I’m so grateful you never forgot to concoct the Wolfsbane Potion regularly,
even when you were far from Hogwarts, and don’t try to hide your generosity
behind a fake excuse like the fact you acted on Dumbledore’s orders: this might
be true, but you could have easily dismissed the Headmaster’s request when you
were so busy working in that research lab: after all it is you and not Albus
himself who spend a whole day about a cauldron mixing one of the most
complicated potions ever invented, and all of this for a Marauder’s health, no
less! Therefore I think it only fair to express my thankfulness to you, in first
I’m sorry I did not inform you of my being off teaching this week:
actually, even I did not know I was due to St. Mungo’s, they owled me two nights
ago telling they had finally found a room in the Dangerous Half-Creatures’ Ward,
so I just rushed to Albus’s office, fixed things up with him, then quickly
packed and left. Anyway, “this time” I wrote you down some notes about the
subjects I’ve already covered in my lessons, so you can’t complain about my
forgetfulness, though there is no doubt you will find something to criticize
about my imprecision, disorganization, lack of details and logic. And all of
this sneering in front of the whole class, of course. Thanks Mr. Perfect, always
so nice of you.
It’s not bad here, they’re treating me very kindly though I’m getting a bit
bored doing nothing all day, just watching the healers and their trainees in and
out of my room. Fortunately Neville Longbottom came to visit me yesterday, he’s
trainee to Healer Augustus Pye (perhaps you remember him, he took care of Arthur
Weasley the night he was attacked by the snake in Harry’s fifth year), it seems
he’s doing pretty good, though potions making remains his Achille’s heel, or so
Why don’t you show up in the week-end if you are not too busy, Healer Pye
suggested to change an ingredient of my potion and though he seems a competent
medi-wizard I’d prefer you had yourself a word with him, I’ve never been much of
a brewer, remember? Definitely, my opinion is not the most trustable in that
field. Besides, you could bring me those long essays I’m sure you’ll have
meanwhile assigned the students taking advantage of my absence, so I could kill
time grading them and relieve you of part of the extra-work you are overloaded
with thanks to my being here. And in case you are thinking I’m volunteering in
paper grading to spare the students your “D”s .....well, you guessed right.
Whoops! Sorry! You Slytherins never “guess”, always “deduce”, don’t you?
Now, please, don’t retrieve in your typical suspicious mood about such
“invitation”, this is not a naive Gryffindor offer for friendship (not yet!
*annoying goody-goody smile*) and it’s not like Albus asked me to check on you
and cheer you up from time to time: stay reassured I would not comply with such
request of our Headmaster’s in case he did one, for you are not exactly the type
one looks forward to babysit, you know. Therefore, let’s say it’s not your
solitude I am concerned with, just mine and I, unlike you, become mad about
being alone for more than a couple of days. I just thought we could tolerate
each other for an hour or two and have some civil conversation. For your
knowledge, Neville is not in charge next week-end, Harry is abroad until the end
of month, so you are not risking to ruin your day meeting them and no one else
is planning to visit me: as you know, Albus is going to the Wizengamot
Convention and Minerva will obviously be stuck at Hogwarts attending her Deputy
Headmistress duties. And I solemnly swear I did not extend my invitation to
By the way, I hope you are not still holding a grudge to her for what
happened that “lovely” meeting last August: honestly, I don’t even remember the
reason why Sybill and you started that argument, probably our dear
fortune-teller had done one of her foolish remarks and our master of logic
wanted to prove her wrong. I was doubtful whether to take sides and whose
because, as it mostly happens to me, I saw both reasons and flaws on each side
of you two: I mean, Sybill can be a truly appalling co-worker, yet your harsh
reply seemed to me a bit over-reaction and, in my opinion, the fact you were
right in principle did not allow you to insult her, so I remained silent
(“sheepish”, you would say).
Of course the others’ remarks about your having a horrible temper and your
deserving to be left alone were totally uncalled for, however I wonder why they
were so important to you that you left the party in such a foul mood. It’s not
like it was Albus to say those things, they came from people whom you don’t
usually regard for their wit. Then why do you mind, whatever you do in your
life you should know people always find something to criticize, whether you are
alone or have a partner, you opt for a career change or refuse it, you move to a
new apartment or keep your dwelling in the same place for years and I’m afraid
the list could be endless. You are far better than them, so don’t let yourself
be their “easy prey”. I wish you could answer them back and retort their
stupidity with a laugh, it would soothe your anger and disarm your opponents far
more effectively than an Expelliarmus. Sorry, meddling again, bad Gryffindor
Perhaps you’d have learned to take such silly tauntings more lightly had
you not been left to struggle all alone since you were a boy and, you would add
with a smirk, had “those” who could try to stop the offenders not chosen to sit
down and let things happen. Touché.
Minerva has just owled me, I’m awfully sorry and disappointed to hear that
last night another infamous prank took place at Hogwarts, another stupid and
cruel joke like the one we both remember far too well. Minerva did not explain
me what it was about, she just sent me a short note telling that all of you are
sleep-deprived for the Heads of Houses spent nearly the whole night in
Dumbledore’s office, working out a decision. I can see from her shaky
handwriting that she is still shocked. She wrote something about a Slytherin
student endangering one of our Gryffindors and how only by a miracle everyone
were rescued alive and safe. She added how later, in the Headmaster’s study, in
an outburst of anger she claimed for your student to be expelled at once because
that’s what a reckless, irresponsible young criminal deserves. Yet, she had not
finished uttering such words that she was already regretting them. Just a quick
look at the expression on your face and she knew what was coming. In your more
dangerous and low voice you told Albus that though you were disgusted by your
student’s behaviour, you saw no reason for the culprit to be treated in a
different way rather than Sirius was years ago, unless, of course, the
Headmaster was biased towards Slytherins. So, a golden Gryffindor playing a
trick is just a rambunctious, alive boy, while a Slytherin doing the same is a
hopeless would-be Death Eater?
Right to the score. Minerva had to give in. Albus had to agree with you and
let go of your student with nothing more than a detention and points
I’m terribly sorry you had to re-live such a terrible experience and once
again to face the “ghosts” of your youth in the shape of Sirius’s impunity. I
can’t even imagine how miserable you felt when Sirius was allowed to return to
Gryffindor Tower without exemplary punishment.
I’ve never told anyone, but that nasty day my friendly relation with Sirius
came to a turning point, though this went probably unnoticed to you: seeing that
I continued to be part of the Marauders you probably infered that nothing had
changed between Sirius and me. But it had. You see, before the prank I used to
admire him so much, for he was many things I was not: handsome, daring,
brilliant, also he was blessed with a casual elegance which I never possessed,
thanks, I suppose, to his belonging to one of the most noble and aristocratic
families in the wizarding world. And then there was my thankfulness to him and
James for accepting me in spite of my condition, for keeping my secret and
helping me through my difficult life. I wanted to be loyal to them because they
were the only ones who actually did some good to me at school. I don’t blame
this on you, Severus, I perfectly understand you had your troubles to cope with
and your own wound-licking, but you have to admit you never showed me any
sympathy. Plus, the neverending rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor did
not help between the two of us.
Of course, I had already noticed Sirius was often reckless and his jokes
were somewhat distasteful, but I hoped adulthood would soon deflate his
arrogance and would turn his irresponsibility into maturity, as it happend with
But the night he sent you to the Shrieking Shack he showed not only utter
disrespect for your life, he also proved to not care much for a friend’s
feelings. My feelings. Had James not arrived in time to help you and had I
actually killed you in my werewolf form, how would I have felt in the aftermath,
when told that during my transformation I had taken your life?
Suddenly I realised I was stronger than him, in spite of my pale, sick look
and my quiet, reserved mood. For the first time I saw how hopelessly immature he
was, a strong contender to Peter Pan. I began to fear his irresponsible
behaviour would endanger his and others’ lives in future. God knows how sad I am
that facts proved me right.
When I met him after his break-out from Azkaban I hoped a twelve-year
prison had made a man out of the childish prankster he was, but the moment we
recalled the joke he had played to you at school and I heard him saying that it
“served you right”, I was dumbfounded and realised he was almost a desperate
cause. Merlin, I thought, how can an adult of nearly forty years talk like that?
Still, I stayed by his side because I knew in spite of his being reckless,
immature and irresponsible he had a generous good heart. Also, he had suffered a
lot in Azkaban and I am not speaking just of physical pain but especially of his
mind, he never forgave himself for his having been so blind about Peter’s
loyalties and such a remorse was always eating him from inside.
I am not saying these things to make you pity Sirius or to give reasons
that you should have liked him, of course not, you two were too distant in
character to befriend each other: I just wish you to understand why I was friend
to Sirius and kept my affection to him, though I was aware of his big flaws.
Because that’s what friends are for, not to believe you flawless but to take you
in as you are. With your qualities and faults as well. Especially with your
faults, I daresay, and the mistakes you make.
Sirius was very far from being perfect but I never search for perfection in
a friend. So, as far as I could suffer his arrogance it would be easy for me to
tolerate your sarcasm and snide remarks as well because I know you are deeply
good-hearted and your nasty mood is kind of a mask you wear to protect yourself.
What from, I haven’t figured out yet, maybe I’ll understand one day.
I only wonder whether you could do the same towards me, I mean accept me in
spite of my flaws: my goody-goody smiles, my weakness, my obsession for mutual
agreement, my sheepish attitude and foolish optimism.
With these last words I’ve probably crossed any line of Gryffindor
sentimentality you could ever bear, but, please, resist the urge of throwing
this parchment into the fire and read till the end.
I haven’t told you yet how glad I am you’ve come back to Hogwarts: I will
not repeat myself saying that you should be proud of what you’ve been doing,
both as a professor and a researcher, just let me add it’s not you who should
feel ashamed for quitting but those who keep their employees under such bad
conditions to force them give up. Also, I’m happy you’ve quickly replaced your
dreadful reputation, for I was getting jealous of so many people missing you
here. Unbelievable yet true: last month some seven years confided me they were
seriously worried for their NEWTS next June, for they realised they were
learning very little at Potions with that supply teacher.
And then one evening I was having a cup of tea with Minerva and I let the
subject of our conversation fall on the new Captain of Gryffindor Quidditch team
and all of a sudden she sighed and confessed me that, without your challenges,
she had lost much of her usual interest in winning House Cup and Quidditch
Not to mention the countless times Albus openly stated how much he missed
you: he was so fervently hoping for you to return that he refused to appoint a
new Head of Slytherin House, though the Department for Education at the Ministry
reiterated such request several times.
Merlin! If you had delayed your return for another week, I would have found
myself dethroned from my usual first rank in Hogwarts’ top of the
However, since you were back, it only took us a couple of days to regret
such warm feelings, don’t you worry. At least, the world is turning again the
Oh, I was forgetting.....don’t waste your time and energy putting your most
sour expression on your face if you will come down here, I am not one of your
students, so I am simply not scared by your “performances”.
After all, what do you think I was given a Gryffindor lion-heart for, if
not to stand a poisonous Slytherin friend? Sincerely,