Chapter Five: Dealing with Vultures and Hags


“The Vultures have landed.” Severus could barely hear him over the din of the reporters but then he heard a whisper in his mind, “Brace yourself.” Before Severus could fully react, a clap of thunder ripped though the air silencing the crowd. It was all he could do to remain stoic at his husband’s side.

Harry smirked at the shocked faces. “Now isn’t that better, you can actually hear what I have to say.” Harry’s voice was calm, but Severus had a feeling that it was all a façade, for Harry was absently twisting Severus’ wedding ring.

“Now let’s see who has not been printing crap about me lately?” Harry looked around. “Um…well that’s nobody here.” The reporters laughed nervously. “Well let’s see…hey how about you, you’re new.” Harry pointed at a young reporter with mousey brown hair and wearing a god awful leisure suit.

“Well um,” The man was obviously a rookie but he recovered well. “Adrian Boilervest, for the Magical Times. Are you and Professor Snape dating?”

“Getting right to the heart of the matter I see. No, Severus and I are not dating, we are in fact married.” The din was explosive and the cameras were blinding even in the midday sun.

Severus heard again a whispered warning that sounded like his husband; the rings must be starting to work. Another clap of thunder rocked the crowd.

“If you can not remain civilized Severus and I will leave and none of you will have your questions answered.” They quieted down, all except one. Rita Skeeter’s replacement he believed.

“Hera Scrivener, the Daily Prophet. How long have you and the professor been involved, Mr. Potter?” She must have thought the smile she gave him was sweet but Harry found it vile.

“I have been in love with Severus for many years, but we only became romantically involved a short time ago. I believe you reporters would call it a whirl wind romance.” Harry said flippantly. Another woman stepped up beside Scrivener. Harry always called the pair hyenas for they always ran in a pack and viciously took down their prey while laughing about it after words.

“How about you, Professor Snape? When did you find yourself enamored of Our Savior?” Severus recognized the question for what it was. A blatant attack, pointing out that he was Harry’s former teacher. It was a sad attempt really.

Severus focused his worst glare at the woman who only mildly affected by it. “Firstly madam, my name is Potter-Snape, as is my husband’s.” Severus saw out of the corner of his eye Harry raise his head proudly. That statement caused all there to gasp but Severus ignored them. “Secondly, I am not now nor have I ever been…enamored,” he said the word with distaste, “of Harry Potter-Snape. I am above all else proud for him to consider me worthy.”

{Always Severus.} This time the voice in his head was strong and filled with emotion. But none of that emotion showed on the young man’s face.

Harry spoke. “Severus and I are also proud to announce that we are starting a new family line.” The reporters really hit the lotto today. They all could not wait to get back to their offices and start their stories. “Now ladies and gentlemen, Severus and I did not come here to spend our whole afternoon talking to you lot. So if you will excuse us.” Harry and Severus started walking away but Harry noticed the crowd following them like locusts. “Any reporter caught following us will be excluded from any public statements I make as well as the paper they work for.” The crowd quickly dispersed.

Harry was practically dragging Severus down the street. Severus was surprised when Harry bolted for a cheap little flower shop. However, when they passed the threshold Severus saw an alleyway there instead, but he did not have much time to contemplate it before Harry had him up against a wall and was hugging the air out of him.

Severus didn’t know what to do. The man clinging to him was…crying? Now Severus was really out of his element. He knew how to calm homesick students, not full-grown men breaking down for…he didn’t even know why his husband was crying. “Are…Are you alright?”

Severus decided that rubbing Harry’s arms was a safe thing to do. He barely heard the muffled. “Why can’t they leave me alone?” Severus was at a loss when Harry tried to snuggle closer.

Severus sighed. “Unfortunately Harry that is a burden you must bear but now that we are bound you do not have to bear it alone.” Severus smirked. “If you want I could design a few potions to eviscerate them slowly.” That caused Harry to giggle and look up at him.

“You would do that just for me?” Harry batted his eyes playfully. Severus looked down at the man in his arms. His eyes were red and puffy; his cheeks were tearstained and flushed. But all Severus could think of was his red lips. Severus was engulfed with the need to kiss the smaller man.

Severus bent forward slowly, hesitantly. Harry froze at first not believing what was happening and then not wanting to scare off his husband when he was making such a big step.

The kiss was brief, just a brushing of lips. Harry barely felt it but it was like fire sparking through him. He could not help his idiotic grin.

Severus looked around, determined to act like nothing had just happened. Severus looked to the entrance of the alley where people were passing it by not paying it or them any mind. This for the Wizarding world was something because in Severus’ experience wizards were nosey creatures.

Harry forced himself to regain his composure seeing that Severus was not in the mood to deal with this right now.

“Potter did you cast an illusion spell on this alley?” Harry nodded still enjoying the small amount of contact Severus was allowing.

“Yes I did it a long time ago along with a strong notice-me-not spell.” Severus looked at him.

“How long ago and why hasn’t anyone discovered it yet?” Severus released Harry, much to his displeasure, and wandered to the opening of the alley tapping his wand around the entranceway. Harry laughed.

“You aren’t going to find it Severus.” Severus glared at him.

“Potter I may be just a humble school teacher but I think I am more than able to sense a simple illusion and avoidance spell.” Severus spun on his heal sending his robes flying and resuming his inspection of the alley.

Harry sighed walking up to his husband. “I didn’t mean that Severus. I meant that you or anybody can’t sense the spells on this alley. Hell I cast the spells and even I can’t find them.” Severus straightened from the crouched position he was in.

“A spell just can’t disappear Potter.” Harry frowned.

“I don’t really think it disappeared. When I cast the spell, I was so upset. I had just had a run in with Skeeter. That should tell you how long ago I cast it. Because I was so upset, I don’t even know what spell I cast, exactly. But I do believe that it has now become part of the alley.” Severus nodded turning around.

“Alright Potter I believe you but only if you will tell me how powerful you really are.” Severus had the same look all Slytherin’s have when they think they have someone trapped. But Harry just shrugged and smiled.

“I’ll do you one better. When we get home I will give you the Wizengamot’s final analysis of my magic. They had a full work up done. It took days.” Severus’ brows knitted.

“Why would the Wizengamot be interested in your powers?”

Harry laughed waving his hand dismissively. “Didn’t you know that I am slated to become the next Dark Lord?” Severus snorted.

“You may be powerful Potter, but a Dark Lord? I think not.” Harry laughed at the face Severus was making.

“Well you know how people are husband of mine; they fear all things they have no knowledge of. Now that they have knowledge of me…they fear me more.” Severus smirked evilly along with Harry.

Harry’s smirk turned into a full blown smile. “Come on, I thought we were going to go buy out Diagon Alley, not stand around in a dingy alley discussing our appalling excuse for a government.” Severus rolled his eyes.

Harry’s eyes danced. “But before we go, since we entered a flower shop I believe it only fitting that we leave with…”Harry made a courtly bow and then with a grand gesture, in his hand popped a bright short stemmed red rose. Severus glared at the small bud. Harry sighed dramatically. “Alright fine.” Harry shook the flower gently causing it to change color. Severus glared at it then snatched the now glossy black flower and pocketed it. Harry smiled brightly. Deciding not to comment Harry grabbed Severus’ hand and pulled him out of the alley.

~

Harry and Severus walked down the street, Harry stopping when he felt the need to go into a shop, Severus tailing behind him. Harry bought whatever struck his fancy, Severus occasionally picked up a thing or two but nothing that could be considered anything but essential. They stopped for lunch after an hour or so.

“You really don’t know the meaning of the words ‘Shopping Spree’ do you?” Harry sighed pushing away the remnants of a very good roast beef sandwich and stood up. Severus crossed his arms and glared.

“I don’t know what you mean.” He followed Harry out the door and down the street.

“Severus we are on our HONEYMOON!” Harry said exasperated.

“I am quite aware of that. Get to the point Potter.”

“The point is that you have yet to buy one thing that you absolutely couldn’t live without. When I said that we should ‘buy out’ the alley I meant it.” Severus was about to make in all likelihood, a very loud protest. But Harry cut him off. “Isn’t there one store here that you would just love to go in and buy whatever you wanted?” Harry looked around. “There.” He pointed to an apothecary. “How about that apothecary? You can’t tell me that you don’t want to go in there and shop to your hearts content.” Severus stiffened.

“I would Mr. Potter but I am not welcome at that establishment. The last time I tried to purchase something there I was removed bodily by the owner’s husband.” Harry’s face grew dark.

“Really?” Severus sighed at Harry’s hissed tone.

“It is nothing Potter, they have the right to serve whomever they wish and deny the ones they don’t. Even Albus tried to get them to see reason but they still won’t sell to me. I even once sent Minerva but she was likewise denied, although not as forcefully.”

The look on Harry’s face was calm, and then the corners of his mouth turned up into a malicious smirk, causing Severus to wonder what the younger man was planning. “They might have denied Severus Snape but they can never deny Severus Potter-Snape.” Severus’ eyes went wide, he had forgotten. Then with a look, he always reserved for days when he had taken nearly half of Gryffindor’s points he turned and marched towards the apothecary with Harry right behind him.

He paid no attention to the sour faced woman behind the counter and walked strait back to the section that held the rarest of potions ingredients. Harry had veered off giving the squat sour woman time to get between them. She stormed up to Severus and began shouting.

“WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?! I TOLD YOU BEFORE THAT I DID NOT WANT DEATHEATER SCUM IN MY ESTABLISHMENT! I AM A RESPECTED MEMBER OF SOCIETY AND I WON’T HAVE MY REPUTATION SULLIED BY THE LIKES OF YOU! GET OUT BEFORE I HAVE MY HUSBAND THROW YOU OUT!”

Severus, who during this whole tirade was still browsing along with collecting any and all ingredients he had always wished to purchase, turned to the hag. He gave her a look the clearly said that he thought her no more important then a bug beneath his boot. “Madam I don’t believe you’ve met my husband. I do believe he also would like a word with you from the looks of him.”

“I DON’T CARE IF YOUR HUSBAND IS HERE! YOU’RE BOTH NOT WELCOME HER…Harry Potter!” Her face lost all color.

No one who knew Harry Potter would ever think the man capable of harming anyone. But the look he wore then reminded Severus that it wasn’t so long ago that at the tender age of 16 the boy had killed a man, not with a wand but with a garrote, before decapitating the man who had tortured him relentlessly his entire life.

“My name is Potter-Snape and I will not have my husband treated in such a manner.”

“Of course not Mr. Potter um Potter-Snape. I apologize sincerely.” She said it to Harry, ignoring Severus completely. Severus collected the bottles he wanted and headed over to the counter. Harry following him with that infuriating woman circling him like an excited dog.

Severus dropped his bottles on the counter and peered into the glass case bellow. “Is that real yeti milk?” He asked the hag as she came around the counter.

“Of course it is. It’s the rarest ingredient in my store.” She snapped, and then gushed at Harry.

“I will take it all.” She gave him a skeptical look then her eyes went wide as he pulled out his Gringotts automatic withdrawal pouch. She hurried to ring them out.

“That will be 200 galleons, 2 sickles and 5 knuts, total sir.” She said now dripping with courtesy.

Severus reached into the pouch and pulled out the required amount. He held the amount in his large hand, causing the rude woman to salivate over the glittering coins.

“You know,” Severus said picking up the bottle of milk again to inspect it again. “I don’t believe this is worth that amount. Yes, I do believe this is soured.” He turned to Harry. “None of these ingredients seem fresh enough for my potions.” Severus put the money back into his pouch.
Harry nodded solemnly.

“I think that the apothecary in Greece might be a better choice for me.” Severus then turned and walked out of the store leaving the sour hag stunned in his wake and Harry tailing after him.

Once outside and a couple stores down Harry couldn’t hold his laughter any more. “I…can’t…believe…you just…”Harry had collapsed against Severus, laughing so hard he could barely keep upright without help. “Who…said…you don’t…have humor.” Harry could barely breathe much less talk.

Harry looked up at Severus whose eyes were twinkling with mirth and whose mouth was fighting desperately to keep from smiling. “I don’t know what you’re talking about Potter.” His statement caused the recovering Harry to burst once more into gales of laughter.