"Sorry, Mrs Weasley, What did you say?"
"Professor Snape, dear. In the kitchen. He'd like a word"
Harry's mouth fell open in horror. He looked around at Ron, Hermione and Ginny, all of whom were gaping at him. "Snape?" said Harry blankly.
"professor Snape, dear" said Mrs Weasley reprovingly.
A minute or two later, he was walking quietly down the hall to the kitchen when he heard voices. He drew nearer. "Snape" a voice hissed loudly. Startled by the the harsh tone of whom he realized was Sirius Black, he bumped into the troll-leg umbrella stand, almost knocking it over. "Did you think I wanted this? Do you think I want more classes with, Potter" Snape spat his name, "when he... he looks .much like his father". Sirius hissed once more.
"He is not James! Don't you see the difference. Harry is just a boy!" Sirius spat angrily.
"He is coming of age" Snape said quietly.
"Severus, I've heard you're never nice to him in class. How would you expect Harry to grasp this if you've acted like you've hated him ever since he entered Hogwarts" Lupin said loudly.
"How did you expect me to act. Get so close to him! I. Went. to. School. With. His. Father and... Until four years ago I could never get James out of my head. And now his son comes strutting about. How am I supposed to act around him! I am cruel to Harry Potter because it keeps him safe!" Snape's rigid voice was uncharacteristically loud. Harry gasped. Harry heard the scraping of a chair being pushed out as somebody stood up. He heard footsteps coming up to the kitchen door. Harry's heart thumped somewhere in his throat. Lupin opened the door and saw Harry standing outside the kitchen. "Listening at keyholes, are we?" sneered Snape in a low voice. Harry opened his mouth, and shut it. He opened his mouth again. But he shut it. Harry didn't know where to begin. What was Snape on about?
Lupin's brows furrowed with worry and beckoned him inside. Lupin pulled out a chair for him at the long kitchen table in which Sirius and Snape were sitting on opposite sides of the table, glaring in opposite directions. Harry sat down, confusion turning to anger at the silence and the behavior of his teacher and god-father. Were they going to pretend that he had not heard half of their conversation, in which, Harry was sure he wasn't meant to have heard, because Snape was now determinedly staring at his fingers awkwardly, leaning forward so that his lank raven hair made a curtain between his face and the other stiff occupants of the table. Snape sighed, "I was supposed to see you alone, Potter, but Black -" sneered Snape not looking at Harry, stubbornly.
"I am his god father. I don't want being alone with Harry. Why can't Dumbledore teach Harry Occlumency?!" Harry's anger multiplied as Sirius Black and Professor Snape acted as if Harry weren't there. "occlu – what? Alright, Somebody better explain!"
"I am here on Dumbledore's orders," Snape looked up to glare pointedly at Sirius, "but if you feel Harry is being threatened, Black, by all means stay" Nobody had looked at him yet. It was as if he was in the pensieve again. Lupin was staring fixedly at Sirius and Snape who were glaring at each other.
Harry sighed exasperatedly. "Are we all going to pretend that I am not here? I heard everything you said -" at that Sirius and Snape's head snapped up.
"What?" Snape's voice, instead of raising like expected, was quietly waspish.
"I heard your whole conversation... How is acting cruel to me keeping me safe?"
"Snape had a crush -" Sirius ignored the hiss from Snape, "on your father. He was only friends with Lily to get to your father"
"enough" said Snape firmly.
"No! Harry, never let yourself be in a room with Snape alone -"
"Sirius!" Remus said reprovingly, Remus turned to Harry, "Sirius is worried Snape will try to touch you, in a way, that's not, appropriate" Harry stared from Remus to Sirius and finally to Snape. Sirius was still glaring fixedly at Snape. Snape was staring at Harry, face almost soft, eyes impassive.
"Harry, I will never touch you unless you asked to be," said Snape softly, "I am here on Dumbledore's orders to tell you that this term I am to teach you Occlumency, the magical defense of the mind against external penetration"
"Why can't Dumbledore -" Sirius began.
"I assure you I did not beg for the job. Dumbledore ordered me to teach Potter Occlumency knowing the history between James and I. I told him that I didn't want to do this. He didn't care" Sirius opened his mouth to say something, but sighed and shut it. Snape looked at him slowly. "If you don't feel as threatened as your god father, knowing that I have given you my word that I will not touch you and that I have the head masters trust, the first meeting is on Monday at six O'clock in my office. If anyone asks, you are in remedial potions"
Snape stood and turned to leave, his traveling cloak billowing about him. "wait a moment" said Sirius.
"This has been awkward enough and unlike you, I do not have unlimited leisure time"
"I'll get to the point, then," said Sirius standing up, plunging his hand in his cloak and whipping out his wand , "If I hear your sick child-searching fingers ever touch Harry Potter," Lupin stood up, "You'll have me to answer to"
"Haven't you noticed how much Potter is like his father, he'd have the entire school talking about me if I tried to touch him"
"James had not choice -"
"Sirius, we don't know what went on that night" Remus said as he held up his hands to Sirius to indicate that he stop. Snape pulled out his wand and advanced on Sirius. At this Remus and Harry vaulted over the table and put themselves between Sirius and Severus. Remus had stretched out his hands, as if to put his hands on both mans chests to hold them away from each other. Sirius growled furiously, his lips curling upwards menacingly. Harry stood behind Lupin, hand on Sirius' shoulder to help Remus restrain his snarling god father. Remus made to restrain Snape, hand to chest, unknowing that Harry was behind pushed Harry into the arms of Severus Snape. Snape's arms went firmly around Harry before he knew what was going on.
The kitchen door opened and the entire Weasley family, plus Hermione, came inside, all looking very happy, with Mr Weasley walking proudly in their midst. "Cured!" he announced brightly. He and all the other Weasley's froze on the threshold, gawking at the scene in front of them. "Merlin's beard!," said Mr Weasley, the smile sliding off his face, "what's going on here?" Severus released Harry quickly and swept out of the kitchen.