I'm really sorry about the wait for this chapter as well. But with the move over I will be able to post more, until graduation comes up, then I will be MIA for a bit again. I hope you guys like this chapter, I'm a bit nervous about it as my break from writing has me feeling a bit...inadequate. So please Review!
Severus was so bored lying in bed all day, but Sirius and Harry said that he had to stay in bed until they were absolutely certain that he wasn't sick anymore. Severus had tried to assure them that he felt great, but he went ignored because he wouldn't eat breakfast. It wasn't that he didn't like breakfast it was just that it was too much for Sevvy's stomach to handle. Really…if they had just let him have oatmeal like he had asked he would have been fine.
Tossing and turning in Sirius's large bed, he sighed loudly. Maybe he could convince Harry to take him outside so he could play. He had heard his older brother talk about inviting some of his friends over, maybe that would give Severus a chance to make more friends as well! Harry had told him that his friends would like him; he hoped that that was true. Then again…Harry had said that Sirius would like him and that turned out to be a lie in the beginning.
"Hello Sev," Sirius said coming in with a small tray of food. "I brought you some lunch."
"Thank you," Severus said pulling himself up from the covers. "Is Harry still here? Can I go play with him now?"
Sirius glanced down at the little boy that looked up at him with big, onyx, eyes. He really didn't want to risk Severus getting sick again, and so far the best way to protect him was to keep him in bed. Though he did understand how bored a person could get laid up, maybe they could work around it.
"Okay…" Sirius said taking a seat with him. "How about I make you a deal, tyke. You eat more than half of your soup and drink your juice…if you can do that I will call Harry up here and we'll play cards. Does that sound like a game plan?"
Severus pursed his lips in thought, that sounded like something fun they could do. He used to play cards with his mummy all the time. She and him would bet cookies, and Severus won almost all the time. He never kept all the cookies to himself though, no, he usually made sure his mummy was able to have half of them. He wished she hadn't left for heaven; Severus had never missed someone as much as he missed his mummy.
Lifting his spoon Severus began sipping from the warm broth. It tasted really good, better than Severus had had in a long time in fact. He would have to ask his mummy to learn to make soup this way. Granted, they never really had a lot of food to put into the soup when she usually made it. Father said that it was a waste to spend so much money on a single pot of soup.
Sirius watched as Severus ate the soup carefully, he almost couldn't tell if he was eating like that to inspect it for poison or if he just never had soup before. He didn't say anything though, really, if the boy was eating Sirius didn't care how long it took. He took a seat not far from the bed and pulled out a copy of the Daily Prophet. He knew it was nothing but a rag of bullocks, but it was his best way to keep in the know when it came to what was going on with the Ministry and the corrupt trolls that were in it.
"Sirius?" Severus called softly. "I'm full…"
Severus wasn't sure if this was half the bowl, but he thought it was a lot more than what he usually ate. Sirius had given him a lot of soup after all; he had never had a full bowl before. It was just too much and how did he expect him to eat all of the broth and then the crackers? Severus was sure he would explode!
"Already?" Sirius asked looking at the bowl. "Severus it doesn't look like you even touched it."
"But I did!" Severus said sternly. "You were too busy reading the paper to notice!"
Sirius cocked his eyebrow at Severus as he began throwing a mini-tantrum. He had wondered when this would happen, or if it would happen at all. Was it bad that Sirius actually found it kind of funny? The little Snape just looked so cute with his eyebrows furrowed and his arms crossing over his chest. To think that this little tyke had at one time scared an entire class of students.
"Now now, Severus," Sirius scolded lightly. "That is not going to get you anywhere with me."
Severus pouted and lay back down against his pillows. It wasn't fair that he wasn't being listened to properly. He really had tried to eat all of his soup, but it was just too much for him! Clearly Sirius had been wrong to give him so much; he wished that he could show him that.
"Severus…" Sirius warned. "I mean it…you are too old to throw tantrums."
Severus didn't want to cry like a baby, but for some reason Sirius's refusal to let him have his way was causing his eyes to burn. He didn't like that Sirius didn't believe him, but he decided that it couldn't be helped and he supposed that he would just have to finish the bowl to prove that he wasn't a liar. Picking up his spoon he sniffled softly and took another bite.
The soup was cold now and felt so heavy as it made his way down to his tummy. He didn't want to throw up again, but if he kept eating the way he was it would become inevitable. Looking up at Sirius with pleading in his eyes he sniffled and let his chin quiver.
"I wanna play cards…" he sniffled.
Sirius looked at the bowl and then back at the little boy in front of him. He supposed that would be enough for right now, he really did not want to be responsible for making the kid even sicker. Harry would probably turn him into a dog-skin rug if he did that. So taking the soup back he summoned Kreacher and sent it away with him.
"Harry is downstairs, I'll go get him and then we'll play cards, alright?"
Severus nodded and adjusted himself in Sirius's bed. He was so excited to play cards and have something to do! He had read all of the books Remus and Harry had bought for him. He couldn't help but wonder what Harry had been doing all morning without him, maybe sleeping, that seemed like the most popular thing to do at the moment.
"Harry?" Sirius called. "Up for a game of Egyptian Rat Screw?"
"What?" Harry asked from the fireplace. "Egyptian…what?"
"Egyptian Rat Screw."
"Sounds illegal…" Harry snorted. "Is it like Poker or….Scum?"
"Never mind," Harry smiled. "Yeah, I'd love to play…but I'm waiting for Ron and Hermione…they said they would be coming over today."
"What about Severus, Harry?" Sirius asked taking a seat at the kitchen table. "Are they going to be okay with their current Potions Professor in this form?"
Harry shrugged, he really didn't care if they did. Harry would not let them hurt Severus, but he knew that Hermione and Ron would fall in love with him. Sirius had….granted it had taken a bit longer than he would have preferred, but there was also a longer divide of hatred between the two of them. He knew that Ron and Hermione never thought very positively of Snape, but his friends were very forgiving. Well Hermione was… Ron had the tendency to hold a grudge.
"I think they'll be okay…" Harry sighed. "And if they aren't they'll just have to deal with it…I love Sevvy."
Standing, Harry went to the fridge and poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice. He really hoped that Ron and Hermione would be nice to Severus. It seemed like they had only recently made up after a fight regarding the Triwizard Tournament.
"And if you came around," Harry teased. "I'm pretty sure I won't have to deal with them being angry for long."
Sirius rolled his eyes playfully and stuck his own tongue out before summoning himself a glass of pumpkin juice. He was still in mild disbelief that he liked Snape now, it almost seemed unreal. It had only been a couple weeks that he had the kid, and he already seemed to be…in love…with him. He would never be able to live this down if Snape turned back into his slimy self.
"Yeah, yeah, you don't have to keep reminding me," Sirius smirked. "I already admitted that you were right about the kid."
Harry smiled; it still pleased to hear him say so. He loved his new family and he wanted to keep it for as long as he possibly could. He hoped that Dumbledore wasn't rushing to turn Snape back to normal, if a cure was never found it would be no skin of his bones. Harry actually wasn't sure what it would be like if his potions master re-aged. Would he be mean? Would he even remember any of the past few weeks? Harry wasn't sure he would ever be able to look at the man the same way again, and he would always crave the little brother he had currently.
"Sirius…" he whispered. "Do…do we really have to change him back? I mean…he's happy the way he is."
-I could take care of him, Sirius…and he could live here, couldn't he? He's really smart and…and I'm sure that we could win the war regardless."
"Harry," Sirius said sternly, placing his hands on his God-son's shoulders. "It isn't that simple…Severus is vital for the Order of the Phoenix. He needs to be an adult-
-no he doesn't!" Harry insisted, his eyes burning. "It's not fair to turn him back into that ! He hates himself, he's all alone, and I don't want that for him!"
Sirius frowned as he watched his god-son. He knew that Harry didn't want Severus to have to be unhappy, but some things could not be helped. Severus was a spy for the Order, and he needed to be an adult in order to continue with that façade. Harry didn't understand that because he wasn't permitted to know the full extent of Severus's loyalty, but they could all be in serious danger if Sevvy didn't revert back.
"I know it's hard, Harry," Sirius continued gently. "But he chose this, he chose to do this for Dumbledore, and I don't think Dumbledore is willing to let that go. We can give Severus happiness until that day, and maybe he will remember when he turns back…but if he doesn't you will just have to accept it."
Harry felt tears form in his eyes, and it was the first time he was able to cry in a long time. He didn't want to accept that it could all revert back to how it used to be. He didn't want Snape to hate him again, he wanted him to love him and remember that Harry loved him as well. Harry wanted this relationship more than anything; he would give up anything to ensure it.
"There is another way," he growled firmly. "You are all just too…inconsiderate…to figure out what it is. It's easy to throw away, Snape's life isn't it? Because he's the one that hates himself enough not to care if you all do it. Everyone is willing to sit back and watch him suffer…no one is willing to do anything about it."
Before Sirius could even give his two cents, Harry turned on his heel and stormed up the stairs to Severus's room. He wiped his eyes quickly and turned to his little brother.
"Harry," Severus smiled. "You came back…want to play cards with Sirius and me?"
Harry felt his lips quiver and he forced another smile onto his face as he crawled up onto the bed with his little brother. He didn't want Sevvy seeing him upset, or to think he was crying.
"I would love to, but I don't think Sirius is going to come up and play…we can start without him."
Going over to the nightstand he took the small box of playing cards Sirius had left out. He didn't care how rude he had been to his godfather; he would not accept that there was nothing that could be done for Severus. Harry would find his own way if they were determined to sacrifice his brother…maybe Hermione would be able to help, maybe there was a way to save him.
"Harry?" Severus called. "Want me to teach you how to play Spit?"
"Spit…" Harry repeated shuffling the cards.
"Yeah…" Severus smiled, sitting up. "It's a lot of fun…mummy and I would play it all the time while I was sick. You get five sets of cards…one up, then one down one up, then two down one up, three down one up, and then four down one up…then you set your remaining cards face down in a deck to the side. We both set one card down at the same time…and then we try and get rid of all our cards by going in numeric order…get it?"
Harry smirked, "Oh yeah…sounds simple."
"Okay good!" Severus smiled. "Split the deck in half and give me a half."
"Umm Sevvy," Harry chuckled after doing so. "I really have no clue how to play this game."
"I could explain it to you again," Severus offered, laying out his cards on the bed. "First you lay down your cards-
-why don't we just play a round and go as slow as we can."
Severus nodded and smiled as he finished setting out his cards.
"Now you lay yours out, just like I did mine."
"No, not like that."
"How else would I lay them out?"
"You aren't supposed to see them."
"Oh, okay…" Harry said, turning them all over.
"Well you need to be able to see at least one of them, Harry."
Severus smiled and giggled.
"What? I can see one of them!" Harry grinned.
"Not the one in the middle!"
"Oh, fine, so picky…" Harry winked.
Severus giggled and just as he was about to lay down one of his cards, he noticed that they were no longer alone.
"Umm…Harry…" he said softly.
Harry turned and smiled widely at his two friends in the doorway.
"Hey guys, want to play cards?"
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