Chapter 14: Happiness is the Key to Friendship

Groggily, Sage opened her eyes half expecting to see the bright light of the hospital wing shining familiarly down at her, but it was not so. She prised open her eyelids and everything came into focus, she was in a dimly lit room with an extinct fire. She was on a large double bed, which she recognised as her parents bed and sleeping on the chair next to her was,

'Pro-Professor Snape?'

Sage was bewildered; her DADA professor had been resting in the armchair next to her parent's bed and had seemingly looked after her while she was unconscious.

'Yes. Yes girl now tell me, how are you feeling?'

'Slightly dizzy,' she admitted, 'Got a headache, nothing else though'

'Hmm that's expected, what about Nausea? Indigestion? Anything else?' he probed, noting her symptoms on some parchment.

Sage shook her head slowly and closed her eyes wincing. With a shot, Professor Snape whipped his hand up and pressed it to her forehead. 'Feverish,' he noted seriously.

'Professor, why are you here?' Sage asked smally.

'Because Malfoy, it is I and not Madam Pomfrey who is more qualified in this area and, Madam Pomfrey is busy looking after your sister and some Ravenclaw sixth years who had a fight.'

'More qualified sir? I thought Madam Pomfrey was the nurse?'

'She is, but I am not a nurse Miss Malfoy. I am qualified in Psychology, and aswell as my Potions Master, am qualified to diagnose mental problems.'

'You think I'm mental?'

'You, me, you're parents, most Slytherin's and every Gryffindor to pass through these halls,' he agreed, 'Nothing personal.'

Sage was thoughtful as she answered his questions and when he was finished he turned to her, half seriously and exclaimed, 'Now I'll ship you off to St Mungo's, I hear there's a few beds free near Gilderoy Lockhart.'

'No Professor! You don't think I'm mental do you?' Sage pleaded.

'Miss Malfoy it was a jest, I think you had a bit of a shock to you're mental system when your sibling shouted at you, maybe a small bout of depression. You should feel back to normal within a few days.'

'Yessir, thanks.'

'You won't be thanking me when I set you a huge essay on the uses of the Shrivelfig tomorrow.'

Shaking her head in amusement, Sage headed to her parents study and noted it was still the evening, and that she must have been asleep for only a few hours. When entering, her mother rushed over and pushed her into a chair while her father conjured some sandwiches and Pumpkin juice.

'You've missed dinner,' her father said matter-of-factly, 'and there's no chance we're having you go down to the Kitchens.'

'It'd be more work for the poor house-elves anyway,' Hermione mumbled to herself, causing Draco to throw his head back and laugh at his wives mutterings.

'Mum, Dad, we need to talk about…stuff,' Sage finished lamely.

'Indeed we do,' scoffed Draco, 'Right then, what about this plan of yours?'

'Not happening is it?' she shot, before hanging her head and saying, 'The venom was part of it and we can't do without it.'

'Good.'

'What else did you have planned Sage?' Hermione pressed.

'We called them master, and lady; I think Severus even said the word spiffing.'

'So you made it sarcastic?'

'Yeah, and when we were going to cheer for Slytherin…'

'You were going to say something like, "Support the Slytherins, or no one will" and mock them.'

'Sounds about right.'

'Good girl,' he smiled, 'I think your Godfathers sarcasm is wearing off on you.'

'And I think mum's softness and chivalry is rubbing off on you, like her love for tea and long essays.'

'Spoken like a true Snape,' her mother remarked.

Just then, Professor Snape, (henceforth named Severus) came through the door and smirked, 'What's this I hear? Mr Malfoy has failed to bring up his children and instead they are reverting to their Godfathers unholy ways?'

Sage giggled and Hermione said dryly, 'Yes Severus, we love you too.'

'I bloody hope not,' eyed Draco jokily as Sage jumped from her chair and hugged her godfather.

'Thanks for helping me Uncle Sev.' She beamed at him and sat back down while Hermione stifled a snigger and Draco snorted.

'Uncle Sev?'

'Better than Draco daddykins.' Snape retorted.

'Touché.'

And so the evening continued. Professor Snape, Hermione, Draco and Sage sat around the warm fire eating contentedly in the Malfoy quarters. Sage kept feeling thr urge to discuss the plan again but her mind was split and her conscious torn. As the chattering became mundane Sage took the chance and asked in a half-hearted voice.

'What are we going to do about the SY?'

The adults looked at her carefully, contemplating an answer before Draco said, 'You must ignore them completely, cut off all contact with them and not go anywhere alone in the castle. Us adults will search the chamber and keep you from harms way, there's no need for fret.'

Severus added, 'In classes you will be far away from the Slytherins and neither you nor you little group of Gryffindor bandits will take things into your own hands.'

Sage looked up at her Professor and said earnestly, 'I just didn't want them hurt, it was to protect you not make you mad.'

'Understandable,' he murmured, 'But at what price are you willing to pay for the safety of your family? You could be hurt, your sister has been Injured and your friends could have died in the fire.'

'That was the Slytherin's…'

'And that's exactly why you mustn't retaliate!'

'Yes. Thank you Uncle.'

'Your welcome Miss Malfoy.'

Sage left her parents rooms with Professor Snape, talking amiably with him as he walked her to the Gryffindor portrait (as asked by her mother) and when he commanded, 'Braveheart,' the Fat Lady eyed him warily and swung open her door letting Sage crawl through.

She trudged through the common room to find it empty for all except her fellow first years that had been waiting for her worriedly. 'Where have you been?' Alice exclaimed as she claimed the sofa ad sank into it.

'My parents….' Sage answered vaguely, waving her hand as if to explain everything.

'But you've been gone for ages!' Sirius sighed exasperatedly.

'A few hours, that's all,' she replied shortly, nuzzling her arm into the crook of the sofa.

James snickered, 'Sev was all ready to send a search party out for you.'

She looked up, 'Really?'

Severus nodded and flushed before Lily whacked him around the head with a cushion and said, 'Sage having a talk doesn't make you disappear for ages; you've been gone well over eight hours!'

Sage mumbled something inaudible and buried her head further into the couch. Severus prodded her and said sternly, 'Sage Malfoy you tell us where you've been right now or face punishment of death by tickling.'

Sirius' eyes lit up and James smiled mischievously. Sage rose up hesitantly and mumbled, 'I had an accident, okay?'

'But you've been declared fit by the nurse!' cried Alice in a fit.

'Not…Physical.'

Lily warned the boy's off and took Sage's hand in hers, 'Mental, Sage?'

Nodding slightly, Sage sighed and stressed out, 'I've been unwell but I should be okay within a few days, please don't go all mad and everything about it. It's over alright?'

'Sage we want to know what's happened so we can help you,' Severus said smally, 'we want to help you.'

With apprehension Sage explained that she'd had a slight breakdown and went on to explain about her evening with Professor Snape and her parents.

Sirius was giggling about the Professor Snape and the phrase, 'Uncle Sev' while Severus, Lily and Alice had their hands clenched and were biting their lips nervously.

'Sage, I can't believe you his that from us!' Lily sighed angrily, 'I can't believe you didn't trust us enough to tell us!'

'I do trust you Lily; I just didn't want to burden you.' Sage admitted quietly.

Lily laughed hollowly, 'My dad is the boy-who-lived and my friends are the object of hatred and are being subjected to harm, we are all burdened Sage and nothing can stop that.'

James followed on, 'Lily's right sage, by not telling us it breaks the group down the middle and we can't afford to have mistrust within our group while fighting the Slytherin's.'

Sirius chanted in agreement, only to be 'ssshed' by Alice who didn't want to awaken the other years.

'From now on, we have no secrets from each other. We are all open with everyone and we do our best to help each other,' Severus demanded. He outstretched his hand into the middle of their circle and Sirius placed his hand on top while saying, 'Agreed. No more secrets.'

Alice hesitantly put her hand on top and nodded firmly, James and Lily following in suit. All eyes rested on Sage and she put her hand forward, only to have it gripped by Severus' other hand and placed on top, his eyes linking with hers, almost pleading.

'No more secrets,' she whispered, and was enclosed in a group hug, trying to push away the tears from her eyes.

The next morning Sage awoke with her mind clear of all confusion. Alice and Lily were still getting up and they met the boys in the common room after having a long shower each to reflect on the week.

In the Great Hall Sage made herself a plate high of pancakes and dug in, leaving her fellow Gryffindor's bewildered. James asked her if anything was wrong and she gave him a smile, 'No James, Everything is right.'

Lessons sailed by smoothly, and Sage could not conceal her grin when after making a perfect Shrivelfig solution, (she received an 'O' and positively glowed with excitement) which would calm and clear the mind of the drinker for up to 24 hours. Even Alice managed an acceptable, while James, Lily, Sirius and Severus all received 'E's' for their concoctions, ('didn't I tell you to add the Powdered Bicorn Horn after the potion had simmered, not before Weasley?' Professor Snape had snapped half-heartedly.)

Exempt from the Potions essay, Sage had contained the urge to gloat to her Godfather, (Uncle Sev) and merely given him a smirk as she left the classroom.

Dinner was a happy affair; Claudio had swooped down just after the food had disappeared with a note from her mother.

Sage,

Your father and I were very pleased to hear from your rather annoyed Uncle that you managed to create a perfect Shrivelfig solution today in less than forty minutes. As expected we are told you are exempt from the homework and Professor Snape is claiming that you did it purposely to annoy him because he had told you to expect a nasty essay on Shrivelfig.

Obviously I told him that his claims are nonsense and that you know the uses of a Shrivelfig like the back of your hand. Keep up the good work, your father says he's never been so amused by your godfather's mutterings.

Mum x

Grinning, Sage petted Claudio and let him have some juice from her goblet. He flew off back to the owlery and Sage had a sudden thought. Where was Persephone? The owl had been gone for two day's now and usually a reply would have been sent by now.

Persephone was by no means a slow owl and Sage became worried, she gave her mum a quick nod and walked out of the hall to her friends.

Telling her friends about Persephone's absence sparked a rage within Severus she would never had thought possible. It seemed he had a great love for animals as he kept going over all the things what could have happened to Persephone.

Lily seemed less concerned, and advised Sage to tell her mother if Persephone didn't arrive by the following evening. James and Alice agreed, while Sirius sat in a daze, trying to work out how long an owl should take. 'Speed equals distance over time,' could be heard from his mumblings and Sage smiled. Only Siri would use a muggle method to figure out how long and owls journey would take.

Talk of a Halloween party in the common room was floating around and soon a Auburn haired third year approached James, Lily and Severus. 'Hi Sev,' she smiled.

'Hullo Risa,' Severus replied carefully, after all you could never be caught unawares with the daughter of Fred and Angelina Weasley.

'Sev, I know your friends have the map and we need it for the Halloween party, for the butterbeer and firewhiskey. Could we borrow it?'

James and Lily looked sideways at each other, they were hesitant to lend the marauders map over to anyone, but decided on a compromise.

'Tell you what, we will go and get the butterbeer and firewhiskey from Hogsmeade if you can give us the order and rough amount. We'll go halves on the cash if, and only if the party is for all years.'

Risa grinned, 'You guys strike a hard deal. But sure that's cool, I'll just ask Izzy because he's in charge of getting the supplies.'

Risa skipped away and cornered and tanned boy in about his fifth year, who rolled his eyes and came over with Risa to speak to them.

'Yeah, Yeah alright then, we need about 100 Butterbeer's and 50 Firewhiskey's. I've already got the sweets.'

'From his dad,' Risa snickered. 'Uncle George sent him all their new tester products in bulk. Between us we must have half of Weasley Wizard Wheezes new stock.'

Sage, Sirius and Alice had come over and joined the group looking for an explanation. James quickly told them about going to Hogsmeade when Alice shrieked, 'NO JAMES!'

'What's wrong…Alice?' Risa asked kindly.

Alice went red and huffed, 'WE-ARE-NOT-ALLOWED-OFF-SITE-JAMES-POTTER-AND-IT-WOULD-DO-YOU-GOOD-TO-REMEMBER-THAT-AFTER-WE-JUST-LOST-260-POINTS!'

'It was you? We knew it was some younger years who lost the points but you lot?' Izzy asked wide eyed. 'What did you do to get that?'

Sirius grinned sheepishly, 'We ran away and flew down to some muggle coastal village.'

Sage looked at him pained before turning to James, 'I'm not going you stop you James, but just don't break too many rules.'

'I planned to ask for you help actually Sage, along with Sev, Lily, Siri and Alice.'

'What about you're…cousins?'

'Yeah they are my cousins, Sev's too. They are coming; we might need them for the firewhiskey.'

'But we bought all the firewhiskey last week, shouldn't you get away with it.'

'We bought three cases a few days ago, I doubt he'll sell us that much. It's the amount what matters to the owner not the age limit.'

'I daresay,' said Izzy, 'That if Risa went with you rather than Risa and I, you wouldn't mind?'

'I dunno,' grinned James cheekily, 'It might be hard to carry all that stuff…'

'I'll pay your half then, we'll pay for it all if you buy it and bring ti back.'

'Deal.'

'Deal.'

It took some time to bring Alice around, even Sage who had her doubts about breaking the furiously set rules tried to persuade Alice that this was the bit of fun they needed, to take a break from all the stress.

'Okay,' Alice agreed after a while, 'Tomorrow we go to Hogsmeade.'

A/N:

Risa Weasley is the daughter of Fred and Angelina.

Izzy (Isaac) Weasley is the son of George and Katie.

Risa means-'laughing one'

Izzy means- 'He will laugh'

Rather suitable for the kids of Fred and George: D

Please R+R, I've many ideas for this Fic and its going to be novel length methinks: D