Thank you all for reviewing so massively! You've made my frustrations with the previous chapter totally worth it. You guys rock.
Another big thank you to my beta Pagemaster4TW without whom I would probably still be struggling to finish this chapter. It was one of those chapters, you know, that just doesn't want to be written. But I got through it and I hope you'll appreciate the result.
While Pomfrey tended to a very grumpy Severus, Harry couldn't help but go over the things that had happened in his mind. And the outcome of said experience. He smiled a bit when the realisation hit him fully for the first time. Severus now knew everything there was to know about Harry. And the man had been about to go to war for him. No adult had ever been on his side as much as Severus was. Not even Dumbledore. He glanced up to look at Severus' closed bedroom door from which he could hear angry exclamations and chastising orders.
Detention for the rest of the year, huh? I can live with that.
The door opened and Pomfrey stepped out. She wore a very stern expression as she called back into the room. "So help me, Severus, if you leave this bed before tomorrow evening, I will have no choice but to strap you in position."
Harry snorted at the unexpected innuendo.
Severus replied something but Harry couldn't understand it. Pomfrey scoffed and walked over to Harry. "And as for you –"
"I didn't do anything!" Harry said defensively."
"Well, that would be a first, wouldn't it?" Pomfrey said but then her face softened. "Listen, Mr Potter, I realise that Severus is not exactly your responsibility but you are here for most of the day. I would appreciate it if you could keep an eye on him and make sure that he says in bed."
"I do not require to be watched!" Severus shouted from inside his bedroom.
"I could always take you to the hospital wing, Severus," Pomfrey chided. That effectively shut him up and Harry couldn't help but chuckle.
"I'll make sure he follows your orders, Madame Pomfrey," Harry said.
"Thank you," Pomfrey said. "And if he gets out for anything other than using the loo, contact me immediately."
"I will," Harry said. He had been in the hospital wing often enough to know that Pomfrey's orders were to be obeyed, no matter what.
"Behave yourself, Severus!" Pomfrey called out and then she used the floo to get back to the hospital wing.
Harry chuckled again and walked into Severus' bedroom as soon as Pomfrey was gone.
"Are you above knocking now?" Severus asked, arching that one eyebrow.
"I think we're way past that, don't you?" Harry replied. He looked around and found a chair to sit in.
Severus sighed but nodded his head once in acquiescence. It wasn't much but his agreement made Harry feel warm inside.
"We need to talk," Severus then said, righting himself in the bed. It was obvious that he didn't feel comfortable in such a vulnerable position, especially when his leg was the only thing that was hurting but Harry was not about to show him mercy. He had ignored Pomfrey's orders before and it had only caused him more suffering.
"Talk?" Harry repeated. What more could there possibly be to talk about?
Severus regarded him carefully. "Surely, you do not think this is all said and done now, do you?"
"No," Harry agreed. "But we can't do anything right now, I think. And Malfoy agrees with me."
Severus frowned. "You told Mr Malfoy about Umbridge's treatment of you?"
"Oh, Merlin, no!" Harry denied. "Why would I do that? But the truth is that every student wants her gone, anyway. She's horrible!"
"And what did Mr Malfoy have to say about her, I wonder," Severus urged. "Do enlighten me."
And Harry did. He explained how Malfoy thought that Fudge was behind her behaviour and that their main goal was to put Harry in Azkaban while Dumbledore was away and unable to prevent it.
"This is all speculation, though," Harry said. "But I thought it sounded kind of reasonable."
"Mr Malfoy does have a good head on his shoulders," Severus replied softly. "I find no immediate flaws in this theory other than Fudge's number of brain cells."
Harry chuckled. "Yeah, that seems about right."
"If his assumptions are correct, that would mean that you're targeted by the ministry as well, this time," Severus continued.
The worried look in Severus' eyes made Harry very happy. But the truth was that he had always been a target. Each and every year again.
Hogwarts wouldn't be Hogwarts without some good old plot against me.
"It should be," Severus replied harshly to Harry's unspoken thoughts. Harry thought that it was remarkable just how good they were becoming at communicating. Even without actually speaking. "It is absurd for us to continuously be found unable to protect our students. Even if the student in question is Harry Potter." The man ran a hand through his hair and adopted a serious expression. "Perhaps we should… orchestrate an accident of sorts."
Harry frowned. "For Umbridge?"
"No," Severus replied. "For you. If you are recovering elsewhere, the ministry will have no means or reason to imprison you. I imagine that headquarters would make a fine temporary hideout."
"Forget it," Harry said. "There's no way that I'm leaving while everyone I know is in danger of being taken."
"There's nothing you can do at the moment, you foolish boy," Severus said sharply. "Besides, I imagined that you would be thrilled to spend some more time with that godfather of yours."
Harry sighed and slouched in his seat. "Leave Hogwarts?" he repeated. "I just – how would I even go about doing that? Do you want me to fall off my broom or something?"
"That wouldn't be bad," Severus said. "The way you fly, it's a miracle that you've only sustained minor injuries so far."
Harry scoffed. "Missing all of the bones in my arm counts as minor to you?" he asked.
Severus grinned. "That had more to do with the incompetence of a certain Ravenclaw than the result of your flying, did it not?"
"That's a fair point," Harry admitted. "But… I'm not going anywhere, Severus."
Severus growled. "Harry –"
"Just hear me out, okay?" Harry interrupted. "It's safe to say that Voldemort is doing all of this, at least in part, to get to me. That's always been the case before and why else would he intrude into my mind so often?"
Severus nodded. "That, we can agree on," he said. "But I don't see what that has to do with any of this."
"He's going to try to get to me no matter where I am," Harry sighed.
"All the more reason for you to get to headquarters," Severus growled.
"Bellatrix already got in there once. Are you sure that she won't be able to do it again?" Harry asked coldly. "Especially once Voldemort realises that I'm no longer at Hogwarts?"
Severus glared at Harry but it hardly fazed him. "So you'd rather stay here?" he asked evenly.
"Hogwarts is a safe place as well," Harry told him.
"Not with Albus gone," Snape replied vehemently, gritting his teeth when he accidentally jostled his injury.
Harry shook his head. "You're wrong," he said easily. "Dumbledore's not the only wizard on my side here. I know that a lot of people don't trust me anymore but I have a lot of allies as well. Including some new ones from your house."
"I would be very careful about trusting Mr Malfoy," Severus said darkly.
"It's called a leap of faith, Severus," Harry said. "And I know you want me to psychoanalyze everyone that I let come close to me but that's just not who I am. And that's not even the point!" Harry sighed when he realised that he had been side-tracked. "Just listen to me for a second, alright? These people that are disappearing… it's partially because of me – no, don't even bother denying it," Harry added when Severus opened his mouth to protest. "If I had gone to Beauxbatons, that school would probably face this issue now instead of Hogwarts. I am not running away from Fudge, Voldemort or anyone. I'm going to find these people and bring them back safely."
Severus looked at him as if he had never seen him before. "You're a child," he said.
"I am," Harry agreed. "But I'm not alone. And I've faced much worse before. I will take Voldemort on as often as it takes. Until I no longer need to."
Severus scoffed. "I suppose it was foolish of me to suggest that you, a Gryffindor, go into hiding."
Harry smiled as he leaned back in his chair. "It was foolish to ask me, Harry Potter, to go into hiding," he corrected. "I'm not leaving anyone behind. Not now. Not ever."
Snape regarded him with that piercing look of his but Harry remained calm under his scrutinising gaze.
"You have… grown," the man remarked.
Harry tilted his head slightly. "Grown?" he repeated.
Severus smirked and shook his head. "Never mind," he said. "It is nothing. Now, have you decided on how you will entertain me today?"
Harry smiled devilishly. "Are you up for a game of exploding snap?" he asked.
Severus sighed. "I suppose."
While Harry had gladly spent some quality time with Severus while the man was recovering, said time was only borrowed as became clear very quickly. Severus didn't even take the time to eat before getting back to it. After his mandatory bed rest, Pomfrey had come along and declared him healthy enough to stalk the halls once more – in those exact words – and Severus had taken that opportunity to immediately shut himself into his personal potions lab to continue experimenting with what time remained of that day.
Harry supposed that the man was running out of time and he hated to think about what would happen to him when Voldemort finally decided that his efforts had been inadequate. But worrying about that would get him nowhere. He had been holed up most of the day with his potions professor and had even missed some of his classes because of it. It was time to get out of the dungeons and meet up with his friends again.
As expected, they sat in the Great Hall, waiting for him. Harry was just glad to see that Hermione looked as happy and healthy as always. Wasting no time, he sat next to her, grabbing some bread before even saying hello.
"Harry!" Ron greeted.
"Ah, Harry!" Hermione said. "Good to see you."
Harry swallowed the piece of bread he had already been chewing. "You too," he reciprocated the greeting. "What did I miss?"
"Nothing just yet, mate," Ron said. "What about you, though? Are you alright?"
"Me?" Harry asked, puzzled for a moment.
"Well, where were you all day?" Hermione asked. "You missed your classes!"
"Oh, I was with Severus," Harry said plainly. "Someone had to look after him while he was struggling with his leg, you know?"
Hermione and Ron looked at each other, both obviously trying to suppress a smile.
"Go on," Harry urged calmly. "What's so funny?"
"Can't you even see it, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"You two are really looking out for one another now," Ron said. "Like when he found you during that last blackout of yours. I don't think I've ever seen anyone look more relieved than he did when you woke up."
"Oh," Harry said stupidly, blushing a bit. "It just kind of… grew that way, you know?"
"No need to explain, mate," Ron said. "After everything you've been through, you deserve these things."
Hermione chuckled. "It's kind of endearing, really," she said sweetly.
"Endearing?" Harry repeated. "You did not just call Severus endearing."
Hermione laughed. "Oh, but I did," she said. "It's kind of… nice to see him express another persona than the one of the strict Professor."
"Oh no," Ron joked. "She's making the same kind of eyes she made at Lockhart and Lupin!"
Hermione whacked Ron on the back of the head with a book she had been holding in her lap. "Am not!" she denied. "And I didn't make eyes at Lupin either."
"Ah, but you did at Lockhart then, did you?" Ron said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed. "So help me, if you utter another word –"
A piece of paper suddenly appeared on Harry's plate and he frowned when he recognised the lettering that was Draco Malfoy's handwriting.
"Ooooh, how clever!" Hermione cooed. "They don't teach that charm until seventh year! And only very few people ever actually master it."
Ron scoffed. "A Patronus messenger is much cooler, I'd say."
"And a lot less subtle," Harry pointed out.
"Maybe I can get him to teach me!" Hermione said happily.
"You don't need him," Ron said grumpily. "You can teach yourself anything you want. You're good like that!"
Starting to tune out his friends' bickering, Harry carefully unfolded the single sheet of thin parchment to read Malfoy's missive.
'Umbridge is making us patrol the seventh-floor corridor.'
The message was short but Harry knew exactly what it meant. Umbridge was on to them and the DA could no longer take place in the Room of Requirement. He elbowed Ron in the side to snap him out of his bickering with Hermione and showed him the parchment.
"Do you think someone told on us?" Harry hissed.
Ron frowned. "I doubt it," he said. "If they knew exactly where the room was, they would just go in, wouldn't they?" Ron looked thoughtful. "She must have seen us leave from there or something."
"If someone had tattled on us, I would have known," Hermione interjected. "But since no one got hexed, I have to agree with Ron."
"So what now?" Harry asked. "Do we look for another location?"
"We have no other choice," Ron said. "If we keep going back there, we will get caught."
Harry growled. This year was just getting better and better. Handling Voldemort alone was tough enough but throw Umbridge into the mix and things just got so much harder.
"I never thought I'd say this," Harry mumbled, "but at this point, I think I'd prefer Quirrellmort as a defence teacher."
Hermione choked in her drink as she tried not to laugh.
That night, Harry had gone to sleep without even seeing Severus, though the tell-tale clinking and banging in his potions lab told Harry exactly where the man was. Not wanting to bother him and just a tad fearful that he would ruin the important potion if he did, he just went to sleep that night.
The next morning, there wasn't much change. The same kind of noises came from the lab with the occasional loud oath uttered by a very upset Potions Master. Harry cautiously knocked on the door. The noises quieted down and Harry took a step back as he waited for the door to open. If he hadn't, it would have hit him in the face from the sheer force that was used.
Severus glowered at him but his usual sneers and glares didn't have much of an effect anymore. Not on Harry, at least. The Potions Master hair was in tangles. Several blotches of coloured goop stained his clothes and face and the scent of too many ingredients hung from his robes. "What?" he asked.
"Very eloquent," Harry jibed but the thunderstorm on Severus' face quickly showed him that the man was not in the mood. "Have you slept at all?" Harry asked, his concern obviously showing.
"No time," Severus growled. "Now, if that was all –"
"Come on, Severus," Harry said. "Take a rest. A few hours at least."
"The Dark Lord is growing very impatient," Severus said curtly. "I don't have a few hours."
"Well, you're not going to manage like this," Harry said, putting a bit more force into his words this time. "Look at you, you're dead on your feet. Soon, you'll blow up your own lab and then you can't experiment at all!"
"Do you mistake me for Longbottom?" Severus growled.
Harry sighed and put a hand on the man's arm. "Don't do this to yourself," he pleaded. "You've only just recovered from your leg-injury."
"Precisely why I have some catching up to do," Severus argued. He turned and made to shut the door but Harry grabbed his wrist.
"Severus Snape!" He said sternly. "Enough is enough. You will put your current potion in stasis and come up for a few hours of rest or so help me, I will call in Madame Pomfrey again."
Severus glared at him. "Excuse me?" he said, his tone dangerously low.
"You heard me," Harry said, careful to keep his tone stern. "Come out of there, lie down and have a bite to eat. There's plenty of time left in the afternoon."
"Harry," Severus sighed. "You don't understand."
"I understand perfectly well," Harry repeated. "Don't forget that I know the ins of Voldemort's mind better than anyone else. Now, are you going to listen to me or do I have to summon Pomfrey?"
Severus sighed. "Have it your way, Potter," he said.
Harry rolled his eyes when Severus used his last name. He'd wake up to thank him later. He watched as Severus went back down and put his cauldron in stasis. Then, he carefully came out of the room and glared at Harry for good measure.
"I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, you know," Severus said. "I've always done it before."
Harry smiled wanly. "Yeah," he said. "I used to say the same thing."
That seemed to take Severus aback a little, knocking the sneer right from his face. Finally, he grumbled and moved towards his bedroom, grumbling things under his breath to do with Gryffindors, the sorting hat and Harry Potter.
"Sleep well!" Harry called out before the door slammed shut. Severus might still be home because Pomfrey gave him an extra day to rest but Harry didn't have that luxury. And so all he could do was head out and hope that Severus wouldn't go back to work behind his back.
As it was, Severus didn't show up for lunch so Harry planned not to take too long eating his dinner so he could check if the man was alright.
"You worry too much, Harry," Hermione said when he explained his hurry. "I'm sure he knows what he's doing."
"He's scared," Harry replied. "He'll never admit it but I know he is. Hell, I am scared. Who knows what Voldemort will do to him if he doesn't succeed."
"If he can't do it, he should just not go back, I think," Ron said. "I'm sure that Dumbledore can be convinced."
Harry scoffed. "Dumbledore isn't the problem. He actually wants Severus to stop spying."
Hermione frowned. "Then why doesn't he?"
"I've had this conversation with him, Hermione," Harry replied. "Believe me, it did not go well. He feels that he has to do this."
"Sounds like a Gryffindor outlook if you ask me," Ron pointed out.
Harry laughed. "I'll tell him you said that."
Before the trio was able to enter the Great Hall, they were met with a dispute right in front of its gates.
"But you can't do that!" Zacharias Smith exclaimed, facing none other than the toad herself.
"Mind your manners, Mr Smith," Umbridge said sternly. "I can and I very well will take every precaution necessary to keep you and your peers safe."
Zacharias opened his mouth to say something else but was shoved onto the ground by Montague and Malfoy.
"Not another word," Umbridge told him sweetly. "I only do what's best for you. Ah, Mr Potter."
Harry schooled his expression into a pleasant one, not wanting to set the woman off. "Good evening, Headmistress," he said politely.
"I've heard that Professor Snape has assigned you a detention for the rest of the year," she said, clearly not pleased by this.
"I'm afraid so," Harry replied evenly. "He seemed to think that I needed to be disciplined."
Umbridge scoffed. "Yes, well, I have to agree with him on that, I suppose," she said. "It's about time that someone other than myself saw what kind of wretched boy you were becoming."
"I'm sure he would be glad to hear you say that, ma'am," Harry said politely. Umbridge narrowed her eyes at him and Harry did his best to maintain his neutral expression. She would be far too pleased if he showed her any sign of weakness, even if the woman did give him the creeps.
Then, she turned on her heel and walked into the Great Hall with Montague and Malfoy following right behind her. Malfoy glanced at Harry but didn't give anything away in his expression. As well he shouldn't.
When the Slytherin group was out of sight, Harry extended his hand towards Zacharias. The Hufflepuff rolled his eyes and got up by himself.
"What was that all about?" Ron asked him.
"Why don't you ask Potter?" Zacharias replied venomously. "I'm sure that he's had something to do with this."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Harry said, trying not to let the boy rile him up.
"She's cancelling Quidditch," Zacharias spat. "Says it's safer if that's not a load of crap. Well screw her, I say. I have a practice scheduled tomorrow and I'm going flying whether she likes it or not."
"I don't know if you should," Harry said carefully. "Umbridge is wrong about many things but I think that she may be right about this."
"Oh sure, side with her why don't you?" Zacharias snarled. "Well don't you worry your famous little head, Potter. I'll be sure to bring a friend so there's no need to target me."
Ron sighed in exasperation. "This again?" he exclaimed. "How many times do we have to tell you that Harry has nothing to do with these disappearances?"
"Oh yeah?" Zacharias said. "From what I heard, he was one of the last people in the library before Leanne was taken."
"And so were we!" Ron now yelled, his face already tinging red. "He didn't do anything!"
"Ron," Harry said softly. "Let it go."
"Keep your friends close while you can, Potter," Zacharias said. "It won't be long before they see the truth as well."
"Bugger off, Smith," Harry said calmly. This earned him a sneer but finally, the Hufflepuff walked away and towards his house table.
"It's clear why that one isn't in Ravenclaw, innit?" Ron scoffed. "Anyone with half a brain would see the truth."
"He's just scared," Harry said, putting a hand on Ron's shoulder in the hopes of calming his friend down. "He'll come around eventually. People always do."
"Well, when that time comes, I reserve the right to tell him 'I told you so,'" Ron growled.
"I'll make note of it," Hermione laughed.
During dinner, Umbridge did announce the new ban on Quidditch, saying that it was no longer safe for students to be outside of the castle for any reason other than classes. And, to be entirely honest, Harry kind of agreed with her on that. He refrained from voicing his opinion, though, since his own Quidditch team would likely strangle him for it. As it was, they were already booing and throwing food at one another. Sometimes, lives were more important than Quidditch. Even if Ron would never agree with it.
Severus hadn't been at dinner either and so, rather than stay and mourn the loss of Quidditch with the rest of the Gryffindors, Harry went down to the dungeons as soon as he could. As was to be expected, noise was coming from the lab again to indicate the Potions Master's presence. Harry decided to use the least intrusive manner of disturbing the man.
Have you been able to sleep a bit?
He waited for a moment, thinking that Severus wasn't going to bother with a reply when –
I rested for a couple of hours as you so vehemently insisted.
Harry then settled down in the sitting room to get started on his homework. Disappearances or no, homework was still brutal and with their upcoming O.W.L.'s, even Ron had started buckling down and studying twice as hard as he ever did. That still wasn't good enough for Hermione but no one was likely to follow her crazy example.
He had written eight inches of his charms' essay when the door to the lab opened. Severus walked out very calmly, closed the door with a soft click and walked over to his private stash of liquors. He stood there for a couple of seconds before lifting a bottle of whiskey and loudly smashing it on the floor. It was quickly followed by an array of coloured bottles as well as the expensive-looking glasses he owned. All of them shattered at Severus' feet when they collided with the unforgiving stone. When there was nothing left to smash, Severus leaned forward on the now empty table, breathing heavily as if he had just run for several miles.
"I'm sure that drinking those would have had a much more calming effect," Harry noted steadily.
Severus whirled around and shot Harry such a devastated look that he knew that the man hadn't realised he was there.
"Harry," Severus said with trepidation. "I apologise. I – I didn't know that you were back already."
Harry closed his book and smiled softly at Severus. "It's not going well, I take it?" he said.
Severus scoffed. "That's the understatement of the century." With a wave of his wand, he banished the mess he made leaving no evidence of his outburst. He then sank into his usual chair and dropped his head in his hands. It was telling how difficult the man had it to show such vulnerability in front of Harry. On the other hand, they had been through a lot together and perhaps it was a sign of trust rather than one of weakness.
"What are you having difficulty with?" Harry asked. Though he knew full well that he would likely not be of help, he also knew that it sometimes helped to talk about these matters. It could give one a whole different outlook on things.
Severus sighed heavily but he replied. "There are three main effects this potion needs to have," he said. Harry nodded. He remembered that but he'd rather let the man talk. "I managed to brew a potion that produces the first two effects namely the providing of nutrients as well as keeping the drinker awake for a long period of time. That, by itself, was hard enough as it is but the third effect the Dark Lord desires, which is really two more effects if you think about it, won't work."
"What is that effect again?" Harry asked tentatively.
"The strengthening of the drinker's resolve as well as the numbing of their emotions."
It sounds like he needs a muggle drug.
Severus' head shot up and he fixed Harry with such an intense look that Harry wanted to scurry away. "Say that again," he said.
"I didn't say anything," Harry protested. He hadn't meant to convey that thought to Severus at all. Sometimes, this link was a bit annoying.
"I heard it nonetheless," Severus insisted. "What did you mean?"
"Well, I'm just saying that some muggle drugs have many of the effects you listed. Okay, not the nutrient bit but a loss of appetite might fill in just as well."
Severus almost seemed elated and eager to hear more. "And what exactly did you have in mind?" he asked.
"Er… don't ask me how I know this," Harry started, not wanting to explain too much about his cousin's past. "But I think crack is just what you need."
"Crack?" Severus repeated.
"Crack cocaine," Harry clarified. "It should increase your confidence; diminish your appetite and make you indifferent to pain and fatigue."
Severus' eyes narrowed for a moment. "Did you ever partake in the usage of this… crack?" he asked.
"No, never!" Harry was quick to deny. He hadn't. "Not me."
Severus seemed to believe him and moved on. "Very interesting," he said. "If these effects present themselves as you say they will, it could really prove to be invaluable to this potion."
Harry smiled a bit. "So… I managed to help?"
"Most likely so," Severus replied, already pulling several books from his shelf. "I will need to do some research on the subject, of course, but if I can get this to work…"
"Do you have any idea who it would be used on, though?" Harry asked. "Because it's addictive."
"I believe that it will be a potion to be drunk by the Death Eaters," Severus replied. "For what purpose, I'm not certain, but the required effects are too beneficial to be used on anyone else."
"Good," Harry said. "If they become addicted to this stuff, that could really give us an edge, you know?"
But Severus was already in a world of his own, carefully perusing the first book of many that he had now stacked on the table.
Happy that he had been able to help, Harry reopened his book of Charms and continued working on his essay, happy with the idea that they might soon have another edge on Voldemort. Especially if the man would, perhaps, drink the potion as well.
It was not until an hour later that Severus jumped up from his seat with the largest grin on his face that Harry had ever witnessed from him.
"This will actually work," Severus told Harry, his voice thick with excitement. "All I will need to do is alter its base form and it should work fantastically in this potion. I'll just need to procure some."
Harry chuckled. "Talk to Dudley," he said. "He'll be able to tell you who to buy it from."
"Your cousin?" Severus asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah," he said. "I'm sure he'd be happy to help. Though I don't know about Petunia and Vernon."
Severus smirked nastily. "Oh, I'm eager to have another word with those two anyway."
Harry frowned. "Don't kill them," he said calmly.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Severus replied icily. "Do you think they'll be done with dinner yet?"
Harry checked the time with a casual 'Tempus'. "Not quite yet," he said. "They'll be having seconds now."
"Very good," Severus said. He grabbed his cloak and threw in some floo powder in the hearth. "Arabella Figg's house!" he exclaimed clearly and with a woosh, he was gone.
Harry shook his head and rolled up his finished essay, walking into the kitchen for some tea. Camomile sounds good, he thought as he gleefully considered Severus walking up to number 4 Privet Drive.
Too bad that this story is written from Harry's perspective, isn't it? *chuckles* Well, please let me know what you thought and I'll see you all later. I'm not sure about a Tuesday update just yet since I'm still behind on my writing and the hot weather is rendering me too lazy to do anything at all. (Forgive me!)