Chapter Five – Findings and Apologies
"Don't be such an idiot, Ron!" Hermione scolded for the millionth time in…eternity. Sometimes she felt that she would be dead in thought if it weren't for Ron's stupidity – if she had nothing else to think about, she could always think about how Ron was an idiot. If she had nothing else to say, she could always reprimand Ron for being an idiot. Chances were, Ron was always up to something idiotic or thinking something idiotic, so why not nitpick? "At this moment, Professor Snape is a poor, defenseless little boy who is most likely scared and alone. How would you feel if you were five-years-old in a huge school with a lot of bigger kids and demented people like Filch around?"
"I'd deal," Ron said, pompously puffing out his chest.
"You'd cry," Harry muttered. Argus Filch was enough to make anyone cry.
The Gryffindor Trio had been searching the hallways of Hogwarts fruitlessly for the past fifteen minutes for their missing Potions Master. Remus had taken Sirius in the opposite direction, saying that he wanted Severus found before supper was over. Having been heavily scolded, Sirius looked less than happy and even more reluctant to aid in the search for Severus. He just couldn't believe that MOONY had scolded him. Moony!
Hermione, Harry, and Ron found what they had been looking for in front of the Fat Lady.
"Merlin only knows what led the little Slytherin git to Gryffindor Tower," Ron mumbled, eyeing the sleeping child with nothing short of abhorrence.
"Shut it, Ron," Harry said sourly.
"'Ay! What's up your bum?"
"He's just a kid -there's no need to be hostile. Furthermore, if your godfather was a five-year-old, you'd be in a foul mood, too."
"He's so cute," Hermione cooed, kneeling down next to the shrunken Potions professor. She laid a gentle hand on his shoulder and shook lightly. "Professor, wake up. Severus-" A pair of black eyes popped open in surprise and the terrified squeak stopped Hermione in her tracks.
The boy scooted against the wall, as far away from the three older children as he could get.
"It's okay, Sevie," Hermione said warmly. "I'm not going to hurt you. We're going to get you back to Remus."
"Remie?" the boy asked, his face turning from frightened to hopeful.
"That's right," Hermione smiled.
Severus continued to look at her distrustfully, however, and continued to move farther away the nearer she dared to come.
"How do I know you're not lying?" he asked. "How do I know you're not going to eat me?"
"I don't like the taste of little boys," Hermione responded, unfazed.
"What about them?" Severus looked pointedly at Harry and Ron.
"I think you're a little too rich for my blood," Harry smirked.
"I wouldn't know how to cook you properly," Ron shrugged.
Severus allowed Hermione to gain a step closer.
"How do I know you won't pee on me?" he asked, remembering Sirius's earlier words.
"Well, now. That's just sick," Ron spat distastefully.
"Why would you think that, Severus?" Hermione asked.
"Sirius," Severus replied simply.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Sirius is full of-"
"Harry! He's FIVE. You can't swear around someone who's FIVE," Hermione admonished, before turning back to the little boy. "Severus, Remus is really worried about you. Will you please let me take you to him? I promise we won't eat you or pee on you."
Severus scrutinized the three of them for a few moments before slowly nodding and getting to his feet.
"Erm…will you carry me?" he asked Hermione shyly.
"Of course I will," the girl responded warmly, plucking the child into her arms. "You're such an adorable little boy."
"Thank you," Severus blushed, burying his head into her shoulder bashfully. "Sirius says I'm greasy."
"Sirius is an idiot," Hermione told him. "Just like Ron." Hermione lived by one rule: when all else fails, call Ron an idiot.
"Shut up, Mione." Ron lived by one rule, too: when bored, fight with Hermione.
"Pack it in, both of you," Harry grumbled. Harry just hated everyone.
They found Remus and Sirius in the dungeon, searching every possible hiding spot in the Potions classroom. More accurately, Remus was searching every possible hiding spot in the Potions classroom. Sirius had chosen to sit on the floor and sulk.
"We found him," Hermione announced upon entering the room, Severus in her arms and Harry and Ron at her heels. Remus rushed over, and looking very relieved, snatched Severus out of the girl's arms and smothered him in a hug.
"Thank Merlin, you're alright! I was so worried," he whispered. He looked to the three teenagers. "Where did you find him?"
"Ironically enough, outside of Gryffindor Tower," Harry said.
"He was sleeping. He's very exhausted," Hermione added.
"…stupid little Slyther-oomph!" Ron cleared his throat, rubbing his ribs where Harry had elbowed him. "I mean, make sure you don't eat him," he suggested awkwardly. "He's afraid of that. And don't pee on him, either…cause that's just sick."
Remus raised an eyebrow, but chose not to comment. Instead, he focused on Severus.
"Severus, what did I say about wandering off?" he growled.
"That we shouldn't…" Severus whispered, burying his head into the side of Remus's neck. "I'm sorry, Remie. I was really scared and Sirius wanted to explore and I just –" but Severus couldn't get any farther before bursting into tears. Remus rubbed his back.
"Thanks, you three. 20 points each to Gryffindor."
The three students nodded and smiled. Hermione kissed the back of Severus's head, causing Ron to shudder, and whispered words of comfort into the boy's ear before they took their leave.
"You hate me, Remie?" Severus asked.
"No, Sev, of course not," Remus reassured him softly, settling down on the floor next to Sirius. "Sirius has something to say to you." The older man pried the Potions Master from his body to set him in his lap. Severus looked to his shrunken rival expectantly.
"No, I don't," Sirius pouted stubbornly.
"What did we discuss, Sirius?" Remus asked.
"Nothing?" Remus asked. "I was sure it was something…" Sirius shook his head. "Sirius!"
Sirius trembled. Moony had used his scary voice. MOONY!
"I'm sorry, Sevie. I shouldn't have told you all of those things about big kids and I shouldn't have made you explore with me," Sirius mumbled, scuffing his shoe against the dungeon floor. "I was in the wrong."
Severus's eyes widened. "It's 'kay…" he said, stunned by the other boy's apology. Sirius had never apologized to him before. In fact, nobody had ever really apologized to him before. This day was MONUMENTAL. He looked up at Remie, who smiled down at him. Of course, Remie had made Sirius apologize, but that was only because Sirius was too dumb to do anything on his own.
"Okay, lets go to bed," Remus said, noting Severus's tired eyes. "Today was horrible and tomorrow will probably be worse," he added under his breath, a dark look on his face. He stood up; Severus still planted carefully in his arms and grabbed Sirius's hand.
"I'm not tired," Sirius whined.
It was the wrong thing to say – Remus whirled around and growled, "I will MAKE you tired."
It was so positively scary, that Sirius could do nothing but wet his pants.
A/N – well, since it's been so long, I hope SOMEONE will review. To that SOMEONE that does – I love you in advance. 3