Author: Persephone Yavanna the Entwife
Pairing/Characters: Lucius, Narcissa, Severus, Peter, Remus, Lily, Sirius, Bellatrix, Rodolphus, Rabastan and Horace
Rating: G for gen (in other words, completely work-safe!)
Warnings: None, to my mind, but hints of femdom and mild language might offend the more sensitive souls
Disclaimer: JK Rowling and assorted others have rights to create derivative works within the Potterverse, but I am not one of those licensees, unfortunately. Rather not be sued for playing with the characters, though . . . not making a profit here, just exploring the characters and situations created by the esteemed Ms. Rowling.
Summary: Severus gets some unexpected help in turning the tables on Sirius Black
Author Notes: The title comes from the French term for April Fools. This is also my first Marauders-era story.
“This really has to stop, you know. I’m willing to help, Severus,” Lucius said to the bedraggled first-year in front of him. “Being a prefect’s favorite fag does count for something, after all.”
“Just look at him, Lulu,” Narcissa tsked.
“I know, dearest. Uncle Horace knows too and a little snake told me there have been quite a few rather loud outbursts coming from the direction of the Gryffindor Head of House’s office. Not a smart thing to tick off our Sluggy, that.”
“Doesn’t seem to have done much good,” Severus moped.
Narcissa opened her arms and said, “Come and cuddle with me on the couch here, darling. Cissy will make it all better.”
Severus snuggled up to her as she laid a kiss on top of his head. Lucius ruffled his hair, using the hand that was already around Narcissa’s shoulder. She laid her head back a bit on Lucius’ shoulder and asked, “Any ideas, pet?”
“I’m thinking, dearest . . .”
Narcissa hugged the forlorn little boy next to her. “I’ve a good mind to tell Auntie Walburga about this.”
“Her tongue-lashings draw blood, my pet – worse than Filch in a foul mood, that.” Lucius shuddered, thinking of a few family gatherings.
“I don’t suppose we could get him in our favorite squib’s clutches, can we?” Narcissa inquired. “And it would serve Sirius right.”
“Such a fate I hesitate to deliver even on my worst enemy, petal,” Lucius said. “No, what we need is to give Sirius Black a dose of his own medicine – humiliate him in front of the entire school, if possible, or at least in front of Slytherin House. Severus here has to get his own back, as publicly as possible.”
“But it’s always four against one,” Severus whimpered. “They travel in a pack.”
“Well if you weren’t so keen to spend time with your little Mudblood friend in Gryffindor territory, it wouldn’t be so easy for them to torment you, now would it?” Lucius said with some asperity.
Narcissa stopped petting Severus’ hair long enough to give Lucius a soft smack on the leg. “Hush – that’s not going to make him feel any better. He’s over the moon about that little girl and has been since before he came here. It’s rather sweet in a way.”
“I like her – she’s nice to me,” Severus said, snuggling closer to Narcissa.
“Not as nice as you seem to think, Severus. She’s awfully ambitious and more than a bit of a social climber, in my opinion,” Lucius sniffed. “Probably would have sorted here, if her bloodline were better . . .”
Narcissa smacked him again, harder.
Narcissa gave him The Look.
“Well, there’s no accounting for some people’s taste . . .”
Narcissa smacked him, even harder than the previous time.
“Ow,” Lucius mumbled, rubbing his leg.
“You’re not helping any, Lulu,” Narcissa grumbled, planting another kiss on Severus’ head. “What we need is some kind of a plan to get Cousin Sirius back, while not getting our little Sevvie here in any kind of trouble.”
“Plots and planning, that’s me all over . . .” Lucius said. He laid his head back on the couch and stared out the window into the lake’s depths. He watched the giant squid slowly jet past, tentacles undulating. He knocked his head against the couch back a few times while Narcissa murmured consoling words to the little boy next to her. He knew this was one of Narcissa’s little tests, he just knew it – and one he’d best get an O on, if his courtship were to proceed smoothly.
The squid passed by the window again, lazily pursing a school of fish.
Lucius raised his head a bit and looked at the dark-haired waif seemingly glued to his beloved’s side. He’s in his glory now, he thought, with all Cissy’s attention on him – when it should be on ME. He laid his head back again. I’d be the hero, though, if I figure out something sufficiently dastardly – but deniable. And technically safe. But WHAT?
Lucius lolled his head over to the side and noticed the calendar on the common room’s wall. He squinted at it for a second, then a slow smile crept across his face. Oh, this would be good, he thought.
“I have an idea . . .” he announced.
Slughorn looked up at the knock on his door. “Enter,” he called out.
Lucius Malfoy walked in and asked, “Sir, I need a favor – I need some gillyweed and a few other ingredients for a private project.”
Horace was no fool. “And what exactly is this project and what is its purpose?”
Deciding honesty was the best policy in this case, Lucius replied, “I have an idea for something that might help with our little Snape problem, sir.”
Slughorn raised an eyebrow. “Explain.”
Lucius did and was pleased to see the smile on the Potions master’s face as he outlined his little proposed plot. “Excellent, my boy – excellent! You might need some help with part of that plan though – will you be recruiting any co-conspirators? Besides myself, of course,” he said with a grin.
“Well, Bella is willing to help with part, and I’m sure she can get Roddie and Stan to help, but we might have a problem with the delivery system . . .”
“Hmmm – let me think a moment . . .” Slughorn sat back in his chair and steepled his hands in front of him. “An inside job would work best, so we need someone from that circle – better yet, several someones. I think I know who you can talk to, and how . . .”
Lucius took careful notes, then went off to talk to Cissy and Severus.
“Lucius, do I have to?” Narcissa whined.
“Do you want this to work? Or not? Or do you disbelieve Uncle Sluggy’s information and want to disregard his advice?”
“No, no, no, no,” Narcissa sighed. “It’s just . . . well, he’s so creepy.”
“He’s also the low person in that social hierarchy, and thus amenable to . . . bribery . . .” Lucius replied. “If it makes you feel any better, I’m not terribly keen on it either.”
“Well, if it will help Severus, I’ll do it. The poor little mite needs all the help he can get against that lot. Oh, and Bella says she and the boys are all in – Stan just needs to brush up on his Disillusionment charms a bit.”
“Good – then I don’t have to ask Mulcie.”
“Ev would help, I’m sure.”
“Yes, but the more people who know, the more likely someone might spill something by accident. And we both know how much Ev and Mulcie chatter on,” Lucius said.
“Not half as much as Crabbe and Goyle do,” Narcissa retorted, “and they’re both a good deal quicker than those two.”
“My lads will just be making sure there’s a nice audience for the denouement, pet – they aren’t in on any of the details.”
“Good,” Narcissa sniffed. “They’d blab for sure. Do they EVER stop talking?”
“Not really,” Lucius sighed. “But the ping-pong conversation does have some entertainment value, you must admit.”
“It gives me a headache,” Narcissa complained.
“Poor put-upon pet,” Lucius cooed. “Come and let Daddy make it all better.”
Enfolded in his arms, Narcissa grumbled, “I still don’t like him touching me.”
“I’ll be there, sweetness, ready to hex. Feel better now?”
Narcissa bent her neck to the side a bit more, so Lucius had better access. “A bit.”
Lucius murmured in her ear, “Severus said the Mudblood’s in on it too, so that’ll make two.”
Narcissa gave him a slight smack on the arm. “When will you remember not to use that term? I can just see you calling her that to her face and then it will all be in ruins.”
“Yes, dearest. I’m a horrid, horrid man – utterly thoughtless of the feelings of a Muggleborn. See? I can use the term.”
Narcissa snickered. “Kiss kiss.”
“Mmmmm,” Lucius mumbled as he was given his reward for proper manners.
“You’re having me on, Snape.”
Severus shook his head vigorously. “No, it’s true. Lily is in on it and Cissy said yes as well.”
Peter licked his lips at the sound of the blonde’s name. “Cissy agreed?”
“Yes,” Severus said. “You’ll get a chance to get a bit of your own back too, don’t forget. I see how they treat you.”
“Always spying, hmm?” Peter sneered at the skinny boy in front of him in this corner of the library.
“I need to, with you and your lads after my hide.”
Peter looked down and grumbled, “They aren’t my lads – they’re James’. Or maybe Sirius’ – hard to tell who’s on top with those two.”
“Well, we both know who’s on the bottom – and it’s not Remus.”
“Yeah,” Peter said quietly. He cocked his head to the side and asked, “Lily really said yes?”
“You can ask her yourself, if you don’t believe me. She’s over there,” Severus said, giving a nod in her direction.
Peter looked over and saw the redhead looking at him. He cocked his head and raised an eyebrow and she gave a nod. He puffed out a breath. “Sirry won’t get hurt or anything, right? And you’re sure that stuff is safe?”
“No harm will come to your precious Black, Pettigrew. And I’ll even eat it raw and unprocessed in front of you, if you insist – full strength. And don’t forget, Lily’s eating it too – you don’t think I’d do anything to harm her, do you?”
Peter looked at Severus’s eyes, searching for the truth, then shrugged and looked down again. “Guess not,” he said to the floor. “But I want a little sample first, alright?”
“You should be glad Malfoy doesn’t hex you on sight, for having the effrontery to want to touch his intended,” Severus hissed.
“Maybe,” Peter replied, a little too casually as he leaned back against the wall. “But I still want a little upfront.”
A sour look was all he got for an answer.
“Sweetness, it might not be that bad,” Lucius pleaded.
“The things I do for you – honestly!” Narcissa retorted.
“It’s for your little Sevviekins too,” he wheedled. “And Daddy will be right there, wand at the ready.”
Narcissa hmmphed as she refused to look at him.
“Precious? Darling? Cissy-wissy? Please agreeeeeeee . . .” Lucius pleaded.
Narcissa looked over at Severus, looking forlornly at the ground, positive that Pettigrew’s demand would be denied and his revenge against Black’s repeated humiliations would crumble to bits before his eyes. Poor little lamb, she thought.
“I want something from you two if I agree to this . . . addition . . .” she said, as Severus’ head shot up, hope in his eyes once more.
“Anything, sweetness, you know I can’t deny you a single thing,” Lucius said, hoping the words would soothe her ruffled feathers while simultaneously calculating what he had left in his allowance and wondering if Uncle Horace would help him get whatever he needed to appease Narcissa wholesale.
Triumph in her eyes, Narcissa pointed at the lad in front of her. “I want him.”
“Me?” squeaked Severus while Lucius stood there, mouth agape.
“I want my own fag,” Narcissa declared. “I want Severus to fag for me, just like he does for you.”
“Dearest, please – it’s so . . . untraditional . . .” Lucius spluttered. “And who would I get to replace him?”
“I don’t want to be replaced!” Severus wailed.
“Hush now, you two – no one is going to be replaced, Sevvie, so don’t fret. I just want the same . . . consideration . . . you show Lucius. Foot rubs, being waited on hand and foot, that sort of thing – in front of everyone, just like you do for Lulu. Making me toast and cheese in the common room fire, smuggling in sweeties from the kitchens, that sort of thing. Nothing much.” Narcissa looked at them both, wondering which looked more astounded. Bit of a tie, she thought.
“What if you and I want different things at the same time? Who will he obey?” Lucius asked.
Narcissa raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry – stupid question, that. I knew the answer, really I did,” Lucius mumbled, looking down at the floor.
Narcissa bent over to look Severus in the face, making sure to show her ample cleavage to best advantage, given the limitations of her school attire. “Wouldn’t you like to fag for me, Sevviekins?” she cooed at him. The boy gulped, eyes switching back and forth from her bosom to her face as he turned crimson. “You’d enjooooooooy it . . .” she crooned to him. His eyes flashed over to Lucius’s face, who gave a slow nod and an even slower smile. He looked back at Narcissa and slowly nodded. She smiled at him and straightened up.
“Good boys,” she said. “Now, where should I meet our precious Peter?”
Peter Pettigrew couldn’t quite believe his bluff had worked. He licked his lips nervously and wondered if this was some kind of trick Snape had thought up and if he’d soon be on the wrong end of Malfoy’s wand for his temerity.
The blonde goddess he’d worshipped from the moment he saw her had seen fit to grant his desire.
At the moment, he wasn’t quite sure just what that desire was, though. He’d never really thought that part through. A bit of a problem that was, given that he was about to spend some time with her, even though it wasn’t quite going to be alone.
He shifted nervously from one foot to the other, waiting in the empty room the note had told him to go to. It was furnished with a few overstuffed chairs and a sofa that had seen better days, but still looked comfortable. A threadbare carpet covered the flagstones while unicorns cavorted amid flowering fields on the tapestries on the wall.
The door creaked open and he spun around.
Narcissa processed into the room, Lucius and Severus following.
Peter’s mouth felt very, very dry.
Narcissa looked at the small pudgy boy in front of her. Not much to look at, she thought. Perhaps he can be trained, though, she thought, smiling at the thought of Severus.
Peter grew pale as his goddess regarded him. He wondered when he’d wake up – or if this would rapidly descend into some kind of nightmare. The look on Malfoy’s face gave him little comfort on that last point, but his lady’s smile gave him a small amount of encouragement and he gave her a wan smile in return.
Narcissa cocked her head slightly as she looked at Peter. She’d never really noticed any of the smaller children, apart from Severus, and he only because Lucius had taken him under his wing, where he had prospered under the Malfoy regard, becoming a favorite of the upperclassmen and especially of a few of the older girls. She certainly paid little mind to the younger ones in rival houses, until Severus’ problems with his classmates had come to her attention. And this one in front of her was one of his chief tormentors . . .
She bent down until their noses almost touched. “So you’re one of the little hooligans who torture my darling little Severus . . . and you want me to spend time with you . . . ?” she murmured as she looked him in the eyes.
Peter grew even paler and his breathing increased. “I . . . I . . .” he stammered, then looked down, red-faced.
Narcissa straightened up.
“I . . . I didn’t . . .” Peter began, struggling to get the words out, feeling things had gone horribly wrong before they had even started.
“Not much to say for yourself, it seems, hmm?” Narcissa said as she sat on the couch, beckoning Lucius and Severus to sit on either side of her.
Peter looked down at the carpet and shook his head. “I . . . I think . . .”
“Yes?” she inquired. “You have something you wish to say?”
Tears filling his eyes, Peter shook his head and moved towards the door. “Sorry,” he managed to choke out, trying hard not to blub.
Severus hadn’t really thought it possible, but he actually felt sorry for Peter at that moment. He looked at Narcissa.
Peter reached for the door.
“Boy, come here,” Narcissa commanded.
He stopped, hand on the knob, head still down. “Sorry,” he murmured into the stillness.
“Peter Pettigrew, come to me this instant.”
He turned away from the door and trudged back to where she sat, never looking up.
Narcissa looked at the child in front of her. Softening her tone, she asked, “Why did you come here?”
Lucius shifted, uncomfortable as he looked at the little Gryffindor in front of him. He glanced over at Severus, who was looking at Pettigrew with something that looked surprisingly like sympathy.
Peter shrugged. He watched the colors swirl as he tried to not cry out, “Because I love you” and burst into tears as his dream of Narcissa shattered like a stone thrown at his own personal Mirror of Erised.
Narcissa had seen that look before, on other male faces. Lucius had it, as did Severus, but they were the lucky ones whom she had deigned to grace with her presence. She bent forward from her seat and took one of Peter’s hands, drawing him closer to her. She whispered in his ear, “I think you’re rather fond of me. And that’s why you came.”
Not trusting himself to speak, Peter nodded.
“But whatever you thought about before is different, now that I’m actually here, speaking with you, isn’t that right?”
He nodded again.
She kissed him gently on the cheek.
It was if a dam had burst inside him and all that came out were a flood of “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me” and apologies that were too incoherent to understand. He buried his head in her lap and she patted his hair and rubbed his back as he confessed all his sins against Severus into her skirt.
What a sad little boy, Lucius thought, watching as Narcissa soothed the boy and Severus looked rather ill. What a sad, sad, sad little boy . . .
Severus watched Peter, and thought of Lily. He didn’t want to feel sorry for Peter – he wanted to hate him . . . but he just couldn’t, no matter what horrible memory he tried to bring up. He wanted to enjoy Peter’s broken-hearted sobbing, but all he could think of was how he would act, if Lily . . . if Lily . . . if . . .
Narcissa heard Severus’ sniffle and put an arm around him and gave him a kiss on his head. He hid his head in her chest and mumbled, “I guess I deserve to be called Snivellus . . .”
“Shhh, shhh, shhh, you two . . . there’s naught to cry over, my dears,” Narcissa crooned as she hugged the two little boys, pulling them both onto her lap. “Lucius, budge over, pet.”
“Now, now, Peter, I’m here, no need to cry, love,” Narcissa cooed. “Lucius, have you a hanky?”
“My dear, I always have a hanky . . .”
“Good – because I really don’t have the hands right now to go after mine.” She accepted the one pressed into her hand and used it to wipe the tears from both boys’ faces.
“I cried more than you did,” Peter sniffled.
“Now Peter, I’m sure you were after something when you told Severus you wanted to see me – tell me what it was,” Narcissa asked.
Peter shook his head.
“You must have wanted something, pet . . . tell Cissy what it was,” she cajoled.
“Tell me anyway.”
Taking a big breath, Peter screwed up his eyes and burst out with, “Iwantedtoseeyourboobiesandmaybeyourcunn
“Well, the Hat put you in the right house, that’s for sure,” Lucius huffed. “You’re a bold one.”
Narcissa looked at the still-screwed-up face of Peter, awaiting his doom. She whispered in his ear, “And is that something you still want, Peter dear?”
He nodded, wondering why he was still alive when he should have been dead as soon as he opened his mouth.
Severus’ face grew hot.
“Hmmmmm,” Narcissa mused, “it seems to me as though that’s something all of you boys would like, am I right?”
Lucius reddened too.
Narcissa giggled, then laughed outright as she hugged both boys and then blew a kiss at Lucius. “I believe there’s a saying – ‘boys will be boys’ or something like that.”
“Why am I not dead?” Peter asked, opening up one eye and looking at Narcissa.
“I can easily arrange that,” Lucius growled. “Ow!”
“Peter isn’t dead because Narcissa hasn’t told me I can kill him ye – OW!” Severus yelped, rubbing his ear.
“Honestly . . .” Narcissa huffed. “You’d think you’d never learned any manners at all, the way you two carry on. And as for you, Mr. Bold-as-Brass . . .”
Peter awaited the death blow.
“You’re a cheeky little monkey, you are, wanting to see under my robes. You’ll be a right terror with the ladies when you get older, mark my words!”
Peter hung his head.
“Now,” Narcissa began, “if you behave yourself, I might allow a few . . . liberties . . . with my person.” She smiled at Peter’s astonished smile. Like a rainbow after a storm, she thought. “You’d need a bit of training up first though . . .”
“Anything . . .” Peter breathed.
“I like enthusiasm like that,” Narcissa said, smiling more. “Lulu could learn a bit from you I think . . .”
“I think not . . .” Lucius mumbled.
“What was that, dearest?”
“Nothing, petal, nothing . . .”
“Peter, kneel at my feet.” She watched as he scrambled to obey. “I want a foot rub.”
The smile fell from his face. “Never did that before . . .”
“I’ll show you,” Severus piped up. “If I can take the other foot . . . ?”
“Of course, Sevviekins.”
“Sevviekins?” Peter chortled. “Sevviekins?”
“Mr. Pettigrew . . .” Narcissa said in the frostiest of tones. “Perhaps I am not in need of your services after all.”
Peter looked stricken.
“A nickname is an honor and a privilege, sir.”
The chill that came over the room was palpable. “Sorry?” squeaked Peter.
Lucius watched as Narcissa glared at Pettigrew with her arms crossed. He cleared his throat, then said, “I suggest you apologize to Severus -- quickly.”
Severus raised an eyebrow as Peter turned to him and murmured an apology in a contrite tone.
“Better,” Narcissa said with a smile. Leaning back, she said, “Lucius, my shoulders and back need a rub as well.”
“Of course, my dearest, my darling one. I live only to serve you and your every whim.” He shot the little pudgy lad a wink as he turned to his assigned task.
Narcissa smiled. Yes, definitely trainable . . . he’ll be quite fine in a few years . . . just like my Lulu.
Severus bent his head close to Peter’s and said in a whisper, “Don’t they teach you any fagging skills in your House?”
Peter shook his head. “We don’t have fags in Gryffindor,” he whispered back.
“I’m going to have to teach you everything, it looks like,” Severus sighed. “Look, you start like this . . .”
Narcissa smiled as she was rubbed and caressed. It’s good to be a Black, she thought. I’ll never argue with Mummy about her lessons again . . .
Remus pounced on Peter as soon as he turned the corner out of sight of the three Slytherins after having said his goodbyes to them. The blissful look on Pettigrew’s face turned fearful as Lupin pressed him up against the wall.
“What are you up to, Peter? I know you’re up to something, because I just saw you with Snape – again.”
“And what was Malfoy doing with you? And Cissy Black?” Remus growled at him.
“Study group?” Peter squeaked.
“Tell me another.”
“Ummm . . .” Peter twisted, trying futilely to escape the larger boy’s grasp. “Oww, you’re hurting, Remus – please . . .”
“Tell. Me. What. You. Are. Up. To.”
He squirmed more. “It’s nothing.”
“I very much doubt that,” Remus hissed in his ear. “Tell. Me.”
“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow . . . please . . . owwww . . . stop . . .”
“Tell. Me.” Remus gritted out, punctuating each word with a shake. “Consorting. With. Snakes. Now. Are. We?”
“It’s not like that, Remus . . . owwww . . . really, it’s not . . .” Peter struggled more as he whined, “It’s nothing, really . . . ahhhh . . . ohhhhh . . . owwww . . . let me gooooooooo . . .”
“Not. Until. You. Tell. Me. What. You. Are. Up. To.”
“It’s nothing . . . oww . . . nothing bad . . . pleaaase . . .”
“Tell me and I’ll be the judge of that.” Remus loosened his grip slightly. Peter wriggled harder, until he felt the larger lad tighten his hands further on him. “You. Are. Not. Going. To. Get. Away. From. Me. THAT. Easily. My. Lad.”
Pressed hard against the wall, with no escape, Peter slumped in defeat. “It’s just a prank. For April Fool’s Day.”
“Since when do you plan pranks with Snape and not us?” Remus inquired pointedly. “Out with it!”
Hanging his head, Peter said, “It’s a prank on Sirius.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Remus bellowed.
“Look, he’s always treating me like a turd, and you too! The only one he’s nice to is James,” Peter replied with some heat. “And Lily is in on it too!”
Taken aback, Remus loosened his grip enough for the smaller boy to finally break free. “Lily? Our Lily?”
“Yes – she thinks Sirius deserves some of what he dishes out to others, especially Severus Snape. Not that it’s worth a tinker’s damn now, since you’ll go blabbing to James and Sirius like a good little puppy, with the newspaper in his mouth, ready for a pat on the head from his masters,” Peter spat out venomously.
“Here, let me . . .” said Remus, reaching for Peter again.
“No – you’re just going to hurt me some more!” Peter cried, backing away as best he could.
“No, I’m not, idiot. Let me fix those,” Remus said gruffly. He pulled out his wand and tried to wave it at Peter, who ducked behind a column.
“Who do you think you are? Madame Pomfrey?”
“No, I’m no mediwizard, but I can heal a few bruises easily enough. Now come here and let me fix you up,” Remus sighed.
“You should, since you caused them,” Peter grumbled, coming out from hiding.
“Now, hold still. And . . . sorry . . .”
“Don’t know your own strength . . . owww . . .”
“Sorry.” Remus said contritely. “Better?” he asked, hoping for a yes.
“It’ll do,” replied Peter, not wanting to give him the satisfaction.
“Mum sent me some really good choccies . . . peace?”
“They got caramel in them?”
“Some do, yes.”
“Alright then, lead on.”
Lucius was surprised to see Pettigrew at the Slytherin common room door when he went to answer it. Stepping out into the hall, he took the little boy around the corner. Peter looked ready to burst into tears any second. “What’s the matter, Peter?” he asked.
“She’s going to hate me!”
“Why on earth would you say that? What’s happened? And why do you have bruises on you?”
“Remus saw us . . . and . . . and . . .”
“And I can figure the rest out myself, thank you very much.” Lucius looked grim. “You need seeing to, Peter.”
“Nah, it’s alright,” Peter said with a shrug.
“Some friends . . .” Lucius said with a sneer.
“He doesn’t realize how strong he is – he didn’t mean any harm, not really.”
“Keep telling yourself that, lad . . .” Lucius pulled out his wand. “At least let me do something myself. If you will permit . . . ?”
When he was finished, Lucius said, “And now I think I need some answers, the first of which is, How did he react when you told him?”
“Ummm, that’s one of the things I wanted to tell you, after you and Cissy finished murdering me, that is.” Peter looked down at the stone floor of the dungeons.
“Cissy will be . . . disappointed in you,” Lucius said. Seeing Peter’s face at hearing that, he added, “but I’ll explain the extenuating circumstances. I’m sure she will understand . . .” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a foil-wrapped packet. “Chocolate frogs make things better. And you can tell me what he said while you eat it.”
Lucius caught the frog as Peter fumbled with the package. I can understand him not wanting to get his friend in trouble, but still . . .
“Well, basically, he wants in. Soon as he heard Lily was OK with it, it was fine with him. He knows she would never agree to be part of anything really bad, nothing that would really hurt Sirius.” Peter finished the last bit of the frog, then said, “Remus gets it too, just less then me and way less than Severus. We . . . well, we’re not very good at . . . at standing up against others. Or at least, I know I’m not,” Peter said, looking at the floor again.
Lucius put an arm around him and gave him a gentle squeeze, noticing the slight wince Pettigrew gave. Damn, he thought. “There are all kinds of courage, Peter my lad, all kinds . . .”
“Sometimes I think the Hat made a mistake with me,” Peter whispered.
Lucius bent lower and whispered back, “It takes a bold one to tell my Cissy you wanted a peek at her cunny.”
Peter grinned at that, saying, “Yeah, that was kind of . . .”
Looking stern, Lucius said, “Especially with me right there.” Then he gave the smaller boy a wink and said, “You said what I’ve been thinking.”
Peter choked back a laugh, but the smile on his face warmed Lucius’ heart. He gave a wave as the Slytherin prefect shooed him off to his own House.
“I can’t believe you blabbed,” Severus said in disgust.
Peter hung his head.
“Now, now, Severus -- he was under duress. And he is in disgrace. That should be punishment enough for you,” Narcissa said.
Peter looked lower than low, and felt it too. Severus felt sorry for him – almost. He made a big show of enjoying the chocolate truffles Cissy was feeding him and Lucius. “Oooo, almond cream this time . . . how delicious . . .”
“Actually, his being part of it isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Lucius interjected. “Makes for a better cover, actually. If he has some, and Peter has some, and the Mu – uggleborn has some, then there’s no reason for Sirius not to eat them as well, is there? Just make sure you don’t have all the flavours at the same time . . .”
“That was the clever bit – was that Uncle Horace’s idea?” Cissy asked, popping another chocolate into Severus’ waiting mouth, then choosing one for herself.
“No, actually, that was our little snakeling’s bright idea,” Lucius answered, opening his mouth for his turn. “Rum -- mmmmmmm . . .”
“Uncle Sluggy helped Lily and me with the formulas though, so they’d all turn out right. But he had us do most of the work, then just checked us over. We got it mostly right, but we had to fiddle some with the jellies – they weren’t setting right.”
“Trust Uncle Horace to know about candies,” Narcissa said with a smile. “Now, opinions, gentlemen. Do we go with this shop’s products for our thank-you to him for his assistance? Or shall we taste-test another box?”
Severus craned his neck, looking around. “Are there more?”
Lucius pulled an unopened box from the pile. “This says it’s pecan turtles. Do you know if they’re the kind that snap at you?”
“Haven’t a clue . . .” Narcissa said. “I just took one of everything Honeydukes had – might be a Muggle sweet, though. They carry those too now, as well.”
Lucius wrinkled his nose, then replaced the box.
“Hmmmmm . . . looks like there’s a few left in this box,” Narcissa said. “Probably caramels . . .”
Peter looked at the carpet.
“Don’t look at me to eat them, dearest,” Lucius said. “Severus . . . ?”
“They stick to my teeth something awful,” the skinny lad replied.
“Well, I’m not keen on them either,” Narcissa said. “So I suppose we’ll just have to banish them . . .”
Peter studied the patterns of flowers and fruit on the ancient rug he sat on.
Lucius gave Narcissa a wink, then said, “Well, we could try feeding some to the house-elves . . .”
“After what they did to my smalls last week? No, no, no, no, no,” Narcissa said. “Banished they will be . . . unless . . .”
Peter held his breath.
“Severus, does Lily like caramels?”
Suppressing a smile rather badly, he replied, “Not particularly – she’s more the jelly baby type.”
Peter let out his breath.
“Well, then, I guess that’s that,” Narcissa said. “Since there’s no one here who likes caramels . . .” She paused for effect, watching Peter catch his breath again, “although I thought I remembered a certain person – who shall not be named, of course – mentioning a liking for them . . .”
It was all Lucius and Severus could do not to burst out laughing as Narcissa asked, “Peter, do you by any chance happen to know anyone who likes chocolates with caramel?”
Tracing the stem of one of the vines in the carpet, Peter said, “Remus likes them.”
“Ah, but he isn’t here right now,” Narcissa said. “Would you take them to him?”
Not looking up, Peter nodded.
“Come here and I’ll give you the box,” Narcissa said.
Peter got up and still looking at the floor, walked over to where Narcissa sat with Severus and Lucius beside her. A more perfect bundle of misery there could not have been than Peter Pettigrew at that moment.
He let out a squeak of surprise as Lucius gathered him up into his lap and Severus started to tickle him as Narcissa laughingly stuffed caramel-filled chocolates into his eager mouth. “Silly little goose,” she cried, “I was saving them all for you. Now open wide!”
He happily complied.
“Remember, Remus, that if it comes up, the candies were all my idea, alright?”
Remus nodded at the red-haired girl in front of him. “Will do. How long do they last?”
Severus said, “About an hour, more or less.”
“And what about the other part, the one Malfoy and the Black girls are in charge of?” the sandy-haired boy asked.
“Cissy told me that was a bit trickier, because of the diffusion currents, but more or less about the same amount of time. Bella and the boys will be on the spot, just in case things get out of hand. Trust me, none of the Black family wants to get on their Auntie Walburga’s bad side, so Sirius will be perfectly safe.” Severus added, “Apart from some wounds to his dignity, that is.”
“Which he deserves, to my mind,” Lily said with some heat.
“What about James?” Remus asked.
“Detention with Filch,” Severus said with a grin. “Courtesy of Uncle Horace.”
“Look, he actually was sorry about that incident,” Remus began.
“But only because I was affected as well,” Lily interrupted. “And that’s really just not good enough – and especially not when there are volatile ingredients and unstable potions around. He deserves it – he really does.”
Rubbing the back of his head, Remus nodded. “Yeah, he does. Kind of stupid, really, doing that there.”
“Anything to get at me, Remus,” Severus sneered.
“Look, the important thing is, he’s not around – it’ll just be Sirius,” Peter said. “And it’s time Sirius Black got a taste of his own medicine.”
“Agreed,” the others said in unison.
Sirius Black knew something was up, the moment Lily came up after classes and suggested a walk by the lake. She never gave him the time of day, unless James were around as well, or Remus. Remus was with her, and Peter too, so he figured, this being the first of April, they’d try some prank on him. He figured Peter was still mad about the potion he and James had put into Remus’ caramels. Lily hadn’t been too happy to hear he’d had to be taken to Madame Pomfrey in the middle of the night and Remus had been livid – or as livid as he ever got. He and James had tried to laugh it off, but Peter had been awfully quiet ever since he’d returned, and Remus was even more tight-lipped than usual.
Still, it’ll blow over in a few more days, he thought. They’ll have their little prank, feel better and then it’ll be back to the usual Snivellus-baiting. He was missing that, but James would be out of detention soon enough . . .
“What’s in the bag, Liiiiiily? More Muggle sweets?” he asked, walking backwards along the edge of the lake.
“Not quite,” Lily replied, picking out a purple one and eating it.
“From Honeydukes then?”
“Nope – made them myself,” she said, with a bit of pride.
“You can make candy?” Peter asked, awe in his voice.
“Of course she can make candy – our Lily can do aaaaaaaanything, isn’t that right, Lily-willy? Except stay away from grease-spots like Snape,” Sirius taunted.
“I really don’t understand why you and James and the rest hate him so,” Lily retorted.
“Oh, I don’t know – maybe because he’s greasy and dirty and ugly as sin – those might be a few reasons, don’t you think?” Sirius replied.
“Well he helped me make these, so I think he’s brilliant, so there,” Lily said, eating another purple candy.
“He helped you make those? You sure they’re safe to eat?” Sirius asked.
Lily answered him by eating a red one. “Yum. Yum.”
Remus said, “You daft, Sirry? Snivvy would never do anything that could harm Lily.”
“’Cause he’s a real mooncalf when it come to you, isn’t that right? Here, let me have some,” Peter said making a grab for the bag.
“Did I say you could have any, Mister Pettigrew?” Lily said coldly.
“Can I have some if I say pretty-please-with-Snivellus-on-top?” Peter laughed.
“His name is Severus. Say his name right, and I’ll let you have some,” Lily retorted.
“Snape, Snape, Severus Snape,” Peter singsonged. “There, I said it right. Now can I have some?”
“After Remus has some,” she replied, offering the bag.
“Ta, Lils,” he said, taking out a yellow and a red. “Mmmm, they’re good . . .”
“My turn!” Peter cried, as he reached for the sweets. “Yellow’s lemon, right? And green’s . . . lime?”
Lily nodded. “And the purple’s blackcurrant, my favorite, so he made lots of those,” she said happily.
“Hate blackcurrant,” Remus said.
“Well, I’m not keen on orange,” Peter said. “There a lot of orange in the bag?”
“Some – it’s not bad, the orange. Want to try it?” she said, giving the bag a shake in Peter’s direction.
“Dunno – maybe. What’s the red?” he asked.
“Strawberry – another favorite of mine, so there’s lots of those too,” Lily said brightly.
“I’ll try the orange, Lily,” Remus said. “I like citrus.”
Sirius watched as his friends ate the candies. Nothing untoward seemed to be occurring, so maybe that little niggling suspicion was just a guilty conscience being a bit overactive. He figured he’d find out by this evening. Probably find something nasty in his bed or his slippers tonight though . . .
He shrugged and said, “Well, Madame Pomfrey’s not that far, if you have to do a mobilicorpus on me. Did you say there was blackcurrant and strawberry as well as the citrus-y ones?”
Lily nodded and gave him the bag. “Take what you like.”
He tried the citrus ones first. “Ooooo, that lemon’s sour – like Snape’s face.”
Lily made to snatch the bag back from him. “If you can’t say anything nice about him, you can’t have any more. He made them for me, anyway.”
Sirius held the bag up, out of her reach, laughing as she tried to jump for it. “I’m just joking, Lily-willy – just having a bit of a laugh is all.” He grabbed another out of the bag, still holding it out of her reach. “Lime’s not too bad.”
“See, Lily?” Remus said. “He’s actually giving Snape’s sweets a compliment. Well, what passes for a compliment from him, at any rate,” he said as Lily glared at him, hands on hips.
“Yeah, they really are good,” Peter said, watching as Sirius ate a few more.
“Oh, wow – you’re right, Peter,” Sirius said. “The blackcurrant and strawberry are fantastic . . .”
“Maybe Snape will end up owning Honeydukes – or making his own shop,” Remus said to Lily. “And why are you surprised her favorite flavours are delicious, Sirius?”
“Yeah, well, I guess he’d do his best for those.” Sirius grabbed another orange one from the bag and popped it in his mouth. “Like the citrus ones best though, personally.”
“Can I have my bag of sweets back now?” Lily pouted.
Sirius grinned and held the bag behind his back, where it was promptly rescued by Remus and returned to its rightful owner.
“Spoilsport,” he called after him.
“You should learn better manners, Sirius,” Remus said in a mild tone of voice.
“God, you sound like my mother . . .”
“Well your mother would probably tell you not to gorge yourself on sweets before dinner,” Remus replied. “You’ll ruin your appetite.”
“Actually, now that you mention it,” Sirius said, “I am feeling a bit peaky at present. I think I’ll have a little lie-down on that rock there.”
Remus raised an eyebrow at the others.
Peter whispered to Lily, “Was there anything else in that?”
“Not really,” she replied. “Just something to protect against the shock of the cold water. I insisted on that. Cissy made that part, Severus told me.”
“Cold water would do him some good,” Peter grumbled quietly and got an elbow in the ribs as a reply.
“I’m feeling rather warm here in the sun – dunno why . . . seemed chillier before . . .” Sirius said.
Remus noticed a slight shimmer in the air and the slap of the waves against the lake shore seemed a little more pronounced, for a short while, before going back to normal.
“What was the name of that Muggle sweet you were trying to recreate, Lils?” Sirius asked.
“Swedish fish – we got the shape more or less right, but the jelly for these ones we made is softer, more like a jelly baby, so Severus called them Jelly Fish,” Lily replied.
Sirius was finding it a bit harder to breathe, for some reason. “Jelly fish? Thought that was some type of sea creature . . .”
“Well, he did pronounce it a bit oddly – hard G sound . . .” she said.
“Gelly Fish? Gilly Fish?” Sirius said, having a bad feeling as he lay on the rock by the water.
“More like the second,” Lily said. “Why? Does it matter?”
Sirius put his hands to the sides of his throat. Oh no, no, no, no, no, noooooooo . . .
Franticly he began to tear off his robes and pull off his socks and shoes.
“What are you doing, Sirry?” Remus inquired.
“That candy – Snape did something to it!” Sirius cried, watching as webs formed between his fingers. “It’s got gillyweed in it!”
“He did say he was using some kind of water weed to help make it gel. I’d told him about agar-agar and he seemed to think it was a good idea,” Lily said, with mild puzzlement. “Why? Are you allergic to it?”
“We all seem to be fine, Sirry – you sure you’re not imagining things?” Remus asked. “After all, we all ate the same sweets you did . . .”
“I don’t know why nothing is happening to you, but it’s giving me bloody GILLS -- look at me!” Sirius cried. “I have to get into the water before I finish transforming, or I won’t be able to breathe.”
“Shall we give him a push?” Peter asked the others.
“Yes, let’s!” the other two replied as they all shoved the black-haired boy into the lake water together.
He spluttered as the water closed over his head, although it didn’t seem as cold as he had expected. “I can’t believe you – you had to have known, you traitors!”
Peter tsked at him from the shore. “Such a hard word that . . .”
Lily called out, “I have another word for you, Sirius Black – KARMA!”
“What? What in blue blazes is that?” he yelled back at them.
“It means, my dear esteemed Mr. Black, that what goes around comes around,” Remus shouted in reply.
“I’ll get you all for this – and Snivelly too!” the infuriated boy called to the laughing trio on the shore.
“But not before we’ve got you first!” Lily shouted gleefully.
“And who’s the greedy gut now, Black?” Peter yelled at him. “Enjoyed the sweeties, did you?”
“And isn’t it Spring, now, my dear Peter?” Remus called out merrily.
“And what does that have to do with anything?” Sirius cried out to them.
Doing his best Cupid imitation, Peter shouted, “It’s SPRING – and a young squid’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of . . . LOVE!”
Sirius Black’s horrified expression sent them into gales of laughter.
“I suggest you swim quickly, Sirius – because here comes the Giant Squid!” Lily cried, pointing.
Oh God, oh God, oh God, he thought – not the SQUID . . .
He turned and saw a ripple fast approaching, blanched and then dove, making the best use he could of his new webbed hands and feet.
Bellatrix, Rabastan and Rodolphus watched with amusement as her little cousin swam franticly, trying to escape the tentacular embrace of the Lake’s amorous resident mollusk.
“How long does the squid potion last, my love?” Rodolphus asked.
“Lulu said it was around half an hour to an hour, depending on environmental conditions. I do think adding that pheromone to the candy along with the warming potion was a stroke of sheer genius on my sister’s part. Look at him swim!” cackled Bellatrix.
“The little shit deserves it, after what he puts his mother and father through,” Rabastan said.
“Well, Cissy’s pheromone will make sure the little bugger gets no rest no matter where he tries to swim off to. Shaming the family like that,” she sniffed.
“You know, we absolutely must serve calamari for the next family dinner party, don’t you agree, my sweet?” Rodolphus said as he nuzzled her neck from behind.
“Absolutely. And Cissy is serving it now, in the common room, for little Severus’ First Revenge party.”
“Mmmmm – chilled?”
“Always best served cold, my darling,” Bellatrix purred.
“Now, everyone, let’s all drink a toast to Severus Snape, on the occasion of his First Revenge!” Lucius called out to the assembled guests.
“First of many!”
“Excellent work, my lad, excellent!” Slughorn boomed.
“Thank you sir, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of others . . .” Severus said.
“Hear that? MODEST he is! Nothing to be modest about here – you showed the best possible style. Even got Black’s friends and family to join in – brilliant, lad, brilliant!” Horace flung an arm around the slight boy. “You’ll go far lad, believe you me!”
“Lucius and Cissy did most of it, sir,” he said with a blush.
“Ah, but nothing would have worked if you hadn’t gotten him to eat the sweets, now would it? That showed Slytherin at its best – forging personal relationships and using them to your advantage, isn’t that right Lucius?”
“Indeed, sir, indeed,” Lucius beamed. Narcissa looked up at him and he felt like The Hero of the Hour, even though technically Severus Snape was the celebrant.
“Quite a little protégé, Lucius. Good work, lad – now just get a few more like him, and you’ll be set!” Slughorn said as he clapped him on the shoulder again. “And don’t forget to remind the boy of the commercial possibilities of those sweets,” he whispered in his ear.
Lucius replied, equally quietly, “Already done, sir. Zonko’s is already fielding some numbers and I’ve had some other inquiries as well.”
Slughorn gave Severus a wink as he left them to work the rest of the gathered guests.
Lucius turned to enjoy the view, arms around both Narcissa and Severus, as Sirius Black swam past the common room’s window yet again, just barely ahead of the squid.
“Ready for the best part, Sevviekins?” Narcissa asked.
He nodded, grin threatening to split his face in two. Narcissa took his hand in hers, then took the arm offered her by Lucius.
The crowd processed behind them, to the shore of the lake, where the three Gryffindors sat on the rock, surrounded by Sirius’ discarded robes.
They all watched as Sirius dragged himself out of the water, utterly exhausted. His smalls clung to him as he coughed up some water and tried to straighten up.
“Poisson d’avril, Black!” Severus said merrily. “How’s it feel when the shoe is on the other foot – or should I say, fin?”
“I. Hate. You.” Sirius spat out.
The crowd roared with laughter.
“Three cheers for Severus Snape! Hip, hip – HOORAY!” Lucius shouted, Narcissa at his side, and Severus in front of them both. “Hip, hip – HOORAY! Hip, hip – HOORAY!”
Sirius threw up some more lake water as the crowd went wild.