I’m bored. Can we go home now?”
got here, boy. Go and find someone your
age to play with,” Mrs. Black looked disapprovingly down at her first-born son,
aged eight, and a thorough nuisance.
Why he couldn’t be more like his younger brother, she would never know.
But for his
part, Sirius didn’t notice or care that his mother wasn’t very happy with
him. He saw the opportunity to leave
and go and find some fun, so, being the hyperactive eight-year-old he was, he
took it. With one last quick glance at
his mother, whose attention was no longer on him, he vanished into the milling
crowd of guests.
Once he was
out of sight, Sirius wrinkled his nose.
He didn’t like his mother’s friends, and this party was just full of
them. They were too stiff and prim and
proper, and Sirius thought that they wouldn’t know a good prank if it bit them
on the arse. And it was no use mixing
with people like that—they never properly appreciated someone fun like him. He went to find someone more interesting.
dodged around various adults, who ignored him beyond staring down their noses
at him for a moment before looking away.
He vaguely thought of going to find one of the house-elves and asking
for some pumpkin juice to drink, but that was when he saw the boy standing by
the wall, the one who looked to be about his age. Grinning, Sirius went to go and join him.
was having seconds thoughts as he approached the boy leaning on the wall. Going by his greasy, chin-length hair,
Sirius decided that he didn’t have very good hygiene. Sirius hated bad hygiene—it made things all smelly and
revolting. No one should have to endure
bad hygiene. So Sirius decided it was
up to him to save this boy from drowning in his own hair-generated grease.
Sirius said as soon as he got close enough to the boy.
the boy replied, looking curiously at Sirius.
Black. Who’re you?” Sirius asked.
Snape,” the boy replied. Sirius grinned
to himself. Contact was made, now it
was time for the mission. Operation
Good Hygiene was now in session.
“Okay. Um, well, I didn’t know if you know, but you
know…” Severus raised an eyebrow at Sirius’s fumbling, so Sirius decided to
just say it simply. “Is your hair
supposed to be that greasy? Because if
it’s not there’s things you can do to stop it.
Like shampoo, and such. Though
sometimes I have to wonder how good shampoo is. I mean, it has the word poo in it, and…” Sirius trailed
off, because Severus did not look very happy.
In fact, you might even call him very unhappy. Because he was now glaring at Sirius. Sirius gulped.
“Yes, I know
what my hair is like!” Severus snarled.
“And I don’t need you coming around and telling me how to take
care of it!”
felt bad. He hadn’t meant to insult the
other boy, only to help him…but still, he didn’t need to have been so rude.
me!” Sirius replied, offended. “All I
was trying to do was help, and you know, it really does look like you’re
letting your hair get that greasy. I
don’t see how you could have that much grease in it and still wash it
regularly!” He glared at Severus, who glared back at him.
didn’t ask for your help, and for your information, I do wash it
regularly!” Severus retorted.
doesn’t look like it!”
“Yeah! And you’re too pale. You look like a vampire!”
boys resumed glaring at each other again, before Sirius narrowed his eyes and
decided that it wasn’t worth the effort.
He’d go and find his brother.
Regulus was sometimes fun to tease, though he did have a tendency to
call for their mother, who would always believe Regulus instead of him and it
wasn’t fair. But Sirius doubted
that Regulus would make a fuss in the middle of the party, or Mother would be
very unhappy with him. Regulus didn’t
like to make Mother unhappy.
completely ignoring Severus the Nasty Greaseball, Sirius turned around and
vanished into the crowd of adults, looking for his brother.
brother, however, a cheerful seven-year-old, was meanwhile wandering amongst
the adults, looking for something interesting to do after his mother shoved him
away when she saw a tall man with white-blond hair, named Malfa or something. They didn’t look very nice, so Regulus
didn’t mind being shoved away that much.
There were so many nicer-looking people here, so he’d go and find one of
them around his age and make friends.
the first person he saw around his age didn’t look very nice either. He was scowling darkly off in another
direction, so Regulus was a bit hesitant about approaching him. But he shrugged—he didn’t know how many boys
around his age he’d see tonight, so he might as well make friends as best he
could with the ones he did see.
bounced up to the boy and chirped, “Hi!
I’m Regulus, who’re you? Wanna
be my friend?”
turned around to face him and looked at him warily, like Regulus would soon
jump at him and shout “Ooga booga!” Regulus was therefore understandably
confused, because he didn’t think anybody had ever looked at him like that
before. But still, he politely waited
for the other boy to return his greeting and offer his name.
when the other boy did speak, it was not to say his name. “Are you a Black?” he asked, looking at
Regulus with narrowed eyes.
nodded and cocked his head. “Yeah, I
am. Why?” he asked, and the other boy
scowled at him. Regulus scowled back—he
and Sirius would often play The Scowling Game, in which they would try to
out-scowl each other, but this boy looked like he would be an expert at The
Scowling Game. Regulus wondered if he
had any brothers to practice with.
boy’s eyes narrowed further. “Do you
have a brother named Sirius?”
what Sirius had done now, Regulus nodded.
tell him that he’s a git!” the other boy announced. Regulus just smiled and nodded.
Sirius was a git sometimes, even if he didn’t mean to be. And judging from the boy’s hair, Regulus
decided that Sirius must have gone on one of his good hygiene crusades.
asked, “Was it because of your hair?”
boy’s scowl deepened. “Don’t you start
making fun of my hair too,” he warned.
“I really do wash it! And I’m
not a vampire, my skin’s just naturally that pale!”
nodded wisely. “They wouldn’t let
vampires into a party like this. My
mother told me. They’re half-breeds,
and shouldn’t be allowed to associate with purebloods like us.”
smiled hesitantly as he saw that Regulus was not going to make fun of him. He stuck out his hand. “I’m Severus Snape.”
grabbed his hand and shook it enthusiastically, smiling back at Severus. “Don’t worry about Sirius,” he confided in a
whisper. “He really is a big git
sometimes. The best thing to do is just
ignore it. It makes him really angry.”
laughed, and Regulus grinned. They
spent the rest of the party talking about various things, and when Mrs. Black
bore down on them several hours later with Sirius in tow, Regulus had to be
dragged away, protesting loudly. Before
they left, Regulus saw Sirius and Severus stick their tongues out at each
other, but then Severus ignored Sirius and waved to him. Regulus waved back, and then he went home,
happy to have made a new friend.