|Scene Title||Severus Snape Has Nothing Better To Do|
|Synopsis||Snape comes to the Burrow to check on Harry in light of the Death Eater attack in Diagon Alley|
|Date||Jul 10, 1994|
|Watch For||Harry sass'ing Snape. How close Snape gets to staying for dinner. How creeped out Hermione is.|
The Weasley residence is a brisk walk back off the main road, hidden by the greenery and a few magical enhancements. Upon first glance, this looks like a normal little country home. The grass is lush and green with the odd weed poking up, the hedges are kept neatly trimmed. There are even a few chickens pecking around in the yard. As stated earlier, this residence appears normal, until you get a glance of the house. It looks as if it were once a stone pigpen, and rooms had just been built to and around it. The home looks as if it has four stories and there are five chimneys poking out of it. There is no way that this home could be staying upright without the aid of the supernatural. Behind the house and to the side is a shed where Mr. Weasley tinkers about. A pond is nearby with overgrown grass around it. Every now and then a garden gnome races across the yard with a mad giggle of glee adding to the occasional noise provided by the family ghoul.
Inside the home, the kitchen is a small and quite cramped room. Occupying the center of the room is a wooden table surrounded by chairs. Placed against the wall is a grandfather styled clock with only one hand. Instead of numbers on the clockface it has things like 'Time to make tea,' 'Time to Feed the Chickens,' 'You're late,' 'At Work,' and so forth. A fireplace with a large mantelpiece occupies a large portion of the inside wall. Magically oriented cookbooks are kept stacked across the fireplace mantel. Placed upon the mantel next to the books is an old radio tuned into the Wizard Wireless Network. Despite the low income, it seems something delicious can always be found cooking in here.
The sitting area contains a fireplace with a stone mantel. Placed upon the mantel are photographs of the family and a muggle style clock. Positioned back a safe distance from the fireplace is a squashy sofa of indeterminable color. A thin and faded rug is on the floor in front of it. Small end tables have been placed at either end of the sofa. Lamps have been placed on each one, on top of lace doilies. Two lace curtained windows look out into the front garden.
In the middle of the afternoon at the Burrow, things can be a bit crazy. Molly is finishing up a batch of bread dough, kneading it before setting it aside to rise. There are pops and bangs coming from upstairs, and Molly glances toward the stairway every few minutes. "Fred, George!" That should be enough to let them know she hears what's going on. She puts the dough over to the side, and moves to get the basket of laundry that needs folding. Finding a seat, she sits down to begin.
Sitting at the kitchen table, eager to keep out of the way of Mrs. Weasley and her cleaning habits of doom, Hermione has a large open book that she's half paying attention to. It's the same huge book on Quidditch that she had at the Leaky Cauldron. However, it's hard to keep her eye on it, while she feels like she should be doing other things. Like, helping out. "Are you sure I can't help you with anything, Mrs. Weasley? I'm good at folding."
At Mrs. Weasley's shout, the door to the twins room opens and laughing can be heard. Followed by Harry's voice. "Just don't be letting those loose in the common room next term." he says, before starting down the stairs. "Those two…" he starts, quickly quieting as he enters the kitchen and noticing Molly. "Anyhow…still reading that Quidditch book, Hermione?"
Apparating just beyond the borders of the Burrow's garden, Severus Snape cuts quite a striking and unwelcome figure against the warm, blue summer sky. Dressed all in black as is his style, he sweeps down the garden path like some great carrion bird - the look on his face a grim and displeased mask of professionalism and mild disgust. Disgust at being drawn away from his ever-important holiday tasks for reasons that cause his lip to curl. All the same, for pride's sake, his expression becomes an emotionless mask once he arrives at the door.
Paying no regard to a nearby gnome shouting swears at him, Snape lifts his wand and applies the tip to the doorframe three times. Each time the seemingly-miniscule tapping creates a loud thud as though he had banged his fists against it noisily. That done, he deposits the wand into one of the manifold hidden spaces in his robes and waits.
"No, no, dear." Molly chuckles. "You're a guest. " Molly doesn't realize the paradoxical nature of her treatment of Harry and Hermione. They're family, but they're guests. Best of both worlds, really. "Hello, Harry, dear. I've got some biscuits just made and some bread dough rising." The boy needs fattening up. The knock at the door makes her drop the orange and black shirt she was folding. "Whoever could that be?" She stands, then moves toward the door. "Hello?" She asks tentatively as she opens it.
"Are you sure?" Because even if she's a guest, Hermione likes to help out. It's her conscientious nature. Rolling her eyes up toward the ceiling, she shifts to allow some room for Harry next to her. "Those two up to their usual?" she asks, a quirked eyebrow meaning that she already knows the answer to that one. "Oh, yes. You have to read this once I'm done, Harry. It's wonderful. There's a whole history to the game in here! It goes on for ages! You'll know more about Quidditch than anyone else on the entire pitch!" Which, in Hermione's mind is a good thing. Even if it has nothing to do with practice. The loud knock on the door stops her from going on about her new find, instead, she holds her tongue to see who it is.
Since when is Harry thin? He's eaten better in his three years at Hogwarts than in his 11 years at the Dursleys. "Sounds delicious, Mrs. Weasley. Thanks." he says though, being polite before glancing at the book again and then forking a thumb over his shoulders towards the stairs. "I've got one just about as thick to read myself. All about Quidditch strategies. And yeah, they are. Something about Extreme Licorice Snaps." he grins, it fading as he glances towards the knocking on the door.
"Molly," Snape begins as the door opens, yielding to polite convention for once and not immediately stepping inside once the way is made, "Good afternoon."
Despite his words, his tone of voice seems to imply that he does not really care what sort of day it is - the pleasantries are only there because they have to be. He folds his arms over his chest, pale hands disappearing into the gloomy robes as he makes unblinking eye contact.
"May I come in?"
"Oh, hello, Severus. Come on in. What brings you all the way out here? It's not one of the boys, is it? They haven't…" She scowls, ready to reprimand any of them if they need it. "I know they can be a handful, Professor, but they usually do mean well. Would you care for something to drink?" She speaks a little quickly, trying to cover up the nervousness. If her kids are in trouble… "No, no, dear." She hurriedly reassures Hermione. "It's all right." She quickly levitates the shirt back into the basket and magically banishes the basket back into the room for the time being.
"Honestly, you'd think that no one would trust anything they handed out by now." Hermione may not get the fact that people want to be turned into canaries and stretched out or whatever. "Merlin knows you won't catch me eating anything that's been left behind in the Common Room." Then, hearing the voice at the doorway, the bookworm gives a soft groan. 'It's Professor Snape,' she mouths at Harry, with an unhappy look on her face. She shuts the book on the table and schools her expression as she watches the doorway and Mrs. Weasley.
"I don't know. This new thing they're working on you might want to eat." Harry grins, settling down onto the bench on the opposite side of the table from Hermione. "Seems once you open the box, if you don't eat them they grow larger and larger." He looks like he was about to say something else when he sees Hermione's silent words. "Wonder what he's doing here?" he whispers, lightly across the table.
"I'm sure reprimands can wait until the school year begins," Snape replies evenly, "I am, in fact, here at the Headmaster's request."
Turning his head slowly, Snape stares down his beak-like nose through some stray strands of greasy, black hair. Eyes fixed on Harry, perhaps only regarding Hermione because his peripheral vision prevents him from ignoring her entirely; he gives him a weighted look. Perhaps trying to see the importance in him, although the twitch in his lip seems to reveal that he has failed to recognize it.
He nevertheless waits a moment for the Mistress of the House to permit him to speak. He can be polite when he has been told to be.
"Oh, well, I'm sure Albus has his reasons, then." Molly says, moving back toward him. "Won't you have a seat? Should I call Arthur?" Is it important enough to call him home from work? She watches him gaze at Harry. She purses her lips quietly, watching Harry and Hermione for a moment. Her glance instructs them to behave. She's aware of what her children think of the potions professor.
"I don't know," Hermione whispers back, suddenly feeling like they're back in the dungeon at Hogwarts. Glad that his stare isn't on her, she turns her head so that she's looking at Harry. He's the one that seems to have brought the greasy haired Slytherin to the Burrow's doorstep. "The Headmaster?" That's still whispered, curious now. "Why wouldn't he come himself?" Not exactly ignoring Molly's 'behave' glance, she always behaves. Unless Snape does something that would require her to defend herself or Harry, she'll be polite.
About to say something to Hermione, at mention of Dumbledore, Harry's attention turns towards the Potions Professor. "Maybe…he's being watched by the Ministry." Harry says, forgetting to whisper as he was running different reasons through his head. *wince* Maybe Snape didn't hear it. "Or…I don't know."
"He needn't be disturbed," Snape says almost dismissively, shaking his head at Molly. He moves towards the offered seat, sitting down opposite the children and giving them a long look, "Or perhaps Professor Dumbledore has more important things to do."
This might imply that Snape does not but he isn't about to miss a chance to take the great Harry Potter down a peg or two.
"This," he begins, "is in regard to the attack on Diagon Alley by the Death Eaters."
He reaches into his robes, producing a copy of the Daily Prophet with the headline 'Death Eater Attack In Diagon Alley', tossing it onto the table in front of the two students.
"I've been sent to make certain that no harm has come to you. Although from here it looks as though you're healthy as ever."
He might even sound a little disappointed. Might. Maybe.
"Oh, dear. An attack? We should consider…" Molly's mind starts whirling, thinking about getting her children — all of them — to Diagon Alley to get their books. "Will it be safe to take them for supplies?" She finaly asks after a moment, her attention focused on the paper in front of her. "I hadn't heard…" She frowns. She's gonna have a bone to pick with her husband when he gets home. "Did he have any specific instructions, Severus?" Now, her attention is on Harry. Poor boy.
Ah, Snape too close for comfort. Sitting at the same table? Danger. Hermione blushes faintly about the cheeks at having been caught whispering. It really is like being back at Hogwarts. She's surprised to not hear the professor declare twenty points from Gryffindor. "More important than Harry?" As far as Hermione knew, Dumbledore didn't think there was much more important than him. "I already have my supplies, Mrs. Weasley." Even though that's not the only person to worry about. "If it's not safe for Harry, Ron and I could go and get what he doesn't have already." Eyes focusing on the dark haired boy again, she adds, "You did do most of shopping already, right, Harry?"
Well, Harry knew about the attack, but hadn't said anything to anyone about it. No sense increasing the worry when he hoped it was just an isolated incident. But apparently it was enough to spike the interest of the Headmaster. "Still in one piece, if that's what you mean." he replies, failing miserably to control his disdain for Snape. His nose crinkles up at the paper tossed on the table and he nods at Hermione. Better to concentrate on her or Molly rather than… "Most of it. Still need a few things. But I can go and get those myself." Yeah, he's not going to be bullied by Death Eaters. He's the Boy Who Lived!
Snape is not quite able to hide his own disdain now, his lip curling as he looks at Harry with that black stare he so often brandishes when he is displeased.
"This is a bold move by the Death Eaters. And your own bravado notwithstanding, you are a boy whereas the Death Eaters are dark wizards with experience predating your own prophetic birth. They know magic you have not even heard of - and you are hardly unrecognizable in a crowd."
The word 'prophetic' is practically dripping with sarcasm, unable to hold back his contempt for the boy's attitude. All the same, he soon regains his composure.
"Regardless," Snape says, his speech even once again as he addresses Molly, "While I do not know what Professor Dumbledore has planned, I would suggest that Potter not accompany you to Diagon Alley. I am certain an escort could be arranged should he simply have to leave here."
"Harry dear, Professor Snape is right. We'll have the others finish your shopping for you. I'm sure they won't mind." Decision is made. Molly has spoken. "I won't risk you being attacked while under my care." She frowns a little at Professor Snape's tone, but there isn't much she can do about that. "Well, we'll probably want to have a couple more wands to take him to King's Cross, but we can plan for that…" Molly steps over to the kitchen. "Can I persuade you to stay for supper, Severus?" It's not a completely wholehearted attempt, but it is an offer which, in her mind, must be made.
Stay for supper? Having to eat alongside - may even across from - Snape? Ew. Double ew. Hermione decides to focus on the things that she can fix, though. Which is getting a list of all the things to gather from Diagon Alley for Harry. Preparation is something she excels. While she's not going to say Snape is right, she'll agree with Molly. "You don't want to risk getting caught somewhere with Death Eaters, Harry. Not if Dumbledore doesn't think it's safe. I'm going to go get my list. Did you mark off what you already got from yours? I'll compile what we all need according to the order of the stores in Diagon so we'll be done with it in no time." Gathering up her big Quidditch book, she pushes away from the table and swings around to run up the stairs. An excuse to get away from the potions professor is one she'll gladly take.
"What?!?!" Harry exclaims, standing up from the bench. "No. It's perfectly safe for me to go to Diagon Alley!" Yeah, now he's rightly upsest, and staring directly at Snape. "IF the Death Eaters wanted me, they've had plenty of other opportunities to do so while I was there alone before." Bet they didn't know that. "Why would they do it now?"
"Why wouldn't they?" Snape snaps back, "The Dark Lord may be gone, Potter, but his Death Eaters are still loyal and they would like nothing better than to take vengeance on the boy responsible for his loss. Considering the lengths that have been gone to in order to keep you safe, it would be spitting in the face of your hosts to flout it."
Snape stands, straightening his robes, "These are still dangerous times we are living in and it would pay for you to remember this. Your absence from Diagon Alley will be one less opportunity for the Death Eaters to attack you … one less chance for them to kill you."
He moves around the table, quite uncomfortably close to Harry now, "And that is what they intend to do … and all the third year magic and posturing won't save you from them without the proper preparation."
That said, he turns to Molly and shakes his head, "No. I must leave."
"Oh. Well, give our regards to the Headmaster." Molly's tone carries a polite, faux-disappointment. She purses her lips, and turns toward Harry. "Harry, dear …" She attempts to soften the blow of the words the Professor says. "We can't risk anybody getting hurt. I'm not sure how long I'll let Ginny and Ron be out there, let alone you or Hermione…" She sighs, looking at the rising dough to gauge how it's doing. If no one else will look after the boy, she certainly will. She bustles over to Harry, and gives him a hug. "You know Arthur and I think of you as one of ours, don't you, dear?" He should know this, but it bears repeating sometimes. "Thank you for coming, Severus."
"And I think I'm old enough to look out for myself." Harry shoots back, voice cold and eyes that could throw daggers at the Potions Professor. Snape, he has no problem arguing with. Molly, on the other hand, having taken him in, he can't be mad with. "Whatever." he says, allowing her the hug, if only momentarily before he wriggles free and starts for the stairs. "I'll just go spend the rest of the summer in Ron's room." he adds, before turning and disappearing up the stairs. Ruddy Death Eaters. Always ruining his fun.
Snape turns to glance at Molly, eyes having followed Harry until he is out of sight. Without a word, he turns towards the door and slips out into the garden again - making his way towards the fence.
Molly sighs, seeing a little more of the situation than she might ever let on, and picks up the newspaper, scowling at it. "Arthur, you and I are going to have to have a talk…" She mutters to herself as she brings the laundry basket back toward her to continue her work.