I whistled as I sauntered back to the castle, arm around Jena’s shoulder, she smiled beatifically up at me as we walked. I knew tonight was full moon and I shouldn’t be out in the grounds with a girl, but we’d gotten a bit carried away, and besides, if I’d timed it right, Remus should already be in the tunnel: the sun was setting over the mountains now.
Jena pulled me to a halt and reached up to kiss me. My lips met hers but as I reached to stroke her hair, I heard the front doors of Hogwarts creak open, breaking the silence of the winter night. I broke off the kiss and turned, hoping against hope that it was not Moony and Pomfrey. I caught a quick glimpse of a black, cloaked figure, before the doors slammed. It could be anyone, but I had a feeling something wasn’t right here, so I seized Jena’s hand and dragged her in the direction in which the figure had disappeared.
“Sirius, what – ?”
I dropped her hand and hurried off ahead, along the castle walls. Suddenly the figure emerged out of the darkness, leaning against the castle wall, looking out to the grounds.
Looking at what? I glanced to the dark lawns where, to my horror, a light could be seen shining – a wand light – from the base of the Whomping Willow. With a jolt of horror, I looked back to the person I had been pursuing and the greasy-haired head turned and suddenly I was looking into the glittering black eyes of Severus Snape.
“You!” I spat, disgust and hatred coursing through me. “What are you doing here?”
“The question is, what you are doing here?” he threw back, just as Jena came up behind me.
“Sirius?” she slipped her arm around my waist.
“Go back to the castle, babe, I’ll catch you in the morning. I’ve got something to sort out,” I said, without taking my eyes off Snivellus, who was watching Jena with a hungry look in his eyes.
“But – ”
I looked down at her. “Just go,” I pushed her away gently and, mollified, she trotted off into the darkness.
“What are you doing here?” I repeated to Snivellus in my most dangerous voice.
“Nothing.” An attempt at insolent bravery, but his voice quavered and gave him away. Suddenly, in one swift, sharp movement, I pounced and pinned him up against the castle wall, my wand tip inches from his throat.
“What are you doing?” I hissed in his ear.
There was a pause then Snivellus suddenly struggled against my grip as if trying to free himself. I merely tightened my grip and pressed my wand into his neck.
“All right,” he muttered, a resigned look taking over his sallow features as he realised there was no escape. “I was trying to find out where that friend of yours goes.”
“I saw him sneaking out again.”
“You wanted to know where Remus goes?” I asked, suddenly interested as a thought struck me and a plan began to form, a plan of bittersweet revenge… “You really want to know?”
Snivellus glared at me suspiciously. I took that as a yes and loosened my hold slightly.
“You know the Whomping Willow?” I pointed with my wand, keeping my other hand clamped around his neck. “Take a long stick and prod the small knot at the base of the tree. It’ll freeze the branches and you’ll be able to get into the small opening at the base. Go along the tunnel and you’ll see where Remus goes.”
At this I loosened my grip altogether and let my hand fall to my side, though I tightened my grip on my wand. I carefully watched for Snape’s reaction. He seemed unsure of whether or not to believe me, but when his eyes, wide with curiosity, flickered from me to the thrashing tree in the grounds, I knew I’d got him. I turned and sprinted away, back to the warmth of the castle, already beginning to laugh.