Several weeks ago, I had the idea to try and tell the story of the infamous "werewolf prank" from Sirius's point of view, and invited renowned Snape-ologist zgirnius from CoS Forums to join me in telling the same story from Severus's point of view. Together we hashed out a version of events that we hope does justice to both characters and also stays true to canon. We plan to have four chapters, each written from both Sirius's POV (by capellablack) and Severus's (by zgirnius).
The Potterverse and the wonderful characters in it are the creations of the talented J. K. Rowling. We are merely borrowing them to have a bit of fun. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Whether or not you do, please let us know what you thought. Your comments, criticisms, and compliments are all welcome:D
And, without further ado, here are the events of Chapter One, as seen by Sirius and written by capellablack.
Chapter One: Detention with Pomona (Sirius)
Sirius Black eyed the fanged geranium before him with a degree of contempt that would have made a lesser flower wilt. This flower, however, just sat there indifferently, as if to say it wasn't its fault he was freezing his backside off in greenhouse three instead of cozying up to Miss Gertrude Banks over Charms homework in the library. And it was right, the blame for that lay entirely with the greasy cockroach stationed at the far end of the table.
The greasy cockroach chose that moment to give a loud, purposeful cough — making both Sirius and Professor Sprout look up.
"Stop dilly-dallying and get to work, Mr. Black," said Sprout, her eyes narrowing at him over the tops of the shrivelfig pots she'd been rearranging. "You'll want to finish these and get going on the chomping cabbages before it gets too dark outside."
Sirius wanted no such thing, but muttered, "Yes, Professor," and slowly donned his dragonhide gloves. He waited until her back was turned to throw a dirty look at Snivelly — who smirked ostentatiously — then got down to work.
Repotting fanged flora, as it turned out, did nothing to improve his mood. Not only was he stuck in a detention that for once he hadn't even earned, but he was there because Snivellus had tried to curse his best friend when James's back was turned. The thought alone made Sirius thrust his flower too hard into its pot, snapping the stem.
It had happened as they were leaving Herbology that morning — the second time that week Snivelly had tried something like that — and it was lucky Sirius noticed in time, or Prongs would probably have been in the hospital wing right then. Snivellus was not only cowardly enough to attack people when they weren't looking, he was also very well-versed in Dark curses.
But Sprout could not have cared less, insisting that spellcasting was forbidden in the greenhouses no matter who started it, and throwing Sirius in detention right alongside Snape. And Hufflepuffs were supposed to be fair.
Sirius snatched up another flower bulb and dropped it in a new pot, reminding himself that at least it was better him in detention than Prongs this time. Saturday was the big Gryffindor-Slytherin match, and whoever won would be in the lead for the Quidditch Cup that year. Prongs was Gryffindor's best Chaser — other teams' Keepers seemed genuinely afraid of him — and had been on his best behavior all week, as he could not afford to get thrown out the match. But Slytherins always played dirty before big games, and Snivelly in particular had always been jealous of James's Quidditch prowess. Sirius strongly suspected that this was the motivation behind his latest attack.
Still, he would have much preferred to spend the afternoon elsewhere, as he was certain the lovely Miss Banks would be dropping that coy act she'd been using with him any day now. She had to, he was irresistible.
Not Miss Banks, Sirius corrected himself, grinning despite his otherwise lousy mood — Lady Banks...
His latest love interest was the daughter of Muggle nobility, and it had amused him to no end to learn there were hordes of Muggles running around calling themselves Lord This and Lord That. He'd only known one Lord Anything before she brought this to his attention… though the Muggle Lords, as far as he could tell, didn't have followers and such — just noble and most ancient families with lots of money...
Sirius rolled his eyes and patted down some potting soil with his trowel. He wasn't allowed to tease about this anymore, or Banks had vowed to hex him to next Tuesday.
For a while, he occupied himself with pleasant daydreams of other things he would certainly not have been allowed to do had he actually spent the afternoon in her company. He was finally jolted back to reality by the jarring screech of chair on floor, followed by the even more jarring sight of Snivelly leering at his unfinished flowers as he approached Professor Sprout.
Sirius closed his eyes and tried to bring back the mental image of Banks, with her cute button nose and her soft silken curls — but it was no use. It had been firmly replaced by that of Snivellus, with his great hooked beak and his unbelievably oily tresses...
"Professor Sprout, what is it you need me to do with the chomping cabbages?" he heard Snivelly asking smugly.
"Finished already, Mr. Snape? Good work!" Sirius opened his eyes and reached for another geranium, thinking he might be sick.
"I am afraid the cabbages are definitely a two-man job though. With your help I am sure we can get Mr. Black's geraniums squared away quickly as well, and then you can both get to work on the cabbages."
Sirius froze, feeling as though Sprout had just announced his forced collaboration with a blast-ended skrewt, and the plant he was holding seized the opportunity to sink its fangs into his finger. He tore it off, swearing under his breath, and flung the pieces discreetly into the nearest flower bed.
Snivelly turned, looking somewhat disappointed, and walked back to the table. His greasy curtains of hair swung dangerously close as he drew up right next to Sirius.
"Stand back!" Sirius yelped softly, putting some distance between himself and Snape, and eyeing the positively revolting quantities of dandruff coating Snape's robes. "Godric," he muttered, "how can anyone stand being so foul?"
Snivelly blinked, and for an instant looked as though he might have had the decency to be ashamed of himself. But the next moment he reached for a flowerpot and deliberately brushed Sirius along the way.
"If you can't stand it, leave," Snape said quietly, baring his teeth in a horrible semblance of a smile. He straightened up, installing himself at the end of the table so he and Sirius were elbow to elbow.
"Watch it, Snivelly," Sirius warned, hastening to the other side of the table. "You don't want to find out what happens to greasy gits who —" He trailed off, unable to think of the right end to that sentence, but hoped he looked sufficiently menacing. He had at least an hour before he could get to a change of robes.
Snape finished repotting one plant and reached for another, his cold black eyes glittering malevolently. "You think you can do anything, you and Potter," he said quietly. "But you don't own the school."
"Gentlemen, a bit less chit-chat please," Sprout called impatiently before Sirius could ask what that was supposed to mean. He and Snivelly had to settle for shooting each other looks of intense mutual dislike.
When the geraniums were done, Sprout told them to dress for outside, as they would be spending the rest of detention planting her new winter-hardy Tibetan Chomping Cabbages. Sirius found and fastened his heavy winter cloak, and looked up to find Snape staring at it in amused disbelief. He glanced down but could see nothing wrong, save for a few loose threads where he'd removed the serpentine emblem of Mother's favorite robemakers.
"What?" he asked, annoyed.
"Oh, nothing," said Snape softly, yet looking for all the world as though it were Sirius and not he dressed in a dirty, ill-fitting garment that undercover Ministry workers might pair with thigh-high rubber boots.
Sirius was about to say something to this effect when Sprout turned up in furry earmuffs and marched them out the door. She showed them the row of stakes where they were to dig holes, and then led them to another greenhouse where the cabbages were being kept.
"All right, boys, get to it," she said briskly, hanging her cape and earmuffs up on a peg. "I'll be in here preparing some ingredients for Professor Slughorn, so I'll have my eye on you. No slacking and no magic."
Snivelly grabbed a shovel and darted outside, so that Professor Sprout gave Sirius the job of carting cabbages out of the greenhouse one by one; apparently this species was cannibalistic. It was tedious but he was in no hurry to finish, as Snape appeared to be having a worse time with the digging and kept shooting him resentful looks as he moved with deliberate slowness. Eventually, though, he had no choice but to grab a shovel and start digging at the far end of the row. Snivelly seemed to decide the best punishment would be placing himself in close proximity to Sirius, and quietly walked over to an adjacent hole.
For a while they both worked in silence, too cold and eager to get back inside to pay each other much attention. But they were only halfway through when dusk began to fall, and Sirius wondered if Professor Sprout really meant to keep them there until they finished. He was sweating despite the fact that he could see his breath coming out in icy white puffs. His fingers were stiff, his whole body had started to ache with exhaustion, and the only thoughts that remained on his mind were a long shower and a hot meal.
Then, as he paused to wipe the sweat from his brow, Sirius caught sight of two silhouetted figures emerging from the castle. He recognized one immediately, and grinned to himself as they set off across the snow-covered grounds. With all the distractions of the past couple hours, he'd nearly forgot it was full moon, the first since they'd got back from winter holidays.
Maybe the day wouldn't be a total waste after all. There was an abandoned farmhouse they'd discovered on the outskirts of Hogsmeade before Christmas that Sirius was particularly keen to go back and explore: He'd bet James ten galleons it was haunted by the ghosts of a local family said to have been murdered in their sleep thirty years ago.
"Well, well," said a soft voice behind him, causing Sirius to spin around. With a horrible sinking feeling he saw that Snape, too, was watching the figures make their way across the grounds.
"Well what?" he demanded. For a moment Snape eyes flicked to him, and there was an almost hungry gleam in them that Sirius found highly disconcerting.
"The Perfect Prefect disappears mysteriously into the night, once again," Snape said softly, a slight smirk playing across his sallow features.
"Mind your own business, Snivelly," Sirius snapped, turning quickly back to the cabbages. He wanted very much to get off this subject, as Snivelly's apparent interest in it could mean nothing good. "And get back to work, I want to go inside," he added hopefully.
But for once, Snape seemed to have forgotten all about work. "You know, so many people wonder where he goes all the time," he continued quietly, still staring off toward the distant Willow. "There are many theories, of course, but..."
Sirius didn't respond, instead giving his shovel a few angry kicks into the frozen soil and praying that if he didn't say anything Snivelly would just drop it. It was hard enough keeping Moony's secret without nosey gits like Snape taking an interest...
"Where do you suppose he goes?" Snape said at last, turning to look at Sirius more closely.
"Sorry, couldn't tell you," Sirius answered loudly, tossing aside a shovelful of dirt and trying to ignore the growing knot of unease in his stomach. Snivellus was clearly enjoying himself. Too much.
"Oh, but I think you could," he whispered, pausing for effect. "Or is it just a coincidence that the rest of your little group always sneak out of the castle after him?"
Sirius's stomach gave an unpleasant lurch, like the floor had just fallen out from under him. The shovel slipped from his fingers and hit the ground with a thud as he whirled around to face Snape.
"Don't know what you're talking about," he said through clenched teeth, but the triumphant sneer that met these words told him it was no good.
Sirius felt a mixture of panic and anger rising up in him. He wanted nothing more than to curse the smirk right off Snivelly's face, and even reached for his pocket before remembering Professor Sprout had confiscated their wands.
Sprout now emerged from the nearest greenhouse wielding a pair of enormous hedge clippers. "Is anything the matter, boys?" she called out. Sirius tore his eyes from Snape and slowly shook his head no; she pursed her lips and set to work pruning some dangerous-looking shrubbery nearby.
His insides still boiling, Sirius picked up his shovel and resumed stabbing at the rock-hard dirt with it.
So Snivellus had been following them around — no doubt looking for reasons to get them expelled. It should hardly have been a surprise, he'd had it in for James the moment he laid eyes on him, but... had the Marauders really been so careless? They never went out without the Invisibility Cloak...
Sirius tried to recall the penalties set by the Ministry for illegal Animagi, but it had been almost four years since they'd looked them up. At the very least there would be a stiff fine, more money than he himself had access to.
He wondered if his parents would bother to spring him. They'd sprung Reg last summer, for involvement in a Muggle-beating, but Sirius rather doubted he'd get the same treatment.
Not that it mattered — they were all underage and sure to get expelled for sneaking off school grounds and setting a werewolf loose each month. And somehow, getting turned out from Hogwarts sounded far worse to Sirius than anything else the Ministry might do to them.
He stole a sideways glance at Snape, who was working a little slower than before.
Surely Snivelly couldn't know anything about their being Animagi, Sirius reasoned, or he would have wasted no time alerting school and Ministry authorities. But he might start to figure things out if he kept snooping around, and they couldn't afford to take that chance. Unfortunately, Sirius sensed he had about as much hope of curbing Snape's interest as stopping a runaway train.
His suspicions were confirmed when Professor Sprout puttered back inside a few minutes later and Snivellus straightened up, stretching slowly and yawning deliberately. "You're not... afraid... I'll find out what you get up to, are you?" he asked, and there was an unmistakable note of smugness in his voice.
Sirius was sorely tempted to hit Snivelly, but thought better of it and restrained himself. "Actually, the possibility you might drip grease on me is of far greater concern," he said coolly, taking a step away and digging with renewed vigor.
"Oh, you just wait, Black," said Snape. "I know you and Potter are up to something, and I will find proof of your," he seemed to lay a delicate stress on the word, "illegal activities, I assure you."
Sirius found himself almost shaking with fury, and stared determinedly at the ground in front of him, fighting the urge now to swing his shovel at Snivelly's head. He could feel, rather than see, the hated face sneering down at him in the rapidly fading light, and for a moment almost wished Snape would find out: He could just see the look on old Snivelly's face on finding himself in the company of a fully-grown, rampaging werewolf. Actually, the image was rather cathartic...
Sirius stiffened slightly, struck by a sudden bolt of inspiration.
Of course, it was perfect! Why hadn't he thought of it before? If Snivellus wanted so badly to find out where the Marauders went on full moon, what could possibly serve him better than, well... Finding Out?
"You want proof we're sneaking out?" he said quietly, turning to face Snape and trying to keep the sudden, growing excitement out of his voice. "There's a big knot on the side of the tree, and if you just prod it the whole thing freezes. Anyone can get in." He paused. "I recommend using a long stick," he added, his heart beating very fast as he wondered whether there was any hope of Snivelly believing him.
Snape must have been caught off guard at least, because at these words he too had gone oddly still. For a moment his face was quite inscrutable, then he snorted loudly.
"Oh, of course," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "On your word, I'm going to approach a dangerous Whomping Willow and start poking it. It won't mind in the least." He gave a derisive little laugh. "If you think I'd believe such a story, you are even more boneheaded than I had thought."
Sirius shrugged and calmly reached for a cabbage, sure Snivellus was more intrigued than he was willing to let on.
Either way it was a good plan. If they were lucky, the greasy git would be curious enough to try it and get what was coming to him. If not, at least he'd remain none the wiser about the Marauders and their monthly excursions.
Sirius gave himself a mental pat on the back for a threat well-neutralized, and spent the rest of the detention working in silence, chilled to the bone yet feeling strangely upbeat.