This more or less lays the groundwork for a chapter that focuses more on Sirius Black later.
Chapter 10 - Questions
"Daddy," a nine year old Harry Snape said to his father, Severus Snape one morning. "Who's Sirius Black?"
That wasn't a question he'd been expecting at all; certainly not at half-past six in the morning, and it took Severus a moment to pull himself together. Buttering his toast gave him a moment to avoid looking at those imploring green eyes staring up at him from across the table, and just for good measure, he added a sip of coffee as well.
"Sirius Black . . ." he managed to croak out finally. "He . . . and I, and Remus—."
"Uncle Remus," Harry corrected softly, interrupting Severus in a way that he alone could get away with.
"Do not interrupt me, imp," Severus allowed himself a small smile, despite the circumstances.
"Sorry Daddy," Harry answered, not looking contrite in the least.
"He and I, along with Uncle Remus," he paused and raised an eyebrow at his son, who nodded happily and waved him to continue. "Attended Hogwarts . . . together, back in the 70s."
The idea that he did anything together with Sirius Black made him cough, and he followed the statement with another swig of coffee.
Narrowing his eyes as a thought came to him, he peered over his coffee cup and asked, "Why do you suddenly know that name?"
"Uncle Remus told me by acc'dent," his son explained with a disinterested shrug before snagging one of the apples at the centre of the table.
"Accident?" Severus raised an eyebrow, watching his son efficiently begin demolishing the apple in his hand.
Pausing to swallow a bite, Harry looked back across the table and nodded. "He was showing me some pictures, Daddy. And a strange man walked into da picture and I said, who's that? And Uncle Remus said it was Sirius Black, 'fore looking kind of sick and pale, like he does once a month." Harry gave him a significant glance.
Severus nodded, but didn't say anything. It was just as well, given that Harry wasn't finished.
"And I said, well who's that? But all Uncle Remus would say was that I was to ask you, 'cause he wasn't saying anything else."
Smart man, Severus thought wryly.
"So why was he in Uncle Remus' picture, Daddy?" His son's eyes were piercing his skin again, or so it felt.
"I believe I mentioned that we attended school together," Severus said, knowing better than to hope that Harry would let it go at that.
"Was he a Slytherin?"
Severus coughed again, fighting the urge to give a bitter sounding laugh in front of his son. There was nothing quite like doing something out of character to set Harry on guard.
"No. He was a Gryffindor."
"Like Uncle Remus and my other daddy," Harry nodded in a matter of fact way, more to himself than to Severus.
"And your mum, Harry," Severus pointed out.
There was no way he would ever allow Harry to forget about her. Remus was good about providing stories about James, but Severus had spent much of his life devoted to Lily, and wasn't about to let a pesky thing like her death stand in his way.
"And my mummy," Harry adjusted his statement with a small smile. "My angel," he added softly.
"Your angel," Severus nodded in agreement.
"So, Uncle Remus was in Gryffindor with Sirius Black, like my other daddy and my mummy, and they all went ta Hogwarts back in the 70s with my Daddy," Harry continued on a few bites of apple later.
"Was he friends with my Uncle Remus?" Harry's sharp eyes stared back at him, and Severus remembered how stubborn the boy could be about figuring out something unknown.
Feeling his appetite waning, Severus leaned back in his chair and tossed his napkin onto his plate.
"Yes," he answered.
"Good friends?" His son asked, delicately licking the juicy remainder of the apple off his fingers.
"Yes," Severus answered, ignoring the urge to growl at the memory.
"Was he friends with my other daddy and my mummy?"
"Sirius Black was good friends with Remus, James and another boy named Peter. He didn't truly become friends with your mother until his seventh year or so, and that was largely because James started dating her then," Severus reeled off. He did not mention that by this point, Lily had completely stopped speaking with him, and he had been forced to make his observations from afar.
"Did you like him?" Harry asked, wiping his hands off carefully.
Severus noted the tension in his son's small frame, but did not bring it up. His son knew him better than anyone, and his feelings about Sirius Black had never been hidden very well.
"I did not. Although to be fair, I can honestly say that he never cared for me either."
Standing up, Harry made his way over to where Severus was still seated and climbed into his lap.
"Did I say you could make your way into my chair like some kind of heathen creature?" Severus asked, trying to sound put off, knowing that his son could easily see through his act.
"More like a heathen Harry," his son giggled softly into the front of his robes. A black scruffy head leaned against his chest and Severus brought up a hand to gently stroke it.
"Was he mean to you?" Was Harry's next softly asked question.
"Yes," Severus answered after a moment, wrapping an arm around Harry's midsection and hugging him tightly, his eyes fixed on the opposite wall.
"Mean like Aun—like Petunia?"
Severus looked down to find green orbs staring up at him and shook his head. "Not many are as bad as Petunia. Black simply found my existence horrifying and took great pleasure in trying to make me miserable." The laugh he'd held back before bubbled up in his throat and he tried to swallow down around it.
"Did he do it alone or did my other daddy help him?"
It was times like this that Severus thought it highly likely that his son could be sorted into Ravenclaw.
Severus sighed. "They called themselves 'The Marauders.' Sirius Black and James Potter were the main two members of it, but Uncle Remus and Peter Pettigrew also joined in on some of the less . . . violent pranks."
He felt thin arms reach out around him as a small head rubbed its face insistently against his chest. "I'm sorry Daddy."
"For making you remember. I'm sorry that they was mean to you."
"It's not your fault," Severus answered, saying the words that he had slowly come to grips with over the first year of having Harry as a son.
"Still sorry," Harry murmured.
"As am I, Harry," Severus answered finally, resting his own cheek on the top of his son's head.
He did not need to clarify what he was sorry for.