"Why are you here?" Severus demanded, already wondering if he'd have to send Gavroche out for firewood because if his fears were true, Black was apparently moving into the neighborhood and he'd have no choice but to burn it to the ground. That was if Gordon didn't get there first, as from what he understood Black had already pissed off two of the most prominent members of this neighborhood besides himself. Black would be lucky if he lasted the night.
"Why, we're all here to help Sirius move into his new house." Albus said simply, as if he expected Severus to be giddy at the response.
"Why here, Albus?" He hissed. "Why not anywhere else?" He finished, ignoring the look of mild alarm on Gavroche's face.
"The ministry has Sirius's money tied up at the moment, Severus." Albus explained, as if hoping to earn some sympathy from Severus. "And as precaution against those who wish to harm Sirius, as there are many out there who still believe him guilty, the ministry has decided Sirius must stay near another wizard."
Severus scowled deeply. "And why can't one of his mates take him in?"
Black returned Severus's glare. "Believe me, Snape, if there was any other option I'd have taken it."
"But what of all those mates of yours, dog? Have they so quickly abandoned you?" Severus taunted.
"At least I've got mates." Black spat, his face curling up into a vicious mask.
"As do I, Black. The only difference, it seems, is that mine are true as are all Slytherins- and that yours abandoned you." He pointed out. "Why can't you live with the wolf?"
"If you haven't forgotten, you got Remus fired!"
"If you haven't forgotten, Lupin should have taken his damn wolfsbane potion!" Severus barked.
"Maybe if you didn't make such disgusting rubbish, he'd actually be able to stomach it!"
"Then you can make the damn potion for him, if you don't feel I am doing an adequate job." Severus drawled, knowing full-well that he'd still make the damn wolfsbane potion for Lupin as Albus would not have it any other way.
"Monkshood taste awful, how is Severus supposed to make it taste good?" Gavroche piped up, reminding Severus that the six year old was still beside him. "Hardly any potions taste good."
"This doesn't involve you." Black spat at the child, but Gavroche stood his ground.
"I think the pepper-up potion tastes gross, but I still drink it without complaint because I'm not a whiner. If he's a werewolf, he really should be taking his potion." Gavroche argued, a defiant look on his face that served to further enrage Black.
"Yes, I should have." Lupin obliged, a contrite look on his face. "And I assure you, it hasn't happened since."
"I bet you're tired." The boy said knowingly. "The luna magna vena flowers are getting big."
"Have you been in the magical side of my garden without permission?" Severus demanded, looking down at the boy who kept a straight face despite being caught in a lie. Gavroche was clearly a born Slytherin.
"Yes, but I didn't touch anything and I stayed away from the Devil's Snare. I just like to sleep in there, because no one looks for me there."
"But don't your parents like for you to be at home with them?" Molly foolishly asked, as if it were not obvious that Gavroche's parents were awful people. Why would Gavroche be sleeping out in a garden if it were otherwise?
"Don't you think I'd sleep at home if that were the case?" The boy asked, raising a dirty eyebrow.
Molly looked flustered and horrified, and Severus felt no pity. What type of answer was she expecting? Not everyone had the luxury of parents who cared about their children's well-being.
"Don't be sad." Gavroche pleaded. "Elise takes good care of me." He smiled, trying to assure Molly that his life wasn't as awful as it was. The boy was a talented actor, and Molly's horror lessoned to unease. While Elise did take good care of him, there were parts of the day that she simply couldn't be around for the boy. She had to work didn't she? He was pulled from his dark thoughts as Gavroche hacked and hacked into his tattered sleeve in a sickly manner.
"I think potions are in order after I am done here." Severus drawled, wondering how croup managed to evade his efforts to eradicate it.
"Can I help make it?" Gavroche looked hopeful, his voice creaky but excited.
"I've already some premade, Gavroche. You can assist me in brewing the mandrake draught." Severus responded. "As it is your magical abilities far outweigh most of the third-years I teach." He was honest as always, Gavroche was easily able to make several potions that most second-years struggled with and he had no doubt he had a young potions master on his hands to take over when he died.
"But he can't possibly be making a potion like that at his age." Granger argued, not unkindly but more shocked.
"Yes I can!" Gavroche argued. "I even made a shrinking solution all by myself and Severus said it was perfect!"
"I hardly believe-" Black again.
"What you think is of little matter, Black." Severus was quick to defend the boy, infuriated at Black to no end.
"You can even occlude my mind and see for yourself." Gavroche added.
"Not everyone can do that." Albus said kindly, looking fondly at the boy who just stared blankly in return- immune to the headmasters twinkling eyes.
"Severus says only immature people are unable to do something so easy as clearing their mind." Gavroche paraphrased, leaving out the harsher 'adjectives.' "I can block my mind out my mind a little bit, and I'm only six." He had a proud look on his face, but not an arrogant one so Severus let him continue. "I can even poke into Severus's brain a little bit." He frowned heavily. "Not a lot though, even though he takes down most of his shields."
"You've been teaching him Occlumency!?" Lupin looked aghast.
"Was I not supposed to say that?" Gavroche asked, looking worried.
"It is not illegal to teach occlumency to children." Severus replied cooley. "Although it is frowned upon."
"He's six." Potter gasped.
Severus looked at the teenager cooly. "Indeed, Potter. A six year old is able to do more with Occlumency than you've managed in your fourteen years of life."
"Yeah, I bet he didn't have you breathing down his neck like a git." Black cut in.
"Yes I did!" Gavroche insisted, before looking sheepish. "But he's not a git, he's just tough!"
"That's enough Gavroche, I don't need you to defend me." Severus said gently. "You won't last here, Black. A spoiled brat like you, won't be able to live without his creature comforts." He snarled. He had turned to leave, but Albus had held out a hand.
"Gavroche, I don't believe I've properly introduced myself yet." Albus held out a hand but Gavroche refused to shake it. "I'm Albus Dumbledore."
"You're the headmaster at Hogwarts." Gavrosh stated. "I get to go in five years."
"Yes, and I am rather excited." Albus withdrew his hand but still smiled warmly. "You must be a very powerful young man, for Severus to speak so highly of you."
"Thanks." Gavroche looked uncomfortable, as if he was trying to figure out if he was being manipulated and Severus was proud of the intuitive child.
"You'll be a wonderful addition to Gryffindor." Albus added. "I already see so many traits in you."
"I'm not going to be in Gryffindor. I'm going to be in Slytherin." Gavrosh looked just as riled as Severus felt.
"Good luck with that." Black sneered. "You're muggle-born, you'll never make it to Slytherin."
"Gryffindor's are supposed to be brave, but you made it in." Gavroche countered. "Afterall, it isn't really brave to pick on a six year old just because you think you can scare him."
Black looked murderous and Severus smirked. If he didn't know any better, he'd have sworn the child was a miniature version of him.
"And its kind of prejudice to assume that only Gryffindor's are brave." Gavroche was tearing everyone a new a**hole, and Severus was enjoying the looks on peoples faces as a six year old told them what was up.
"I didn't mean to offend you so." Albus placated holding out a lemon drop for Gavroche who eyes it with suspicion.
"Is it safe to eat?" He asked, Severus. His eyes hopeful at the prospect of a treat.
"You're going to have to start trusting your intuition, you tell me." Severus ordered gently, pleased when Gavroche decided that Albus was trustworthy. The boy's intuition was as strong as everyone in Spinner's End, but Severus wanted to expand on that and get the boy up to his level as quickly as possible. Gavroche had great potential, and Severus had no doubt he'd be the kind of wizard needed to remove the dark stigma Slytherin held.