Chapter 8 ~ Going Home

Remus was halfway down the train when he finally found Muriel. Severus looked up as he stuck his head into their cabin. "How is she?" Remus asked immediately. Muriel was lying down on the bench, fast asleep.

"Fine, no thanks to you. Why didn't you bring her back up when you found her? What in Merlin's name could have been so important that you didn't notice she was ill?" Severus hissed, coming to the door.

Remus stepped back. He'd seen Snape angry a few times when James had hexed him, but he'd never seen anything like the snarl on the boy's face now.

"Look, Severus, I didn't know she was still sick. She seemed tired, but.."

"Severus, what is it?" Muriel asked sleepily, sitting up. "Oh, hey Remus. How are things?"

Severus narrowed his eyes, but then turned away from Remus and sat down hard. Remus swallowed, and Muriel's face took on an amused expression. Apparently Severus was intimidating even at 11. She thought that was very funny.

"Things are good, better, I mean," Remus said, coming back to the door. "You were right." He didn't quite know what else to say. He looked back at Severus briefly. "Er.sorry I didn't get you back to the Hospital wing right away," he added.

"It wasn't your fault. If I had remembered my potion that morning, it would never have happened. I was just distracted thinking about - " Muriel wondered suddenly if Remus knew anything about the flying books. She hadn't wanted to tell Severus about it, but -

"What?" Severus asked, picking up on her confusion.

She told them what had happened. Severus was furious long before she finished, and just as she mentioned gathering her books to begin running up the stairs, he cut her off.

"It was Black, I know it!" They both looked at Remus, who looked quickly to the floor. He'd heard Sirius asking James to borrow the cloak, but thought his friend had better sense than to pick on someone who was already sick. He'd have to talk to him.

As Mur looked at Remus, she caught his thoughts and her eyes widened. It HAD been Black. Severus was already standing and drawing his wand. Remus looked guilty enough to convince him.

"SIT DOWN, SEV!" Muriel snapped. "It couldn't have been Black." She noticed that Remus didn't meet her eyes. She would get back at Sirius later, but she didn't want Sev punishing him when he'd been nice enough to follow her and make sure she didn't fall, even if his prank had been in bad taste. Severus' punishment would probably be far worse than hers.

"Oh? And why not?" Severus asked scathingly. Muriel saw Remus cast a glance into the corridor. She was suddenly sure that Sirius was standing outside the door.

"Because," she explained as Severus resumed his seat, his eyes still on Remus. "Whoever it was realized when I fell that I wasn't well, and they followed me back to the common room to make sure I didn't fall down the stairs. It's a good thing, too, since my legs gave out before I made it to the landing. I would have taken a nasty tumble if the person hadn't caught me." She looked hard at Severus, then raised her voice a bit. "Do you really think that Black would have been kind enough to think of something like that?"

Remus cringed, but Severus only nodded. "You're right. He's a prat. He'd have probably been happy to watch you fall. Who do you think it was, then?"

"Oh, you know me, Sev. I'll be sure to find out first thing next year." She kept her voice light. Severus seemed satisfied. Remus was looking back into the corridor again.

"Remus, you tell Black that when he thinks of something to get back at me for the boggart prank, I'll be ready for him." Muriel wanted to give Remus an easy way out.

"Sure Mur," Remus said distractedly. "Have a good summer." He nodded to Severus and left in haste.

FIN

A/N: Severus and Muriel's second year at Hogwarts is already written, and will be posted shortly! I hope you'll stop back and check it out!