Servitude ch. 10
Master Potter kept true to his word, Severus thought – sitting on his bed and playing with little Lupin. Mistress Potter had gone out for the next training, and her husband was sorting out his papers before a mission – from what the slave knew, his first.
‚Severus!’ his master peeked into the drawing room. ‚Teddy should rest now, and I’ve got a request…’
A request? How can his owner request anything from him? The owner’s duty is to give orders, and the slave is to perform them. Simple. Why cannot Potter understand it? Snape carried the boy to his room and read fairy tales ’till the brat fell asleep. Then he went out to search for master Potter.
His owner was sitting at his desk and was finishing putting the papers into the correct files. Upon seeing Severus, he hastily stashed the files into the desk.
‚Sorry, „classified”. Thank you for coming… won’t you sit down?’
The slave hesitated for a moment and then carried out the order – automatically.
‚What do you wish, master Potter?’
The young Auror shifted nervously on the chair. He twined his fingers together, then disentangled them, ran a hand through his hair. Snape remembered his owner used to do this when nervous. Thus he kept silent and waited for the man to speak.
‚You’d- you’d known my mother…’ Potter coughed and ran a hand over his face. ‚Maybe you could tell me something about her?’
‚I do not remember much, master Potter… I do not know what is that you expect.’
‚Doesn’t matter. Anything’ his owner spoke in a rushed, strained voice. ‚Anything.’
The slave remembered the conversation he’d overheard by accident some time ago. Master Potter knew nothing about his mother… about Lily. He closed his eyes and tried to remember something more than her voice and face. He wouldn’t be able to describe her voice – no one would.
‚She liked flowers. Lilies, like her name. Books. She read all – Muggle and Wizarding ones, all the same. She adored her parents and argued with her sister. Petunia was awful. I disliked her. Lily did, too.’
He stopped and rubbed his temples. His owner was staring at him fixatedly, like he was drinking in every single word. Maybe he was. A black-haired woman with a strained and pale face flickered in the back of his mind. Mother… How would it feel, not to have known her at all? If she’d died earlier…
‚Tell me something more’ master Potter asked, and Severus had an idiotic thought of little Lupin asking for another story. Even the tone of voice was similar…
‚Lily knew a lot. Not about magic – she hadn’t known anything before I told her. At Hogwarts…’ he had to stop, because he couldn’t breath ‚at Hogwarts she knew everything again. Lily was a genius. Her parents were so proud of her. Only…’
‚Her sister… I don’t remember. They argued. Have I said it? I didn’t like her sister. Awful, she was. Nasty’
Severus fell silent and reached for the waiting glass of water. His head hurt. Too many memories… he saw his owner’s eyes glimmer and in his mind’s eye he saw Lily again… laughing, beautiful, happy. Lily… why did her son not know her? Why did she die?
‚I cannot answer this question, Severus’ master Potter said quietly and only then did he realize he’d voiced the question aloud.
Severus spent the next few days, telling his master these precious little things he remembered about Lily. He mentioned her wedding too – after all, he’d relived it not so long ago – but kept his dreams to himself. He did not think Potter would have wanted to hear about dreams – especially not of this kind.
‚Could you come here for a moment, Severus?’ his master asked one evening, and the slave was not surprised.
Snape sat down in the chair pointed out to him and coughed, trying to find in his memory a story he had not told yet. No sooner did he start speaking than his owner lifted his own hand and smiled slightly.
‚I thought you deserve a prize, Severus. You are fulfilling your duties very well. We’re all much pleased…’ the young wizard stood up and waved at him to follow.
The owner led Severus to an unused portion of the house. The slave’s foot had never strayed here, and judging from the way Potter walked, he was not there often either. Finally master Potter opened the solid wooden door.
Snape was struck speechless. Inside there were cauldrons, fires and shelves – the latter filled with ingredients he’d once had in his laboratory at Hogwarts. The room was even arranged in a similar way.
‚I didn’t suppose you liked the style, master Potter’ he said finally.
Master Potter laughed out loud.
‚I don’t. Besides, I’m not brewing Potions home. I wouldn’t want to explode the house. It is too dear to me.’
Severus looked at his owner, trying to determine if he was joking. It was a honest opinion of the man’s own skills and it matched what he’d remembered from having taught him.
‚No, Severus. It’s not my lab, it’s yours’
‚Mine?’ the slave repeated, as if he didn’t understand.
He really didn’t. He was not allowed to possess anything.
‚Yours. You can now go back to what you really can do and what you like. As a respite from taking care of Teddy, of course. I wouldn’t dare to rob him of your care. He likes you very much.’
‚Master Potter…’ Severus did not know what to say.
‚You told my wife you can brew Potions. Now you’ve got a chance to do that’