Moving In, Moving On
****Thanks to Frolicking_Nomad for pointing out the mistake. I hate it when I do stuff like that. J ********
Sirius stood just inside the doorway and inspected what was to be his new home. He still couldn’t believe he’s agreed to live with Snape. He wouldn’t have if Dumbledore hadn’t hinted that Harry might be able to stay here for part of the summer. For that time with his godson Sirius would do just about anything. Including sharing this flat, or condo as the landlord had called it, with the slimy bastard he hated more anyone. Well, almost anyone. There was Peter.
And aside from the company the place wasn’t that bad really. The door opened into a small room with a golden-hued hardwood floor and off-white walls. Sirius removed his shoes before moving out of this space and into the roomy living room. The hardwood floors continued into this room, but there were colorful throw rugs to break up the space. Seating consisted of a medium brown couch with thin dark green stripes and two armchairs the color of the stripes. There was a small stone fireplace and glass doors led to a small balcony.
There were two rooms off of this and a staircase going up. One was a small half-bath painted a dusty blue. It was very small, barely larger than a walk-in closet. The other was a kitchen and breakfast area. This space had large windows and was tiled in dusky pink stone. The counters were white marble with silver and pink veins. Probably not real, but pretty all the same. He wasn’t entirely sure what all of the appliances did, but that would be Snape’s problem. Sirius intended to eat out. A lot. Which was almost a shame given the quaint two-person breakfast table.
Looking at that set-up Sirius couldn’t help noticing this was a cozy little place. Perfect for a couple. Not so great for a pair of rivals bent on avoiding each other as much as possible. He backtracked to explore the upstairs. Severus would be arriving soon and just to irk him Sirius wanted to get the better of the two bedrooms.
Severus Snape was in a mood. Perhaps most of his students wouldn’t have noticed as the man was generally cranky, but Hermione knew this went beyond inherent sourness.
And unfortunately it was directed at her. It wasn’t her fault that Dumbledore had sent her to explain muggle appliances to the men, or that Harry had tagged along to bring some of his godfather’s belongings. And it really wasn’t her doing that Sirius was pouting about the no-pets clause in the lease. To be fair, though, she had to agree with Professor Snape on that matter. Besides it completely blowing their disguise as muggles, the place was really too small for Buckbeak. It’d be cruel to try to wedge a hippogriff in here.
Hermione was pulled out of her thoughts by a string of curses from the man beside her.
“Why the bloody hell won’t this pixie-infested contraption work?”
Hermione sighed and looked up at her professor. If you ignored the glower on his face he looked
completely different. Actually, he almost looked appealing in the black slacks and dark blue collared t-shirt. It showed of the fact he was rather fit. Plus, even when you looked at his face his skin seemed less sallow with his hair pulled back into a ponytail. A change Hermione had insisted upon when he’d very nearly set his hair on fire playing with the stove.
Currently he was leaning against the wall flicking the light switch up and down and getting more and more infuriated when nothing happened. Then he looked her straight in the eye and all pleasant thoughts she’d had melted in the glare he tossed at her.
“You said this was how the lights worked! So, tell me, Miss. Granger, why is there no light?”
Hermione sighed and squared her shoulders. “Probably because you’ve been turning it off and on for the last twenty minutes. I think perhaps it’s time to learn about changing light bulbs.”
It had taken a few days, but Potter and Granger were gone and he was capable of making tea without nearly killing himself. The oven was still a bit chancy, but he’d be damned if he let Black know that. Though why he bothered was a mystery. It wasn’t as though the other man had made any attempt to absorb the lessons the students had tried to impart. He just toasted his food in the fireplace and laughed when the muggle devices backfired.
At least he’d stopped asking for a pet to talk to. One bloody dog in the house was enough. Even if he’d gone back to spending most of his time as a man. Perhaps especially because of that.
Overall, this had been every bit the disaster he’d told Dumbledore it would be. Black insisted on irritating
him in every way possible, and neither of them was well versed in muggle ways so the few excursions outside the apartment they’d made had been filled with mistakes. Severus sincerely hoped they found another grocery store in walking distance before they ran out of food. They certainly weren’t going to be allowed back in the last one.
Now, to make matters worse, Black wanted to get out of the house and “have some fun”. Technically, this wasn’t a problem. No one knew who he was here and anyone with sense in the wizarding world stayed away from the Hellmouth. Too many magical people ended up dead here.
The problem was that Dumbledore had made him promise to keep on eye on Black, a sharp eye, and to keep him out of trouble. Which meant that if the obnoxious man insisted on going out, Severus had to follow. It was going to be hell when Sirius figured that part of the situation out. Or at least more hellish than it already was.
Snape was contemplating throwing himself under one of those cars outside the window when Black wandered into the living room.
“Hey, git. I’ll see you sooner than I’d like. Don’t wait up.”
Severus sighed. “I’m going with you.”
“The hell you are!” Sirius shouted. “I’m going to get away from you, you greasy—“
“I’m going with you, Black. It is nighttime, we’re on a Hellmouth, and neither of us is allowed to us magic. As much as I’d love to let you get yourself killed I’m obligated to keep you alive for the moment.”
“What do think you can do if something attacks me? Scowl at it? I don’t need your ‘protection’, Snape.”
“You really are a stupid man, aren’t you? There is a certain amount of strength in numbers. You’re less likely to get attacked if I come along. And if I’m wrong, hopefully I’ll at least get to watch you die before I follow you.” With that Severus grabbed a long black coat off the back of the couch. “Now, tell me, where exactly are we going that’s worth risking your life?”
Sirius growled a bit, but then answered. “A place called the Bronze. The guy at the newspaper stand said that’s where people go to blow off steam.”
“Oh, goody. I can hardly wait.” Severus drawled as they left the apartment. He made sure to lock the door behind him.