Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Works are not mine. The characters and settings are owned by J. K. Rowling and her respected publishing companies e.g. Bloomsbury.

To Court One's Heart

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

"Vampries do not have an aversion to garlic, just like they cannot be stopped by a stake through the heart," Hermione instructed primly, whilst glancing over her tome to the second-years sitting on the opposite side of the table.

"What?" Cried an outraged voice, and Hermione whipped her head around to stare at the Weasley twins. "I thought I good old garlicy stake would defeat any vamps that came our way." The other twin nodded rapidly in agreement, and the third-year Gryffindor huffed in annoyance at their devilish smirks.

"You know that isn't true," she hissed in return but the twins only shook their heads with a morose expression upon their faces.

"Afraid not, 'Mione," Fred rested his hands upon her shoulders, whilst George rested his arms upon the table and blew a lock of stray hair that had fallen from her bun. Angrily, she waved George out of the way and attempted to stand, but Fred's hands forced her into place.

"Nah ah ah, 'Mione," George sung lowly, and plucked the heavy book from her fingertips. "You see, you can't rely on everything you read in books. What if a book told you that Dementors could be warded off with spoons?" he questioned lightly, his devilish smirk still fixed upon his face. "Well Gred and I know that isn't true, but then what would happen to you? Poor little you who had gone and raided the Kitchen for all the spoons it contained?"

Hermione's face was reddening with rage, as she glared at the one twin she could see. "I am not an idiot!" she seethed quietly, "I don't believe everything I read. However, it has been proven that vampires are unaffected by garlic and stakes."

"Oooh," Fred whistled quietly whilst removing his hands from her shoulders. "If it's been proven," he trailed off.

George tapped her lightly on the head. "If it's been proven then I suppose we have nothing to complain about,"

"You! You…you," Hermione floundered for words and the twins grinned predatorily at her.

"Oh do stop winding her up!" Ginny exclaimed, as the irate Hermione gripped the desk tightly and silently fumed to herself. "Go bother someone else whilst we learn something."

The twins pouted down at their sister and folded their arms across their chest. "That's a bit rude, isn't it Forge?" Gred enquired in a hurt tone. "Our beloved little sister casting us aside like an old sock!"

Forge nodded despondently, "I know. She's just trying to impress her little friends though," he explained, "I bet you anything, Andras loves it when she gets all domineering." At this, both the twins leered at the Snape who was blushing from his neck upwards.

"Get out!" Ginny demanded loudly whilst rising from her seat as she pointed a shaking finger at her brothers.

Luna was giggling quietly from her seat between Samael and Draco.

"Oh! Better stop that, sis! Poor Andy will be needing a cold shower!" Fred crowed, before breaking down in laughter. Ginny took a threatening step towards her brothers with her wand raised and glowing with her infamous bat-bogey hex. Seeing this, the twins ran in the opposite direction where their laughter could still be heard all the way down the corridor.

Both Andras and Ginny were flushed bright red with embarrassment and Draco raised his eyebrows at the pair. "Well, that was certainly interesting," he drawled amusedly; which only caused Luna to laugh even harder.

Samael patted her lightly on the back, and she eventually calmed down. "Samael?" she asked quietly, and he raised enquiring emeralds upon her. "Have the snuggling snorklangers been visiting you recently?" She reached forward for his cane and fiddled with the raven handle. "They gave you a gift this morning. A new cane."

Draco stiffened at the girl's words, and Samael grabbed his cane back from the Ravenclaw.

"Snuggling snorklangers?" Ginny echoed confusedly, and Luna's eyes brightened at the question.

"They float around people who are being courted," she supplied brightly, oblivious of the shocked expressions on the others' faces. "They're attracted to the positive emotions from the sender and float around the gifts they have sent."

Ginny eagerly leant forward in her seat and cast expectant eyes upon the Lestrange. "Well then? Did they leave a note?"

Samael shifted uncomfortably in his seat, before raising his face in a neutral expression. "Yes."

Ginny's face brightened even further if that was possible. "What did it say then? Did they give their name?" Andras placed a gentle hand on her arm in an attempt to discourage her, but she merely shook it off and glanced back at Samael once again. "Well?"

Samael inclined his head. "They did leave a note, yes. However, they remained anonymous." The girl opened her mouth to speak once more, but Samael cut her off with a sharp look. "I will not reveal what the note said."

Ginny frowned but remained silent.

Andras cleared his throat, and grinned awkwardly at them all. "So, what does defeat a vampire then?" he asked. "I would say lumos solem or if in a really dire situation, fiendfyre and then run like hell."

Hermione nodded thoughtfully, "Yes. The book doesn't actually specify a spell; however light certainly is the major thing to ward off vampires." She pawed through the pages of the tome before finding the page she wanted. "The book does mention that silver could repel them, but it hasn't been proven. I would wager that silver doesn't have too much of an effect-" the Gryffindor was interrupted by the arrival of a flying parchment aeroplane that crashed into Samael's chest.

Ginny instantly perked up and watched Samael's every move intently. "Is that from your admirer?"

Samael sent her an irritated glance, but it was a rather ashen-face Draco who answered her. "No, it's not," he murmured distractedly, as Samael carefully unfolded the plane. "His admirer sent an origami swan."

Hermione glanced at him shrewdly, "And how do you know that?"

Draco sent her a peeved look at her nosiness, and she simply continued staring at him. "I was in the same room as Samael if you must know," he informed through gritted teeth and she sent an apologetic look.

"Try the revelare spell," Andras suggested, "It will tell you who the sender is," he explained, "Unless they have cast anonymity spells on the parchment."

Samael complied, and his expression quickly morphed into one of annoyance. "No cheating, Lestrange. You will just have to wait," Samael read with irritation, and wordlessly set fire to the parchment. "Why would I wish to befriend someone who does not have the common decency to sign their name?"

Hermione scrunched her eyes at the Lestrange. "Why did you accept the courting gift then? Why would you want a partner who does not have the decency to admit who they are?"

Ginny gasped in shock at the other girl, and stared incredulously at her. "It's the romance, Hermione!" she declared wildly, "An anonymous lover is so thrilling! Plus, if you know who your admirer is then you could just tell you what you want. But, this way their gifts remain even more spectacular because they have put so much thought and effort into them."

Hermione still looked confused, and Andras decided to explain something more. "It is also traditional that the admirer remains anonymous until the sender has officialised a betrothal contract with the receiver's parents."

At this, Hermione's confusion morphed into outrage. "Betrothal contracts?!" she all but screeched in horror, "You can't mean Samael will never meet his admirer until they're married? What about free will?"

Draco sneered at the witch in disgust. "It is traditional Granger, not compulsory," he stated condescendingly, and the witch bristled at the tone. "Many times, betrothal contracts are drawn up with both parties input. So, no, Samael isn't signing away all his rights away by accepting a courting gift."

"I have not accepted the courting gift anyway," Samael stated nonchalantly, "Whilst I am in no way obligated to wed the sender if I accept the courting gift, I do not wish to give the sender false hope. I have no romantic interests at this moment in time." he glanced around the group at this, yet his gaze lingered momentarily upon Draco.

"Just as you should!" Hermione agreed heartily, "You're too young to be thinking of marriage and courtship, you're only thirteen for Merlin's sake!

Ginny dodged unsure glances between Hermione and Samael. "But what if your admirer continues to send you gifts?"

Samael smiled a small smile. "I would have to admire his dedication," Samael offered.

Ginny's brown eyes were wide in astonishment, "But you would still not accept them?"

"No." Samael's answer was short and curt, and Ginny looked somewhat taken aback at its intensity. Samael gave a strained smile, before standing to his feet. "Now, if you will excuse me. I have a meeting with Professor Snape."

Severus settled himself into the armchair with a relieved sigh. A light tap on his shoulder had him glancing at the smiling face of Remus, as he silently offered a tumbler of scotch. Severus inclined his head at Remus, and accepted the drink with a smile. The smaller man perched himself on the arm of the chair, and rested his arm around Severus' neck.

"Andras came by to see me today," Remus broke the comfortable silence, and Severus rose an inquisitive brow at him. "Apparently, Samael's secret admirer has sent another gift."

"Really?" Severus straightened in the chair, and stared at his lover. "They must be sending them every other month then. January, March, May and now July. What was the gift?"

"Dhalias," Remus answered, "I caught a glimpse of them earlier, and they were beautifully arranged."

Severus frowned thoughtfully, and took a sip of the scotch. "Dignity, elegance and commitment," he murmured, Remus glanced confusedly at him. "That's what dhalias represent. And those are some remarkable qualities to have."

"Indeed," Remus agreed, and gently raked his fingers through Severus' hair. "A new cane, dragon-hide shoes, a book about noble families, dhalias," Remus released an impressed whistle, "It certainly sounds as if his admirer knows him well."

Severus wasn't entirely convinced. "Everyone knows Samael uses a cane, so buying a new one doesn't equate familiarity. Also, most purebloods and halfbloods wear dragon-hide, so again guessing dragon-hide isn't too difficult. The flowers add a personal touch, but from the senders point of view. The sender believes Samael is dignified and elegant, but that could merely be an appreciation from afar."

"The book, though?" Remus asked, when Severus didn't mention it.

"I am unsure," he admitted, "It could be stimulated by the common belief Snakes are interested in politics. But from what I can tell, that book details in lineage and pureblood customs rather than politics itself. So, the book could indicate familiarity between Samael and his admirer."

Remus glanced at his lover in astonishment, before shaking his head. Severus always was a rational thinker. "Well, whoever it is, they must have money."

Severus made a noise of agreement. "They are certainly not cheap gifts," he declared, "That book must have come from family library as it was nearly a century old. Dragon-hide is the most expensive material on the market. Canes are not dear, but the personalisation would have increased the cost."

"Someone with old blood then?" Remus suggested, and Severus nodded. Remus frowned in concentration. "And someone who knows him well enough to know his shoe size."

"No," Severus interrupted Remus' train of thought, "Any of my snakes could discover his shoe size. The dorms can be accessed by all of the boys."

"One of your male snakes then," Remus amended, and glances searchingly at Severus. "Can you think of anyone?"

Severus swirled the scotch absently, "Off the top of my head? Warrington has always had a strange relationship with Samael. Warrington is one of Samael's informants, and he can certainly afford the gifts. Zabini often talks to Samael, and Zabini Manor is famous for its semplice gazania dahlias. Do you know what colour the dahlias were?"


Severus shook his head, "No, semplice gazania's are orange. Never mind, there is also Nott. He does not speak to Samael much, but he is always watching him." Remus glanced at him in alarm, but Severus waved his concern away. "No, Nott is fascinated with Samael but there's nothing malicious about it. The most obvious person I can think of though," Severus paused, and stared into the amber liquid in his glass.

"Yes?" Remus encouraged.

"Think about it, Remus. Who spends the most time with Samael, and practically worships the ground he walks on? Who has vowed to protect Samael with his life? And who is the only person Samael trusts completely?"

Realisation dawned on Remus' face, and he shared a wide-eyes glance with Severus. "Draco," he breathed in shock. "But wouldn't Draco tell Samael it was him?"

Severus scoffed in derision, and downed the remaining scotch. "Draco wouldn't sacrifice his friendship with Samael by telling him. That's why he would send the gifts. To gradually coax Samael into developing feelings for the admirer."

Remus furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "But Samael would accept them immediately if he knew Draco was his admirer."

Severus nodded sagely, "Of course he would!" he agreed quietly, "Those two though," he shook his head in disbelief, "Samael does not believe Draco would ever love him, and even if we were to tell him, he wouldn't accept it until he heard it from Draco's mouth. Draco is confident Samael will fall in love with him eventually, but he will never tell Samael until Samael begins to show an interest in his admirer."

"But Samael won't show an interest in the admirer because he's in love with Draco," Remus stated with a groan of frustration. "Couldn't we tell Draco that Samael was in love with him?"

Again, Severus shook his head. "No," Samael is not ready for that. Undoubtedly, if Draco knew Samael was in love with him, he would scare Samael away with his intensity. Samael must first accept his feelings for Draco before any of this could get better."

"It's ridiculous!" Remus cried in an annoyed voice. "They both love each other, why can't they see it?"

Severus stared at Remus in disbelief, and pierced him with incredulous onyx eyes. "You do remember it took me nearly a year to admit I was in love with you, right?" he questioned, "And the only reason why I told you was because I was going to lose you? If you hadn't seen my Dark Mark I would never have told you."

This time, it was Remus who stared at Severus incredulously. "You had just snogged me breathless!" he declared loudly, "Are you telling me, that after that you weren't going to admit your undying love for me!"

Severus' froze under at the genuine irritation in Remus' voice, and slowly met angered green eyes. "Only if you admitted it first."

"Only if I…?" Remus repeated in shock, before his face turned red in righteous anger.

"You were a Gryffindor, I was a Slytherin. I was just protecting myself," he stated simply, "What if that kiss didn't mean anything to you and I had just blurted out my feelings? I wouldn't have been able to live with the shame."

If anything, Severus' calm reasoning only angered Remus further. Leaping from his seat, he towered over Severus and pointed a shaking finger at the man. "Do you think I would just kiss anyone, Severus?" he asked; affronted. "I'm not that kind of man!"

"Of course not!" Severus quickly defended, placing the tumbler aside so he could grab Remus by the arms. "I didn't mean to suggest anything like that. But you have to understand how insecure I was,"

"I…" Remus slumped on himself, and allowed himself to pulled into Severus' arms. "I know," he whispered slowly, and traced light patterns into Severus' shoulder, before releasing a light chuckle. "Merlin, if Draco and Samael are anything like us, it's no wonder they won't admit their feelings to one another!"

Severus' chest shook with the bubble of laughter which escaped him, and he pressed a soft kiss to Remus' temple. "I sure hope they have more sense than us," Severus murmured, and sat back in the armchair; leading Remus onto his lap. "Though, if Samael is as insecure as I was and Draco as secretive, I do believe we shall be having a difficult couple of years ahead of us."

Remus moaned in protest and rested his head on Severus' shoulder whilst Severus' gently stroked Remus' thigh. Moving his head to the right, Severus' lips met Remus in a lazy, sweet kiss. Fingers tangled themselves in Severus' hair, and the kiss intensified.

A knock at the door startled the couple.

"Mmph, go away!" Remus hissed quietly. Severus' chuckled at Remus' irritation, and pressed his lips back onto Remus'.

A second knock at the door caused Severus' to curse softly under his breath, but it was the third one that caused him to react. Tapping Remus gently on the knee, Severus urged his lover to move.

Remus grudgingly stood and moved towards the bedroom, where he stood in the doorway and glared at the door. Severus supressed the amused smile on his face, and fixed an annoyed scowl instead as he swung the door open.

Upon seeing his visitor, Severus' expression morphed into one of pure hatred. "Black," he spat with revulsion. Sirius flinched at the vitriol from Severus' mouth, and stared at the floor. "What are you doing here?"

Sirius raised his eyes to meet Severus', and shifted uncomfortably on the spot. Offering a shallow bow, he swallowed nervously. "Severus Snape, please accept my, Sirius Orion Black's, humblest apologies for all the wrongs and misdeeds I have committed against you during our time of knowing each other," he declared loudly.

A bright light escaped the Black and circled around Severus before sinking into the ground.

Severus stared at his visitor in shock. Sirius Black had never been able to surprise Severus; in fact, the Slytherin prided himself on his inability to be surprised. Yet, the man had somehow achieved the impossible. There was no doubting Sirius' intentions, as magic had valued the man's words and declared them true (as indicated by the light being absorbed by the surroundings).

Sirius scratched the back of his head, and stood awkwardly in the passageway as Severus stared at him. Shaking himself into action, Severus inclined his head at the Black. "I, Severus Tobias Snape, accept your, Sirius Orion Black's, apology."

Grey eyes widened in shock, and Sirius took a startled step backwards "Really?"

Severus scoffed derisively at the other man, yet Sirius did not react to the antagonistic behaviour. "Mother Magic has said you were sincere, Black," he enunciated slowly and clearly, as if he was speaking to a child. "I will not question Mother Magic's decisions. If she deems you sincere, then you are sincere." He fixed a stern glare on the other man. "This does not mean I will forget the wrongs you have committed against me. It merely means I will not punish you for them."

Sirius nodded his head in understanding and made to move away, before hesitating and turning to look Severus in the eyes again. "Robert has been trying to make friends with Samael Lestrange but apparently hasn't had much luck," he informed Severus; frowning slightly as Severus sneered.

"I highly doubt Samael will ever allow that to happen," Severus announced in clipped tones, "Robert has committed many wrongs against Samael, much worse than they ones you ever committed against me," he added when Sirius made to interrupt, yet at this admission, Sirius moved backwards as if struck. "It is not my story to tell, and I shall not betray Samael's trust by revealing his past to you. Just know, Samael has every right to refuse Robert's friendship."

Sirius was shaking lightly in a mixture of shock and anger. "How could that even be possible?" he questioned roughly, and buried his face in his hands. Glancing back at Severus, he was visibly stressed.

"I'm sorry for anything Robert has done. I know I haven't been the best role model for him," Sirius tactfully ignored the Severus' snort of amusement. "I'm trying my best. I was surprised when he said he wanted to be friends with Lestrange, and I tried to encourage it. But if the friendship will never happen, I'm afraid of what Robert will do."

Severus stiffened at Sirius words, and glared down at Sirius like a predator inspecting its prey. "Are you informing me that Robert Potter is plotting ill-will on one of my snakes?" he questioned quietly; dangerously.

"No!" Sirius denied hotly, and ran a hand through his hair. "Look, I hardly know Robert anymore, not if what you say is true. I don't know what he is capable of. All I know is that if he can't be friends with Lestrange, he might take it out on him instead," Sirius tugged harshly at his hair. "I'll try talking to him and find out what he will do if Lestrange rejects him. No doubt, with Bella as his mother, Lestrange is a master dueller."

Severus smug look was all the answer Sirius needed, and he released a relived breath.

"Just tell him to be on his guard, please?" he begged Severus desperately.

Severus regarded the man before him solemnly. The Sirius Black before him was not the same as the man he knew last year. Something inside him was missing. It was if, he was a puppet whose strings had been cut, and lost all sense of direction.

"Why?" Severus asked, "Why have you told me this?"

Sirius stare was brimming with raw emotion as he glanced at Severus. "I'm trying to get better," he murmured hollowly, "Peter, James and Lily have betrayed and I lost my brother and my Black heritage because of my arrogant behaviour. Plus, I promised Remus I would change." Sirius' voice hardened with each word he spoke. "I'm off the drink, I've got a job down at honeydukes in Diagon and I'm trying to sort my life out. Hopefully, Robert's too."

Something strange fluttered in Severus' chest as Sirius spoke. Something Severus never thought he would ever feel towards the man.


"Tell me more about your fathers' got together," Ginny enthused brightly, whilst skipping down the corridor. She released a light laugh as Andras jogged to keep with her. Spinning around, she grabbed his hand and tried to get him to skip with her.

Andras glanced at her in exasperation, before taking longer strides to match her speed. "I don't know why," he told her, "I've already told you it before."

Ginny pouted and tugged at his hand. Andras glanced at her pleading face, and his expression softened. Clearing his throat, he told her rather nonchalantly. "There's nothing much to tell, really. They became friends in seventh-year but had a major falling out before Father left to begin his apprenticeship," he explained, and Ginny was focused on his every word with rapt attention.

Andras fought down the squirming feeling in his chest.

"Dad's friends turned on him when they found out he was gay and hospitalised him for over a year," Ginny gasped softly, and tightened her grip on his hand. Andras smiled reassuringly at her. "When my father eventually found my dad again, they began dating."

The witch released a squeal of excitement, and added an extra skip to her step. "It's just so romantic!" she gushed happily, and cast her shining eyes onto Andras.

Andras gave her a dubious look. "Hospitalisation isn't very romantic, Ginny," he stated and Ginny huffed with irritation.

"I know that!" she declared hotly, "But the fact that your fathers' found one another after so much turmoil is just so lovely! And your father didn't fall for anyone else whilst your dad was hospitalised; how rare is that?" she questioned in shock, "Your father must have been truly in love with your dad," the witch breathed a wistful sigh. "I hope I'll find true love one day."

Ginny clenched Andras' arm tighter and shortened the distance between them. Andras gasped lightly, and forced his beating heart to calm. Glancing down, he saw Ginny's disappointed frown before she released Andras' arm and skipped ahead.

"Ginny! Wait!" Andras called and hurried after her quickly. Rounding the corner, Andras felt his heart sink and fury to erupt inside him. Robert Potter and Ronald Weasely had cornered Ginny against a wall whilst they screamed in her face.

Withdrawing his wand, Andras thundered towards the two Gryffindor boys. Gritting his teeth, he fixed his deadliest glare upon them. "Release her this second!" he commanded lowly.

Robert laughed derisively, and Ron sneered. "Make me, Snivilus," Robert crowed triumphantly.

Ginny peered desperately at Andras, and the outrage and fear in her eyes made Andras' blood boil. "Stay away, Andras!" she shouted ardently, "They're not worth it."

Robert's sneer grew larger. "Yeah, Snivilius," he agreed smarmily, "We're not worth it," and with a smug grin he leant further towards Ginny and urged Ron to do the same.

Snarling, Andras allowed his dad's curse to brighten his amber eyes and elongate his teeth ever so slightly. Swiftly, he had his wand-tip pressed into Robert's jugular. Moving closer, Andras invaded the Potter's personal space and smiled predatorily.

"One word, Potter," he murmured softly; deadly, "One word, and you'll be in unimaginable pain." Robert took a step back in fright, whilst Ron tightened his grip upon his sister.

Andras' smile grew larger.

Straightening his back, he smirked down at the red-head. " I'll repeat myself again. Release her."

Ron's face grew red with indignation and he fumbled for his wand. Sighing, Andras pressed himself closer and dug his wand further into Ron's skin, turning it white from lack of blood. "I do hate repeating myself, Weasley," he informed drolly, "Stupefy!" he cast in a bored tone, watching with restrained glee as the wizard was thrown backwards into the wall.

Moving towards Ginny, Andras didn't see Robert until he was on his back; winded and breathless for air. Robert crouched over Andras' incapacitated form. "Get away from her, Snivilus!" he demanded roughly.

Andras rubbed uselessly at his head, he pulled his fingers back in surprise to find blood glistening on them. Robert grinned widely, and cradled his right fist to his chest. "More where that came from, Snivilus," he goaded, and spat to the side of Andras' body.

Andras glared up at Robert; baring his sharp teeth at the Gryffindor.

"Robert!" Ginny shrieked and said boy whipped his head around and stared wide-eyed at the girl.

"Gin?" he questioned confusedly, and took a step towards her.

Shakily, Ginny straightened her arm and pointed her wand at her brother. She gulped uneasily. "Don't make me do this, Robert," she warned quietly, "Get away from him."

Robert reared back as if struck. His face mottled red with fury; he tightened his fingers into fists. "Why, Gin?!" he screamed at her, "He's not good enough for you. He's scum!"

"Don't you dare insult him!" she returned angrily, and walked closer to her brother. "Andras is the nicest person you could ever meet!"

"He's a Snape! He's evil!" Robert bemoaned, and collapsed atop of Andras to begin pummelling his fists into Andras' stomach.

Screeching, Ginny flung her arm out. "Petrificus totalus!"

Robert's limbs seized up, and he fell to the ground with a loud thud; staring at Ginny in a mix of betrayal and vengeance, as the girl gingerly tended to Andras' wounds. It was, of course, at this moment that the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the corridor and the fuming face of Remus Lupin glared at the four students.

"Explain yourselves. Immediately!" he demanded in clipped tones, his green eyes settling upon the witch when none made to answer.

"Sir!" Ginny's eyes were wide with fright as she stared at her professor. "Ron and Robert were harassing me. Andras tried to help but Robert attacked him. And I…" she glanced at the ground in embarrassment, "I cursed him to get him off Andras."

Remus raised an eyebrow, and crouched low to assess Andras' injuries. Uttering quietly under his breath, Remus quickly healed his son's wounds. "And what happened to Mr Weasley?" he enquired, as he pulled Andras to his feet.

Ginny paused nervously and darted her eyes towards her friend. Andras sighed, and Andras idly brushed some lint from his shoulder. "That was me," he murmured quietly, "I attacked Weasley to get him off Ginny."

"I see," Remus contemplated the situation, and frowned at all four students. "Twenty points from Ravenclaw for attacking a fellow student," he declared tightly and Andras nodded at the judgement. Remus turned to face the snickering Gryffindor boys. "And sixty points from Gryffindor," Weasley's eyes grew round in indignation, yet no sound escaped him. Remus glanced at a chagrined Andras, and cast the counter-curse on both Robert and Ron.

"-not fair! It was Snivilus who attacked us first!"

Remus narrowed his gaze on the Potter. "Ten points for that derogatory comment, Mr Potter."

"No!" Weasley argued, flinging his arms wide in anger. "It was that tosser who cursed me. Robert was only defending me!"

"Fifteen points for swearing, Mr Weasley! I shall not hear that foul language in my presence."

Turning towards the other two students, Remus smiled slightly. "Fifteen points to Ravenclaw for defending a fellow student," he stated, "And five points for promoting inter-house unity."

Andras' smile grew larger, whilst Ginny beamed at the man as she rubbed comforting circles into Andras' back. In contrast, Potter scowled furiously and began his ranting tirade once more.

"Screw that!" Robert marched righteously towards Remus. "That little bastard doesn't deserve points! You're an idiot!"

Remus glared down at the younger student, and withheld his exasperated sigh. "A further fifteen points for your language, Mr Potter. And ten points for your insult." Remus smiled at the child, baring his sharp canines at the boy. "Congratulations, Mr Potter. You have successfully lost Gryffindor House one hundred points."

"Fuck that!" Potter declared and stormed off.

Ron darted his eyes between his departing friend and the stern-faced Professor, before dashing after Robert. Once the two Gryffindor boys had left the vicinity, Remus slumped in relief and gathered Andras into his arms. The younger wizard squirmed in his father's grasp, but made no real effort to leave.

"Thank Merlin," Remus breathed, and stroked Andras' hair gently. "I was on the third corridor when I smelt your blood; I came as swiftly as I could," Remus' tone was apologetic. "I was ready to tear them limb from limb. Mooney was baying for their blood."

Ginny stared at the two wizards wide-eyed, a look of realisation dawning upon her face. Andras mumbled quietly under his breath and smiled a small smile at Remus. "Don't worry, dad. I'm fine; Ginny made sure of that," at this, Andras smiled a beaming smile at the girl who flushed under the praise.

Remus nodded and pierced the girl with his determined gaze. "Thank you, Miss Weasley," he muttered softly, "You helped Andras a lot today. You're a good friend for him."

Ginny stared at her shoes and chewed her bottom lip. "I…I didn't do anything really, sir." Her voice was humble, and she missed the fond expression on Andras' face as he stared at her in wonder.

Remus' smile was kind and genuine as he regarded the witch. "Nonsense, Miss Weasley. You made all the difference. Now, if Charles ever wants a night out with his friends, tell him that you're welcome at our house."

Ginny glanced immediately from the floor with uncertainty, and she shuffled closer towards Andras.

Remus chuckled lightly at her shocked expression and raised an eyebrow in enquiry. "What? I'm pretty sure if Andras gets his way, we will be seeing a lot more of each other, Miss Weasley." The girl still looked unsure, and he placed a comforting hand upon her shoulder. "Don't worry about Severus, Professor Snape I mean. He wouldn't dare upset Andras or I by upsetting you."

Ginny smiled shakily at Remus, who had released Andras from his arms. Said child subsequently gently grasped Ginny's elbow and led her away towards the Great Hall.

Remus watched the two children with a proud smile before his expression darkened.

Robert Potter would regret the day he harmed the cub of a child of the moon.

The lone wizard appeared in the distance, ambling slowly towards the castle. Minerva pursed her lips as she watched his approach, and made her way towards the entrance. From her closer position, Minerva could make out the desolation written across the man's face. She inclined her head at him as he neared. "Sirius." The disapproval was obvious in her voice, and the man stared at the ground in shame. "You are not here to cause trouble. You are here to discuss Robert's disgraceful behaviour."

Sirius nodded and stepped into the castle. "I understand, ma'am. I will not object to any punishment you see fit for Robert. In fact, if I do not think it severe enough, I shall add my own." Sirius' grey eyes were determined as they stared at his previous colleague. "I shall not let Robert turn into James or I."

Surprise flitted across Minerva's face before she schooled it into neutrality. "Very well,"

"How is he?" Sirius questioned quietly, "Snape's son, I mean. How badly did Robert hurt him?"

"Mr Snape has been healed of his wounds, but he is understandably distressed with the ordeal. Regardless, that does not in any way detract from the severity of the situation. Mr Potter's antagonising and violent behaviour is worrying and…"

"Completely unacceptable," Sirius interrupted with a small frown. "I think that I'm not best guardian for Robert," he admitted quietly; steadfastly ignoring the woman's gaze., "For most of his life, I have been a bad influence on him and have contributed towards his current behaviour. For me to suddenly punish him for the behaviour I used to encourage, I fear he will lose all confidence in my abilities."

The witch regarded her former-student with resignation. "I am afraid that is something only you can resolve, Sirius," she informed him whilst opening the door to her office. "Now, do come in. I'm sure we can figure something out between us."

Sirius smiled thankfully at the witch, and followed her into her office.

A/N: And so the plot thickens!

For those of you wanting to know the back-story of Remus & Severus, read my story Dance Inside. And for those of you who are already reading Dance Inside, there's only one chapter left!