Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Hindsight3 Reviews
Harry learns a new skill and tries his hand at a prank.
Severus floo'd into the kitchen expecting to find Harry having his lunch but when he found no sign of the boy he went looking. He'd been away for several days and wanted to check in with Lupin on the research they were doing. He could have done it by owl but told himself that it was more secure in person. The fact that he would see Harry Potter had nothing to do with it.
He found both Lupin and Harry in the library. Harry was huddled over a one foot square box, his face screwed up in concentration. Lupin was bent over a dusty tome.
"Lupin?" Severus said softly. Lupin grinned up at him and replied, "Amazing how focused he can be isn't it?"
"Indeed, may I ask just what it is he is focused on?" asked Severus dryly.
Lupin chuckled, "Curse breaking."
Severus caught himself just before he rolled his eyes, Black may act juvenile but he was not going to allow himself that sort of behavior. "Elucidate please," he said with a sneer.
"The Gringotts curse breaking team was here this last week. Two senior curse breakers, one Master Trainer and three apprentices," started Lupin.
"By Merlin, that must have cost a fortune," spat Severus.
"Not really, Sirius worked out a deal of some sort. There's a lot more dark stuff in the vault apparently. Sirius gets to pick what he wants to keep, the rest it will be auctioned after the curses are removed, the goblins get a third after the fees of the Senior Breakers are paid. The Master Trainer and apprentices we didn't pay for. I think they would have been willing to pay us once they got a look at some of the stuff"
Severus nodded his understanding with a pointed look wanting Lupin to get on with the story.
"Yes, well, anyway, we gathered the portable stuff together in the formal dining room and the Master Trainer, a goblin by the name of Sharptooth, set two of the apprentices to work. The two Senior Breakers followed by the third apprentice went through the house. Can you believe that they found two of the guest bedroom doorways cursed with nightmare hexes? And," he chuckled, "you'll like this there was an impotency hex on the doorway to Sirius's old bedroom. He hadn't been sleeping there. He'd cleaned the master bedroom and claimed it first thing simply because of the attached loo."
Severus grinned with Lupin for a moment.
"So every time we turned around, we found Harry watching the apprentices working and listening Sharptooth. Sirius was afraid that the goblin would be offended but next thing we know he'd talked Harry through setting up breakers wards around a cursed object and was telling him how to detect various curses and the steps to breaking it once identified. The box Harry's playing with is a training device."
"But that is well beyond anything a first year should be able to do," protested Severus.
Lupin shrugged, "Are you going to tell him he can't do it when it's obvious he can? Sharptooth said he doesn't have the power needed for a lot of the work but that there was nothing wrong with practicing. That he'd offer Harry a job now if he were a couple of years older. I doubt the apprentices with him liked Harry much. I kept hearing the phrase 'A child can do it' the rest of the time they were here."
Severus shook his head smiling at the boy as the lid popped open on the box.
"Okay, Harry lunch time," said Lupin.
"Sure, Remus, oh hello Professor. Look at this, it's a curse breakers practice box. I can get it about half the time, now. Sharptooth said when I get it all the time to let him know and he'll set it at a harder level. I think after we get rid of Voldemort I might want to be a curse breaker and explore tombs and stuff," said Harry as he led the way to the kitchen. "Of course I like potions too and Sirius is teaching me dueling. I'm not very good yet but I'm learning all kinds of neat spells. Sirius said you are pretty good at dueling could you give me some pointers sometime?"
"I would be happy to help you with dueling or potions. I do hope you are not neglecting your homework?" said Severus.
Harry rolled his eyes and said, "I'm doing it, Remus insisted on two hours a day toward homework since I can't really help with the research. Sirius doesn't want me to read the Dark Arts books yet. He said it can wait a couple of years. But don't you think I'll need to know to beat Voldemort?"
Severus sighed, "Harry as much as I hate to agree with Black, I think that he is correct on this matter. The Dark Arts can be very seductive. The Prophecy says that you will have a power he doesn't. He is very familiar with the Dark Arts. In a few years you should have a basic grounding in them but for now let's concentrate on alternatives, yes?"
"All right, Professor, I guess you're right but I wanted to help," said Harry reaching for the sandwiches. "So what have you been doing, is it something secret?"
"Not secret, Harry, I went to harvest some fairly rare ingredients. I go every year at this time."
"Brilliant will you tell me about it?" asked Harry.
The rest of lunch was spent with Severus recounting his fairly boring trip to a botanical preserve in Bolivia.
"I've found hints, Severus, of rituals to re-embody him but nothing concrete. Most are too horrible to contemplate. I've not found a way to destroy him without first allowing him to be re-embodied. A simple banishment won't work, I'm afraid," said Lupin in the library after lunch.
"I was afraid of that. We shall have to wait until he returns then. Albus convinced Flamel to destroy the stone. So that method is out, I removed the bones of his father which negated the original ritual. I suppose I must inquire of Albus if he's had any luck tracking the wraith. I know he had feelers out. Unfortunately I cannot make inquiries within the Death Eater circles as I allowed Malfoy believe I was in contact with the Dark Lord when he inhabited Quirrell's body. It is how I acquired the diary Horcrux. Perhaps an alternate," he trailed off in thought.
"I will keep looking, Severus. Perhaps we can narrow down the choice some. On another topic, you are aware that Harry may decide to seek out the basilisk this coming year?" said Lupin.
Severus sighed, "Yes I will be keeping a close watch on the brat. I shouldn't have mentioned it but Black-- well excuses aside, I will be keeping an eye on Lockhart as well. My information was that he is a fraud and used memory charms but he, I, my future self was interrupted before I received all the information."
"I suppose that will have to do," said Lupin.
"Lupin, I still believe you are dangerous and dislike the idea of you endangering the students but you would be infinitely better than that fool Lockhart. You might actually be useful in containing Harry's enthusiastic snake hunt, as well."
Lupin nodded but said, "I do appreciate the Wolfsbane every month, Severus. Please do let me know if there is anything I can do for you."
"Oh, I plan to," said Severus with sneer, "you will be making it up to me forever."
Lupin just laughed and Severus wondered for a moment if he was losing his touch.
Draco has been rather inconsolable about Slytherin's loss of the Quidditch cup this year. My understanding is that it was the poor performance of your seeker. Perhaps you should look to replacing him this coming year.
In the spirit of supporting alumni I would like to donate a complete set of new brooms for the team. I believe that the Nimbus 2001 would be an excellent choice and aid in the team's performance.
Please let me know if this would be agreeable.
Severus straightened up from the book he was looking at and glanced at his watch. "Lupin, I have a portkey to catch shortly. I believe I will be going."
Lupin stretched and said, "I should look in on Harry and his friends. They've been very quiet this morning."
"Just where is Black today?" asked Severus with a sneer.
"Wizengamot meeting. The Blacks and Potters both have seats and Sirius in managing them now."
Severus shuddered, "Black in government frightens me."
Lupin chuckled, "Well yeah, but it gets him out of the house."
"Where is Harry?" asked Severus. "I should speak to him before I leave."
"The reception room two doors down on the left, he seems to have decided to claim it as a study or club room," said Lupin with a grin and turned back to his book.
Severus hesitated outside of the open door a moment then slowly stepped into the doorway. Four heads; messy black, bushy brown, red and light brown huddled together whispering softly.
Severus had been a teacher long enough to recognize mayhem in the planning stage. He cleared his throat and watched the pre-teens jump guiltily. Longbottom paled, Weasley flushed, Granger bit at her lip and Potter, well, Severus had seen that all too innocent expression on the elder Potter all too often.
"Mr. Potter, just what sort of mayhem are you planning?" he asked silkily.
"Nothing, Professor," Harry replied.
"Hmm, I don't think that I believe you. Is this something I should be worried about? Mass destruction in the halls of Hogwarts, possible death and dismemberment of your friends or yourself?" he asked eyes narrowed.
"Oh, no sir," said Harry eyes widening, the other three shaking their heads as well.
"I see, not a risk to life and limb for myself, either?"
Harry smirked just a bit, "No sir, you aren't at risk."
"Very well, I will allow you to continue in just a moment, I only wanted to leave this with you as I will be gone for the next week," said Snape smirking as well and withdrawing a book shaped package from a pocket.
"A week?" repeated Harry with a bit of dismay.
"I have a potions convention in Madrid and will be doing some research while I am gone. I wanted you to have this before I left," said Severus.
"Thank you, Professor, please be careful," said Harry politely.
Severus turned and swept from the room and faint, "Carry on," drifting behind. He stopped just outside of view to listen.
"Bloody hell, I thought we were caught," said Weasley.
"We were caught. I can't believe a teacher, that teacher, encouraged you Harry," said Granger, "he can't possibly realize that were planning a prank on your godfather.
"You never said why you wanted to prank Lord Black at your party, Harry," said Longbottom softly.
"Sirius loves pranks but he doesn't know when to stop and can be mean about it," said Harry.
"What do you mean?" asked Granger. Severus wondered the same thing. If Black had been pranking Harry he'd need to talk with Lupin before leaving.
"Sirius pranked the downstairs loo the other day. He knows that the Professor uses it before tea when he's here researching with Professor Lupin. Only I went in there first and when I lifted the lid on the toilet, well this monster jumped out," said Harry. When the other three laughed he whined, "It wasn't funny. I had to go pretty bad. That's the only reason I when in there in the first place and then well, I didn't have to go anymore but I had to change my clothes. Sirius has to pay!"
Severus smothered a laugh. Black had no idea what he was in for.
"Ah, Severus how was your conference?" asked Dumbledore at breakfast.
"Very entertaining, Verecime and Pontificus dueled over the uses of bloodwort and Madam Sodaca attempted to poison me again," replied Severus.
"I do wish I could spare the time to attend one year, it sounds like so much fun," said Dumbledore eyes twinkling.
"I also heard Vladimir had quite a few unicorn parts. Several unicorns were found dead in those forests of his. Something has been attacking them and draining their blood," said Severus.
Dumbledore turned thoughtful. "I expect that Voldemort has acquired a new host then and will soon attempt to return to Britain. Well done, Severus."
Severus bowed slightly, "I shall of course keep my ears open."
"Of course, tell me have you heard anything from other sources?" asked the Headmaster.
Severus snorted, "The only thing on Lucius's mind is buying his son's way on to the Quidditch team."
Dumbledore frowned, "Well that is strictly up to you; however you need to handle it to keep those lines of communication open. Well I must be going, paperwork waits for no man."
Severus sneered at the man's back as he walked away. Lines of communications indeed.
Thank you for the offer of team brooms. I look forward to house wide tryouts for all the positions. Being able to mount even the students who cannot afford their own brooms on such excellent models will allow us to field the best of players and take back the cup.
Would you like the donation to be anonymous so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety should Draco's skills earn him a place on the team?
That afternoon Severus floo'd to Grimmauld Place. He passed a neon green Black nursing a cup of coffee with a nod, barely suppressing his amused laugh. In the library he greeted Lupin. "I couldn't help but notice Black's color seems off today," he said the corners of his mouth twitching.
Lupin sighed, "Is he green again?"
"Brightly," said Severus with a smirk, "a prank gone wrong?"
"Harry, I think. It's been happening with alarming regularity since his birthday party three days ago. You wouldn't know anything about it would you?"
"I might have noticed some plotting," said Severus.
"You didn't help?" asked Lupin dryly.
"No, I wasn't asked to help," said Severus.
"I'll be back in a minute," said Lupin. When he returned he had Harry with him.
"Hi, Professor, welcome back. Did you have fun?" greeted Harry.
"Harry," Lupin interrupted, "Sirius is green again. Don't you think this has gone on long enough?"
Black entered the room as well and whined, "What did I ever do to you to deserve this, Harry?"
The boy's face took on a stubborn look. "Sirius, you pranked the downstairs loo and caught me. It was mean."
"I wasn't trying for you, Harry," said Black with a glare at Severus.
"No, you were trying for my friend, Professor Snape. He's been nice to you and you tried to be mean," said Harry.
"If he put you up to this-" started Black.
"You like pranks, Sirius, I only did something I thought you'd enjoy," answered Harry sweetly. Black sighed and sank into a chair with a very rude sound. Black grimaced again.
"What about that sound?" he asked.
Harry shrugged, "The jinx is on the seat of your pants not the chairs. I didn't realize that you didn't change them every day."
Lupin dropped his head into his hands with a groan and Severus shook his head. "Beaten by a twelve year old, Black, you should be ashamed."
Black pouted, while Lupin snickered slightly and said, "But don't you think he's suffered enough now, Harry?"
Harry rolled his eyes, "I put the color change potion in the whiskey decanter, if he'd stop drinking he'd stop turning green. He was green by eleven on the day of my party. That can't be good."
Black blinked and Lupin's expression changed rapidly.
"Did you know he was drinking that much?" asked Severus.
Lupin shook his head but Harry nodded, "I don't like the smell, it scares me."
Severus's eyes narrowed, "Why does it scare you, Harry?"
Harry looked away, "Uncle Vernon gets really mean when he drinks. It's best to disappear then."
Severus and Lupin both looked at Black who cringed and then said, "Dump the whiskey. I'm going to go shower and change and-- and then we'll have a long talk, Harry, all right? I don't want you to ever be scared of me."
While it is certainly laudable to open all the positions to try outs, Draco has his heart set on playing Seeker this coming year. I am sure that someone of his skills and talent will gain the position.
I will have the brooms delivered by September 1st.
Severus crumpled the parchment and pulled out his quill.
I look forward to seeing Draco compete with the other members of the house. I am sure we will field only the most competent. I will suggest that each prospective player try for a variety of spots. I'm sure with Draco's talent he could easily play chaser as well.
Severus poked his head into the small receiving room Harry had claimed for his own and observed the boy pouring over a large tome. He quietly walked up and peered down at the book over the boy's shoulder. A lurid drawing of a basilisk gazed up at him and he cleared his throat.
Harry slammed the book shut and looked up. "Hello, Professor I didn't know you were coming over today."
Severus smiled faintly, "I did not plan to until I received this in the mail today. Would you mind opening it for me?" He held up an envelope.
Harry looked at the letter and asked, "Is this another parseltongue one, sir? You never did explain the last time." Severus merely nodded.
Harry hissed at the letter which unsealed. Severus raised on eyebrow and asked, "I don't see your snake, Harry. I thought you had to see a snake to speak parseltongue."
"I did at first but I've been talking to Hiss and figured out the trick to it. I just have to concentrate on a snake not actually see one anymore," said Harry with a smile.
"That is excellent," said Snape a hint of pride in his voice as he tucked the now unsealed letter into his pocket. "Did you want to hear about this spell?"
"Yes, please," said Harry.
"Voldemort taught all of the Death Eaters the enchantment so that we could send secure messages. The only way to open one is by parseltongue or by touching it to the Dark Mark. Since I no longer where the Mark I must ask you to open each letter," said Severus.
Harry nodded in understanding and asked, "So do you think it's good news or bad news or just an old mate saying hello?"
"I believe it is from someone who gives me information on Lucius Malfoy's intrigues in the Death Eaters social circles since I am not included in such things. I usually receive updates from him every three to six months. I will read it after we've finished speaking," answered Severus relaxing back into his chair and eying Harry.
Harry glanced away down at the book in front of him and then back up at the professor.
"What else did you want to talk about, sir?" he asked.
"Did you read the book I gave you just before your birthday?" asked Severus deciding on an alternate tactic.
Harry blinked and slowly nodded the said, "Uhuh, yeah, it was sort of boring though and I didn't understand all of it."
Severus nodded as well, "I didn't expect you to. The art of Occlumency is well beyond what is considered appropriate for your age but I thought perhaps making a start on it might be worth the time. If you'd like I would be willing to teach it to you this coming term. Even if you cannot master it the practice will allow you to sense someone trying to probe your thoughts."
Harry smiled, "I'd like that, Professor. I like spending time with you."
The corners of Severus's mouth tipped up and he said, "I do not mind spending time with you either, Harry. However, I believe that I must asked you about your research as well." He indicated the book on the table.
"Oh, I--" started Harry.
Severus held up a hand to forestall the torrent of excuses that was sure to come. He slid out of the chair on to one knee and placed a hand on Harry's arm. "I will not tell you that you cannot look for the snake. I will request that if-- when you find the entrance to the chamber you tell me and allow me to accompany you. Mr. Potter-- Harry, this," he pulled up his left sleeve exposing the Mark there, "binds us together, please allow me to help you, to protect you in this adventure and I promise I won't try to stop you."
Harry laid a small hand over the Mark. "That's not fair, Professor. You don't owe me anything but I'll promise you can help. I don't want to kill the basilisk though."
Severus's eyes gleamed as he patted Harry's hand then drew himself back into his chair and pushed down his sleeve. Emotional blackmail it might be but Harry Potter wouldn't be eaten by a bloody big snake if he had anything to say about it.