The big grim-like dog as suddenly no more. Instead, in its place, was a tall man with black hair, ice gray eyes, and a huge grin.
"Hello Harry," said Sirius as he pulled his godson into an embrace.
"What are you doing here?" asked Harry as they separated.
"That," interjected Severus, "is the exact question I was planning to ask." Severus took his wand and fixed it on Sirius.
"Snape, I believe, though I would love to hex you myself, that we called a truce."
"Just because I called a truce with you doesn't mean I want to see your face. Answer my question. Why are you here?"
"Dumbledore needed a powerful and deadly accurate auror."
"So why the hell are you here?"
In a blinks time, Sirius pulled out his wand and shouted, "Expelliarmus!" Severus was disarmed before he could react. Black was fast for someone with mental capacity of a child.
Sirius continued his explanation of his presence in the tiny cottage. "Dumbledore needed a wizard with defense skills at an auror's level and someone who didn't trust the ministry. Now, Snape, what are you doing here. I was told Harry was staying with a trusted Hogwart's teacher. Why are you here and where is that trusted teacher?"
Snape just sneered at Sirius. He would have hexed him but his wand was in the hands of the accused convict. "Black, give me my wand. I won't curse you. . . for now. We need to straighten out some things with Dumbledore. I believe he will be here shortly."
"Then you can have your wand back then," said Sirius as he pocketed the Potions Master's wand. He turned to Harry, who was standing silently next to the sofa. "So Harry, how was the train ride home?"
"Fine," said Harry who proceeded to sit down. "Malfoy and his gang decided to harass us, which was a bad idea on their part."
"What did you do to them?" asked Sirius, sitting down next to his Godson. Severus sat down in the corner of the room, a dark scowl etched on his face.
"I simply hexed them. So did Ron, Hermione, Fred, and George. Hexes have extremely weird effects when you mix them," Harry smiled at the thought of Crabbe with tiny tentacles all over his face.
"Oh Harry," said Sirius, feigning overwhelming emotional happiness. "You've made me so proud!" Sirius wiped a fake tear from his eyes before throwing his arms around the boy.
"Get off dog breath!" said Harry as his Godfather started to smother him into the couch.
"Oh Merlin," mumbled Severus as he rolled his eyes. He stood up and walked upstairs.
"Oh good," said Sirius, as he released Harry from a headlock. "I thought that would get the git to leave."
"Why did Dumbledore stick me with him? He knows we hate each other," said Harry as he straightened his glasses.
"Your guess is as good as mine," said Sirius as he spun his wand between his fingers.
"When did you get a new wand?" asked Harry as he noticed Sirius' new piece of wizarding equipment.
"A few days ago," said Sirius as he stopped spinning the wand to look at it. "I used a glamour spell and turn into Remus. It's nice having a wand finally. I really miss my old one, though. I had some good times with that thing."
Harry smirked. He was sure Sirius used his wand more for pranks and trouble making then for actual learning.
"I didn't know you were an auror," said Harry.
"Yeah, I was for about five years. I got accepted into the training program right after I left Hogwarts."
"Did you always want to be an auror?"
Sirius' usual grin slowly faded from his face.
"No. When I was a kid, I wanted to play professional quidditch."
"What made you change your mind?"
Sirius took a deep breath before answering.
"My dad was an auror. I changed my mind about what I wanted to be in my fourth year. My dad was assigned to a group that mainly went after deatheaters. I got a letter at school saying that he and his team were ambushed . . ." Sirius trailed off. "My dad was killed along with three other aurors."
Harry looked over at Sirius. His usually bright face was dulled with sadness. Harry wished he hadn't brought it up.
"Sirius," said Harry as he placed a hand on his godfather's arm. "Sirius, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring it up. I . . ."
"No Harry," said Sirius, his face brightening a little. "It's okay, you didn't know. Anyway, decided to be an auror so I could catch deatheaters and put them in Azkaban. And I did, too. I caught six of Voldemort's closest supporters. So anyway, what do you want to do after school?"
"Well," said Harry. "The only thing I'm good at is quidditch."
"I could see you as a pro seeker. Probably could play for England if you wanted. Merlin knows they could use you. They got slaughtered this last cup."
"Did you play on the house team at Hogwarts?" asked Harry.
"Yeah. I was a beater."
"Big surprise there," said Harry.
Both suddenly looked up when they saw Severus and Dumbledore walking down the stairs.
"Albus," said Sirius, watching the headmaster sit in the armchair in the corner. "When did you get here?"
"Just a few minutes ago. The fireplace in Severus' room is connected to the floo network for the next hour, so I can't stay long. Oh and Severus," Dumbledore looked from Sirius to Snape, who was sitting on the arm of the sofa. "Remember to put those antiapperation wards around the cottage."
"Hello Harry," said Dumbledore, turning to Harry. "I hope your trip went well."
"Well, the train ride was fine," said Harry.
"I am sorry you had to come on such short notice. It really couldn't be helped."
"It's okay. I'd rather stay here. I have a feeling that this summer with the Dursleys wouldn't have been too much fun."
Sirius glanced at Harry for a moment. He'd have to ask him about that later.
"Well, you'll be happy to know that Sirius will be staying here for the remainder of the summer. As will Severus, at least for the time being," Dumbledore smiled at Harry. "Do make sure they don't kill each other. We need as many people possible on our side."
Sirius and Severus both turned and looked at each other. Harry saw the look they gave each other. At least he'd have something to do over the summer.
"Do I have to stay in here the whole time?" asked Harry. The prospect of staying in doors the whole summer was not appealing.
"Not necessarily," said Dumbledore. "The backyard is open for your use. There is also a muggle village down the road, though you can't go unless you are accompanied by Severus."
'Its better than being inside the whole time,' thought Harry, trying to stay optimistic.
"What will happen when I go back to school?"
"Hopefully," continued Dumbledore, "the matter will be cleared up by then. Best not to dwell too much on it, though. Just enjoy your summer."
Harry smiled but on the inside, he felt like screaming and running out the door. A whole summer confined to the care of Severus Snape. Azkaban almost sounded good. Thank God Sirius was there.
"Please stay in correspondence with me," said Dumbledore. "Anything unusual happened, I would like to hear about it. I would also like to know that your two guardians are still alive."
Harry nodded. Sirius smirked. Severus scowled.
"Don't forget the wards Severus. I must get back to Hogwarts. I'll see you three in a few weeks."
Dumbledore rose from his chair and turned to walk up the stairs. The three sat in silence for a while after the headmaster left. Severus was the first to break the silence.
Sirius turned his head.
"Yes grease head?"
"Go to Hell."
"I thought I was already there. I mean, I am stuck in a tiny cottage all summer with you."
"And do you think I'm happy to be here with you?"
Sirius cast a dark look at Severus.
"Black, give me my wand back," said Severus as he thrusted his hand out in front of Sirius' face. Without taking his eyes off the Professor, he reached into his robe pocket and pulled out the demanded wand. He shoved it into Severus' waiting hand which was withdrawn once contented. Severus stood up and walked towards the door.
"I'll return shortly. I'm going to put up those wards now."
Severus shut the door behind him. Sirius put his head in his hands and Harry could have sworn he heard "stupid bastard" come from his godfather's direction. Sirius suddenly looked up and at Harry.
"Why did he do it?" asked Sirius.
"Why did who do what?" said a puzzled Harry.
"Why did he stick Snape and I together? He even said himself that we'd probably kill each other. Sometimes I wonder if he's sane."
"I've been wondering that for the last four years. He seems to have his reason, but you usually don't figure out those reason until after the fact."
Sirius sighed heavily and leaned his head on the couch.
"Its okay Sirius," said Harry. "I'm just glad you're here. I don't think I could stay here with just Snape."
Just then, Snape re-entered the cottage.
"Mr. Potter," said Severus as he walked past the couch. "If you are hungry, I'd suggest following me. I am making dinner now."
Harry looked at Sirius.
"You'd better follow him. I can't cook so he's your best bet. Watch him though. Make sure he doesn't try and poison me."
"Black, you can make your own dinner. I was sent to care for Potter. I'm not your private cook. And no Potter, I'm not going to poison you so come eat or starve if you want. It makes not difference to me," Severus raised an eyebrow before disappearing into the kitchen.
"I can cook you something if you want," said Harry as he stood up. "I cooked for my relatives so I know what I'm doing."
"That's fine Harry. I'll get something later. I think I'm going to go to bed."
"Our room is the second on the left or at least that's where I'm sleeping. I'm assuming you'll be in there too."
Sirius smiled as he stood up.
"Goodnight Harry. I'll see you in the morning . . . if I'm still alive."
He squeezed Harry's shoulder before walking towards the stairs. Harry stood and watched him leave before turning his gaze on the kitchen. He could hear the clanging of pots. Harry took a deep breath before making his way to the kitchen.