Title: Like Cats and Dogs
Author: Chaos Rose
Rating: PG for now, later chapters will be R.
Summary: Severus Snape and Sirius Black in pursuit of their twenty-year-long grudge make the Weasley twins look like little angels.
Disclaimer: I'm playing in Ms. Rowling's sandbox.
Author's Note:Yes, I am still working on my TPM AU, Some Other Future's Past. I just have to start wrapping the plot lines and it's tricky to do when things are hectic. If anyone really wants a sequel to either To Ensnare the Senses or Through the Longest Watches of the Night, please let me know?
Like Cats and Dogs
It was, perhaps, not the best of days.
"--- GROWN MEN! WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU TWO?! --- IN ALL MY YEARS --- DON'T YOU MUTTER AT ME, SIRIUS BLACK! --- WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY, SEVERUS SNAPE?! --- ALBUS WOULD JUST BE APPALLED ---"
The grown men in question had given up all attempts at justification, self-defense or blame distribution, and now stood with heads bowed before the fury of Minerva McGonagall. That severe and still-intimidating woman stood behind her desk and handed them a reaming the likes of which they had not experienced since the days the had been her pupils.
The volume decreased and both men dared a glance at the Professor - who now stood with arms crossed, giving them a glare that should have blistered the parts her tirade had missed.
"Now, Master Black, perhaps you can tell me what exactly you did to Master Snape's chair to give it such a nasty disposition?"
Sirius lifted his eyes to look somewhere just past Minerva's left ear. "What makes you think that I did any such thing, Professor?"
"Severus, open your mouth one more time and so help me, I'll belt it shut for you!" The tip of the professor's wand hovered a centimeter from his nose to punctuate the threat as she pointed her finger at Black. "Because, Master Black, I do not believe that Severus would spell his own chair to bite him in the arse!"
The day had begun with a bloodcurdling scream from the faculty lounge.
Professor McGonagall had sat in Snape's reading chair simply to button her boot when the chair - normally a very well-behaved and comfortable Winchester - had sunk very sharp teeth into her fundament.
After a visit to Poppy Pomfrey, the professor went directly to Remus Lupin.
Lupin, fifteen minutes later and with ears burning, went to find a black dog named 'Snuffles.'
The dog - a large black Newfoundland who had been dozing in the courtyard - walked dejectedly and with tail down to McGonagall's office.
Snape had been indulging himself in his normal Saturday morning lie-in when Minerva McGonagall had invaded his rooms. She literally ripped the bedclothes from his nude body, snapping, "You. My office. Now."
She then pivoted on one heel and marched from the room, even as he trying to form some sort of coherent response.
The dog and the man met in the corridor outside their formidable superior's office, Snape tapped politely on the door, and both waited a very long time.
When the door had finally opened, Severus had been reciting cantos from Dante's Inferno, feeling them appropriate. Now, the legendary place of punishment seemed to have located itself to a scroll-stuffed office where both men had been for half an hour – and a thousand years. She had taken their wands, cast a priori incatatum over both and then exploded like the mother of all Howlers.
Both men had apparently been hexing, jinxing, and cursing each other an average of three times a week. That was leaving out Severus' potion that had – on contact of Sirius' soap with his bathwater – turned that man a vivid shade of orange from the neck down.
"I don't understand why when there are matters of the utmost importance to which we must attend, the pair of you persist in fighting your private little war! Now not even the furniture is safe!" Minerva's hands were clenched to fists, her white knuckles resting on the blotter. "Both of you have been at this silly grudge for long enough – how are we supposed to present a resistance when two of our number fight like cats and dogs? Now, get out my sight and come back when you have more maturity that a pair of second-years."
Both men were out of her office so quickly that they might have Appartated.
With a heavy sigh, she sat carefully in her chair, wincing slightly at the stinging itch of healing flesh. Severus and Sirius – as much as they hated each other – were much alike. Both men were brilliant, both obsessive as well as vengeful, and very creative.
All Minerva could do was hope that the major explosion would occur before the students came back - and that Hogwarts would still be standing afterward.
The situations of Severus Snape and Sirius Black, once in the hallway, did not improve.
Remus Lupin awaited them, his arms crossed on his thin chest and brows drawn into as severe a scowl as he could manage. "The pair of you! If I knew how to make it, I'd dump a Juvenating potion into your tea and let you both try to grow up all over again!"
Severus scowled; it was not the first time he had landed in the shit over something that the bloody golden Gryffindors had done. It seemed to be his divinely ordained calling.
"Don't blame me, Remus! If Whisp," Sirius hooked his thumb at Severus, whose scowl only deepened at hearing his long ago nick-name, "hadn't made my soup explode"
"Then it would have been something else! Because it's always something else where your bloody egos are involved!" Remus' shout was startling enough that the bigger men stepped back. "You've had it in for each other for better than twenty years, now will you two PLEASE make some attempt to at least a pretense of adulthood!"
With that, he turned and stomped down the hall uttering curses and imprecations that should have struck both Severus and his nemesis blind, deaf and dumb.
Severus blinked. Lupin rarely got that angry – he could count the number of times on one hand and have a finger left over. All the same, as much as he disliked Lupin, he'd leave a headache potion for him – with the way that vein had been standing out on his forehead, he'd have a blinding one before noon.
Black glared at him and Severus felt his own reflexive sneer in response before Black stomped down the hall after Lupin.
It was just too bad that Remus Lupin could not stay angry to save his life. Black would be back in his good graces by sundown and the holding action between Severus and Sirius-Damn-Him would resume – albeit with a more covert mien.
Severus decided to take the back stairs to his rooms, thinking that it was too bad that all the students were gone – with the mood he was in, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff would be doing well to have five points between them by Halloween.
When Albus Dumbledore had said he would settle for a lack of overt hostility, he had – Severus thought – no idea what he was asking. Within a week, the war that had been suspended with Black's sentence to Azkaban had resumed - with Sirius setting a disorder spell in Severus' robes – buttons would not stay buttoned, cufflinks unlinked, and his underclothing misbehaved.
Severus slipped a retaliatory itch powder into Black's laundry and the battle was joined.
Escalation of hostilities had been a given, culminating in the latest Incident.
A simple potion coating the bowl of a spoon was activated by the heat and moisture of a bowl of onion soup and exploded right in Black's face. Severus nearly laughed himself sick at the sounds of Remus Lupin trying to calm a raving Sirius.
Personally, Severus thought the exploding soup was a new low – and one of which he was quite proud. He'd have to patent it under his shell corporation, but the royalties should be considerable.
The air cooled with each flight of stairs until he was once again in the torch-lit twilight of the dungeon's upper levels. This was his undisputed domain – his living quarters, workrooms, office, storerooms, and classroom took up the entire first level of dungeons in the Old Wing. Only Albus Dumbledore or Minerva McGonagall could move freely down here – he had set the wards to allow limited access to others. Students could not see most of what was here – indeed, some of the rooms contained substances so dangerous in raw form that simply opening a door the wrong way could result in new additions to the discarnate population of Hogwarts.
A tight smile quirked his thin lips, thinking that there was one addition he'd like to see - but Albus would be most upset if Severus did anything to hasten Sirius Black's demise.
If only there was a way to get Black out of his territory without calling in the Dementors! He rubbed his forehead – he'd been frowning so hard that he's actually cramped the muscles. Black might be innocent of murder, but to Severus' way of thinking the man still had James Potter's blood on his hands. The life debt that Severus owed to James – even if James had been in on Sirius' homicidal joke – was not abated with death. By all the oldest laws, it was Severus' duty to avenge Potter's death and to protect James' heir.
Something that – in Severus' opinion – would best be done by chaining Harry Potter to a dungeon wall and leaving him there. The boy was a menace.
Entering his main workroom he called out, "Lumos!" and the sconces on the walls glowed with a heatless light. Cauldrons of different sizes and materials lined one wall, while another was all shelves lined with bottles, jars, and crocks of more common potion ingredients. Books, scrolls, and even carefully wrapped tablets filled a third wall – all of them containing knowledge too dangerous even for the Restricted Section of Hogwarts' library. Written in scripts that ranged from cuneiform and hieroglyphs to modern English with hand-bound pages, the least of these books would guarantee that one would have an auror marking each step and breath for the rest of one'slife, the worst of them would earn the owner a dementor's kiss.
The worktable that dominated the center of the room was topped in pure transparent quartz crystal, cut into a sheet three inches thick. A medium-sized silver cauldron bubbled atop it over a single white flame. The potion within sending thick roils of metallic-scented steam into the air – only when it started to smoke would it be time to put the lid on and remove it from the fire. The potion for Remus Lupin was nearly ready – only this could keep the man in his right mind during his transformation into a werewolf.
Severus divested himself of his outer robe, hanging it on a peg by the door before stalking to the deep, comfortable reading chair and ottoman along the fourth wall of his workroom. Resisting the urge to check if the cushions had developed any unusual dentition, he sprawled into the chair and thumped his feet on the hassock. His black brows knit themselves into a scowl as he gazed at his wall of books.
If he could not sit here and think of ways to kill, harm, or royally piss off Sirius Black at least he could get in a little reading. Severus' eyes roamed the shelves, until a book in a red leather cover caught his eye - Une Histoire des Choses Très Mauvaises.
The world faded away as Severus lost himself in the pages, smiling and occasionally outright laughing at a particular passage. As he turned another page, earnestly wishing for the chance to use some of this, his laughter cut off. An intent expression settled onto his features as he riveted his gaze to a particular passage.
Oh. This was just too good
"Accio quill! Accio parchment!" Pulling the small octagonal side table to him, Severus balanced the book on his knees and commenced taking copious and detailed notes. Occasionally, he would lay book and notes aside to pull another book or scroll from the shelves and read from it or go to ascertain the availability of certain items in his stores.
A grin - twisted to be sure, but still a grin – lit his pale face and made his eyes sparkle like black sapphires. He hadn't been in this good a mood since his seventh year - when he had dyed James Potter and half of Gryffindor a charming shade of Slytherin green right before the Quidditch match for the Cup. Even if he had been hammered into the ground by the Gryffindor beaters, it had been worth it.
Severus carefully laid out the equipment that he'd need and then pulled a set of keys from a hidden drawer in the worktable. Striding to the door, he pulled his robe from the hook, paused and then took a pair of Hebridean Black dragonhide gloves from a cabinet. Some of the elements needed for the work became volatile against human skin and could not be moved safely with magic.
"Animagum Irretitus" He whispered to himself. "It's just bloody brilliant!"