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Sirius wondered why Snape had waited until now to open it, but felt a little relieved that Snape probably wasn’t going to curse him after all. He stopped breathing heavily and began to actually try and fall asleep as he heard the sound of Snape pulling the parchment out of the envelope. He was sitting at the lake’s edge out on the grounds with Lily. They were holding hands and leaning against a tree, laughing and dangling their feet in the cool water. Sirius brushed her hair back and leaned in to kiss her… but, suddenly, he heard a sniffing noise. He backed away and looked into her face, seeing tears begin to stream down her face. Sirius awoke to stare up at the ceiling, feeling awful. He wondered what had woken him but that answer came immediately; he heard another loud sniff, but it wasn’t a dream, it was coming from the bed across from him. Sirius’s forehead wrinkled in wonder. Using his arms, he slowly propped himself up on his bed. He shifted himself to the side to look at Snape, his propped up leg being in the way. And then he saw him. Snape was shaking with silent tears, sitting on the edge of his bed, facing his own candle. He was clutching a piece of parchment in his hand, his arm resting against his leg. His other hand was hiding his face. Sirius’s curiosity was replaced quickly and guilt came pouring in. Was it related to him what Snape was so upset about? He thought. No. He told himself quickly. It’s obviously about what he read in that letter. Sirius frowned; Snape’s family must be as bad as his to make him cry like that. “Hey.” Sirius whispered. Snape started and looked up at Sirius, throwing the letter quickly behind him on his bed and out of sight. He looked miserable. “You alright mate?” Sirius asked. Snape shook his head, wiping his eyes with his sleeve. “That from your mum and dad?” Sirius asked, “Because my—“ “No.” Snape said firmly, anger now present. He stared at Sirius loathingly. Sirius couldn’t believe Snape had just been so cold to him; he was trying to be nice. He let out an aggravated sigh and laid back down on his bed. Sirius lied in his bed awake most of the night, listening to Snape sob violently. He would’ve felt worse for him if Snape hadn’t just been negative, but he still felt bad. After a while, Sirius finally heard Snape’s snores. He guessed that it had been an hour or two straight Snape had been crying. Sirius wondered what was in the letter Snape had gotten, guessing inside his head as to what it was while he drifted off to sleep again. Sirius awoke the next morning to light flooding in from all of the windows in the wing. Then, ecstatic, he saw that his leg was all healed. He sat up, stretching and yawning and saw, with a quick glance, that Snape was still fast asleep. He had expected this after all that crying. Then he noticed that the letter lay on the floor next to the bed. Sirius really wanted to know what was in that letter… and Snape probably wouldn’t be waking up any time soon… He got up slowly, tiptoeing over to Snape’s bed. He held his breath as he approached the letter, crouching down and taking it gently. He tiptoed back over to his bed and began to read the letter that was crumpled slightly on the sides and tear-stained. Dear Severus, Your father and I are separating. I’m sorry dear, I wish there was another way… but last night it happened again and I just couldn’t stand it any longer. Your father is much too violent. I do hope you are all right. I’m sorry about your situation at school. Don’t worry, you’ll make friends. You’re a good boy. Please write back soon. I love you, Severus. Love, Mom Sirius’s heart sank. So… Snape’s parents were getting a divorce… and he had written to his mom about not having any friends. No wonder he was so upset. Sirius left the hospital wing right after leaving the letter on the floor again. He couldn’t see himself staying there and waiting for Snape to wake up again, the boy whose family had just been permanently torn apart. Sirius headed towards Gryffindor tower, heading into the Common Room and then up to his dormitory. He saw that James and Remus were the only ones in there, in the middle of changing. “Hey Sirius, how you feeling?” James asked. “Good… good, I’m fine.” “Yeah, I heard about it.” Remus said darkly, “And you’re lucky you guys got away.” “—You didn’t tell anyone else, did you?”” Sirius said, rounding on James. “No, just Remus. I trust him.” James replied. Remus smiled lightly as he pulled on his socks. “So… how was Snape?” James asked, putting on his shoes. “Heard he was there too.” “Oh, he was fine.” Sirius said quickly, taking his eyes off of James as he began to slip on a shirt. “Did he say anything to you?” Remus said, plopping down on his bed. “No… he was asleep the whole time I was there.” Sirius lied. He didn’t know why, but he just didn’t feel like telling them about what he saw. “He didn’t try and hex you or anything?” James asked, taking a seat next to Remus. “No… I thought about that.” Sirius chuckled shrilly. “But he just, uh… slept I guess.” Sirius stamped on his last shoe and stood to join James and Remus on the way out of the dormitory. “Well, that little git was probably too beat up to try anything on you, right Sirius?” James said, slapping a hand on Sirius’s back. “Ha, right.” Sirius said, hiding his uneasiness. “Well, let’s get down to breakfast now. I expect it’s half over already.” Remus said, opening the door and heading out. When they sat down at the Gryffindor table for breakfast that morning, the mail arrived just as they took their seats. James got an angry letter from his parents saying that he should have controlled himself, Remus got his daily copy of “The Daily Prophet,” and Sirius, like he expected, received a scarlet-colored letter. “Great.” He grumbled, rising up out of his seat with it. He ran out of the Great Hall quickly, concealing it underneath his robes. When he reached the Entrance Hall, he opened the castle doors and threw it carelessly outside. It began to smoke just as he slammed the doors shut and turned on his heel, walking back towards the Great Hall and picking up things like “CARELESS!” “DON’T BOTHER COMING HOME!” and “I HOPE YOU SUFFER IN YOUR DETENTION!” on the way back. He got back to the Gryffindor table to see Remus and James hovering over the front page of the Daily Prophet, wide-eyed. “What’re you two so shocked about?” Sirius asked. “Look!” James said, thrusting the paper at Sirius and a smile began to creep up his face as he read: LATE NIGHT ROBBERS Stanley and Melinda Forte, owners of the popular Hogsmeade joke shop “Zonkos” report two suspects visited them in the middle the night. At approximately 11:32 pm, Melinda heard a loud crash in their basement storage room, her and her husband went downstairs to find a box of dungbombs toppled over as well as a pile of dirt in front of what appeared to be a stone wall. It was soon discovered to be a secret passageway. Stanley, 62, descended the passage, spotting the two delinquents and climbing down several flights of steps where he lost them. “I knew something wasn’t right.” He reported, “So I hid until I heard another noise and found them getting away.” Forte chased after them, but, unfortunately, one of the delinquents aimed a spell at him over his shoulder, luckily missing Forte completely, but instead causing the passage ceiling to cave in completely at the foot of the stairs in between Forte and the robbers. The suspects are described as two boys around the age of twenty, and both of whom are armed and extremely dangerous. Any information leading up to the arrest of these men shall be duly rewarded. “Ha! Twenty?!” Sirius laughed, slamming the paper down on the table. “Shh!” James hissed, though grinning as much as Sirius. “Do I really look twenty?” Sirius asked playfully, rubbing his chin handsomely with his thumb and forefinger. “I dunno…” James whispered quietly, rolling up the paper, “But we broke into Zonkos last night!” He cried, slapping hands with Sirius. The triumph that James and Sirius had had that morning was quickly extinguished when Professor McGonagall reminded them about their detention that night on the way to Defense Against the Dark Arts the next morning. “Who’s going to be the person we spend it with?” Sirius asked curiously. “Caretaker Pringle.” McGonagall said curtly, striding off afterward toward her classroom. “Pringle?” James whimpered. “Aw man… I just had a broken leg!” Sirius whined as they approached the usual crowd of students outside the classroom door. “Hey Severus!” Sirius’s cousin Bellatrix shrieked. “Do that gash hex again!” Sirius stared at her. “Yeah, Snape!” Another boy egged on. Suddenly, Snape emerged from the Slytherin side looking extremely pleased. “Oh, I can do more than that, Rosier.” He sneered, eyeing Sirius more loathingly than ever before. Apparently Snape had gotten friends.

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