Wards and Children
“Do you feel that?” Giles asked as he helped Severus out of the jeep.
“Could you be more specific?” Severus groaned as he found himself yet again in the most uncomfortable chair known to man.
“The air feels charged with static electricity. I think the wards have been activated.” Giles slipped his wand out of his jacket pocket and wasn’t surprised to see his brother do the same.
Severus mumbled a few words under his breath and made a few short wand waves with his broken arm. “Bloody hell, that hurts.”
“What do you expect, you ninny. Your arm’s broken.” Giles whispered carefully checking the hedges and and windows for any sign of an intruder.
“I hadn’t noticed.” Severus replied drolly. “Whoever it is, I think they’ve left.”
“Why would you say that?”
“For starters, the darkmark isn’t in the sky.”
“Har-dee har har.” Giles rolled his eyes.
“For another thing, the wards you used would have been a bit more obvious if it was a forced entrance. Wouldn’t they? I can barely detect a tingle. It’s as though someone came here and performed magic just inside the perimeter of the wards and then left.”
“Or, perhaps they apparated here, and are lying in wait inside.” Giles was completely willing to admit that his time on the Hellmouth had made him even more paranoid than his time in the Slytherin dorms.
“How did they get inside without using alohamora?” Severus countered.
“I don’t know.” Giles frowned. “Wand at the ready; we’re going in.”
“So now I can use magic?” Severus sneered as Giles pushed him on to the front porch and slipped his key into the front lock.
“Shh, I hear voices.” Giles muttered.
“Of course you hear voices. Quit yapping around out there and come on in, you wankers. You’re interrupting the show.” A voice called from inside.
“Spike.” Severus and Giles muttered.
“Well, at least I know the wards indicate when a vampire enters.” Giles opened the door.
“Lovely.” Severus winced as his chair jolted over the threshold. “One of these days you’ll have to tell me just how he got an invite in the first place.”
“It’s a long story.” Giles sighed.
“And it can wait until after the show’s over.” Spike cut them off. “Hey wizard, are you going to watch or are you just going to sit there and argue with Giles?”
“Well, if I could get to the couch…”
Spike jumped up from his seat and carried Severus over to the couch, dumping him unceremoniously on the left side. “There, now shut up, I want to catch the end of this episode.”
“Fabulous. Will you two be fine here by yourself? I need to return Joyce’s car.” Snape and Spike ignored him in favor of the action on the television screen. “I’ll be back shortly.” Giles headed back out the door, stopping once to relock the front and again just beyond the stoop. “It shouldn’t tingle like that just for a vampire, should it?” He asked himself, not surprised to be without an answer.
A few minutes later, Giles stood nervously on the stoop of 1630 Revello Drive. He could hear Dawn’s footsteps running down the stairs, stopping halfway when she realized who had rung the doorbell. “Mom! Someone’s at the door!”
“Just a moment!” Joyce’s voice called out from the kitchen. A few seconds later Joyce was at the front door. “Oh, hello Rupert.”
“Hi. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
“No, not at all. I was just clearing away the dinner dishes.”
“I just came by to return your vehicle. Thanks for letting me borrow it.”
“It’s not a problem at all. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to drive a little red sports car like yours.” Joyce offered a conspiratorial smile at Giles.
“Oh? How did you like it?”
“Well, let’s just say I won’t be rushing out to get one.”
“Did it give you any trouble? The gear box is a bit on the tight side; it makes for faster shifting.”
“It shifts like a dream. No…” Joyce blushed. “It’s just too much of a temptation to drive fast. I don’t think my insurance could handle me getting a lead foot now.”
“Yes, I suppose a family can only take one bad driver at a time, and Buffy has rather cornered that market.”
“She’s a good kid…”
“… but a terrible driver.” Giles smiled. “Of course she may be right that they just don’t make cars with slayers in mind.”
“Is that her excuse?” Joyce grinned. “Well, would you like to come in for a minute? I think I left your keys in the kitchen.” Giles followed Joyce into the house, stopping in the doorway to the kitchen. “So how’s your brother? Did the doctor have good news?”
“Sev’s doing better. Right now, he’s on the couch, watching that silly soap opera.”
“Oh really? If I had known you two were watching Passions, I would have suggested William go over to your place for the evening. The poor man doesn’t even own a television.” Joyce dug through the pile of papers on the counter looking for the spare set of Giles’ keys.
“You do realize that poor man is a dangerous vampire?”
“I know, but he’s not all bad, for a vampire, and Buffy assures me that he’s completely harmless now.”
“That’s not the safest assumption.” Giles frowned. A slayer should know better than to invite a vampire into her house. What if her mother or sister were attacked?
“I suppose not. Still, I feel rather bad that I had to cancel on him this week. We were going to watch the Passions season marathon tonight, and now he’s going to miss all those shows for a second time.”
“Don’t worry too much about it. He’s currently in my living room watching with Severus.”
“Oh. You left your invalid brother with a dangerous vampire?” Joyce smiled at the irony.
“Well I doubt Spike will have enough time to dispose of a body during the commercial breaks.” Giles shrugged.
“Ah, here we are.” Joyce fished out the keychain and handed it to Giles.
“And here are your keys back.” Giles returned the favor. “Well, I suppose I should…” He glanced back towards the front door.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” Joyce offered, surprising even herself with the spontaneous invitation.
“Well,” On one hand Giles could go back to his house and watch his brother and Spike gawk over a soap opera, on the other, “sure, a cup of tea would be lovely.”
Joyce turned on the stove and pulled to mugs from the shelf. “I hope you don’t mind, our selection of tea is a bit limited around here.” She opened up a cupboard and pulled out several boxes for Giles to choose from.
“Earl Grey would be fine.” Giles answered. “So how have you been? Did Buffy check in?”
“She called a few minutes before you got here. It sounded like she was meeting Riley for coffee.”
“That’s good. He seems like a solid boy.”
“I keep trying to get Buffy to invite him over for supper, but you know how kids are.”
“Heaven forbid they actually bring home someone their parents approve of.” Giles joked.
“I think she’s afraid I’ll bring out the baby pictures.” Joyce chuckled. “So, how are you holding up?” She asked sympathetically.
“I’m doing well.” Giles sighed.
“It can’t be pleasant watching over your brother.” Joyce frowned at the memory of the sullen man she had met a few days ago.
“He’s not too difficult I suppose. He mainly sits on the couch and reads or watches television. At least he’s old enough to keep himself occupied. Still…”
“Well, it’s just very odd that he would drop in unannounced like that. I can understand his reasonings, but it would have been nice to have some warning.” Giles shrugged. “Oh well, it can’t be helped.”
The teapot whistled and the conversation hit a lull as the pair filled their tea cups and sat down at the kitchen table. “So how is business? Will I be seeing you at the Sunnydale Small Businesses Association meeting next month?” Joyce decided to steer the conversation away from Giles’ brother.
“Possibly. We’ve had reasonably good traffic, so I won’t be going out of business in the next few weeks at least. I expect things will be even better when we get closer to Halloween. If there are no major catastrophes looming for Buffy, I might just go to the Association meeting. What do you discuss?”
“Well, last I heard, we were going to discuss garbage collection schedules. It sounds like the shops near yours are all having trouble with raccoons tipping over their trashcans.”
“More raccoons?” Giles frowned. “I knew about the ones by the movie theater, but I thought Buffy had taken care of them.”
“So they aren’t really raccoons.” Joyce said. “Honestly, I don’t think I want to know what they are so long as they aren’t lethal… They aren’t, are they?”
“No, they just stir things up a bit.” Giles took a sip of his tea. “I’ll look into it, and if we can’t take care of it… well, I suppose I could send Anya to the meeting. She seems to enjoy business.”
“Anya; is that the girl Xander took to prom?”
“Yes it is. She was looking for a job after graduation, and she’s really quite knowledgable of most of what I keep in stock.”
“She seemed nice, a bit on the forward side, but nice.” Joyce offered.
“That’s one way to describe it.” Giles answered with a chuckle.
“This is nice.” Joyce said, inhaling the scent her cinnamon flavored tea. “It’s been so long since I’ve been able to sit down and just talk business with another adult.”
“We should do this more often.”
“We should.” They sat a moment in silence, sipping their tea. The moment was spoiled by a loud thunk from upstairs and Dawn's voice yelling "Pretend you didn't hear that!"
“But we won’t, will we?” Joyce looked up at the stairway with reluctance.
“Highly unlikely.” Giles regretfully concluded.
“Come on, Sev, wake up.”
“Go away.” The voice came from underneath a pillow.
“You know what day today is.”
“I do, but I see no reason why I should have to get up early for this.”
“Aren’t you curious about what you got?”
“I already know what I’ve got.”
“How is that possible? Did you sneak through my trunk yesterday?” Rupert sounded affronted.
“No you git.” Severus pulled the pillow off his head and cracked one eye open. “You’ve got me a book. Everyone gets me a book. Undoubtedly there will be many book-shaped packages under the tree, and they’ll all be for me. Oh joy. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.” Sev’s head fell back on the mattress in an attempt to feign sleeping.
“I thought you liked books.” Rupert neither confirmed nor denied the fact that he did indeed get his brother a book.
“If it was for fun it would be one thing, but its all for that stupid exam. Read, read, read, that’s all I ever do. If anyone else got me a Wizard’s Guide to OWLs, so help me Merlin, I will not be held responsible for my actions. It’s still months away, and I’m already sick of the damn tests.”
“Severus actually sick of books? Maybe I should take a picture of this day and give it to Evan to memorialize in the yearbook.”
“You do so at your own peril.” Severus stuck out his tongue.
“Cheer up; not everyone got you a book. I’m pretty sure Aunt Snape is bringing a fruitcake again this year.” Rupert teased.
“Is that supposed to be incentive for waking up?”
“No, but your family is coming over for brunch, and should be here in about fifteen minutes. That should be incentive enough.”
“That’s impossible. Gran isn’t getting here until ten, and it’s hardly...” Severus glanced over to the clock next to him. “That can’t be right. It’s still dark.”
Rupert ran over to the heavy drapes and pulled them back, letting the sunlight blind Severus still in bed.
“Bloody hell, I’m late.”
“And your language leaves much to be desired.” Rupert answered with a smirk. “Cassandra wants you dressed and at the front parlor in fifteen minutes. Have fun.” He left the room and headed down to the front parlor where the Christmas tree was decorated in an elegant but impersonal manner. Of course there was a smaller tree in the kitchen, where the staff was invited to hang all the handmade ornaments they had collected over the years, but the family’s packages were expertly wrapped and displayed under the company tree.
“Is Severus still asleep?” Bradford asked as a Christmas greeting.
“He’s on his way.” Rupert replied.
“Good. It would be a shame for him to be late when we made a special effort to invite his family this year.”
“I’m sure he’ll be here on time.” Rupert replied, although after a semester of history first thing, he knew how hard it was to get Severus moving in the morning.
Rupert was saved from his father’s biting wit by the arrival of the Lestranges and Brumhilda Snape through the fireplace. “Merry Christmas, Gran and Pa! Merry Christmas, Ms. Snape.” Rupert greeted the newcomers.
“Good heavens that was a bumpy ride! You should probably have your floo looked into. They fall apart so fast when connected to muggle neighborhoods.” Aunt Brumhilda haughtily announced, her bony fingers brushing non-existent ash off her coat in such a way as to get maximal reflection off her antique rings. While Rupert had always considered Gran a stately witch, compared to the fragile elegance of the Snape matriarch, Gran looked positively homely.
“Nonsense, that was no worse than the Ministry floos.” Gran contradicted the elder witch, straigtening her robes with a quick pat. “Now, Rupert, come give your Gran a hug. Where are Cassandra and Severus?”
“Cassandra should be here momentarily. She just went to check with the staff to make sure the meal was ready.” Bradford replied, helping his in-laws out of the fireplace.
“Yes, I suppose you’d have to do that, wouldn’t you? Why Cassandra didn’t take the house elves with her after my brother passed on, I’ll never understand. It’s impossible to run a household well without them.” Aunt Snape commented.
The Giles were spared any further disparaging remarks by the arrival of Cassandra and Severus. “Mother, Hilda, you’re here already.” Cassandra smiled, but it looked more like a painful wince. “I hadn’t thought you’d be here for another few minutes.”
“Your invitation did say ten, did it not?”
“You’re correct as usual, Hilda.” Cassandra gritted her teeth. She hated dealing with her former sister-in-law, who was nearly forty years her senior. However, her mother was adamant that it would be cruel to leave the woman home alone for the holidays when Severus was the only family the woman had left. “Well, I’m sure you all are hungry, so shall we sit down for brunch?”
“That will be lovely dear.” Gran smiled, pulling a small pouch from her pocket and casting
a quick engorgio charm on it. “Shall I just leave the gifts in here?”
“Of course. Severus, help Gran put those under the tree.” The boys obeyed Cassandra’s command eager to see what packages had their names on them.
“You spoil the boys rotten.” Brumhilda Snape commented as she added her own gifts to the the tree.
“It’s a grandmother’s prerogative.” Gran beamed at the old spinster, always eager to put one up on her old school friend and rival. “Now boys, tell me all about what you’ve been up to.” Gran led the boys into the dining room, not bothering to wait for Brumhilda’s retort.
“Oh, Gran, it’s just been non-stop studying, really. I can hardly wait for the OWLs to be over.” Rupert complained goodnaturedly.
“Yes, and then we’ll have the NEWTs to look forward to.” Severus added in.
“Surely you haven’t been spending all your time studying?”
“I would say nearly all of our time has been spent with a book of some sort. It’s awful.” Rupert insisted.
“You poor dears.” Gran teased. “Of course, it would be more believable if I didn’t know for a fact that you’ve been up to other things.” The boys looked at her oddly. “The Yule Ball, dears. Humor an old witch and tell me all about the dance.”
“Oh Gran.” The boys blushed.
“Tell me which lucky witches you boys took this year.”
“Mother, you’re as bad as Witch’s Weekly.” Cassandra admonished, as she led the group into the formal dining room. The boys quickly took the seats next to Gran and Pa, leaving Bradford next to Aunt Snape.
“I hope you two found acceptable matches. Many a respectable marriage originated through Yule Ball invitations.” Although Hogwarts politics was supposedly beneath her, Brumhilda couldn’t hide her curiosity.
“Well, Severus went to the dance with Prunella Notts.”
“Oh my boy, where did we go so wrong?” Pa moaned.
“It wasn’t that bad.” Severus mumbled.
“The Notts are an upstanding family. They’ve been members of the Hogsmeade community for hundreds of years. He could do much worse.” Brumhilda sniffed.
“Ach! I have seen this Notts girl.” Pa turned to Severus. “I have seen prettier faces on dragons.”
“Now really, dear, is that the example you want to be setting?” Gran lightly scolded her husband. “I’m sure Severus had a good reason for asking the Notts’ girl.”
“She was the only Slytherin left.” Severus quietly admitted, as the table was served the first course.
“You are a Lestrange. You should not have to stoop so low. When I was a boy…”
“…In Transylvania, I would have walked up a mountain, in my bare feet, in the snow, before stooping to that.” Both Cassandra and Gran cut Mr. Lestrange off from his classic response to any question.
“You see what we must put up with, these British women? Save yourself boy, and find a nice Prussian girl to settle down with. They are much quieter.” Pa winked playfully at his wife.
“Severus is a Snape, and Snape men do not settle. Clearly this girl must have met the required standards, or Severus would not have asked her.” Brumhilda defended her nephew’s choice. “And I’m sure she looked lovely.”
“Well, she looked a far sight better than she normally does.” Rupert tried to help.
“Next year I’ll ask earlier.” Severus said, while silently adding that he would try not to ostracize all the girls the month before the dance by checking all the Potions OWL reviews out of the library before the practice exam. Earning the wrath of Narcissa probably led more to the lack of available dates, than his late start in asking.
“What about you, Rupert? Who did you take to the ball?” Gran asked, seeing that her grandson wanted the conversation changed.
Rupert swallowed before answering. “I went with Beatrice Botts.”
“An interesting choice,” Gran smiled. “Her family is quite influential in London, are they not?”
“Honestly, I don’t know much about her family, outside of her aunt’s famous bakery.”
“Oh her family is quite influential in the business community, if a bit on the dull side. St. Mungo’s Ward for Experimental Remedies can always count on them for a donation. They practically endowed one of the mediwizard chairs the year I was in charge of fundraising.” Brumhilda informed the table, never passing up the opportunity to include a reference to her philanthropic activities. “Considering your ancestry, frankly she could do better. How did you meet her?” Aunt Snape shot a haughty smirk at Bradford.
“She’s in my study group.” Rupert answered.
“And what did she wear?” Brumhilda asked with all the seriousness of one who had not been around boys long enough to realize they could care less about such details. The rest of the brunch conversation focused on the various couples attending the dance and the possible political ramifications. While Severus was increasingly uncomfortable with the level of gossip Brumhilda, Gran, and his mother were spreading, Rupert couldn’t help but remember the girls in his choir class and smile. Evidently witches didn’t get any better as they got older. And, for once in his life, it appeared Sir Bradford Giles had nothing to say on the matter.
“So now we come to the part of the holiday I’m sure you boys have been anxious for.” Gran teased as the group folded their napkins and got up from the table.
“Presents.” Rupert and Severus shared a smile.
“Mother, you shouldn’t egg them on.” Cassandra sighed, following her boys into the front study.
“Grandmother’s privilege.” Gran shot back. The boys eagerly went about the task of sorting the gifts into various piles as the adults settled into the various chairs.
Rupert picked up the last gift, which turned out to be Severus’ gift from Aunt Snape. “Tough luck, Sev, looks like they’re all out fruitcake this year.” Rupert whispered as he added yet another book shaped package to Severus’ pile.
“I’m sure you will be willing to share, if he really wants a piece.” Brumhilda snapped back, letting them know that being old did not equate to being deaf.
“Yes ma’am.” Severus paled, setting aside Aunt Snape’s gift to open last. The first gifts from Cassandra, were indeed a Wizard’s Guide to OWLs, earning a disappointed thanks from both of the boys. Gran’s gifts were slightly more interesting, the Pictoral Guide of Dragons for Rupert and Medicinal Plants of Europe for Severus, but still lacked any excitement. The gifts from Pa were slightly more exciting, earning a stern glare from Gran. Rupert wasn’t sure which dark toys from Pa’s collection he had decided to bestow on his grandsons this year, but clearly neither Gran nor Cassandra approved as the boys watched the gadgets tick.
“I don’t suppose you know what this is?” Rupert whispered to Severus.
“I haven’t the foggiest; just say thank you.” Severus whispered back.
“Here let me show.” Pa got up off the couch. “You see this key here? You want to turn it exactly thirteen times.” As he turned it around, the whole gadget made a lurching noise like a music box winding down. With a flourish, Pa released the key and set the gadget on the table. “There you see?” There was a periscope poking out the top, and a light flashing green near the base, but the boys couldn’t tell exactly what its function was.
“That’s fascinating, Pa. Thank you.” Severus said, watching the light switch to yellow.
“You do not understand.” Pa muttered with a frown, sitting back down on the sofa.
“No, and I’d rather it stay that way.” Cassandra replied, looking at the device with a fair amount of distrust.
“I will tell you later.” Pa winked at Severus.
“Thank you.” Severus said, for some reason relieved when the light switched back to green.
Rupert decided to tackle the largest of his boxes. In the box from his father was a floppy safari hat. “A hat? That’s…” Rupert didn’t have to hide his surprise at the gift his father had gotten him. “It’s a hat.” He finished lamely, admiring the khaki trimming and leather ties.
“Yes, it will come in handy this summer.” Sir Bradford commented, as though it were the most obvious answer.
“Oh really?” Rupert observed the hat more carefully. “Is gardening part of the Watcher’s curriculum?” He finally asked.
“Gardening? Good heavens boy, what do you take us for? The Lancaster's Ladies Club?” Sir Bradford scoffed. “No, Rupert, it’s for your trip to Greece. The Council has identified a promising set of ruins, and will be initiating an archaelogical expedition. Given the current climate, I thought you’d enjoy assisting them this summer.”
“I’m going to Greece? That’s … amazing! Are you sure?”
“Unless you have been shirking on your Greek lessons…”
“No, I’ve been keeping up.” Rupert quickly insisted.
“Well then, I suppose you will enjoy your time spent under the tuteledge of Quentin at the site.”
“Quentin will be there?” Rupert looked a bit ill.
“Of course. I couldn’t have you running around unsupervised and getting in everyone’s way.”
“No of course not.” Rupert glanced at Severus who was smirking.
“The important thing is that you’ll be out of England for the summer.” Mr. Giles insisted.
“Dear, really, you needn’t worry so much.” Cassandra rested her hand on her husband’s elbow.
“You and I have both read the reports. You know he is exactly the profile those degenerates go after. It will be much safer for him to be away.” Bradford muttered back, not realizing the entire room was hanging on his words.
“Thank you for the hat, father… and the trip. I’m sure it will be an excellent opportunity for me to improve my language skills.” Rupert set the khaki hat back down on the boxed fruitcake sitting beside him.
“Well, there’s one gift left. Severus, it’s your turn.” Gran said with a forced smile. She had heard from Cassandra that they worried for the boys’ safety, but she had never imagined it was so severe that they’d rather the boys be out of the country.
Severus carefully peeled the silver wrapping from the gift from Aunt Snape. Inside was a very old book, with well-worn leather binding and yellowing pages. “Aunt Hilda, is this what I think it is?”
“It is.” She looked smugly at Gran, knowing that Severus would treasure her gift far more than a catalog of herbs.
“You’re too young. I know that.” Aunt Snape replied. “Under normal circumstances, your father would have kept it until you had finished your apprenticeship, but he’s not here, and I’m not going to live forever.” She grimly reasoned.
“Wow, this is… Thank you!”
“I don’t need to tell you to take care of it, do I? And remember, that is for Snape eyes only. There are very few traditions upheld in our world nowadays, and it is up to the few pureblood lines left to preserve the magic for future generations. This is your heritage, Severus, and you should serve the Snape name well.”
“Of course, Aunt Hilda.”
“Now, Brumhilda, don’t you think you’re laying it on a bit thick?” Gran remarked with a teasing grin.
“Of course not!” Aunt Snape turned her regal Snape nose up at Madame Lestrange. “Just because the Blacks and Lestranges can’t manage to train their offspring in the family magics, that is no reason for the Snapes to fall lax on that regards. I promised my brother before he died that I would see to Severus’ training if it fell to me.”
“No one is doubting your intentions, but he is only fifteen.”
“My boy,” Brumhilda beckoned Severus forward until he was sitting at her feet. She grabbed his chin and looked him straight in his eyes. Severus felt as if she was looking right through him into his soul, and couldn’t help but wonder if this was what legilimancy felt like. “That book is the one thing your father insisted you have. Treat it well and it will be your guide. The noble house of Snape is now in your hands.”
“Of course, Aunt Hilda. Thank you.” Severus stuttered as he backed away.
“Well boys, why don’t your put your things away, and when you’re done we can go for a stroll in the gardens.” Cassandra suggested in that tone that left no room for argument.
The boys hurried to comply, gathering all the new belongings, and taking them back to their rooms. “So what was that book?” Rupert asked as soon as the boys were alone in the hall.
“It’s the Snape Family Grimoire. All the old families have one.”
“Like the family bible?” Rupert asked, remembering the oversized book Sir Bradford kept on the highest shelf in the library.
“It’s more than that. There’s the family tree of course, but everyone’s supposed to add something to it. I suspect there will be a lot of potion recipes, considering the Snape reputation.”
“Smashing! Maybe we can look for a suggestion for how to torment Quentin this summer.” Rupert grinned.
“There is no ‘we’. You aren’t allowed to see the book.” Severus snapped. “It’s only for Snapes.”
“But I’m your brother.” Rupert remarked.
“It doesn’t matter. You don’t have any Snape blood.”
“That’s what’s wrong with tradition.” Rupert rolled his eyes.
“You’re just jealous because your family has nothing like it.”
“That’s not true!”
“Oh yeah, what do the Giles have that can possibly compared to Snape Family Grimoires?”
“We have an entire library of Watcher’s Diaries going back to the time of Shakespeare.” Rupert retorted.
“Well, fat lot of good that will do you.” Severus retorted. “There’s no magic in that.”
“There doesn’t have to be any magic in it. There are lots of things in this world, even supernatural things, that don’t have anything to do with magic. I bet our library is far more interesting than your little book of secret Snape family recipes of wart removers.”
“The wart remover was patented and thus would not be in the family grimoire.” Severus replied in a haughty matter that would make his aunt proud. “Any self-respecting pureblood wizard would know that.”
“Well, then I’m glad I’m going to Greece this summer so that I won’t have to spend any more time with self-righteous, condescending, full-of-themselves pureblooded, inbreed wizards!” Rupert said storming into his room.
“That’s nothing compared to how glad I’ll be when you’re gone.” Severus snapped back, slamming his door behind him.
A minute later, Rupert poked his head out of his room. “Was your mum serious when she said she wanted to take a stroll outside?”
“Would she joke about something like that?” Severus replied drolly through the door.
“I don’t suppose you’ve seen my sweater then?”
Severus poked his head out of the door. “I borrowed it when I went flying yesterday afternoon.”
“You know you’re not supposed to go flying in the yard. What if the gardeners saw?”
“It’s midwinter. The gardeners have no business being outside, and even if they did, I doubt a flying broomstick would be much of a shock after they’ve seen your father’s library.”
“That’s true.” Rupert admitted, grabbing his sweater from Severus and slipping it on over his head.
“Well, I suppose we should go back to the front hall before your father kills my aunt.” Severus muttered, fetching a sweater for himself as well.
“Not if she kills him first.” Rupert grinned. “So about those grimoires, I don’t suppose you could look on my behalf for something to annoy Quentin? I know, Snape-eyes-only and underage magic restrictions and all that, but I figure if you make the potion or whatnot before the end of the school term, it won’t really breaking any of the restrictions, and I promise to get a picture of the results.”
“I’ll look.” Severus promised, relieved that Rupert had found a way around the Snape family clause. “And if it’s really good, you should get Evan to lend you one of his cameras. The muggle ones just aren’t as good.”