Sick and Tired

James Potter begins to realize his life isn't as perfect as he firstly thought of. Hogwarts' graduation grows closer, and a war waits for him outside of the gates. A tired enemy fuels the indecision and uncertainty James feels about where he's heading, and the destiny of many might be involved into James' brand new path.

Warning: this is a Snames fic, mature content.

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10. Mr. Marshall

“Hey, do you know Mr. Marshall's address?” I asked bluntly to Lily when I arrived at home.

 

She frowned at the question, while dusting the trinkets in our living room. To be honest, I'd rather get rid of them, though they were family's heirlooms and costed more than my soul. Lily often dusted them by hand, even if she could do it magically, because there was nothing to do around the house.

 

“Why do you want to know? You barely spoke a word to him.”

 

I dropped on the couch, sighing.

 

“I'm just curious, that's all. I saw him talking to Arthur. I'm wondering if they live close.”

 

“He actually lives on that village nearby the Weasleys. Can't recall the name... It's something with o.”

 

Ottery St Catchpole.”

 

That's the name.”

 

She continued to absent-mindely dust the shelves of the living room.

 

World is a small place.” I commented. “Do you have any idea of the street?”

 

Lily turned on her heels and faced me.

 

You are definitely up to something.”

 

I'm not. I'm just curious. If you don't know just say só and I'll shut up.”

 

And, of course, try to get the address from another source.

 

Nott Street.” Lily said at once. “Number 237. Happy?”

 

Why wouldn't I be?”

 

It was very easy to get the address, now it was time to find a reason to leave home and yet again knock at Snape's door, só I could tell him the bloody address. Plus, there was no way he was leaving me out of the whole operation. He had 72 hours to make a spanking new spell and save John Marshall. No one could do all of that alone, and my invisibility cloak would be a great addition to the mission, but I didn't trust him enough to borrow it without me nearby.

 

To my luck, Lily decided to visit the McKinnons after lunch and as such, I could spend the whole afternoon away without the need of explaining myself.

 

This time, I unlocked the door with a simple alohamora and snuck into Snape's house without knocking. He wasn't in the living room, and the house was dead silent, as if though no one was inside. Just out to buy some milk, I thought, and decided to look inside some of the books he had in his living room. Big big mistake.

 

Nearly all of them were about Dark Arts, and just glancing at the horrifying images made my stomach churn. I couldn't imagine anyone reading this without feeling sick. But I suppose Snape was an exception. He wasn't all bad, though he wasn't that good, either.

 

I eventually found the door leading to the staircase. It was all covered with books; at a first glance you couldn't tell it was there.

 

In a sudden spark of curiosity, I went upstairs, as silently as I could. The door right in front of the stairs was open, and it led to a study room, with – gasp – more books, a desk and a chair by the window. Snape was sitting on the chair, entirely focused on his notes.

 

Ottery St Catchpole. Nott Street. 237. You are welcome.” I said, announcing my presence.

 

He didn't even turn around.

 

Good. Now go away. I'll deal with the rest.”

 

Please, you won't. Where's Marshall going to stay after all this? He needs a place to go, and I think my house is the perfect place for hiding him.”

 

I'm not going to save him, Potter. Did you miss the part where I said I would just modify his memory só vital Order information wouldn't leak?”

 

So you are letting him be tortured and most likely killed, after all.” I replied, in a mix of anger and disappointment. For a while, I thought he was better than that. “Deep down, you are still a git and you know what? I'm going to save him.”

 

Snape stood up and turned on his heels. I instinticvely reached for my wand. He continued to walk in my direction and grabbed my chin, forcing me to look at him. His grasp was anything but gentle, and his eyes were two empty black voids. He scared me and at the same time, I was sure he wouldn't cause any harm. Otherwise, he would've grabbed his wand.

 

Listen here, Potter. Do you know what happens if somehow Voldemort's plans are ruined again? I will be the one dying, because he confided me his plan. I failed him once, and I'm the next obvious suspect if something goes wrong. I could save the Longbottoms that night only because I was able to claim you figured out the puzzle on your own. Now, I can't do that. If this doesn't go exactly as Voldemort plans it to go, I'll be seven feet under before dawn.”

 

I wasn't aware of that.

 

So either way, someone is going to die?” I asked, still trying to avoid his gaze.

 

Yes.” he said, letting go of my chin and crossing his arms over his chest.

 

And you trusted me to pick you over Marshall.”

 

I needed the address and I have it now.” Snape replied. “I can obliviate you.”

 

You won't. What if you need me afterwards? I'm the only one inside the Order willing to give you any information whatsoever.”

 

There was a moment of silence and I swallowed hard, hesitating to make eye contact with Snape. How can you tell someone you are confused about letting them live when you have to look them in the eyes? I wasn't really confused, though. What I would do was crystal clear to me, but the decision still left me conflicted. Letting someone die to save no one less than Snape. He was asking me to do something very difficult.

 

I'm going with you, then. And I'll help you with the spell. I'll have to make sure you'll suceed, and that Mr. Marshall won't die for nothing.” I said. “And there's nothing you can say to change my mind.”

 

Snape pinched the brigde of his nose and sighed softly, knowing I was going nowhere.

 

I'm going to brew myself some coffee. Don't go sneaking around unless you are ready to see unpleasant things.”

 

Still into Dark Arts, eh?” I said.

 

What I do in my free time is none of your business.” he replied calmly and went downstairs.

 

At least bring me some coffee, too.” I yelled when he was half way there.

 

I didn't know what to do with myself, by then. My life got horribly sidetracked and I wasn't sure I was heading the right way. I sat by Snape's desk and firmly placed my face in my hands, hoping this would all be worth it.

 

I stayed that way for some time, I guess, because I my inner turmoil was interrupted by the smell of coffee. Snape put a mug of coffee on the only empty spot of the desk and conjured a chair for himself, sitting at a certain distance while sipping on his own coffee.

 

Any brilliant ideas?” he asked ironically.

 

Well, no, because Marshall is going to bloody die.” I retorted, with my face still planted on my hands.

 

At least you won't have to watch it.” Snape muttered.

 

I looked at him. For the first time, I really did. Looked past his appearance that I deemed unpleasant, and past all of our backstory of mutual hatred. He was going to watch someone being tortured and die on his place. He had to, because no other Death Eater would work against Voldemort. And on top of that, he had to trust that I wouldn't decide to save Marshall and leave him in an awful position.

 

Snape did become a Death Eater in the first place, though, and of course, still had a thing for Dark Arts. I didn't know what to think of him anymore.

 

So?” he spoke again, looking back at me. “You better not be here just wasting my already scarce time.”

 

I adjusted my glasses on my nose and started shuffling through the notes.

 

If anything, I'm here to make sure everything works out for you.”

 

That would be a first.

 

 

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