I jerked awake from a loud thump and my eyes immediately scanned the room. I let out an annoyed huff finding only Snape. He’d purposely dropped my journal on my desk to wake me.
“There are other ways to wake people up.” I sat up and leaned against the wall, crossing my legs in front of me.
“A jet of water seemed unnecessarily cruel.” Snape pulled the chair out and sat down facing me.
“Normal ways of waking someone. Knocking, shaking my arm a bit.”
“Those seemed far too nice considering how annoying you’ve been.”
I let out a sigh and rubbed the back of my head. “Sorry,” I muttered, frustrated that my emotions were slipping through once again.
“Actually it’s only bits and pieces I’m picking up. Not being able to connect it all together is surprisingly more annoying than seeing it all.”
“You want more slipping through? Do you need a hobby? Or do you just want all the information so you can sound all-knowing and impressive whenever I have a problem?” I asked rudely.
“Your attitude always starts showing when you get defensive.”
“I’m not being defensive,” I said sharply. “I haven’t been having the greatest day.”
“What’s bothering you?”
“I assume you mean the ones that attacked Potter.”
“Are they joining –?”
“No. Well not yet,” Snape answered briskly.
“As I told Dumbledore, the Dark Lord was surprised and angered that Potter had been attacked.”
“Why would he be angry?”
“Don’t let over exposure to Black tarnish that bright mind,” he sneered. “The Dark Lord does not want to draw attention to himself. As long as nothing strange happens, people will be more likely to side with Fudge. If the public hears about Dementors attacking wizards, they could start questioning if the Ministry really has control over them.”
“Potter lives in a muggle neighborhood, that works in Fudge’s favor. He can just claim Potter’s making it up,” I countered. “Plus if the Dark Lord didn’t send the Dementors, who did?”
“That is something I do not have an answer to.”
Well it wasn’t terribly enlightening but I had other concerns to voice. “Black thinks your information is wrong.” Snape rolled his eyes. “What if he’s right?” He narrowed his eyes at me. “What if the Dark Lord doesn’t trust you?” Snape looked much less offended when I explained my reasoning.
“Always a possibility. However I am inclined to believe that while not fully trusting me, he does not think I am actively helping Dumbledore.” Snape eyed me critically. “Is this really what’s bothering you?” he asked in disbelief.
“I don’t want anything to happen to you,” I mumbled pathetically.
“Perhaps unnecessarily cruel was not so unnecessary,” Snape ridiculed. “Do not worry about me, I’m more than capable of surviving.” I still couldn’t stop feeling worried. “I’m going to be fine,” he said harshly. “I don’t have much of a choice since you wouldn’t make it a week without me.”
I let out a huff and rolled my eyes. ‘Black suspects something,’ I sent through the link. Snape raised an eyebrow at me. ‘He knows there’s something…er, between us.’
“Hardly anything to worry about,” Snape scoffed. I wasn’t so sure though. ‘What if someone else starts looking into it, like Dumbledore?’ “Too busy,” he replied, brushing off the idea. ‘Hermione?’ Snape considered that. “Unlikely.” ‘Not impossible. Remove any books from the library, even the restricted ones.’ “You’re underestimating my preparedness.”
“You’ve already –?”
“Long before now.” Well that was smart of him. I couldn’t help wondering how long you could keep a book checked out without Madam Pince hunting you down. Huh, maybe it was different for teachers. “Anything else?” Snape asked. I thought about Draco but Snape would just tell me I was worrying too much. “He’s fine,” Snape said, almost sounding sympathetic.
“There have been a couple dreams.” I let out a frustrated groan. “He’s fine. I saw him last week,” Snape assured me.
“She is confused more than anything. She’s torn between believing your story or thinking you’re under Dumbledore’s protection. But she doesn’t know why you would accept Dumbledore’s assistance. Let alone how you would convince Obolensky to lie for you.”
“All that from Legilimency?”
“Your…perspective does have its usefulness while reading her actions.” In other words, Snape was using my knowledge of Narcissa to figure her out. “You’ve been thinking of them more lately,” Snape added.
“I’m always thinking about them.” Bugger, how much had Snape seen?
“You had been more focused on Weasley.”
“I can think about more than one person at a time.”
“It was merely a surprising shift –”
“That doesn’t mean it came from a Death Eater,” I snapped.
“That was not what I was implying,” Snape replied cautiously. I mentally berated myself for losing my temper. “Are you angry?”
“No. Frustrated with myself. Sorry.”
“Spoken to Shacklebolt?’
“Yeah,” I answered, thankful of the subject change.
“Guilty or not?”
“I didn’t think it mattered to you.”
“If it matters to you, it matters to me.”
“Hell of a way to live.” I tended to overlook everything Snape had done for me or else I’d start feeling like I was –
“You’re not a burden,” Snape interrupted.
“Merlin, I hate that,” I complained.
“I’m not a fan of unwarranted guilt or self pity.”
“I don’t pity myself,” I said, glaring at him.
“But we agree on the unwarranted guilt?”
“Bugger off,” I muttered, looking away.
“Those little reminders of just how young and unremarkably ordinary you truly are. I find them encouraging time to time. I assume this means you are not going to tell me.”
“Hard to believe I used to enjoy that snarky behavior.” Snape gave me a doubtful look.
“Enjoy it?” he asked skeptically.
“It was a nice change from Lucius and Narcissa,” I replied, shrugging. “Why did you think I was always pestering you whenever you came around?”
“You were a child. I assumed being annoying was part of the package.” I laughed at Snape’s repulsed look, causing him to glare at me.
“You’d be a great dad,” I blurted out.
“I’d throttle them before their first birthday,” he said, looking at me like I was mental.
“No,” I replied, smirking. “You’d be great.”
“You’re being sentimental.”
“Sorry,” I apologized, rolling my eyes.
“Always so annoying,” he muttered darkly as he stood up.
“Yes. Before you get any worse.” He returned the chair to its usual position before facing me again. “Potter arrived this evening.”
“Yeah, the ranting scream fest gave it away.”
“As much as I loath saying this,” Snape began, “you should attempt to be friendly towards him.”
“You want me to be nice to Potter?” I asked suspiciously.
“I’m hoping it benefits you. It’s completely opposite of how any Death Eater feels. Perhaps it will help keep you from latching onto their emotions that feed on hate and contempt.”
“The less emotion I share with Death Eaters, the less likely I am to be swayed by them?”
“That’s the theory.”
“Dumbledore’s theory?” I questioned. Snape’s eyes narrowed and I knew I was right.
“It’s a logical theory. It isn’t going to hurt you to test it out. You’re in the same house and year as Potter. Not to mention both against the Dark Lord, it would be beneficial for you to get along. And then there’s the whole Weasley relationship.”
“You actually want me to befriend Potter,” I said in disbelief.
“You can start by using his first name.”
“I’m not being nice to Black,” I stated firmly.
“I’m not that cruel.”
“Fine,” I consented, “I’ll be nice to P-Harry.”
“Good. Now go get one of the Weasleys to let me out. Dealing with Lupin and Black is annoying.”
“Hypocrite,” I muttered, walking past him and out the door. He followed me down the stairs, but chose to stand against the wall when I poked my head in the kitchen. Mundungus and Tonks were the only non regulars left, well besides Potter…er, Harry, who was sitting next to Black. I suppose he was considered a regular now that he was spending the rest of the summer here. It seemed like every time I got used to all the people at Grimmauld Place, someone else was thrown in.
“Er…” I said, getting everyone’s attention. Potter didn’t look surprised to see me, meaning Hermione and Ron already handled that part. “Mr. Weasley, could you unlock the door?”
Mr. Weasley seemed to irritate Snape the least. Unsurprising I suppose, when the only other options were Mrs. Weasley, who always insisted Snape stay for dinner (much to Snape’s annoyance), Lupin and Black.
“Of course,” Mr. Weasley answered, standing up.
“He leaving already?” Black asked arrogantly. “No cutting remarks or sarcastic reminders?”
“Sirius,” Lupin growled.
‘Summon me a bright pink feather duster,’ I told Snape mentally. A second later it was placed in my left hand. I transferred it to my right then threw it at Black. “Want a matching bonnet and apron?” I mocked. I heard Snape give a quiet, appreciative chuckle, something he rarely did. Lupin however, did not look amused.
“Both of you, all three of you actually,” Lupin corrected, knowing Snape was beside me, “can surely go one night.”
I moved aside so Mr. Weasley could pass me. Snape followed him towards the front door as I entered the kitchen, taking a seat beside Fred who had a nice habit of sitting far away from Black. Mr. Weasley rejoined the room a minute later. Much to my annoyance, the conversation didn’t pick up like it had been prior to me opening the door.
“Feel free to talk again,” I said sarcastically after Mrs. Weasley placed a bowl of stew in front of me.
“You two don’t like each other?” Potter-Harry-whatever asked, glancing between me and Black.
“We’re absolutely smitten –” I began, callously.
“They’re both immature,” Lupin said, cutting me off. Black and I both gave him a dark look. “You’d think after a month they’d be through with it, apparently not.”
“You know, I can actually hear you,” I pointed out.
“The both of them need to be locked together in a room until they can act their age,” Lupin continued, acting as if he hadn’t heard me.
“Rather spend the day with Kreacher,” Black and I muttered at the same time, much to my disgust. Lupin let out an amused scoff.
“They’re too much alike.” I glared threateningly at Lupin. “Ignore each other if you can’t be civil,” he added before Black could speak.
The meal continued and the conversation did pick up. I mostly listened to the twins and Ron talking to Mundungus. I did notice Potter, I mean Harry, Merlin this was stupid, curse Dumbledore and Snape for their stupid theory. Harry was mainly talking to Black. How was I supposed to befriend him if he was best mates with the person I hated most in this bloody house? It’s not that I had something against Harry, he seemed like a decent chap, it’s just I really didn’t like Black and surely godfather outweighed best friend’s brother’s romantic interest. Maybe at Hogwarts it would be easier. I suppose I could at least act decent to Harry for a few weeks until then.
“Nearly time for bed, I think,” Mrs. Weasley said after dessert.
Black didn’t agree. He turned to speak to Harry. “I thought the first thing you’d do when you got here would be to start asking questions about Voldemort.”
The whole atmosphere in the kitchen changed. The Weasley parents tried to keep information from their children, was Black going to do the opposite? Being Harry’s godfather sort of made him in charge of Harry, didn’t it? Was more information about Order business about to be shared? Mrs. Weasley obviously didn’t approve. She tried to send all her children upstairs, unsuccessfully though, except in Ginny’s case. I was certain Hermione would share whatever was said anyways.
Honestly, I was less than impressed. Maybe Snape was telling me more than he was supposed to. I already knew the Dark Lord was lying low, trying not to draw attention to himself. And that he was rebuilding his army while the Order was trying to recruit people too. Snape had also informed me that Fudge believed Dumbledore was building an army. The only thing of interest was Black letting it slip that the Dark Lord had other plans he was concentrating on, something besides gaining followers.
“Stuff he can only get by stealth.”
Guard duty. The Order was guarding two things, well one now that Harry was here. So this “weapon,” that’s what the other item was. What else would the Dark Lord possibly need? And who had it now if the Order could only guard it?
I’m almost certain Black would have told Harry everything if Mrs. Weasley hadn’t returned. Even against her children’s protest, she directed us all up to bed.
A/N: The quotes are from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, Chapter 5, The Order of the Phoenix.
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