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 It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)

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Serenity Snape
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PostSubject: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:00 pm

Serenity was dragging her feet to Professor Black's office. She had just spent the last hour and a half having her butt lectured off by her father, something she did not enjoy at all. She would much rather have had him just give her some tedious task, rather then him giving her the, "I'm so disappointed in you," speech. When her father gave her that speech she felt like such a failure, and she usually bawled like a baby afterwards...unfortunately she had to be in Professor Black's office at the moment and she wasn't prepared to walk in with red eyes and a puffy nose.

Still dragging her feet she could not help but ponder if this would be made any worse. She had to be in a room with a man that potentially tortured her father when they were young, and act respectfully to them! She did NOT want to do that. Her father was one of the most important men in her life, the other, ironically, being Harry Potter. And what was worse, she had promised her father she would be polite and the young lady he had raised her to be...ugh...this was going to be a loooong night.

Finally, after much dawdling, she managed to find her Professor's office. Not that it was all that hard. He was the only one in the school that probably had a classroom as close to the heavens as one could get. So her feet clomped heavily on the steps as she reached his door and with a heavy fist she knocked and waited for her Professor to grant her entry.

"Ugh...this is going to be a long night...."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:13 am

Sirius sighed when he heard the knock on the door. This was going to be a long night. When he was younger, he'd never put much thought into the fact that his earning detention meant a professor had to give up their evening, and if he had, he wouldn't have been very sympathetic about it. He'd probably have said that they shouldn't be giving him detention, then. It had never occurred to him to think that perhaps they didn't have any choice in the matter. That was certainly how Sirius felt. He'd have given anything not to have to give Serenity detention, but she'd deserved it. Hell, she practically asked for it, and, really, Sirius had to oblige if he didn't want to find his classes in a state of anarchy for the rest of the school year.

When he accepted this job, he'd sort of imagined himself as the sort of teacher who never gave detentions. He never expected to be goaded into it quite so soon into the term. He only hoped that now that he'd made an example of someone, he wouldn't have to do it again any time soon. He found the whole thing highly disagreeable.

"Come," he called, remembering all the times he'd been in Serenity's shoes, wondering what horridly boring and possibly disgusting thing his professor had planned for him. He waited for her to enter and studied her for a moment. The manual labor aspect of detention still seemed a little twisted to him, though he had preferred it to lines when he was a student. At least with manual labor, he felt some sort of a sense of accomplishment when he had finished. He would give Serenity a choice, he decided.

"Come in, Miss Snape. Have a seat." He pointed his wand at the board, and the sentence he had chosen for her to write appeared.

"I will show all my professors the respect due their position."

"My professors used to make me write this when I showed them my bum. I probably wrote this sentence about ten thousand times." Sirius winked. It was true, though the lesson never took. "And I hated every second of it, so I'm giving you a choice tonight, Miss Snape. You can either write this for an hour, or you can polish telescopes. Whichever you choose, at the end of the night I will expect to see appreciable progress. I will also expect a full apology. Pick your poison."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:39 pm

Serenity felt like crying, she knew what to expect from a detention...she just never had one. Keeping her lips pursed and her throat tight she tried to say that she would prefer polishing the telescopes. It wasn't that she didn't mind righting lines, it was just that if she did that she would start crying. Mostly because it wasn't enough to distract her from how disappointed in herself she felt.

"Scope's...." she whispered, her voicing quivering a bit.

Looking away she chose to study something that was other than her Professor. She may not like her Professor but that didn't change the fact that she felt like scum standing in front of him, especially being presented with a detention. Serenity had never had them before! she was not a girl that got detention, she was the girl that laughed at other people WHO had gotten detention. And no matter how much she had begged her father he would not revoke the detention for her!

Looking to see that her Professor already had the polish and cleaning cloth she took it and went to start her work. She knew that the polish would turn her hands purple without the proper protection, so reaching into her pocket she pulled out her dragon hide gloves and slipped them on. Serenity never told anyone but she always carried them with her. They were her dad's "lucky" gloves. Of course she knew that they weren't REALLY lucky, her dad just gave them to her because she had been nervous in her potions classes. Smiling a bit she began polishing.

She remembered that night. It was her first year at school and she wanted to impress him so much. But when she went into her first year class and saw that Harry was there...she froze up...and rather then brewing a simple anti-boil serum she burned a hole through her cauldron. It had taken her father a full hour to get her to stop crying, and then he handed down his lucky gloves. And for three years, she would only use them for brewing. They may have no luck to them, but they did instill comfort within her.

"Professor?" she asked, softly. "The polish has a very strong odor...it's giving me a headache...can you dilute it somehow?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:02 am

Sirius was just about to give Serenity her instructions when she grabbed the polish and the cloth and started to work. He bit back a smile. That wasn't the smartest move. Polishing a telescope indoors was sure to induce a headache in short order. He'd never intended to have her polish the one in his classroom. It didn't even need it. He'd intended to have her go up to the Astronomy Tower outside and polish those. He also intended to polish with her. It never did seem fair to him when professors made him do things they weren't willing to do themselves.

At least she was taking the detention seriously, he decided. Sirius almost certainly wouldn't have gone to work so quickly when he was her age. He'd have wasted at least five minutes waiting for instructions and asking for clarification. Then he'd have dawdled as much as he could get away with once he finally did start to work.

He debated telling her to go outside, but decided to leave her be. Judging from the look on her face, she'd had about as much as she could take at the moment. He didn't want to risk anything that would sound like criticism of her work, so he opened all the windows and went back to his lesson plans. Once she was done with that telescope, then they'd go out.

Sirius put down his pen when she began to speak. He was hoping the breeze from the open windows would mitigate the effects of the fumes. With all the magic in the world, Sirius couldn't understand why no one could make telescope polish that wouldn't get the students high. Or turn their hands purple, though Sirius had found that that did make for an effective threat, even if he had no intention of ever following through.

"No, I can't dilute it, but you don't have to worry about finishing that telescope. We can go outside and work on the ones on the tower. The fumes won't bother you out there." Sirius grabbed his own dragonhide gloves, a cloth, and another jar of polishing gunk. "Come on." Sirius led the way to the tower and plopped down next to a telescope. He started to rub at the brass of the telescope, treating it somewhat more gingerly than he did in his boyhood, though he'd always had a respect for telescopes and stargazing.

Sirius remembered quite vividly all the hours spent staring at the sky with Uncle Alphard and the way he felt when he looked at the numberless stars. He used to think he'd learn all their names someday, but now he knew the thing was impossible. He still felt hopelessly small and insignificant when he looked up at the endlessness of the night sky. He also remembered how special those moments with his uncle used to make him feel. He was the sort of person who could make you feel special just by talking to you - like you were the only person in the world. Sirius wished he had that gift, but he seemed to bumble through things most of the time.

Sirius gave up all pretenses of polishing leaned back against the tower wall, staring in awe at the sky. After so many years of not being able to see it, it was almost as though he were discovering it anew each time he saw it. "The stars are beautiful, aren't they?" It was a perfect night for stargazing. Warm and breezy, without a cloud in the sky. He could almost see the curvature of the earth, reflected in the inky sky. "Stargazing always makes me think of my favorite uncle. He was the one who first taught me to love the simple beauty of things like stars."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:21 am

Hearing her Professor talk so kindly of his uncle made her miss her father. There was no secret that their relationship had growing tension, what with her being in love with Harry and all...but she still loved him regardless. And she supposed that love for him was the reason she was in this detention. She just could not respect someone that did not respect her father back. So she knew that Professor Black and her would never become more than teacher and student, and for Harry's sake she promised to be more civil...and for her father's sake. Sighing she glanced up to the stars. When her father wasn't doing Headmaster things, or spying, they would go outside too. She still lived in Muggle London, where her father used to live...and he would take her to one of his favorite spots. She believed it to be where Lily Evans and him hung out in there youth, but she could never be quite sure. All she knew was that her father was most peaceful there, most content with his choices in life.

"Yeah," she whispered, signaling that she was listening to him. "Daddy- herm...dad and I go star gazing occasionally."

It was just her and her father against the world. That was how she had come to look at the world. Serenity looked at it as that if you hated her father then you hated her and she would hate you in return. It was not the best principle to live by, but she could not help herself. He was her father and she would defend him to the bitter end...as any good child would for their parent.

"We don't go too often anymore," she sighed, somewhat sadly. "He's been... rather busy this year. It was different when he was a teacher, he had much more time on his hands."

The bitterness in Serenity's tone shined through, and the resentment had to be wafting through the air in a thick, poisonous, smoke. It was Dumbledore's fault for making him Headmaster, even thought he had agreed to it. And although Serenity liked that Professor Dumbledore was now Minister, she would always resent him a bit for stealing her father away from her.

"Time..." she whispered. "I always want more time."

Time with her father...not time in general. Serenity found that little minutes of comfort were what she held onto the most. When her father and her would hide in his quarters talking about her school day and eating biscuits. Those little minutes that she had taken for granted were now gone, and she wished for them back...oh, how she wished for them back.

Looking down at her gloves she felt the burn of tears come back into her eyes. She just missed him so much...but she had no one to cry to with this claim, no one wanted to hear it. Letting out a sort of shaky breath she picked the cloth up once more and went back to polishing...praying that this night would be over as soon as it had started...praying that tonight would not be the night that Sirius Black saw a Snape break down.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:41 pm

Sirius listened quietly, intently, hearing the things that went unsaid. He wasn't sure how he did that, but he always could. He put down his polishing cloth and sat up a little straighter, watching her. He couldn't imagine that Snape was a particularly good father, but Sirius knew from experience that that didn't matter. No matter what a person's father did to them, he was still their father and they would still love him. Simply because he was there. That was how Sirius always felt, anyway. He was always chasing after approval that was never going to come. A part of him was still devastated over it.

"Yes, I'd imagine it must be difficult now that your father's the headmaster," he said softly. "Keeps him awfully busy."

Sirius was sure it was difficult in other ways as well. He couldn't imagine what it must be like to have a parent in the castle, always up in your business. Boarding school had its faults, but it allowed a great deal of freedom for students to find themselves young and test the world and discover who they wanted to be without a lot of outside interference. It gave students like Sirius and Harry a haven away from the heartbreak of home, but it also forced students to grow up before their time. Though he supposed plenty of them were forced to do that anyway. Harry certainly was. Sirius had been as well.

Sirius gave Serenity an encouraging smile. "He's still new to it yet. He'll work out the balance eventually and have more time for the things you used to do, and in the meantime, if you ever get the urge to stargaze, you can feel free to come up here." He winked, his encouraging smile slipping into a teasing one. "You might even be able to sweet talk me into loaning you a telescope."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:43 pm

Serenity was a bit taken back by the offer and she felt her eyes widen a bit. She never thought Professor Black had really liked her. But she supposed that was an illusion she had held up because she had disliked him so. Her father meant the world to her, and she was sure her Professor could tell...and maybe that was why he wasn't bashing her father. Smiling gently she nodded.

"That sounds nice, Professor Black." she said gently. "Harry and I stargaze occasionally."

She blushed, wondering if it was okay for her to talk about Harry around him. She was certain that Harry had told hi about them, but it didn't make it any less awkward. Looking down she began going back to work, the fumes not bothering her so much now that they were outside. A cool breeze floated by and she sighed. Serenity loved being outside. Fresh air had this comforting smell to it that she just could not get enough of.

"I don't think he'll ever find a balance," she sighed sadly. "He tries to...but it just never works out the right way."

Taking the cloth she took some more polish onto it and went around the rim near the lens. She felt a bit strange talking to Sirius Black about Severus Snape, but her Professor didn't seem to mind and sometimes it was nice to find someone that was willing to listen.

"When he was a teacher," she continued. "He'd set aside the weekends for me. I'd hang out in his quarters and we'd read, go to Hogsmead, stuff that we used to do before I was a student here. I even cut his hair once."

Serenity grinned from over the telescope and chuckled.

"Merlin, he hated it! But it looked nice and I actually think it was a good look for him. I still have the picture, he wanted me to burn it...but I just couldn't."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:26 pm

Sirius laughed. He'd cut Snape's hair once, too, when he was a first year. Of course, he hadn't any intention of trying to make it look good at the time. The poor bloke ended up with bald spots and jagged edges. Another time, Sirius and his friends sneaked down to the dungeons while he was asleep and coated his hair with a muggle sticking potion called "glue". It stuck out at all angles from his head... the bits that weren't stuck to his pillow, anyway. They'd also turned it purple once. His hair was one of their favorite targets, and they were never caught, though he was quite sure they were under suspicion. Whenever there was a prank on Snape, the Marauders were nearly always under suspicion... which made sense, as they were nearly always guilty. Though at the time, they were horribly offended whenever Slughorn or McGonagall came round to question them about the latest attack on poor Snivellly.

There were times when Sirius looked at him and still saw the snivelling, bullying prat he was in school. Sirius supposed he should try to move past it. There were things - and one thing in particular - that he did when he was a student that he would much rather forget. He certainly wouldn't want people judging him now based on how he was then. Somehow, though, he couldn't quite let go of the grudge. Perhaps it was because Snape had been so awful to James. Honestly, Sirius might never have ended up locked in battle with him if it hadn't been for James. They'd never have been friends, but Sirius probably would have ignored him the way he did most people he didn't like. But James couldn't stand him. Couldn't stand the way he hung around Lily. Couldn't stand his fascination with the dark arts. Couldn't stand anything about him, it seemed. At first, Sirius was only going along with James' ideas out of loyalty for his friend, but eventually it grew into an all-out war. Ruthless. Irreconcilable.

What infuriated him now was the thought that Snape had been bullying Harry. Harry, who had known more heartache in his fourteen years than most people knew in a lifetime. Harry, who had no one to love him or defend him. Harry deserved better. Harry deserved the best.

Still, none of that was Serenity's fault. Sirius never would have judged a person based upon their family. Plenty of people had judged him for being a Black, and he knew firsthand how terrible that felt. He'd never have done it to someone else. As far as Sirius was concerned, Serenity was her own person. Unless she showed him otherwise, he would assume she was nothing like her father.

"I'll bet that was a sight to behold. I cut my cousin's hair once when I was about four. I thought it looked splendid, but everyone else disagreed. I had to go stand in the corner." Sirius spoke with mock gravity. "It was a horrid miscarriage of justice." He chuckled at the memory. "Although in all fairness, I've seen a few pictures from that fiasco, and I might have been biased back when I was four. I'd believe you did a good job, though. Why didn't your dad like it?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:42 pm

Serenity reached into her jean pocket and took the picture out. She carried it with her always, she supposed it was just a comfort to know that he was there...even if he wasn't there. She wasn't sure her father would like if she showed it to his nemesis though. It was a picture of him with short hair and in muggle clothes, and as if to make matters worse he was smiling slightly. Biting her lower lip she handed the picture over to him.

"Please don't tell him I showed you," she pleaded. "It's the only one he'll let me have...he doesn't like having his picture taken."

She watched her Professor's hands the entire time, as if at any second the picture could catch fire and he would need her to help extinguish and save it. Serenity just loved that picture so much and it was the only evidence that she had that her father could look normal and approachable when he wanted to. She was sure that if he dressed like that more often students would approach him more, but something told Serenity that would never happen.

"I thought I did a good job," she said gently. "And he agreed to wearing it like that for a day...but when I snapped the picture he changed it back...and I had to hide the film."

Serenity could be sneaky as well, the only problem was that she couldn't show it to anyone else for fear that they would talk to her father about it. She hoped that Professor Black would keep his word...if he gave it. Otherwise she would never be able to speak to him again...Too many times had Serenity thought she told somebody something in confidence, just to find that they left and told her father anyway...it was unbelievable.

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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:49 pm

"Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me," Sirius said with a smile as he handed back the picture. He pantomimed locking his lips and throwing away the key. "And you're right. It was a nice haircut." As far as anything could look nice on Snape, anyway. But of course his reaction would have been criticism. Sirius felt a sudden kinship with Serenity. Growing up with Snape must have been very like growing up with Orion and Walburga Black. Constant criticism, unrealistic expectations, and spending most of his time feeling ignored, unappreciated, unloved. Thank God for the Potters. Otherwise, Sirius might have grown up thinking himself as worthless as his parents so often made him feel.

They weren't cruel, exactly. Not until he was sorted into Gryffindor, anyhow. He was actually quite spoiled in a strange, backward sort of way. His parents lavished him with toys and clothes and money. Anything he wanted, he got it. And more. He got a professional quality broomstick for his eighth birthday. He and Regulus had so many toys between them that they had a play room filled with nothing else. They had a personal tutor - the best in all of England - to teach them before they went to Hogwarts. They went on trips to places most people only dreamed of seeing. He'd been on every continent except Antarctica by the time he was ten. African Safaris, Caribbean Paradises, Historical Adventures; Sirius had them all. He had everything, except the one thing he wanted. His parents' approval. Their affection. Their love. Those things were always out of reach for him, no matter how hard he worked for them. There was no warmth in his parents, and Sirius couldn't imagine that Snape had been much different. Especially if the way he treated Harry was any indication.

Well, Sirius decided, it really wasn't his business. The best thing he could do for her was the same thing the Potters and so many of his professors did for him - give her a place to go where she would be appreciated and listened to and allowed to be herself.

Sirius finished his telescope and tossed the jar of polishing gunk in the air. It flipped twice as it rose and twice more as it fell. Then he snaked out a hand and caught it deftly. He stood and went to inspect Serenity's work. He could almost see his face in it, it shined so brightly. "You don't have to worry about making it perfect, my dear. You've done a great job. I've never seen a shinier telescope. I think a simple rubdown should be good enough for the rest of them though. They're only going to get grubbed up again when I have the second years tonight. Besides, if we work fast, I'll wager we can get all of these done before Harry gets here. What do you think? Are we up to the challenge?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:02 pm

Serenity cocked her eyebrow at her Professor. Something told her that he was misinterpreting what she was trying to prove to him. But Serenity was used to it. Most people didn't think she belonged with her father. It had taken much fighting and convincing to get the Ministry to let her father have her. If it hadn't been for Dumbledore then she would have been dumped in an orphanage. Her mother had not been in the picture at the time, and no one knew that she had been birthed from Aurora. Only her father and mother knew...and even if that knowledge was brought up she would not go with her. Serenity was a daddy's girl...even if her interpretation of one was slightly different from any other girls.

"Umm...yessir..." she said nodding. "That would be nice."

Going to the next telescope she set off to work, even though her Professor said they didn't need to be perfect she would like them to be as close as possible. Serenity was a perfectionist, it had been engraved in the Snape DNA for generations.

"Why are you being so nice to me sir?" she asked suddenly. "I mean...you don't have to pity me...I'm Severus Snape's daughter...but I'm proud to be his ward. I mean...I am happy that we are being civil to one another...but if the reason for your kindness is that you think my dad is mistreating me, I don't want it."

Serenity had a thing with pity...she did not like it. She preferred people hating her then people pitying her. How could she prove to people that she wasn't her father, but also prove to them that he WAS a good father. Some things in life were just impossible, but this seemed that something like that shouldn't be.

"I mean no disrespect sir..." she continued. "I know...shocking...but if we are to be...to be friends...I want to clear some things up first...if that's okay with you of course?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:19 pm

Sirius plopped down next to a new telescope, but quickly whipped back around to look at Serenity, one eyebrow raised. He supposed he couldn't blame her for feeling suspicious. There was no telling what sort of lies Snape had filled her head with. Not to mention that this time last year the name "Sirius Black" was doubtless striking fear into her heart. Sirius was quite aware that some of the students still feared him. He was sure he could put them at ease eventually. His affable nature was not completely destroyed in Azkaban, after all. But he felt impatient. He was tired of these sorts of encounters. Tired of wide eyes when he called a student to his desk for a private consultation, as though they thought he might hex them into a grease spot right where they stood. Tired of students dashing to get out of his way when he walked by. They were the minority, these frightened students, and that was a good thing. But they were still there, and he knew it, and it filled him with discouragement every time there was a reminder.

"As a matter of fact, I do not pity you. I don't pity anyone." And it was true. He didn't. Pity was a completely useless emotion. It didn't help a person at all. He preferred empathy. Then at least he could do something about the problem. And in this case, he could empathize with Serenity completely. Loyalty to one's parent was no small thing, after all. Sirius would have behaved much as she was when he was young. He'd have bristled at any criticism - real or perceived - of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. It was just so much easier to pretend that everything was okay. Despite all of their abuse, he was sixteen before he entertained the notion that it wasn't. And then it seemed his entire world was crashing in around him.

Sirius kept his tone casual, noncommittal. "I'm being nice to you because, despite what you have no doubt heard, I'm a perfectly nice person. I'm nice to everyone. Unless they give me a reason not to be. It also happens that I'm interested in my students. That includes you."

Sirius gave a small smile. "Being friends would be lovely, Miss Snape." As much as a professor and a student could be friends, anyway, Sirius thought to himself. Out loud, he continued. "For Harry's sake if for no other reason, but you know, friendships don't generally work very well if one party is suspicious of the other."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:19 am

Serenity cocked her one eyebrow at him once more. He didn't think she believed his innocence? Wow...that didn't make her feel confident at all. Serenity may have thought a lot of things when it came to Sirius Black, but she never thought him to be a murderer...at least until Harry vouched for him. If Harry said that his God-father was innocent then she believed him to be innocent. Her father would not have hired a murderer, Dumbledore would not have vouched for a murderer, and her beloved Harry would not be LIVING with a murderer.

"I'm not afraid of you Professor Black," she continued. "You do not make me nervous in the least...you make me feel incompetent...and there is a big difference."

She had never been able to justify WHY she felt this way, just that she felt this way. She supposed it branched back to her father and her wanting to protect her blood...but she wasn't going to try and explain that to him. He would probably just assume it was because her father had her brainwashed or some other rubbish people think about her father.

"I have no suspicions towards that sir," she continued. "I was suspicious of you pitying me for my heritage, but now that that has been cleared we have nothing to worry about."

Well that wasn't true...they had much to worry about. Or she did...Serenity had much to worry about because she was scared her father would see this as a sort of betrayal. Of course he had often said that she needed to be more civil with her Professor but she was sure that didn't mean to become all buddy buddy with them.

"Professor Black?" she asked gently. "Are you okay with Harry and I dating?"

She set her cloth down and looked at him intently through light, silver, eyes. Serenity had Aurora's eyes...as did her brother. Her father said that she held so much beauty in those eyes, so much innocence. Serenity thought that light and glow had dimmed, but her father said that one's eyes never truly change. To that she cried...because that meant her father would be burdened with his eyes forever.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:51 pm

Sirius let out a small sigh. He was quite sure that when he was a student he never would have spoken to a professor the way Serenity was speaking to him now. It wasn't that he thought she was being disrespectful, more that he thought she was being far too forward. He never spoke freely to professors when he was young. He never spoke freely to any adults, if he could help it. Except Mr. and Mrs. Potter and Uncle Alphard. There was always a boundary between himself and the adults in his life. A film of unease that could never be crossed. There were plenty of professors he liked, and many he respected, but not many he trusted with his thoughts. There was always the possibility that anything he said to anyone who knew his parents might get back to them, after all. And adults never seemed to think the secrets of children worth keeping. So Sirius kept his silence, reserving his true self for his friends and those few adults who managed to beat the odds and gain his confidence.

So he never knew how to respond when students were forward with him. He never knew what to say back. Disrespect he could handle. That he usually answered swiftly and sternly, much as it pained him. He could even handle confessions, and there had already been a surprising number of those. For reasons Sirius would never understand, he'd become the gossip repository for nearly all the female population of Hogwarts. He already had an impressive knowledge of who liked whom, who hated whom, who had called whom fat, and who - and this thought often sent a shudder down his spine - fancied him. He'd even had one student come to him in tears after dinner because she got a scolding owl from her father over a poor grade in Herbology. He found himself handing out tissues and listening as she spoke about how her father was never happy and nothing she ever did was good enough. Just like when Sirius was young and girls sought him out to cry on his shoulder, he said hardly a word, but when she'd finished talking, she smiled, told him he'd been a big help, and went happily enough along her way. Sirius would never understand girls.

Yes, Sirius was prepared for a wide array of student encounters, but these sorts of personal questions and forward comments confused him. He made her feel incompetent? How in the bloody hell was he supposed to respond to something like that?

"I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, though I'm glad to know you're not afraid of me. I'm no one to be afraid of. I'm mostly harmless, you know." Sirius caught her eye and winked. "But in my experience, people don't usually ask things like, 'Why are you being nice to me?' unless they suspect the other person has ulterior motives. That was all I meant."

Sirius turned back to his telescope and began rubbing at it. He'd meant it when he said it didn't have to be perfect. As long as they got all the tarnish off, that was all he was concerned about. If he tried to keep up with all the fingerprints, he'd have gone mad, he was quite sure. The thing was simply not possible.

Sirius dipped his rag into his jar of polish, not sure how to answer Serenity's accusation. He decided to ignore her question about Harry for the moment. He wasn't the slightest bit concerned with Harry's dating life, so long as whomever he was dating was good to him and didn't try to lead him into things he had no business doing. Beyond that, Sirius' only desire was for his godson to be happy, and since Serenity fit the bill on that front, Sirius had no reason to object.

Her confession that he made her feel incompetent felt much more important. Much more urgent. No innocent comment, that. Sirius never wanted to be that sort of professor. That was Snape's department. Sirius wanted to be the approachable professor. The fun professor. The patient professor. Serenity would probably never guess that she'd just stumbled onto one of his insecurities - that the students who were nervous around him were nervous because of something inherent in him rather than because of his erstwhile fearsome reputation. Perhaps he'd ask Harry about it later - find out if this was a widespread problem or if it was just because she came to him with her head filled with preconceived notions, courtesy of the headmaster.

Sirius was careful to keep his tone casual, thinking of how best to ask her about it. He didn't want to sound demanding or unsure, only mildly curious. The question, when he asked it, came out gentle, even understanding, helped along by the use of her given name. Sirius had never liked the pomp of only calling students by their last names anyhow. Perhaps he'd rebel once he was a little better established.

"Serenity, how do I make you feel incompetent?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:28 am

Serenity was a bit taken back when her Professor called her by her first name. So far the only teacher in the entire school that called her by her first name was her father, and even in class he had to practice calling her by her last name. She knew he hated it, as did she. There was nothing more awkward then calling ones father Professor. She was sure Harry felt the same way, it was always a major change once school started...and Harry was just starting to get into the transition. Clearing her throat a bit she dipped her cloth in the polish once more and went back to shining.

Serenity didn't know how to answer his question. It was just something she felt around him. Her stomach took on a nauseating disposition and she just felt like she was nothing but a failure in his eyes. It wasn't just him though...when she was in Potions she felt the same. Her father said that nothing could be more ridiculous, but he didn't really listen to her when she tried to speak with him about it.

"I don't know sir," she whispered. "I...I just...I feel that when you look at me you see my father...and with how his life was and turned out...I just...I don't want to fail. And when I see you...I see failure...my failure."

Tears filled her eyes and she looked away.

"I see my failure in him..." she whispered. "I see it in every teacher. I feel like everyone is just waiting for me to fail...just like daddy did..."

She blinked, feeling a tear slide down her cheek and she pulled her knees up to her chest. She would never call her father a failure to his face, but sometimes she could not help but think it. She felt that his life wasn't what it could be. He could have been wonderful, amazing. But because of bullying in school and at home, he turned to the Dark Arts.

Her father had made so many mistakes, and they just kept following him and plaguing him and now she was going to make them. Serenity was going to follow in her father's footsteps and probably lose Harry in the progress. Just as her father had lost Lily Evans; Serenity was going to lose Harry Potter.

"I don't want to lose him like he lost her!" she cried, not realizing what she was saying. "I don't WANT to be alone!"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:37 pm

Sirius narrowed his eyes. Serenity had completely lost him. He could follow the stuff about being judged by who her father was well enough. Sirius couldn't count the number of times that had happened to him. He'd learned to cringe when he heard, "You're Orion and Walburga's boy?" And, of course, it didn't help that he was the spitting image of his father. Serenity had at least been spared that. Sirius could never escape his heritage. He was still convinced that was why so many people were so eager to believe him a mass murderer. He wouldn't have been the first one in his family, after all. Sirius still recalled the words Peter said to him the night he sent Snape to Moony. Still recalled them like they were yesterday. Still shivered when he thought about them.

"Blood will out in the end."

And, of course, there was always the tiniest fear that the words were true; that his family was ultimately inescapable.

"People used to judge me by my family," Sirius began slowly, not sure how much he should reveal. He used to think it strange when he was young and teachers would try to relate to him by telling him some story about themselves that they thought somehow fit the situation at hand, even though it rarely seemed to. "It's very difficult, and it's not fair. Some people are just dunderheads that way. But I think it's important to remember that you're not your father, and you don't have to be. You have choices to make, and you can decide to be like him or not. You can even decide to take the good things he taught you and ignore the rest. You're your own person, and you can be whoever you want to be." Mr. Potter had said almost those exact words to Sirius the night he ran away, and they filled him with an odd, somewhat lonely, ray of hope.

"Right now, you're known as Severus Snape's daughter, but after you leave Hogwarts, that will change. You'll make a name for yourself all your own, and before long he'll be known as Serenity Snape's father. And it won't be long after that before you're in turn known as someone else's mother. That's the way of things. Everything changes eventually. You can't spend your time worrying about that stuff. Anyone who would judge you based on your father isn't worth knowing anyway. And anyone who is worth knowing, well, they'll get to know you for you who are. A very bright, very talented, very beautiful young lady, who is the best telescope polisher in all of Britain."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Serenity felt tears come unbidden from her eyes and she sniffled. Her Professor was being so nice and it just made her feel worse and worse for how she had treated him. But he was right, she wasn't her father. She looked like him and may have acted like him, but she wasn't him. And that meant that she was the person in charge of her own destiny. Taking her polish cloth she finished another telescope and looked up at her Professor.

"I...I'm sorry Professor Black..." she whispered.

She hoped that he knew what she meant. It killed Serenity to apologize for anyone. Being so proud her humility was definitely something that needed to be checked. Wringing the cloth in her gloved hand she looked down to the polish once more. It was starting to give her a headache again, even with them being outside and all.

"Can we take a break now?" she asked gently. "Or...can we check if Harry has come?"

She missed Harry...it seemed that they never had time for one another. Both of them were always so busy, and it just got to be annoying. Serenity wished there was a day they could dedicate to one another without interruption. If Serenity could just see Harry once a week without any outside influence or pain; she would be one happy girl.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:27 pm

Sirius pulled off his dragon hide gloves and pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket. His encounter with Harry a few days before - coupled with a few other encounters with crying students - had finally convinced him to start carrying one. He handed it to Serenity without a word, and then pointedly looked away while she got her emotions under control. Sirius never would understand why girls had to cry so much all the time.

Sirius checked his pocket watch. It was a gift from Uncle Alphard, as his parents were not particularly interested in knowing him by the time he came of age. Like most things he owned, it had been in the Black family for generations, having once belonged to his great-great-grandfather, Phineas Nigellus Black, before it was given to Alphard. Alphard told him in passing that his parents were furious he decided to give it to Sirius, as they coveted it for Regulus and "wanted it to stay in the family," as though Sirius was not still family. Alphard only said it was his watch to do with as he pleased and that it served them right for disowning their son over something so ridiculous. Sirius was thankful to have Alphard defend him, and grateful to have the watch, but a part of him still grieved that day. That was the day he realized his parents would never forgive him. It was also the day he learned Alphard had changed his will to leave everything to Sirius.

Harry wasn't due for another ten minutes, though Sirius wouldn't have been surprised if he came early. Sirius certainly would have, if a pretty girl were involved. He regarded Serenity for a moment, trying to work out if she really needed a break, or if she was trying to play him. It was probably the latter, not that Sirius blamed her. He'd have done the same thing in her place. He decided not to grant a reprieve just yet. This was supposed to be punishment, after all, and he didn't want to be painted a soft touch. Especially not this early. Sirius knew quite well what students did to professors who were pushovers.

"No, it's not time for a break just yet, and Harry will know to look for us up here. I've left him a note. After he gets here, we'll go down and work on star charts, but for now I'd like you keep polishing, please. We've made great progress, but I really would like to get them finished." Sirius put his pocket watch back and replaced his glove. There were only a few more telescopes, and whatever they didn't finish, he'd polish himself with magic. Or perhaps save them for some other delinquent student. He was quite sure Serenity's would not be the last detention he handed out.

He went back to work, starting on a new telescope. He sneaked glances at her from time to time to ensure she was really working, but otherwise he focused on his own polishing, his mind wandering. After only a very few minutes it stopped on Harry, as it so often did, and he remembered that he hadn't answered Serenity's question.

"The answer is yes, by the way," he said after a long silence. "I'm perfectly fine with you and Harry dating. As far as I'm concerned, it's not my business who he dates. I'm perfectly content to let him make his own choices. So as long as you're kind to him, and you make him happy, and you don't lead him into trouble, you have my blessing."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Serenity pouted, still sniffling, but went back to polishing as he asked. All of this talk about her father made her really want to go see him and apologize. She loved her daddy and she had been very rude to him. Shaking her head she dug her finger into a dusty part of the telescope. How the Hell did these things get so dirty? Well at least it was easier than scrubbing cauldrons. That was a real pain in the ass. When it came to cauldrons Serenity found herself working hours upon hours on just one. Her father's first years were such morons, typically they burnt their potions to the black of the cauldron! And then she had to sit there with a scrubber, small mound of steel wool, and a bottle of soap. Because her father never let her use magic to scrub cauldrons...especially since it was considered to be a punishment.

Gently pushed a strand of red hair from her face she briefly looked up at her Professor. She didn't understand why her father hated him so much, nor could she see why Professor Black hated her father...they were actually quite alike. Both very opinionated, both very stubborn, both intelligent, both with their own dark secrets to their pasts, both raising teenagers, both extremely protective over their students and Hogwarts. They were so alike, why couldn't the just see past their differences to the similarities? Adults were such idiots. They thought their students were naive, but in all reality it was THEM that were naive.

But she wasn't going to try anymore. Sooner or later Professor Black and her father would have to get along. Serenity knew they would, because eventually the only think that would be at stake, rather than their fucking pride, would be Harry's life...and Serenity was NOT going to let her father and Harry's God-father be the ones to put him in danger because of some idiotic childhood feud.

"Sir?" she said turning to him. "I need your opinion on something."

Serenity glanced up at him from her telescope.

"I missed Harry's birthday this past year...because of the fiasco at the Quidditch World Cup and all..."

Even though Serenity had been there...she had actually found Harry during the cup. They had been trapped in the forest together for over an hour waiting for someone to save them from the Death Eaters...but that was neither here nor there and she didn't want to talk about it with Sirius Black...it would probably give him an excuse to suspect her father of being one of the Death Eaters...even though he had been frantically hunting for her and her older brother...but, once again, that was neither here nor there.

"And I still want to buy him a present...but...Harry is the hardest to shop for.... besides my father...I know he likes Quidditch...but I want to get him something more personal. I was thinking of showing him the secret-"

She broke off realizing she was talking to a teacher and shook her head.

"So I'll just take him to Hogsmead that weekend for a Butterbeer and supper... thanks Professor..." Serenity smiled, her cheeks flushing a bit. "Umm....I've finished the scope, sir."
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:48 pm

Sirius' ears perked up. What was this now? A slip of the tongue? This sort of thing happened to Sirius a lot. Well, it used to, anyway, before Azkaban. People would tell Sirius things they'd never dream of saying to anyone else. James used to say it was because he put people at ease. Sirius wasn't sure about that, but whatever it was, he had long since learned to stop being surprised by it. Now it was back to being a novelty, as he was out of the habit of being around people long enough for their tongues to slip.

He had to work not to smile at her attempt to cover her tracks. She was clearly not adept at lying; her backpedaling was so abysmal it was damn near pitiful. Just take him to Hogsmeade for butterbeers. Sure, Sirius was going to believe that. How stupid did she think he was?

Sirius peered around his telescope to meet Serenity's eyes and pasted a stern expression on his face. He didn't feel particularly stern, just curious... and mildly amused, but he had learned that stern almost always got results. And now that her tongue had slipped, he had every intention of finding out just what she had in mind and no intention whatsoever of letting her leave his presence until he had.

"I can't very well give you my opinion if you aren't willing to be honest with me, Serenity. What secret are you planning to show Harry?"

Sirius
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:12 pm

Serenity blushed, she couldn't believe she had let that slip. She was a Snape, that meant that she should be quite natural at lying and doing it well. Why had she screwed up like that? It just didn't make sense, but she supposed that deep down she just wanted to have a second opinion. Serenity didn't have many friends, girls or guys, so that meant she really had no one to speak to about boys or anything. God knew her father wasn't the best person to speak to with such a subject. And her mother...well Serenity still could not look Aurora in the eye for lying to her practically all her life. Sighing she took a curl into her hand and began twisting it around her finger.

"I was thinking," she said blushing slightly. "Of taking Harry to this...this secret cavern I found in the woods..."

Needless to say that she really shouldn't have been out that night, but it had been worth it. This cave that she found in the woods was absolutely beautiful. It went deep underground, but Serenity didn't have the nerve to go in all the way...maybe that would change if Harry agreed to accompany her. But she also just promised her Professor that she wouldn't put Harry in danger and such a thing would definitely cause danger. Sighing she picked at the leather from her gloves and looked down at the floor. Maybe talking to Sirius Black about this wasn't such a good idea, he was Harry's guardian after all.

"I was going to pack...a...umm...a picnic for us..." she said, her face turning crimson red. "And...and maybe cast some charms to have...stars...float around..."

Serenity looked away, God she felt like such a nerd! Saying something had been a stupid, trusting, idea...and now she probably looked like an idiot in front of her Professor...the feeling of incompetence sinking back into place.

"So...I...um...I suppose...I...I will just take him to Hogsmead that evening..." she sighed, blushing still. "Not as...corny, eh?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:54 pm

"You found a cave in the woods?" Sirius teased. "Would that be the Forbidden Forest, where students aren't supposed to go?" Sirius was no fool. He knew that most students wandered out of bounds at some point during their time at Hogwarts, even the otherwise well-behaved ones. Frankly, he didn't see what the big deal was. As long as a person wasn't stupid, the forest wasn't particularly dangerous. He and his friends had practically lived there when they were students.

He was relatively sure he knew the cave Serenity was talking about. The thing was extensive. The Marauders discovered it only a few weeks into their first year and somehow became convinced that there must be treasure hidden in there somewhere. They never did find any treasure, but they did manage to get hopelessly turned around in there the spring of their first year. James would ever after insist that it was his keen sense of direction and ability to keep a cool head in a crisis that brought them back to the surface through a different opening, miles away from the first, but Sirius was quite sure it was only sheer dumb luck - especially since James' head had hardly stayed cool by even the most liberal definitions of the word.

It was dark and cold by the time they got back to the castle, and their absence had not gone unnoticed, much to their chagrin. By the time McGonagall and Dumbledore and their parents had all had a go at them, Sirius was beginning to wish they'd stayed lost. He had it better than James, though, poor chap. Sirius only received a thorough and familiar lecture about shaming the family. Poor James was send home to be fussed over and scolded and slippered and then fussed over some more. It was torture, to hear him tell it. Especially the part where his mother cried and kissed him and went on about how she couldn't live without "her baby". Sirius, who was quite sure his parents were disappointed he hadn't died, didn't have much sympathy.

"I think Harry would like the cave," Sirius said decisively. "Only don't go too far in. It's a maze inside. My friends and I got lost in there once, and I can guarantee you, you don't want that happening. The stars might be a bit much, but the picnic is a splendid idea. The house elves would probably pack it for you if you asked them. Do you know how to get to the kitchens?"
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:18 pm

It took everything within Serenity not to roll her eyes at such a question.

"Sir, where do you think I have lived most of my life, of course I know where the kitchens are." she said standing a bit.

Most people thought her father hired a nanny to watch her, or had a house-elf of his own to take care of her. She knew her Professor had meant no offense by that statement, and Serenity knew she shouldn't be offended...but more often than not she dug deeper into a statement then she should have. But it was true, she had lived at Hogwarts longer than many of the students. She had fourteen years on all of them...well her and Miles anyway.

Now, Dumbledore had offered her father a House Elf, but she knew her father to be the type to prefer doing things of his own merit. And Serenity was grateful, the years she had spent as a child were always wonderful. Nights spent getting candy from Professor Dumbledore (Papa Albus, being her pet-name for him once upon a time), watching Professor McGonagall turn tea cups into cute little bunnies. Serenity had a wonderful childhood...it was only when other people learned of her father did they suspect otherwise. The nights her father spent awake...wondering if it would be the night the Ministry made good on their threat and sent Serenity far away. No one knew what it was like to live with that fear...excluding Harry...Harry seemed to always understand.

"And...now I don't know about the cave," she sighed, gently. "I want our own place...not a place that he will find was a hangout for his father and god-father...I thought that when I found the cave it was special because I found it...I didn't know that everyone here knew about it. I want something special for Harry...something special for me and him...knowing that you and your friends were there...just means that it was special to him because you were there...not to sound rude...but I want a place that is special to me and Harry."

She paused looking at the Professor before her, hoping that he would see more than a hormonal teen age girl. She wanted to see that she was trying to be respectful, just opening up a bit so that he could understand what she was feeling.

"My older brother Miles has the Shrieking Shack...him and Evelyn hide out there..." she continued. "It's where he met Evie...where they fell in love. I suppose I can't have that with Harry...I loved him before he loved me...but I want a place that we can get away to. A place where nothing touches, past, present or future...did you ever want that Professor Black? Didn't you ever just feel that way about someone that you wanted to take them and hide away from everyone else? That's what I need...I need a place where Harry and I can go without his father and my father getting into it...and I'm sorry...but I also need a place where...where your legacy hasn't been engraved into."

She looked away, hoping that her Professor wouldn't hate her now...if he hadn't before. She just wanted something to call her own. Her eyes were her mother's, her face her father's, her hair a distant relative farther down the Snape family tree, her reputation the Headmaster's...she had nothing...she had hoped for that cave to be it...but now, she realized that it had been claimed by someone before her...and she almost wished Professor Black wouldn't have said anything...and would have let her go on believing that it was their's.

"I'm sorry..." she whispered. "I'll just go back to work."

Sitting down on the floor, with a somewhat defeated thud. She fixed her gloves and when back to shining, adverting her Professor's gaze with everything in her.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:59 pm

Sirius suppressed a smile. Teenagers were so dramatic. Everything was always so vitally important, even things they wouldn't care a whit about in a year or two. Did she honestly think there was anything anywhere on the grounds that hadn't been discovered by at least one person before her? Her naiveté was almost amusing. She didn't have to advertise that the Marauders had been in the cave. Nor did she have to discount it simply because someone else had found it once before. Finding a place of one's own hardly meant finding a place no one had ever been before. It only meant finding a place that had special meaning.

Sirius thought briefly of the special places he had shared with girls. That spot by the lake where he had his first kiss. Hardly secluded, but excellent for watching the sunset. The Astronomy tower; that had been his special spot with no less than three different girls. The clearing in the forest with the little chattering stream flowing through it. Serenity was trying too hard. These sorts of things couldn't be forced; they had to grow organically.

Sirius continued to polish, only half listening. There was only so much energy he could give to such silly dramatics, after all. He was only half listening, that was, until he heard her mention the Shrieking Shack. He didn't hear anything she said after that.

Sirius was on his feet in a flash. "Your brother goes to the Shrieking Shack?"

Oh, no, no! That would never do! Ava Spencer had her transformations in there! What if Miles happened upon her? The shack was dangerous! How had they even found it? The Whomping Willow was no small obstacle, after all. Sirius would have to put a stop to that, and soon. Certainly before the next full moon. He wished he weren't in the middle of supervising detention so he could go speak to Miles now. Though it was probably a good thing for him to have some time to think about the best approach. It wasn't like he could tell Miles why he couldn't keep hanging out there. He'd talk to Miles tomorrow, he decided. Yes, that was what he would do. He always felt better once he had a plan.
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PostSubject: Re: It's Going to Be a Long Night (Sirius and Harry)   Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:15 am

Serenity had realized fast that her Professor had lost interest in what she had been saying and she fell silent with a sigh. Her father was the same way, especially when she wanted to talk about Harry or boys. She loved her father, and found him to be very understanding of her teenage, girl, dramatics...but sometimes she wanted him to contribute...which he rarely ever did. So there was another way Sirius Black and Severus Snape were the same...both ignored her when she legitimately wanted to discuss something that mattered to her. She had a mother to talk to, but Serenity still did not trust Aurora. How did one trust somebody that hid something from them for over fourteen years! It was different with her father, she lived with him...so sooner or later she had to forgive him for his secrets. But Aurora could have told her, and she didn't...and for that Serenity knew she would always resent that woman a little inside.

Finishing up another telescope she briefly removed her hands from her gloves. They were sweaty and with a sigh she wiped them down the pant legs of her jeans. Glancing up she sighed when she saw that the stars were finally coming out. Before she knew that her mother was still alive her dad used to tell her that she would watch her through those stars...it was only now that Serenity realized how true that statement rang. Glancing over at her Professor briefly she looked back down at her hands.

"Yes," she said, ignoring his sudden interest in Miles. "Occasionally...they don't go there often seeing as Miles is usually grounded...but that is their hideout. There's a piano out there and Evelyn plays for him when they are alone."

Sighing she cracked her knuckles, put on her gloves, and moved to the next telescope.
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