Chapter 14 - Black's Revenge
She loved him, she was truly and utterly head over heels in love with Sirius Black, and he felt the same way about her. Everyone knew it, everyone that is except for Sirius and Talia. They walked hand in hand throughout the corridors, in fact the only time they spent apart was during Talia's frequent study sessions or Sirius' frequent detentions. There was a certain time of the month, however, when Sirius couldn't be with Talia. The full moon was rapidly approaching and Sirius could tell that it would be a bad one. Remus was looking worse than Sirius had ever seen him before. James went as far as asking Sirius if he would bother to show up for the full moon.
"Oh shove off Potter! You should talk!" Sirius had grumbled as James laughed, stuffing bangers and mash into his oversized mouth. Peter found the bickering between his two friends very disheartening and tried easing the situation with a bit of adventure planning.
"Maybe we could go into the woods tonight?" Peter suggested; they hadn't gone wandering in a few moons. Lately Remus hadn't been up for it.
Remus shook his head rapidly, "I don't know Pete, I think this is going to be a bad one."
It was very subtle, none of his friends heard it; but had they been in their animagi form they would have heard Peter mumble something about no one listening to his ideas under his breath. Their conversation was cut short as Lily, Alice and Talia sat down next to them at the Gryffindor table.
Sirius smiled his usual toothy grin and pinched Talia's side. "So, what are we up to tonight?" He asked, knowing that they would probably spend the night in the Astronomy tower, as they had done for the past six nights.
But Talia shook her finger at him, "You have detention for turning that Hufflepuff boy's hair green last week...and I have a potions lesson." He screwed up his face, mockingly perplexed and tapped his chin with his finger.
"Hufflepuff, Hufflepuff...I don't remember doing anything of the sort." Talia smacked him on the knee and turned to look at the 3rd year boy sitting at the table across from them. If one looked hard, they could still see a slight twinge of green still in his hair. He looked completely wary as he ran his fingers through his hair, looking around to see if anyone noticed. When he caught Talia's eye she tried to smile but he just stuck out his tongue and looked away.
Sirius let out a hearty bark like laugh as he watched the scene unfold. Talia just swatted him, "You really should apologize."
"Ah come on Tal, it was just a joke." Sirius said, pushing her words aside. Talia looked over to see Remus shaking his head, his eyes met her own and she could tell he agreed with her. She could also see circles under his eyes and his obvious wariness. The full moon was coming and still he didn't know that she knew his secret. Sirius didn't notice any of this as he stood up, patting his stomach heartily and asked Talia, "Want me to walk you to the dungeons before I go to detention?"
"Nah," Talia answered. "I'll be fine."
"Okay, see you guys later." Sirius sauntered out of the Great Hall, turning quite a few heads as he walked haughtily towards McGonagall's office.
Normally Talia would have been excited about her advanced potions lessons. Every week was an exciting new adventure for her, and more than that, these lessons had a purpose. She kept it under wraps very well, no one not even her professor or her lab partner knew about what she was trying to do. If it worked it would be the wizarding breakthrough of the century, she would be famous but more than that her friends would be happy.
This week was different, this week she would have to deal with her lab partners snide remarks. Things had been going pretty well with Severus Snape; they had even gotten to the point of limited conversation such as "please pass me the puffer fish eyes" or "you need to stir that counter-clockwise". But ever since she started dating Sirius, Severus refused to even speak with her; he made snide remarks under his breath and snorted every time she tried to initiate conversation. It was pure misery.
Okay Tal, take a deep breath. He's nothing you can't handle, just do your work and keep your head down. Talia pushed open the dungeon door that opened into the potions classroom. Professor Slughorn was not in his usual place and the other students that usually took this class were absent as well. In fact, the only person in the room besides herself was Snape. Talia paused, a bit shocked but continued on, placing her things at the table where Snape sat.
She took a deep breath and dived in, "Where is--"
"Don't know," he snarled, before she even finished her sentence.
Well this isn't going to be fun Talia went to the ingredient cabinet and began pulling out the things she would need. Slughorn had been allowing them to work on their own potions for about two weeks. It was exhilarating to work on your own without being told what to do. Slughorn wasn't even grading them, Talia remembered exactly what he said the first day, "This class is optional, you have enough pressure with your NEWT classes, this is just a stepping stone for a future in potion making."
He was an understanding man who always tried to encourage his students, rather than frighten them into doing their work. He was the main reason that Talia enjoyed potions so much, in fact she recently decided that she wanted to be a professor at Hogwarts and today was the day that she would tell him.
Being careful to turn away from Severus Talia took out the research she had been collecting during her "study time." She was positive that it would work, she had even gone into her mothers things. Dumbledore had allowed Talia to look through all of her research and Talia knew that her mother had been brilliant. She was the reason that most of the highly developed potions used today were so effective. Her mother had found away to use the phases of the moon in potion making, thus developing much more potent concoctions.
Talia was only missing one ingredient and it would not be easy to get; it would either entail putting herself in grave danger or letting others know what she was doing. Now any normal person would choose the latter but Talia was not any normal person.
The next hour went by just as Talia expected, in complete silence. Not a word passed between them; the good thing was that it allowed Talia to lose herself in her work. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't even notice Severus pick up her notes and start perusing them. As she began packing her things she saw the parchment in his hands.
Grabbing it from him, she had never felt so enraged before, "JUST WHAT IN THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!" She snatched up her parchments and began shoving them in her bag.
"My, touchy aren't we," Severus snarled as he watched her fume. "Would that have anything to do with a certain--"
"If you ever touch my things again I will not hesitate to kill you where you stand." Talia's face glittered with rage, she held her finger in Snape's face. Her hands were shaking with rage, every thread of her being shook with anger. When Snape began laughing she lost it, her wand was mere inches away from her but there was no logic in her brain. Even though she only came up to Snape's chin, her reach was far enough to make an impact. Without any thought Talia began swinging; throwing her body weight into every punch she easily got Snape to the ground. The element of surprise took him off guard but when he realized what she was doing he shoved her off of him and grabbed his things, running for the door and calling her a crazy bitch.
Talia was not about to let him get away with it, running after him and jumping on his back as he walked out into the hallway. "Shut your BLOODY mouth SNIVELLUS!" Snape wiry body was surprisingly strong and he flung her off without a problem, slamming her into the wall. Before he could even collect himself he felt a striking pain across his face and fell unconscious to the floor.
Sirius sat in the hospital wing of Hogwarts seething with anger as he watched Talia sleeping. Madame Pomfrey had given her a calming draught to keep her from hysterics. He wasn't sure what had happened between her and Snivellus, all he saw was Snape hit her. Sirius looked over at the bed across from Talia where Snape sat with bandages on his head. The hospital door opened slowly and Lily and Alice rushed in, followed by a slow moving Dumbledore.
Lily and Alice sat beside him and began firing questions, "What happened?" and "Is she going to be okay?" Sirius was unable to answer them, basically because he didn't know. He watched Dumbledore sitting with Snape, apparently talking about what happened. He watched Dumbledore rise and make his way over to Talia's bed.
"Poppy, how will she recover?" Sirius didn't understand why Dumbledore would ask Pomfrey about Talia if she wasn't even there.
"That was a right smack to the head, but she'll be fine." Sirius jumped with a start to see Madame Pomfrey right behind him. She continued speaking with Dumbledore, "We have bigger problems on our--"
But Dumbledore stopped her, "I think you might want to check Mr. Snape's head, Poppy."
Sirius watched as Madame Pomfrey shuffled off, apparently to get more bandages. Professor Dumbledore looked down at him and told Sirius to meet him in his office and then left. Sirius stood up slowly and turned to Lily and Alice, "Stay here with her." He walked over to where Snape sat; a surprisingly large smile was plastered across Snape's face. Sirius lowered his head so that his face was even with Snape's. Snape's greasy hair lightly grazed Sirius' nose, but instead of recoiling, which is what he would have normally done, he gritted his teeth.
"You will pay for this with your life."
Snape laughed but the fear in his eyes was unmistakable. He stuttered his words revealing that he indeed told Dumbledore that Sirius had attacked him, "H-How can you d-d-do that when you're expelled!" Snape spat out that last word, every ounce of vengeance in his body being released with that one word.
Sirius smirked at his fear and stood up slowly, "I have my ways." He turned his back on Snape and walked slowly out of the room. He turned to see Lily and Alice staring at him. All he said before leaving was, "Stay with her." His tone was serious and slightly alarming so the girls offered no argument.
Sirius Black was on a mission, he would get Snape no matter what it took and already a plan was forming in his brain.
Talia was out of the hospital wing, tonight was the full moon and Sirius couldn't have been in a better mood. At least that's what he thought until he came across Snivellus walking along the corridors that night. An evil smile spread across his lips; Snivellus couldn't have made it any easier for him. All he needed to do was get him to the tree, what Sirius didn't realize is that Snape would make it even easier. As soon as Severus spotted Sirius he sent him a sardonic glare.
"Black, wouldn't it violate your probation to be strolling around the corridors this late a night. Dumbledore almost expelled you didn't he?" Snape snarled as he spoke to Sirius, everything about Black made Severus hate him. From the haughty way he walked through the corridors to the condescending way he spoke to everyone in his midst.
Black laughed, which annoyed Snape even more, "Oh Snivellus, don't you know when to leave well enough alone. I'm sorry for attacking you," Snape's angry glare changed to one of disbelief, "no honestly Severus, I thought you were attacking Talia and I just went crazy."
Snape just snorted, "The other way around, wasn't it."
Sirius sighed and fell into step beside him, "I know, I don't understand what set her off."
"Yes, well she was meddling in things she ought not, and I caught her." Snape answered, never wavering in his scepticism of this new found "friend." Sirius looked at Snape in actual shock. What is Snivellus up too? What does he know?
Snape saw this and inwardly laughed, those idiotic fools had no idea what was going on. "Hmph, you'd better keep a closer watch on your girlfriend Black." Sirius tried to ignore the overwhelming urge to hit Snape square in the jaw, but if his plan was going to work he had to keep a cool head.
"Oh yeah, why's that?" Sirius asked with as much outward calm as he could muster.
"Let's just say I know about your friend's situation." Snape's answer threw Sirius off guard for a minute; all the while they were walking closer and closer to the front entrance of the school. Sirius' quizzical stare prompted Snape to continue, all the while he kept thinking what a dolt Sirius was. "It is a lovely evening for a full moon, wouldn't you say Black."
The realization that Snape knew hit Sirius like a ton of bricks; any normal person would have worried but it made Sirius' objective all the easier. He smiled slowly and turned to Snape in a confidential manor. "Alright, so you know. It's a little scary isn't it?"
Snape was bewildered by Sirius' response, surely this would have set Black off; not knowing what to do Snape answered him, "I will never be scared of Remus Lupin."
Sirius just laughed, "Oh yeah? Well I've seen him change. That Whomping Willow they planted our first year here, well they planted it to protect the entrance to Remus' lair." Snape was mildly interested and although he tried to disguise it, Sirius could see it in his face and he knew he had him. "I went down there myself, there's this knot at the base of the tree. If you poke it with a stick the tree will freeze and you can get through the opening no problem."
Snape rolled his eyes and waved Sirius off, "You expect me to believe that Black? What are getting at?"
Sirius was a master at fake honesty, having used it on McGonagall since he set foot in Hogwarts. "No seriously, come on I'll show you." Snape looked sceptical and stopped walking; had he turned around right then it might have made life much easier on him, but just then Sirius touched his sore spot. "Are you scared?"
Snape puffed out his chest in indignation, "I told you that I'll never be scared of Lupin."
"Well then, come on!" Sirius answered in a mock friendly tone. The trudged across the gardens towards the Whomping Willow, it really wasn't far from the front entrance. When they got there Sirius could still see the look of doubt plastered across Snape's face. He knew that it might take a bit more coaxing so he grabbed the longest stick that he could find and walked closer to the base of the trunk. The willow, try as it might, could not reach him with it's assaulting branches. Sirius watched as Snape flinched every time the willow would take a swipe.
He was just able to reach in and prod the knot while the willow was in mid-swing. To Snape's amazement the tree froze still. He stood there gaping when Sirius yelled, "GO! It'll only be frozen for a moment." Sirius could not hide his glee as Snape dove for the trap door and shoved himself through just before the branches began swinging again. There was no longer any sight of Snivellus Snape and Sirius buckled over in a fit of laughter. However, his triumphant moment was spoiled by a voice.
"Oi, who's there?" Unfortunately the moon was covered by a deep cloud front and Sirius could not see a thing, he turned to see a wand illuminate in the dark. James stood mere feet away from him with his wand extended, next to him Peter stood quietly. "Oh, Padfoot, it's just you. What are you cackling about?" James asked as he lowered his wand.
In a fit of laughter, Sirius was barely able to speak, "Snivellus...willow...Remus!" He doubled over once more, practically rolling on the ground, but his glee turned to surprise when James grabbed him by the collar.
"WHAT?! Padfoot, what is wrong with YOU?!" James tossed him aside in disgust, sending a stunning spell directly at the knot.
"Now why didn't I think of that?" Sirius asked as he shook his head, still chuckling from his ingenious plan and started yelling after James as he disappeared into the hole, "He deserves it James! Sticking that bloody beak where it doesn't belong!" But James could no longer hear him. Sirius was faced with the decision of waiting for his friend to return with a pathetic and most likely petrified Snape or go back to the common room. Deciding that he couldn't miss the opportunity to see the look on Snape's face he decided to wait.
Waiting became awfully boring as Sirius sat on the ground tossing twigs at the tree, trying to make it move. Peter, who usually laughed like a jackal at his jokes, remain inauspiciously quiet. It seemed forever before James' head came into view, he was dragging out a raging Snivellus behind him. Sirius laughed as Snape came out thrashing a sputtering obscenities. James tried to calm him, although Sirius couldn't understand why. Who cared what Snivellus said or felt?
"Y-you and you-r-r-r friends are th-through!" Snape yelled as he tripped over his overly large feet, trying to stand and grab for his wand at the same time. James put out his hands, trying to reason with Snivellus but that made Sirius laugh even harder.
"Serves you right for sticking that nose in other people's business, you greasy git!" Sirius roared as James gave him an admonishing look.
Snape ran for the front entrance, closing it behind him with a loud bang. The three remaining Marauders stood there in complete silence. The wind rustling through the leaves of a now calm Whomping Willow. Sirius' laughter had died as he took in the look on his friends faces. He tried to speak but James turned his back on him, motioning for Peter, "Come on Wormtail, Moony needs us."
Sirius rolled his eyes in disgust, "Come on Prongs, it was a joke!" James didn't say anything, he didn't even turn around, he just looked directly at Peter. Peter gave Sirius a desperate stare and transformed into the rat. He reached the knot and paused the tree.
Without a single word James and Peter disappeared through the trap door, leaving Sirius standing alone in the moonlight.
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