Chapter 3 : Keeping the Peace
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Harry walked into the kitchen, where Snape was busying himself with making their evening meal. Harry silently sat down at the table in the corner and watched his professor. Snape chose to ignore Harry's presence in the kitchen. Instead, he went about with preparing the meal. He had no idea what the boy wanted to eat. He decided on spaghetti. It was easy enough to make and being Potions Master had its advantages when cooking.
Harry found it particular that Snape didn't use magic when he cooked. He assumed that all non-muggles did. Snape didn't seem the type to use muggle techniques.
"Are you allergic to anything Potter?" asked Severus without turning around.
"No sir," answered Harry.
"Where did Black go?"
"Upstairs. He went to bed."
Again, they were together in silence. Severus took his eyes off of the meal briefly and glanced over at Harry. So this was the ministry's new target. The words from Fudge ran through Severus's mind.
" . . . The boy's dangerous . . . raving lunatic . . . He had something to do with Diggory's death. Dumbledore, we have no choice but to question him . . . the wizarding community needs answers . . ."
Severus shook his head as he looked back down at the almost done meal. Potter may be arrogant and bigheaded but he wasn't a lunatic or a murderer. He was too much of a damn Gryffindor to be that. It's Fudge who's the raving lunatic. 'It's Fudge's fault that I'm stuck with Potter and his homicidal Godfather. Damn him,' thought Severus as he put a lid on the simmering sauce. He picked up a pot of noodles and drained them in the sink.
"Um . . . Professor?" said Harry quietly.
"What Potter," said Severus in his usual annoyed tone.
"I was . . . well . . . do you need any help?" asked Harry. He didn't want to be a burden to anyone, even if it was Snape.
"Oh . . . you can get out some plates and silver wear. I'm not sure where they are. They should be in one of the cabinets over there," Severus pointed to his left without turning around.
Harry made no reply. Instead, he stood up and walked over to where Snape had pointed. He looked through a few drawers and cupboards until he found some plates, glasses, and silver wear. He got a pair of each and walked back over to the table. He set two places across from each other and returned to his seat.
"Get some milk and butter from the refrigerator," said Severus as he poured the drained noodles into a bowl.
Harry nodded and walked over to the fridge. He pulled out a half full quart of milk and a tray of butter. He walked back over and set them on the table. Snape had set the noodles and sauce on the table and was already helping himself to them. Harry sat down and waited patiently for his professor to finish. He piled some noodles and sauce on his plate and the two began to eat in silence. Severus looked up from his own plate to the boy on the other side of the table. Harry was moving the noodles around on his plate with a fork. He didn't seem too interested in actually eating.
"What Potter? The food not good enough for you?" said Snape with a sneer.
Harry snapped out of what ever he was in and looked up and his professor.
"Oh, sorry. No, it's good. Sorry," said Harry before shoveling in a large bite. He wasn't lying. The food was very good. Way beyond Harry's expectations. Cooking was definitely one of Snape's fortes. They both ate in silence for the rest of the meal. Severus finished his meal first and left Harry in the kitchen by himself. Harry ate a little more before empting the content of his plate into the garbage can. He looked over to the table and decided to make himself useful. He walked past the door to the living room and saw that Snape was sitting on the couch, staring into the fire. Harry shrugged and started to clear off the table, putting the leftovers in the fridge. He knew Sirius would probably be hungry later.
Severus was brought of his slight daze by the sound of pots banging together. He got up from the couch and looked in through the kitchen door. Harry was at the sink, washing the dishes from their meal. Severus watched Harry for a few moments, slightly awed. He had taken in the initiative to be helpful. Not something he would expect from Potter. He moved from the door and walked back to the couch.
Harry finished cleaning and drying the last plate in the sink. He turned and wiped the table off with the rag in his hand, and then hung the rag on the handle of the stove. He left the kitchen and walked past Snape to the stairs. He took one last look at his professor before climbing the steps. Harry walked past the first door on the left and entered through the second door. He briefly looked around the room. It had two beds, one that was now occupied by his sleeping godfather, in each corner. In the middle of the two beds was a window. In front of the unoccupied bed was Harry's now normal sized luggage. Harry walked over to Sirius's bed and smiled at his sleeping figure. Sirius had one arm thrown over his eyes and one leg off the side of the bed. He looked really uncomfortable but he seemed to be sleepy soundly. Harry walked over to his trunk and pulled out a pair of pajamas. He got changed and slipped into bed. His last thought as he slowly fell asleep was of the summer to come and how he was possibly going to get through it.
Harry was woken up by the sound of two raised voices drifting in from downstairs. Knowing exactly who the voices belonged to, Harry hurriedly got dressed and rushed downstairs. His first sight as he got to the living room was Sirius physically holding Snape against the wall and Snape with his hands around Sirius's neck, both their wands lying on the floor.
Harry ran down and grabbed the back of Sirius's sweater.
"Let him go Snape!" yelled Harry as he tried to pull Sirius away.
"Tell him to let go of me!" yelled Severus as he tightened his grip around Sirius's neck.
"Sirius! Come on, let go!" Harry gave the back of Sirius's sweater a huge tug and pulled his Godfather off of Snape and onto himself. Harry and Sirius landed on each other on the floor with a huge thud.
"Get off of me," choked out Harry as he tried to push Sirius off on top of him.
Sirius got up and tried to lunge at Snape again. Harry reacted faster and grabbed Sirius's knees before he could pin Snape against the wall again.
"Harry let go," said Sirius, looking down at Harry with a pleading gaze.
Snape used this distraction to run over and grab his wand off the floor. He took it up in his hand and pointed it at Sirius.
"Don't move Black or you'll be nothing but a bloody stain on the floor," said Snape with an especially malicious glare in his eyes.
"You would never," said Sirius. Harry let go of his knees and crawled over to where his Godfather's forgotten wand lay.
"Watch me," said Snape with a sneer.
Harry grabbed Sirius's wand and pointed it at the two furious adults. He shouted a disarming spell and Snape's wand flew into Harry's open hand.
"Potter, give me my wand!"
"No Professor. You're acting like a child."
"Nice job Harry," said Sirius, drawing himself away from the enraged potions master. "Give me my wand and I'll make sure he doesn't try anything stupid."
"No, you're not getting your wand back either," said Harry as he pocketed the two wands. "You're acting as bad as him." Harry pointed towards Snape.
Sirius looked astounded.
"Come on Harry. You're defending him?"
"No," said Harry shaking his head. "I'm defending both of you. If you do something serious to Snape, you'll end up in Azkaban, leaving me alone with no guardians. If he were to do something to you, you wouldn't be any better off. Both of you need to knock it off."
Snape was shocked by Harry's actions. He was protecting his hated Potion's master.
"As much as I am awed by your honorable actions and intentions, I don't need a wand to dismember your precious godfather," said Snape as he took a seat in the armchair.
"Cut the tough talking shit Snape and leave Harry out of this," said Sirius as he also sat down.
"Both of you cut the shit," said Harry. The minute the words left his mouth, he regretted it. "Sorry, what I meant to say is that this summer is going to be tough. It's not going to get any better if I have to break up fights between you two every minute of the day."
"As much as I hate to admit it," said Snape as he ran a hand through his greasy hair, "Harry is right."
"Yeah," said Sirius as he did the same. "Sorry Harry. I know this wasn't your choice. I guess I can try and make this summer easier for you."
Harry swore he heard Snape concur.
"So if I give you your wands back, you promise not to hex each other?"
Snape and Sirius both nodded reluctantly. Harry threw each their wand and watched as they both pocketed them while eyeing each other suspiciously.
"What started this whole thing or do I even want to know?" asked Harry as he sat down next to Sirius on the couch.
"Oh you know," began Sirius. "There was an exchange of words. I called him a greasy git and he called me a murdering bastard. You know, the usual."
"No really, why were you about to kill each other?"
Snape and Sirius both shot each other nasty glances and then looked back to Harry. Snape decided to speak first.
"Black doesn't seem to think that your situation is that dire and was talking about a trip to Diagon Alley today."
"And that's the reason you were going to strangle him? Because he wanted to take me to Diagon Alley?"
"Well, no," said Sirius. "That's not all. He decided to make a comment of how I have never grown up and that I can't treat you like one of my brain dead friends."
"Yes, that is what I said," said Snape. "But if you had waited and listened to the rest of my explanation, you wouldn't have shot off those comments about me being a slimy deatheater and I wouldn't have tried to strangle you."
"I would have called you a slimy deatheater anyway, but what else would you have had to say that would make the situation better?"
"I was going to say you can't treat Harry like one of your friends. He's not James and he has so much more to lose. I was going to ask you to respect the fact that Lily and James died for the boy and not to screw it up."
Sirius started to say something but realized that Snape was right. Oh Merlin, Sirius was agreeing with Snape. He looked over at Harry and saw that his face had suddenly faded into a somber expression. Snape looked at the two on the couch and left the room without a word.
Harry and Sirius both sat in silence. Sirius felt ashamed for thinking that he could do anything and it would make Harry feel better. He felt guilty for not having more concern for Harry's situation. Harry had other things on his mind.
"I'm confused," said Harry. "You call Snape a deatheater all the time, and at one time, he was one. Surely that couldn't have made him so angry."
"Well, I did more than call him a slimy deatheater. From what we were talking about yesterday, you know, about my dad, I just kind of blew up."
"What else did you say?"
"I was so mad, I don't really remember. I said something like 'Harry wouldn't be in this situation if James and Lily were still alive' and went on and on about how it was partly his fault."
"Sirius," said Harry, shocked. "What made you say that?"
"I was angry."
"Snape didn't have anything to do with their death, did he?"
"I don't know," said Sirius. "It really made him angry, though. I wouldn't ask him about it if I were you."
Harry smiled slightly but couldn't help think about that question. He knew Snape had been a deatheater but never had considered the fact that he could have had something to do with the death of his parents.
"Anyway, I wish we could have gone to Diagon Alley. I really don't know what I'm going to do all summer."
"Don't worry," said Sirius. "We'll figure something out."
The grumbling in his stomach interrupted Harry's thoughts. He looked over at his Godfather.
"Hey, are you hungry?" asked Harry as he stood up.
"Yeah, actually I am. I didn't get to eat last night."
"Okay, I'll make breakfast today. If Snape cooks anymore, you'll starve to death."
"By the way, how was his cooking? You're still alive so obviously the food was safe to eat."
"Actually," said Harry, "it was really good. He is a really good cook. A lot better than my aunt at least."
At that moment, Snape re-entered the room. Harry and Sirius both looked at each other and went into the kitchen.
Harry cooked a large breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, potatoes, oatmeal, and waffles. He placed all the food on the table and left Sirius to eat. He cautiously walked into the living room. Snape was sitting on the sofa, reading a book. Harry cleared his throat causing Snape to look up. He seemed slightly annoyed.
"Would you like to come and eat Professor?" asked Harry.
"I'd love to Potter but I don't think I could keep it down if I had to look at Black any more than I have to," said Snape as he returned his gaze to his book.
Harry returned to the kitchen and got out two plates. He filled one with food and walked back into the living room. He set the food on the side table next to Snape and went back into the kitchen.
Snape continued to look down at his book until Harry had returned to the kitchen. Curse the boy for not taking no for an answer. Snape looked over at the plate of hot food to his right. It smelled good and he was hungry. Snape took the plate and prodded the food with his fork. It looked edible. Snape took a bite and was surprised. It was good. It was really good. Where on earth had Potter learned to cook?
Sirius was on his third helping of food when he stopped stuffing his face to say something.
"You are officially making meals for the rest of the summer."
"So it's good then?" asked Harry.
Sirius nodded and smiled as he shoved more eggs into his mouth.
"So what are we going to do all day," asked Harry looking up at his godfather.
Sirius smiled and looked towards the kitchen door.
"Let's get Snape to loosen up."
"Yeah right, Sirius," said Harry shaking his head.
"Okay, then let's annoy the living hell out of the git."
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by Orion Black