A Different Life
Chapter 43 – Seeing Snape in a Different Light
"I don't belong here Remus." Sirius said sadly.
"What are you talking about?"
"You all have lives, and I've just come in and disrupted them."
"Sirius, don't be-"
"Remus. I need to make my own life here. I just need - I need some time to myself."
"I don't understand-"
"I've gone from one prison to another Remus."
"I need to get out, see the world, and see what I've missed. I can't stay here forever Remus."
"What about Harry?"
"What about him? I came here with a notion that he would need me. But he has Snape, and he has you. I'm not sure there is room for me."
Remus looked at Sirius, his eyes softening. He stepped closer to Sirius making him give him his full attention.
"Harry needs you Sirius. Maybe not in the way you had hoped, but he needs you. You are after all, his Godfather."
Sirius snorted. "Great job I've done so far."
"You have. Have you seen how many smiles you've brought to Harry's face? Harry will never stop needing people around who love him."
"Not to mention..." Remus looked out the window that Sirius too had gone back to looking through. "...well I need you Sirius."
Sirius looked up at Remus and smiled.
Remus laughed. "Merlin knows why, you only ever cause trouble."
Sirius tried to look as insulted as he could. "I take offensive to that."
Remus smiled at him, taking his eyes away from the window. "Good."
Sirius laughed, before his mood sobered up again. "I'm leaving Moony."
"You don't have to."
"I know. And I'll still be around. I just need to get my life back."
Remus nodded to him. "I understand."
A few minutes of silence stood between them, the kind that's comfortable.
"When will you be leaving?"
"Soon. I still have a couple of things to do here first."
Remus' gaze went back out the window, watching the forest move with the wind.
"Do you still have a lot of James' things?"
"Yeah I do. A lot was given to me after..." Remus trailed off.
"Do you have a box, red on the outside, nothing on the inside but tissues?"
Remus looked at Sirius. "Yeah – I think I do actually. It seems quite useless. The only reason I kept it was because I knew it was James'."
Sirius laughed. "Good thing you did too. That holds a lot of important stuff."
"Padfoot, it holds nothing but tissues!"
"Yes, unless you know the correct password."
"Hi Neville, I'm Sirius Black."
Harry rolled his eyes at Sirius, sitting down on a stool in the empty classroom that he, Neville and Sirius were sitting in.
"He knows your name Sirius."
Sirius turned towards Harry. "I was only being polite and introducing myself." Sirius huffed, sitting heavily on a desk and crossing his arms over his chest.
"Why do I think that I'm more mature then you?" Harry said mockingly, smiling as well, just to show he was joking.
Sirius seemed to think about that, taping his chin with his index finger. "I think it's because... you are." Sirius then poked his tongue out at Harry and turned back to Neville.
"So I hear you're a bit scared of Snape?"
Neville nodded his head, though he was shaking so much you couldn't really tell.
"Are you afraid of me?"
Neville looked over at Harry, who smiled encouragingly. "A- A bit."
Sirius smiled at him. "Well don't be. I'm only half as bad as they say."
Harry laughed. "Believe me Neville. Sirius wouldn't harm you. He wouldn't harm anymore."
"I don't know about that Harry. I do recall a time in first year Charms, I was a bit too energetic with my wand moving, nearly poked James' eye out."
Harry laughed and Neville seemed to become less nervous.
"Now, Harry asked me to tell you a story about Snape."
Neville nodded and Sirius seemed to scratch his head in thought.
"Well I have quite a few, but I doubt any will help your cause. I think what you need is to see Snape in a different light. James and I one year were threatened with explosion if we didn't leave Snape alone. And it was killing us to see his smug face around all the time. But we knew we shouldn't really push our luck, so we invented a different sort of prank."
Sirius pulled his hands into his pockets and then when he pulled his hands back out, he was holding two bottles full of some form of clear potion."
"I was lucky enough to be able to get this off Remus, not that he knew what it was."
"What is it?" Harry asked, taking a closer look at it.
"It's a potion. James was a very smart man. He had come across a book that was full of useful potions. After mixing a couple together we were able to come up with this."
"Mixing a couple together? Don't you know how dangerous that is?"
"Harry, don't worry. Everything turned out fine."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Well I guess you wouldn't have been stupid enough to just have tested it on yourselves straight away. What did you test it on first?"
Sirius looked uncomfortable for a moment. "Eh..."
"SIRIUS!" Harry gaped at Sirius.
"I know – It was stupid. Now do you want to know what it is or not?"
"Fine, what is it then."
"Well, it works like an eye drop. Just drop one drop in each of your eyes and say Snape's full name. Then let the magic work." Sirius smirked.
"What potions did you mix together?" Harry asked logically.
"I honestly couldn't tell you, it was that long ago."
"I don't understand. How will this help me?" Neville looked hesitantly at the potion in Sirius' hand.
"Just try it and you'll see."
"Sirius..." Harry crossed his arms over his chest and looked at Sirius in a 'no way is Neville trying that' way. "This isn't quite what I had in mind when I asked you to help out."
"Trust me Harry, you'll understand. You can try some as well. Just do a quick test run of it. It'll only last..." Sirius looked like he was lost in thought for a moment. "I think it wears off in a few hours."
"A few hours!" Harry looked at Sirius as if he were crazy.
"Don't worry Harry. Believe me; you'll be thanking me once you see this work."
Harry sighed heavily at Sirius. "And it won't harm Dad at all will it?" Harry had made a point of calling his father just that in front of Sirius now.
"Nothing will happen to him, and no one will see what you're seeing, I swear."
"Okay, we'll give it a go. Won't we Neville?"
Neville looked at Harry wide eyed, but nodded.
"Thanks Sirius... I think."
Sirius laughed and ruffled Harry's hair up. "Now off you go, I have a meeting with Dumbledore that I'll be late for if I don't leave now."
Neville and Harry were walking back in silence when they spotted Severus stalking down a corridor full of students wondering around. It was amazing how many students spent their weekends roaming the hallways.
"Should we try it now?"
"I'm not sure about this Harry..." Neville looked at Harry uncertainly.
"Come on Neville. Sirius wouldn't give us anything dangerous."
Harry pulled Neville into the nearest classroom, which was thankfully empty. He looked at the bottle in his hands and uncorked it. He wondered how on earth he was supposed to pour it in so only one drop came out, but after testing it on his hand, he was able to tip the whole thing over and still, only one drop came out. It must have been charmed.
Harry watched at Neville did them same thing, again just having one drop come out.
Taking a deep breath each, Harry took his glasses off and they both tilted their heads back, lifting each of their bottles over one eye and they each put a drop in, blinking as it made contact.
With both eyes done, they looked down and blinked a couple of times more, getting their vision clear. Harry put his glasses back on and at the same time they muttered: "Severus Snape."
They looked at each other, both not noticing any changes in appearance or anything.
"Should we go outside and see?" Harry asked Neville as he re-corked the bottle and put it away in his pocket.
Neville, having done the same, hesitantly nodded.
They stepped out of the classroom and headed in the direction Severus had walked in. They finally caught up to him, so they were just behind.
"Professor Snape?" Harry called, noticing some students had stopped what they were doing to stare at them.
Harry watched as his father turned around. He looked normal.
"What is it Mr. Potter?" Severus replied coldly.
Harry felt his heart sink slightly at that, hearing his fathers tone. His eyes sunk to the ground. He was still upset about the other night. Beside him he heard Neville gasp.
Harry looked from Neville, to where he was looking at, which was directly at Severus.
Harry first saw Severus' hair stretch to an unbelievable length, and then watched in slight fascination as it turned blonde, curls running through it.
Harry then looked wide eyed as Severus' nose curled around itself, going blue as it did.
Harry laughed as he saw all the changes happening to Severus, only vaguely realizing that he and Neville were the only ones that were.
Then his teeth started to grow, becoming fatter and longer, escaping his mouth and falling to the length of the floor.
That was it, Harry was gone. He fell to the floor laughing, beside him Neville doing the same thing. He was sure he had never seen something so funny before.
"Welcome Sirius. I see you're on time for once." Dumbledore smiled at Sirius and offered him a lemon drop.
Sirius grinned back and took one. "Am I still the only one who accepts these?"
Dumbledore laughed. "I do believe so. I actually had an inkling once that when you felt like having a sweet, you would purposely get sent up here."
Sirius looked sheepishly at Dumbledore, but popped the sweet into his mouth. "There did always seem to be something good out of being sent to your office I guess."
"Well I'm glad no one else has picked up on your way of thinking."
"You mean Harry hasn't yet?" Sirius smirked at Dumbledore.
"Not yet. Although it is still early days."
Sirius laughed and went back to sucking the lolly in his mouth.
"I actually had something to ask you Sirius."
"Yeah? And what might that be?"
"Well, as you know, there is a teaching spot open here at Hogwarts..."
"You're not asking me what I think you're asking me, are you?"
"Would you teach Transfiguration for me?"
"Professor! You do know I spent more time in detention then in class?"
"Yes, I believe I remember quite a few teachers complaining about your complete lack of respect to any rules." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled with mirth.
Sirius shook his head. "And people think I'm the one that's crazy."
Dumbledore laughed. "Would you at least consider it?"
"I'm not sure I would be any good as a teacher, especially Transfiguration."
"Nonsense, you're an Animagus after all. How many people can say they've accomplish that?"
Sirius ducked his head.
"And, it would give you a chance to see Harry more, as well as Remus."
"This is for next year right?"
"Well I was hoping you could start as soon as possible."
Sirius sighed at that and looked around the room. He couldn't remember the amount of times he had been in the same very office in trouble, and now he was in here being offered a job, as a teacher no less.
"I'm sorry Professor. But I was hoping to leave here in the next few days. Get some fresh air into me, see the world I've missed, clear my head. I'm not sure I'll be back ready for the school year, definitely not to teach this year."
Dumbledore smiled at Sirius. "Well, that sounds like a wonderful idea. But I hope you won't forget my offer."
"Of course not. I will still consider it. Thank you Professor."
"Please, call me Albus."
Severus looked in astonishment as he saw Harry's face change from one of heartbroken, to one of laughter. Both he and Neville had looked at him in amazement, their eyes getting bigger and bigger as they watched him.
Finally they started laughing uncontrollably, even falling to the ground.
Severus definitely hadn't been expecting this. He felt quite self conscious, wondering if one of the students had done something to him while his attention had been on Harry and Neville, but he found that no one else was laughing. In fact they looked as surprised as he felt.
Severus could vaguely remember something like this happening years ago, but he brushed that thought off, grabbing both Harry and Neville by the collar and pulling them to their feet. They still continued to laugh, both grabbing their stomachs from the pain of laughing so hard.
Severus dragged them to Dumbledore's office and hissed the password out, practically throwing Harry and Neville into Dumbledore's office.
Both Dumbledore and Sirius stood up straight away.
"Albus, I'm not sure what's wrong. I tried every counter curse I can think of, they won't stop."
Sirius walked over to Harry and Neville, who were still on the floor, laughing harder each time they caught a glimpse of Severus.
Sirius kneeled down beside them, grabbing their chins with each hand. "Shhh... Just calm down." Sirius just kept repeating those words to them until they slowly started to slow down a bit, finally taking deep breaths, trying to get the air back into their lungs.
Sirius smiled at them. "So I guess it worked then?"
Harry and Neville immediately had the picture of Severus back into their head and again started laughing.
Dumbledore sighed in amusement, and Severus narrowed his eyes at Sirius.
"What did you do to them Black?"
"Nothing that won't wear off in a few hours."
"A FEW HOURS?!" Severus yelled at Sirius, taking a step towards him.
Harry and Neville glanced back over at Snape and it sent them into a set of laughter, much worse this time.
"The best thing you can do right now Snape, is leave. The more they see you, the worse the picture they'll get." Sirius smirked at Severus as he glared at him.
"I think for now it would be best if you were to leave Severus. I'll send Harry down to speak to you later on."
Severus glared one last time at Sirius before stalking out of the room.
Sirius went back to Harry and Neville, trying to calm them down.
"I guess it would have been best if I had let you test this on me. That way it wouldn't have been such a shock to you when you first saw Snape."
Harry slowly nodded, as he began to get his breath back. His face and stomach were really starting to hurt from laughing so hard.
"You know, come to think of it. The first time James and I did it, we were in a Transfiguration class. I don't think I've ever heard Professor McGonagall scream so loud. I believe we got sent up here and detention for a month with Filch. But it was worth it. It would send Snape mad not knowing what we were laughing at."
"I believe I remember that day..." Dumbledore muttered pensively. Shaking his head out of his thoughts, he looked back at the three of them sitting on the ground in front of his desk. "Now how about one of you explain this all to me. I never did get quite the full story with James and yourself Sirius."
Sirius smiled at Dumbledore. "We were able to elude your questions weren't we?"
"Hmm... So how about now you let an old man have some peace."
Sirius shook his head smiling, and with a quick look at Neville and Harry, dived into the story of James and himself.
Dumbledore sat still, giving Sirius his full attention, most of the time having his hand up to cover his mouth, hiding his smile.
"So why did you get it out now? And why give it to Harry and Neville?" Dumbledore asked.
Sirius looked to Neville to continue on.
"I- I'm quite scared of Professor Snape sir." Neville whispered.
Dumbledore looked kindly at Neville, before Harry continued on.
"I thought that if perhaps Neville could see Dad and not feel so scared, then maybe it would be easier for him. So I asked Sirius to help me." Harry shrugged apologetically at Dumbledore.
"May I see this potion?" Dumbledore asked.
Harry reluctantly pulled the potion bottle out of his pocket, handing it over to Dumbledore. He thought for sure he wouldn't be seeing it again, but Dumbledore merely admired it and then handed it back to Harry. Harry noticed Neville had made no move to give Dumbledore his bottle.
"I never knew James and yourself had such a knack for potions." Dumbledore looked over at Sirius.
Sirius smiled, knowing they got it purely on luck and a bit of knowledge on James' side. "We were best in our class sir."
Dumbledore laughed, obviously not quite believing that. "I'm sure Severus would be interested to know what you used to get this."
Dumbledore looked back to the three of them. "Well, I trust you all have better things to be doing right now besides sitting in my office and talking. I would suggest Harry, Neville that you both keep your distance from Professor Snape for a little while."
Neville and Harry smiled, still having a clear picture of Severus in their heads. Harry didn't quite think he would ever forget seeing his father like he had, especially wearing a pink tu-tu.
"Now off you go."
All three got up, but only Harry didn't move towards the door.
"Sorry Professor, but could I have a word in private?"
"Of course Harry." Dumbledore waited until both Neville and Sirius had left before continuing. "What is it?"
Harry shifted his feet for a moment before looking up into Dumbledore's eyes. "Where will Draco be staying for summer holidays? I mean, he's not going back with is father, is he?"
Dumbledore looked kindly at Harry. "No, he will not. Where he goes though will be up to Draco himself. I do believe there is an Aunt of his that is willing to care for him. But if need be, other arrangements could be made."
Harry nodded, mentally telling himself to have a word with Draco sometime that day.
"Thank you. You have a good day sir." Harry smiled at Dumbledore before walking towards the door.
"I will Harry. Do try not to get into any more mischief."
Harry laughed. "I'll try not to Albus."
"Oh and Harry, be sure to see your father soon."
Harry nodded his head quickly, hoping to escape out of the office.
"He was quite upset the other night."
Harry paused at the door, looking down at the ground. "I know."
Harry then exited, quietly closing the door behind him.
"Neville?" Harry asked, as he saw Neville leaning against the wall opposite to the gargoyle guarding Dumbledore's office.
"I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for today."
Harry smiled at Neville. "You're welcome Neville. I had a lot of fun." Harry laughed after that. Today was definitely a day he wouldn't forget. "I just hope it helped."
Neville smiled brightly at Harry. "I think it did."