Who: Remus Lupin, Hannah Abbott, and Draco Malfoy
Where: The lab, Snape Manor
Status: Complete! Yay!
Summary: Hannah, Remus and Draco continue looking for the Cruciatus Cure and much snarking ensues.
Watch For: Implied name-calling, and nod by the usual suspects...
Remus gazed down at the roots he was chopping, trying to focus on the task at hand. It was a bit difficult, because he could feel Severus practically seething upstairs, chafing at once again being confined to the bedroom. Chuckling slightly at his mate's ill-temper, he swept the prepared ingredients into a bowl, and carried them over to where Draco stood before one of the simmering cauldrons.
"Here's the latest batch," he said quietly, placing the bowl before the blond. He looked into the cauldron, wrinkling his nose slightly. "I'm glad you and Hannah know what you are doing. DADA I am good at. Potions, on the other hand..." He shrugged slightly, and gave a rueful smile.
"Well maybe if you had paid attention in Potions class during your time, you wouldn't be so incompetent in this field," Draco responded none-too-nicely.
This was the first time he had ever worked with his former professor, and it was only for the sake of his godfather that he willingly agreed to do so. It wasn't that Remus Lupin was all that annoying - in truth, the bloke had been a decent professor, if not a little shabby for the job. But he and the werewolf had never been on the same side, especially since Lupin loved supporting Potter so much. It seemed like a big kick in the face to Draco to find out that Potter's only surviving father figure turned out to be his own godfather's 'mate'.
Presently, Draco grabbed the bowl of roots and rummaged his hand inside. He examined the little dried pieces in his hand for a tense moment, before turning towards Lupin and shooting him a look of utter irritation.
"These roots are supposed to be evenly cut," he drawled, lifting his hand to give Lupin a better view of the chopped roots. "But as you see here, they are obviously not. I don't know about you, but I certainly can't make a decent base for the Cruciatus Cure without evenly chopped roots."
Raising a brow, Remus regarded the contents of the bowl. "They are evenly cut," he replied quietly. “Unless your definition of evenly cut is different from Severus' definition."
Remus refused to let the snarkiness of his mate's godson get to him. After all, Remus had a great deal of experience dealing with Severus being ‘in a mood'. And while Draco had plenty of the Slytherin arrogance about him, he lacked Severus' years of experience in nasty put-downs. So he merely smiled slightly at the younger wizard, crossing his hands over his chest and not looking intimidated in the slightest.
Draco scowled deeply at unfazed Lupin's reaction. This was not the reaction he expected from the werewolf at all.
Well, if it's a battle he wants, it's a battle he gets, he decided sourly.
"Well they must be then, considering the fact that some of these roots are clearly two to three millimeters longer than others. Now, since you aren't any good at brewing, yet you dearly want to help, how about you try and cut some of these up for me again, and dice up those leaves over there while you're at it?"
Draco pointed towards a nearby basin filled with long green leaves and went back to stirring the cauldron.
Hannah was bristling, but trying her hardest to keep her temper under control. “No,” she said, turning on her heel, her blue eyes blazing as she took in the men behind her. Remus doesn’t deserve my wrath and I’m sorry he’s in the line of fire, but I cannot STAND this any longer.
She stalked over to Remus, grabbing the bowl of cut roots from his hand, her eyes meeting his and daring him to protest . Seeing no challenge in Remus, she took the bowl and tossed it down in front of Draco as he sat at his work station. “These roots are perfectly fine for the base. Use them.”
Hannah knew that Draco would hate having a Hufflepuff order him about, but she’d had specific instructions from Severus to let both Remus and Draco know that, as far as the lab and the cure went, when he was unavailable, she was the one in charge. She met his slightly surprised gaze evenly, unflinching. She had just as much invested into this cure as either one of them, and had certainly spent more time working on it than either of them could imagine. Remus probably had an idea, of course, but even his wildest estimations wouldn’t come close to the mark.
Draco furiously chucked the chopped roots into the cauldron, stirring hard and shooting Hannah a malicious glance. Despite the fact that the two of them had always been on relatively cordial terms, having to obey her words in front of Remus only caused more anger to flush through him, and still being prone to a bout of Slytherin immaturity every now and then, he spoke his next words without much thought to the consequences.
"You know there's no need for such an attitude, Miss Abbott," Draco said through slightly clenched teeth. "Remus and I were merely in simple disagreement over the appropriateness of the ingredients. I surely did not mean to be a nuisance, though I'm not sure if I can speak for Remus here."
Remus had been staring at Hannah in alarm. He sighed, seeing the lines of stress and fatigue on her face, and immediately felt contrite. "Shut up, Draco," he said rather off-handedly, still looking at Hannah in concern. Then he smiled lopsidedly, pushing a strand of blonde hair back behind the witch's ear.
"You need a bit of a break, love. If Draco and I promise to play like good little boys, would you consider taking one? You should take a walk, get out of this dungeon. You've been at this for too long. Neither Severus nor I want you to sacrifice your well-being for this."
Hannah’s first reaction was pure, unrelenting fury. But she stood still, her fists clenched at her sides as she kept herself from decking the young man in front of her. She counted to ten, then to twenty, and by the time she hit thirty, her temper was back under control. She managed a small smile for Remus as he pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. “We’re running out of time, Remus. You know that as well as I do.”
She sighed heavily, turning away from both of the men present. “Besides, I don’t trust a Slytherin and a Gryffindor to work together without bickering.” She began chuckling as she peered at the cauldron before her, quickly jotting down a few notes in a muggle notebook. “I’d sooner expect toads to rain from the heavens.” She looked at them over her shoulder, her bad mood having passed as quickly as it came, like a summer storm. “And Remus, don’t say a word about you and Severus being able to work together without bickering, because that would be a flat out lie.”
Remus couldn't help but chuckle, as much in relief as in amusement as Hannah's dark mood seemed to pass. Choosing to gloss over the reminder that time was, indeed, short, he focused on her latter comment.
Raising a brow, he gave her a wicked smile. "Does it disturb you more when he and I bicker in front of you, or snog?" he asked, referring to the incident where she had caught he and Severus doing precisely that in the lab. He winked at her, inclining his head at Draco. "Or did you warn Draco about that?"
While he knew full well that Remus was merely baiting him, Draco could not consciously let himself stand by and listen to a conversation that would inevitably lead to details of his godfather's many snogging sessions. Accepting Remus as Severus' mate was one thing; hearing about their lip-locking romps in front of Hannah was entirely different.
"There is no need to warn me about anything; my godfather's private trysts and silly flings are no concern of mine. However, I can see that you are already drawing us from our task at hand. If you're not going to dice up those leaves for me then you might as well go find a place to sit in the corner," Draco cut in before Hannah could respond.
Before Remus could retort however, he whipped his head sharply at Hannah. "And I don't mean to rush you, but the solution is already at boiling point. I'll be needing the heated Re'em Milk to add in soon."
Hannah nodded, smiling to show Draco she was sorry about flipping out a few minutes earlier. “It’s ready. I just hope it doesn’t explode like last time. Did you add the dittany and belladonna infusion yet?”
Hannah dropped the muggle pen she’d been using and wandered over to Draco’s cauldron, checking the contents. She trusted Draco’s potion-making abilities, but her own nervous and worried energy wouldn’t allow her to not check a third, or fourth, or hundredth time.
Draco rolled his eyes at Hannah's compulsive potion-checking, but allowed her to do so anyway. "Honestly, Hannah, you'd think I've mastered the art of simple brewing by now," he told her with a shake of his head. "In answer to your question, yes, I've already added the dittany and belladonna infusions, though I'm not sure if today's batch would be enough to prevent another explosion. You're aware just as well as I am that we're still in the experimental stages with the Cruciatus Cure."
Sighing, he proceeded to take the heated Re'em Milk from Hannah and walked over to the other side of the cauldron. He noticed Lupin staring at the bubbling liquid with curiosity and eagerness out of the corner of his eyes, and felt a slight pang of guilt at having given the elder wizard a difficult time.
But the pang was only very slight, of course.
"Remus, I can understand why seeing this brownish liquid would fascinate you so, but we will be going nowhere without those diced leaves," he reminded his former professor, gesturing towards the uncut leaves still lying wet in the basin.
Throwing a meaningful glance at Hannah, Remus' lips curved in a nasty, knowing smirk that was worthy of the mate of Severus Snape. "Well, Hannah, seems that someone's head is getting a bit large in your laboratory," he said, sauntering over to the indicated leaves. "I'm just going to stand over here out of the line of fire. If I were hurt in the fallout, I doubt Severus would be very happy." With that, he picked up the leaves and began to chop them exactingly, making sure his wand was close at hand.
Hannah, as much as she wanted to tear Draco a new one for his pretentious attitude, started laughing immediately at Remus’s remark and Draco’s newest irritating remark melted away in the wake of that light, melodic sound. She flipped Remy a wink as she turned to smile at Draco.
“I appreciate your help, Draco… I really do. So please don’t take this the wrong way. But I don’t think I need you, who’s been working on this cure for all of a week and a half, to lecture me on it.” She kept smiling sweetly as she continued. “This cure has been my life since last July, when Severus hired me. I carried on, alone, in his absence before and I would be again, were the situation not as desperate as it is.”
She patted his arm lightly, thoroughly enjoying the small amount of frustration and outrage shining through his ice-blue eyes. “As it currently stands, we don’t have the time for me to do this alone. Nor do we have the time to put up with counter-productive attitudes. The same goes for diva-like posturing. If you want the leaves cut so desperately, do it yourself next time. Remus is here to assist with the cure, but that doesn’t mean he’s to be ordered about like some low-level lackey.”
Hannah stood back, folding her arms over her chest as she waited for Draco’s response. I’ve waited seven years for this. This had better be worth it.
If there was a way he could explode without dying and a making a grand mess of blood and flesh, Draco would've right then and there. He'd never felt more incensed and insulted in his life. While he was tempted to lash out and release his mounting wrath, he knew that he was outnumbered and it would be wiser to twist the situation around in a calm fashion.
As such, he composed his nerves and spoke steadily, "I beg your royal pardon, Miss Abbott, but whatever diva-posturing and counter-productiveness you accuse me of is false indeed. I did not mean to…step on your toes, shall I say, but rather, only point out the sad fact that after all this time you and Severus - and later, myself -- have devoted to this potion, its progress is still unpredictable."
He paused here and cast a sideways glance at Lupin. "And as for Remus, I was under the impression that he wanted to help out, and wanted something productive to do. I apologize if I misunderstood."
Hannah smile stayed at that same level of intense sweetness, and her blue eyes were calm and untroubled. If anything, Draco’s obvious annoyance at her was making this situation all that much more enjoyable. It was a much needed release for the girl.
“I didn’t accuse you of either of those things, Draco. I was simply stating the facts. And I honestly don’t think you mean a single word of that mock apology. You’ve the same arrogant attitude you’ve had since you were eleven. I’m willing to bet one hundred galleons that your first thought was to immediately insult either my House or my heritage.”
Hannah gave the young man in front of her a smirk his own father would have been proud of as she watched him. Come on, Draco. Stop holding back. When am I ever going to get this opportunity again?
"You know, Hannah, one shouldn't assume. More often than not, you maybe incorrect. Because honestly, if I wanted insult your House or heritage, I would've already done so and spared myself the trouble of articulating a civil apology," Draco replied quietly, looking right at Hannah in the eyes.
Then he smirked and sauntered towards the basin. "I suppose I'd rather dice them up myself anyway. They always say if you want something done right, to do it yourself," he said loftily as he reached inside the tub where the leaves were being soaked and began plucking them out from their stem one by one.
Remus, who was already chopping the leaves, raised a brow at Draco. "Fine then," he commented, tossing what he had already done in a bowl, then looking over at Hannah. "Unless you need me, then, I think I'll head up and be with Severus for a while." He dropped Hannah another slow wink.
"I believe there is time for what the Muggles call a 'nooner' before lunch... and you know how cranky Severus gets if he doesn't release certain tensions on a regular basis." He looked at Draco, barely controlling a smirk. "Honestly, Severus is insatiable, really. And I understand now why the symbol of Slytherin House is a snake. It's rather apt, don't you think?"
And with that, he sauntered towards the door, hips swaying slightly.
Draco's eyes practically popped out of his sockets, and it was all he could do to keep his breakfast from shooting up his throat. There were a number of evils that he, as a Malfoy, could -- and should -- stand…but this just wasn't one of them.
He shook his head frenetically to clear his thoughts. "Gay wittiness…figures…" he murmured under his breath as he turned his head away in order to resume his leaf-chopping and erase the mental image of what Remus and his godfather would be doing shortly.
Lycanthrope hearing being what it was, Remus caught the comment the Slytherin made, and grinned evilly. Throwing another wink over his shoulder to Hannah, he exited the lab.
It was all Hannah could do to not burst into laughter, first at Remus’s remark, then at his swishing hips. It took a few moments of concerted effort, but she managed to regain her composure before she remarked.
“I swear,” she said finally. “Those two are worse than any couple I ever found up in the Astronomy Tower…” She cleared her throat, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to hold the laughter in much longer. “Excuse me, Draco,” she said, nearly losing it. “I have to, um… Yeah, I have to go and check on the kids before lunch. Um… You can tidy up in here, right?”
She turned without waiting for a response, she turned on her heel and almost ran from the lab, her shoulders shaking with her silent chuckles.
Draco didn't bother gracing Hannah with a response and it seemed as though the witch cared for none. Shrugging, he cast a cursory glance around the room and groaned at the mess that he had to clean up. It was pure servant's work, but he couldn't risk having Dimpy come in and do the tidying either; the ingredients were too important to be left in the hands of house-elves.
Sighing, he continued dicing up the leaves for the Cruciatus Cure base in silence and solitude, mentally plotting various ways to get his revenge on his two lab partners in the following days to come.