA job back that Minevra has offered me, that would be pointless.”
“How is Harry?” Remus gave her a confused look. “I’ve been asleep.”
“Ah. Severus came down a couple hours ago with Draco and ate dinner while Harry was asleep. He didn’t say if the potion appeared to be working just that the pain had seemed to peak and had begun to wane off. He gave Harry a dreamless sleep potion and managed to get him to hold it down long enough for it to put him to sleep. They went right back up after they finished eating. Past that I know virtually nothing.”
Hermione nodded and thanked Remus before placing her bowl in the sink and refilling her water glass. She headed straight back up to Harry’s room without so much as a single stop between the kitchen and his room. She knocked softly on the door. Draco opened the door and slipped out in the hall, pulling the door shut behind him. “You’re up.”
“I am,” she said with a smile.
“Have you eaten or did you just wake up?”
“I’ve eaten. Remus said you and Professor Snape had earlier.” He nodded. “How’s he doing?”
“Better. He slept almost as long as you did.”
Hermione’s eyes lit up. “He’s awake now?” Draco nodded and smiled. “They why am I standing out here?”
“Because Severus asked me to warn you that it worked.”
Hermione’s breath caught in her throat. “It did?”
“Did you ever have any real doubt that it wouldn’t?”
She shook her head. “No I didn’t.”
“Anyway he’s still in a load of pain and Severus thinks he will be for a few days yet but he thinks the bulk of the changes have already taken place. So be warned he looks different. Way different. Oh and no touching! He screams every time Severus checks his pulse.”
She nodded her head and waited for Draco to open the door. Pushing the door open Draco led the way into the room. Harry lay curled on his side in his twin bed against the far wall. Suddenly the bed looked entirely too small for him. He had grown taller clearly. That had to be painful in ways she didn’t begin to want to imagine.
“’Mione. Have a good nap?”
She smiled. Leave it to Harry to ask about how someone else was when he was in so much pain he couldn’t move without screaming. “Yeah I did and a lovely bowl of Mrs. Weasley vegetable beef soup that you love so much.”
He tried to laugh but winced visibly in pain from the action. “It was good.”
Hermione took the seat closest to his bedside that his father had vacated when she entered the room claiming the need to gather more potions from his lab to aid Harry. Draco slipped out not moments after she sat down. “It worked.”
“It better have. It hurt worse than being buggered by a hippogriff.”
She laughed a hearty laugh. “What would you know about being buggered by anything Mr. Potter? And can I say ugh? Could you have picked a more vulgar image?”
“Clearly that’s Mr. Snape now and yes I’m sure I could have if I had tried.”
She smiled. “Yes it is. Even a blind man could see how much you look like your father now Harry.”
“So that’s oily and pale for me. Geez ’Mione you didn’t have to call me ugly,” he teased lightly.
She blushed. “I would never. I happen to find Professor Snape rather dashing in a dark dangerous sort of way,” she said. Her face was blushed as bright as a tomato.
“Okay that is just more information than I needed.”
They sat quietly for a few moments. “How are you feeling really?”
“In pain mostly.”
“That’s not what I meant. I meant how do you feel about the changes?”
He muffled a scream into a pillow as he rolled over onto his back. “Honestly?”
He smiled. “Wonderful. Dad helped me sit up when I finally felt up to it after I woke up. He charmed the door into a mirror so I could see. I was a bit surprised. I expected all the bad traits of his I guess.”
“You didn’t get any of them. Okay you might want to become a bit friendlier with the shampoo than you normally do, but otherwise all is well.”
He smiled again. “Dad thinks I’m taller than Remus now. Imagine that. I never thought I would get anywhere near that tall. He thinks I would have been taller if my aunt and uncle had fed me properly.”
“He’s probably correct.”
“So what do you think?”
“I think you look brilliant. You certainly have more of your mum in you that I ever remember you having. It’s not just her eyes anymore. Your whole facial structure looks like hers.”
“Dad said so too. His exact words were ‘it’s like seeing her alive all over again.’”
Hermione smiled sadly. “That must be painful for him.”
“I think it’s more a bitter sweet sort of thing. Because clearly he gets his own desire to have his son look like him. He couldn’t deny me if he tried.”
Hermione laughed. “No he really couldn’t.”
Harry changed the topic on her. “So what is this I here about you falling asleep on Draco’s shoulder?”
Hermione blushed instantly remembering their tiff that had resulted in him wrapping his arms around her attempting to comfort her. “Um, well yeah, I guess. We had a bit of a spat. I ended up crying and he um tried to calm me down. I guess I was a bit tired because I drifted off to sleep. The next thing I know I’m waking up in my room.”
“So he put you to bed after you fell asleep on him.”
Harry smiled but said nothing. That could go places very nice for the two of them if they let it happen. Yes things were definitely looking up for Harry, his family, and friends. This change, as painful as it was, was only the beginning of good things to come. He could feel it.
Write a Review The Severus Snape Saga: Emotions on the Rocks