FICLET: Small Sacrifices - Percy/Snape - PG-ish Title: Small Sacrifices Author: Icarus Pairing: Percy/Snape Rating: PG, or higher, depending on how you read that last line. Length: Snape's always approved of brevity. Summary: This spying thing is not all it's cracked up to be.
Percy nudged his horn-rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose, gazing around the dirty old clapboard shack, his nose high, looking vaguely offended.
"It looks like an old asylum," he said, prodding at a closet door.
The door promptly collapsed off its hinges, sending a puff of dust throughout the room. Percy caught it right before it hit the floor and leaned the thin boards delicately against the wall. Snape stepped around Percy, heedless of his jet black cloak sweeping along the floor. It cleared a wide swathe like a trail through the single room. Percy hoped that Snape would circle the whole room like that: it might save them some mopping.
"'Asylum' is loosely defined as 'a place of refuge for the hunted,' which given the circumstances is ironically appropriate."
Snape sounded almost bored, but then again, the man had never cared much for appearances or his surroundings. Percy on the other hand knew that a clean desk was the sign of a healthy mind, while this –
With a quick off-handed flick of his wand, Snape lit a greenish fire in the old fireplace without even cleaning it first. The acrid scent of burnt cobwebs, with a stench like burning hair, filled the room, and there was a scrabbling sound as some nameless creature escaped up the chimney. Percy shuddered.
"What I don't understand is why I have to flee. I'm no Death Eater. I've never even met one."
Snape gave him a tired glance as he slumped to a cracked leather chair. The chair sighed and creaked under his weight.
"Present company excepted, of course. But you hardly count as you're on our side now."
"Dumbledore is dead," Snape said flatly. "Ergo, the only man who can assure the Order of my innocence is gone as well, and, sadly for you--" and he did not appear all that regretful. "--your infinitesimal assistance can only be verified through me."
"So it would seem." Percy folded his arms, feeling snippy. "Well, pardon me for saying so but you killed him. I don't think you thought this through. And if I'd realized that this 'resistance' was so poorly planned I would have never signed on in the first place."
"Oh," Snape said softly. "Yes. Well. In the future I'll be sure to inform you of every detail Dumbledore entrusts to me."
"That was sarcasm, wasn't it?"
Percy turned in a slow circle.
The one-room shack was even smaller than Hagrid's, with shutters instead of glass on the windows, the cold wind breathing through every crevice and under the door. At least it appeared to be magically well-warded.
He approached the sink and turned on the water. The faucet sputtered rust and Percy quickly shut it off.
"Perhaps we can put up some curtains..." With distaste, Percy swept away a string of cobweb that dangled over the sink. "...and a vase—" He picked up a battered tin bucket from the counter. Its handle squeaked. "—okay, bucket of flowers might do wonders for the place. Bring out its..." He struggled to say the word, although he'd always considered himself an optimist. "...charm."
Snape stared at him doubtfully from what had already become 'his' chair. "Oh, yes. By all means. Plant a rose garden."
"Well, that would depend on the duration of our stay of course," Percy said. He set down the bucket and swallowed. "How long do you think it will take to clear our good names?"
Snape gave him a long, steady disbelieving stare. Then one corner of his mouth lifted in what might have been either a sneer or a small amused smile. He took a breath and said, "You might want to plant an apple tree while you're at it."
"Shit," said Percy, forehead braced on his fingertips.
"Oh, don't fret, Weasley." Snape stood and crossed the few steps to the sink almost silently. His voice was filled with sardonic amusement as one bony finger lifted Percy's chin. "Consider this. At least you have company."