Snape thought about tossing that paper hat into his fireplace. He glanced at his bed and its occupant, and placed it on his mantelpiece, next to the brass grinder. He looked at it. He could use *something* to take the taste of that Christmas tea out of his mouth.
Why did Albus insist on keeping that foolish woman on? She should have been sacked years ago. Not that sitting at the same table with Potter and the youngest Weasley boy would have been pleasant, either, but the only good thing that could be said about Trelawney was that she wasn't Lockhart.
Damn Albus for insisting he join them.
Remus stirred a little, grimacing in his sleep. Snape's own limbs ached in sympathy. If only analgesics worked on him. If only he didn't have this curse at all.
Of course, if that had been the case, Snape doubted Remus would ever be in his bed.
He took the ibrik, the tiny pot with the long handle from its cupboard, along with scales, spoons and little cups. From another, he took green coffee beans and sugar. He didn't take care to be quiet, but Remus barely moved.
He placed a double handful of beans - it would be a waste of time to measure at this point, something only a few of the students ever realized - in a pan. He conjured a hot fire and began to stir them rapidly.
"Oh, that is the most heavenly odor." Remus's face twisted as he stretched.
Snape felt his mouth quirk. "I quite agree. I am sorry for rousing you."
He glanced at his watch. "It's past time I should be awake. I seem to have missed Christmas tea."
"Fortunate for you." The beans were a rich brown. Snape took them off the fire and muttered a cooling spell. As soon as the scent began to fade, he tipped them into the grinder. "Madam Seesnothing came down from her tower to grace us with her presence."
"And I missed that?" He grinned. "Minerva must have been amusing." He shook his head. "I will never be used to calling her that. It's easier for Albus."
"Minerva's claws were quite sharp." He ground the beans to a powder as they spoke, checking occasionally to see if they were fine enough. "However, I will say that Sybill did behave herself - only one prediction of death, and that was vague. It seems, Remus, that either Potter or Weasley will predecease me." He smiled.
Remus did not. "The boy tells me that Sybill has made quite a meal out of predicting his death. If it were any one else, I would laugh, too, but this is Harry."
"Indeed. The boy seems determined to let himself be killed no matter what care we take of him." He didn't try to keep his anger out of his voice. "Potter is, if anything, more frustrating than his parents, and far more foolhardy." He weighed coffee powder and sugar, and placed them in the ibrik with a measured amount of cold water, and placed the pot over the hot fire.
"Of course, Severus. Is that hat yours?" He pointed to the paper monstrosity on the mantelpiece. "And why didn't you bring me any crackers?"
"You're a grown man, Remus. Unlike our headmaster." The coffee frothed up. He removed the pot from the heat until it subsided and then replaced it. "*He* wanted me to wear a witch's hat with a vulture." He glared at Remus, who burst out laughing. "I see nothing humorous about that now, nor did I do so then."
"That would be why you assigned werewolf essays to all the third years?" Remus kept on laughing. Snape drank in the sight - Remus was rarely so animated, especially the day after a full moon.
"There was no danger." The coffee frothed again. "I can't imagine anyone outside of Miss Granger realizing anything, and she would never tell. She'll be the best ally you ever had."
"She reminds me of …not really Lily. Harry's closer to Lily…"
"You." Snape let himself smile. The coffee frothed a third time. He divided it into the little cups and brought them over to the bed. With some effort, Remus sat up and took one. "You were the only one who actually thought in those days. Myself included."
Remus inhaled. "Who needs chocolate when you have Turkish coffee?" He took a sip. "You do make it sweet."
"It is my only vice, Remus. It and you." He stroked Remus's rough, stubbled cheek. "And I would not give either up willingly." Remus smiled and kissed his palm.
Snape sipped at his coffee, making it last until the layer of mud at the bottom.