|Current mood:|| annoyed|
Dinner for Three
Sirius was standing at the stove stirring a pot of bubbling gravy. He had been at it for nearly 20 mintues now, and as such, there was not a single lump to be found, it was smooth as syrup from the thorough whisking he had given it. Frustrated? Oh you bet. He lifted up his glass of wine, drained it, then poured another.
Remus had moved to his room to wait once more, watching the clock as he adjusted the clasp upon his clean robes, his wavy auburn hair pulled back into a ponytail carefully. His fingers strummed upon the desktop; he glanced out the window with a soft sigh and smile, and muttered to himself. "Oh...this won't be pretty..."
Severus Snape was a Prompt Person. Always had been, always would be. He was at the door, on the dot, and walking through before the dust had settled. The House Elves no longer greeted him- he had told them not to bother- even if Sirius didn't. He took off his outdoors cloak, unfixing the clasp at his throat, as he called out for one, walking to hang the cloak up as he did so. One of them- he didn't know which- arrived promptly.
"Please inform guest, if he has not been informed already, that his presence is required at the table," Severus said, and carried on with his routine.
Sirius sensed Severus' arrival as soon as he had Apparated on the grounds. The corner of his mouth curled up in to an odd sort of smile, and he set the whisk down on a shell shaped spoon rest, then wiping his hands on a tea towel, went to greet the Master of the House. He met Severus about half way across the Entrance Hall, paused, and laying an arm across his waist, bowed. "Welcome home Master," he said in a pleasant voice. Deceptively calm.
Remus plucked up the parchement upon which the directions for the Wolfsbane potion were carefully written. HIs amber eyes focusing upon the door when the House Elf poked in his (or her, perhaps?) head. He smiled, bowed his own head and spoke softly. "Thank you...I know...I'll be heading down shortly..." When he'd finished, Remus patted his pocket thoughtfully, held the paper carefully, and eyed his violin. Should he...? No...no...bad idea.
He glanced at the clock, figured it would be better to be early then late, and slipped from his room to head down to to the dining area.
Severus tilted his head slightly, closing his eyes once when he saw Sirius, not in either extreme ignoring him, or yelling at him. No. But he would sort that out in a minute. "Good evening," he said in the voice he normally used to address the other members of staff. He picked up the letters that had been delivered to the house from the small shelf, and walked on, past Sirius, nose buried in them.
Sirius held his position until Severus had passed, and left the immediate area. A dangerous glare, then a slow, low growl followed, but was stiffled just as quickly as he turned and followed Severus in the direction of the kitchen.
He said nothing more to Severus as he deftly circumnavigated around him and returned to the stove. He again took up the task of whisking the gravy into submission, then paused in that to check on the bread. Done. He donned mitts, and pulled it from the over, setting it on the table and a rack at the ready to cool. Once that was done, he returned to the stove. Sip, whisk, repeat.
Remus stepped down the stairs quietly, and paused at the foot, his fingers folding over the small roll of parchment in his hands. There was no doubt that he was nervous, and quite uneasy. He closed his eyes, and took a breath before he moved again, tucking the roll of parchment into his pocket. He stepped into the dining area quietly, looking around, holding his robes close so that he did not brush against anything.
Severus sat himself down in his usual seat in his usual fashion, fussing his robes beneath him and straightening them. That done, he leafed through the letters- a few bills, some correspondance on his project, a few personal letters -mostly to him. He took a few and put them in one pocket, leaned back in his chair, and threw the others into the fire. It flared appreciatively. That done, he leaned back and sat square in his chairm right up against the back, and waited for the others.
Sirius finally felt he had beaaten the gravy into submission, or at least purged some of the anger he was feeling, and poured it into a gravy server with ladle then placed it on the already set table. The only thing left was the roast, and that he presented next. It was magnificent, roasted medium rare all the way through, and filled the room with a mouth watering aroma. He summoned the carving utensils, and placed them next to Severus' plate, then brought the wine to the table, also setting the unopened bottle near Severus. He collected his wine glass from the counter then took his usual seat opposite Severus. "Remus." he said with a look and a nod in the other man's direction, then waited, with a glance over to Severus.
Remus walked slowly along the length of the dining table, pausing at a setting he assumed as for himself. He waited, looked towards Severus, pulled out his chair slowly, and sat. He pulled his chair in slowly, and cleared his throat just slightly. "I wanted to thank you both for inviting me to eat with you both..." He glanced between Severus and Sirius, and then said no more, only adjusted his robes quietly.
Severus picked up the large carving knife in his left hand, and a fork in his right. The slightest of grins visible for a moment, as he started cutting, with the wrong hands. You learned quickly to use both if you needed to add and stir ingredients at a pace, and he was showing off. Not that he knew other people would notice. It was always the sort of thing he did. It had had him accused of reading too deeply on a number of occasions, but he had found that, on the most part, he was uncannily accurate. It was often unconscious with other people, he had reasoned. When he had cut all the meat, he finally looked up, firstly to Remus, with the slightest of smiles. "Please would you pass me your plate?" he asked- no venom detectable in his tone whatsoever.
Sirius watched as Severus sliced the roast, making notes on just HOW perfectly done it was by the color and fluidity of the juice leaking from it. He smiled to himself, and sipped at his wine, then set it down. He watched Severus carve, then serve Remus. He flickered his eyes up then to gaze at Remus, watching.
"Of course...." Remus lifted his plate carefully with his right hand, placing his left under it so it did not drop and extended his hand towards Severus, his left slipping away from the plate once it was closer towards Severus. He watched his hand, and the plate carefully. He didn't want his first dinner here to begin with his breaking of the dishes.
The Slytherin expertly served his guest, giving him far more than a third. Let it not be said he was a bad host. Ever. That done, he nodded once, and turned to Sirius. "Would you kindly pass me your plate, Sirius?" he asked, far more agreeably than he spoke even at the best of times. His eyes for once were rather open, and defied anyone to see malice in them. Oh but he was VERY good at covering things up. He just rarely had bothered trying to look innocent or kind or pleasant in as long as he could remember.
Sirius looked over at Severus when addressed, and with a fluid dexterity that only came over him when he was this inebriated, lifted up his plate then did a quick over the back of his hand roll with it, where it landed in the middle of his open palm face up, and offered to Severus. He clicked his tongue as if bored, then spoke low and soft, "As rare as it gets, if you please." he said, looking into Severus' faux expression of goodwill, and returning his own masking smile.
Remus placed his plate carefully back infront of him, taking up one of the cloth napkins and unfurling it carefully to his side. He placed it over his lap, and folded his hands over it, waiting quietly. He looked at the roast upon his plate, and wondered how he was going to eat it all. Through all the years, he had never managed to finish a full meal.
Anyone watching would have been unable to detect anything untoward in Severus' behaviour. It was, when all was said and done, quite the perfect act. But you could tell it was wrong if you knew the slightest thing about him- even if you had no real proof. He fished out the most rare of the slices- well over half what was remaining, arranged them carefully, and then handed the plate back. "Please, if you would care for more- help yourselves," he suggested, taking a small amount of meat for himself before putting the almost-empty plate back into the middle of the table. He reached for a bread roll and started buttering it. Kept his eyes up, and ready to make contact, should anyone wish to speak with him; politely.
He nodded quickly, pulling the small roll of parchment from his pocket. "I do not wish to trouble you with this, Severus. If you are too busy, I can leave a day or two before The Night, and I would be far away from here to be a real bother to anyone, I think."
Severus shook his head in a dismissive gesture, and took the scroll without examining it. "Oh not at all. It is the least I can do," he said, with a smile so dead and plastered on his face for a moment that it might have cracked if touched. No more dangerous werewolves, if he had to see to it himself. His expression was quickly glossed over once more, and he took a sip of wine, offering the bottle to Sirius.
Sirius flickered an odd look to Severus at the abnormal affectation directed toward him, and with a derisive snort, he set about to eating. He had managed to quell most of his boarding house manners, and actually ate rather slowly, and calmly without another word.
Remus ate what he could on his plate, but his plate still looked quite full when he wiped his mouth carefully, and took a drink, a content smile upon his face. He took a quick drink, cleared his throat quietly, and looked towards Severus before he spoke: "Severus, If you don't mind, after dinner has ended, when you have the time, and at your leisure of course, I would like to speak to you in private."
A pleasant, courteous smile. "But of course. if you would care to come to my study at... say eight? I am sure someone will direct you if needs be, it is not too hard to find." He looked back down at his plate, and ate a little more, tasting, rather than eating.
Remus nodded and pushed his chair out slowly. "If you would both excuse me, I am feeling slightly tired...I would like to rest before our talk, Severus." He stood slowly, bowed slightly, and then turned, and stepped from the Dining Hall.
Sirius watched silently as Remus and Severus conversed. He had eaten his fill, but not quite enough to break any of his gorging records. He muttered an exiting sound to Remus as he departed, then pushed his plate away, and refilled his glass. He let out a long sigh, but did not speak.
Severus was, in his own manner, feeling antagonistic. He felt he'd earned the right. Cradling his own glass, he leaned forwards, and brushed the hair back behind Sirius' ears with two fingers, murmuring softly. "There, love, I can be pleasant." He smiled, wryly. Oh he could be pleasant all right, if he wasn't being himself. He sniffed and looked at the remains of the meal on the table.
Sirius pulled back from the touch and with a shake of his head, undid the placement of hair Severus had just done. He cast a warning glance in Severus' direction, then pushed back from the table, and with a wave and a muttered summons, called the elves to clear and clean the kitchen, an anomaly in itself.
"Of course you can love...." he returned sarcastically, his back to Severus as he looked out the window over the double sink at the night beyond. "We can all be pleasant and we can all be bastards, and we can all just be royal pains in the arse." he concluded, then turned and headed back to the table, pausing to drain his glass, fill it again, and look down at Severus. "Since you will be 'entertaining' in the study this evening, I will loiter elsewhere." he said in a bored tone.
He didn't bother to keep his smile congenial any more, and his usual- darker humour slowly crept back in, eerily more at home on his features than polite detachment. He wasn't going to let this happen. Oh no. He knew what he was going to do. He leaned forwards, and laced his fingers around those Sirius had on the glass' stem, not letting him escape physical contact if he could help it.
"My dear," he purred. "Whatever is the matter? You're getting as bad as me..." a truly wicked grin then. Then it turned slightly meaner. "I'm not going to let him spoil this, Sirius. Not even for you." He paused a minute, made sure he watched to see if the message sunk in, and sat back, releasing Sirius' hand.
Sirius as a rule was a boisterous drunk, but that was not the case this evening, and just as he was going to pull his hand from Severus', the grip was released, and the point had been made. "The matter?" he repeated, lifting his freed hand and the glass up for a sip before continuing, "Is that certain people do not appreciate what is done for them for their own bloody good. That is the problem. Not that YOU would comprehend that, being as perfectly mannered and bred as you are." he said sourly.
"Then we're agreed," Severus replied, half-closing his eyes, and knowing that they were working at cross purposes here. But he was still annoyed with Sirius. Very much so. He was just keeping it very much on simmer for now. He was trying his damndest to not revert back to what was easiest, to lash out, to hurt as many people as he could, then turn tail and run and feel sorry for himself. It wasn't working all that well and the instinct was becoming increasingly hard to fight. A thin-lipped smile. Thought a moment. "He is your responsibility, Sirius. He can stay here just as long as you both wish. But if you want him gone..." Severus trailed, tilted himself as far back in the chair as he could without tipping it onto two feet. "He is here for you," he concluded.
Sirius listened to Severus, not looking down at him, instead studying a wall far beyond, and sipping at his wine. "Fine then. Understood." he clipped, then looking down at Severus, "I will be retiring for the night then, Master" he said, basting the last word in sarcasm like a ham in honey glaze. "I will see you later on I suppose." he added as a coda, then set the empty glass down, and strode from the kitchen to the main staircase, and up to higher points somewhere beyond.
Sirius definately didn't deserve the amount of trouble Severus was going to. He was acting up so badly that under normal circumstances he wouldn't have left it at that, and would have rectified the matter immediately. But not now, not when he had to see That Werewolf in a few minutes. He suppressed the growl he wanted to utter. Childish, yet again, it seemed none of them had really ever grown up. Yes you will, he thought, using the Ouroboros to hammer the point home. See, this was where being nice got you. He should have thrown him out to the woods when he'd first had the chance- Sirius would have been immensely pissed off with him, but could it have been any worse? And lasted so long? And still more to come? Sod it all. The Werewolf was going to pay.
Sirius paused on the third floor landing when he felt the quick, and deliberately choking grip of the Ouroboros and the reply that accompanied it. His hand went reflexively to this throat when it gripped him, and he hooked his fingers over it pulling against it. He growled, and his efforts got him a stinging bite to his knuckles. No venom, not this time bit a sting that would leave bite marks and ache long enough to drive the lesson home. "Bastard!" he hissed to no one in particular, and then made his way to the Master Suite, and a long hot bath.
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