When: Late Thursday night
Where: Hogwarts/dungeons/Snape's office
What: James must swallow his pride to ask for Snape's help. Well, it's that or he could go mental. Whichever works.
It's late and James is of course walking and his mind is racing. He figures he'd best go and see Snape. He was expected at least. He'd rather jsut get on with it on his own, as usual. But he doesn't think he can manage another night without sleep. It's a few moments before he realizes he's pacing outside of Snape's office. He knocks on the door lightly, and when he doesn't hear an answer in a split second he debates bolting out of there at the speed of light. But he stays, if he doesn't get some rest he'll be wifeless by the end of the week, especially if he continues taking it out on her.
Severus puts down his book at the sound of a knock on his door. He scowls. Potter couldn't even come down within a reasonable timespan of the invite. He glances at the vial of amplified Draught of Peace waiting on his desk. The strength per dosage was almost illegal but Potter seemed to take it well enough last time. "Enter."
James sighs and opens the door he comes in to the office closing it behind him lest anyone catch him down here. His eyes are bloodshot, and he does have the tell tale dark circles under his eyes as well. He nods. "Evening Snape." He says and sits in an empty chair. Trying to look relaxed but he is moving his leg nervously about a mile a minute.
Severus does not attempt to mask the disgust that takes possession of his features. Potter looks as fidgety as some of his imbecilic First Years. The sooner they could get this over with, the sooner they could both retire to their respective beds. Severus pushed the vial toward Potter. "Take no more than three teaspoons every 24 hours. I cannot guarantee your health if you should choose to disregard my instructions."
James reaches forward and knocks a book off the desk in the process. He leans down to pick it up and bumps his head on the edge of the desk on his way back up. "Fuck." He says under his breath. And takes the vial off the desk and secures it in his robes. He shakes his head a bit and takes a deep breath. No nervous breakdowns allowed in front of Snivellus. No nervous breakdowns allowed in front of Snivellus. "Thanks yeah?" He pauses and his voice gets quieter. "It's . . . It's worse this time." He says just in case there are any further instructions. And well . . . Just to get it off his chest really. Even if it is to Snape. He knows Snape doesn't talk to anyone anyway. It's much like talking to a wall. The wall won't rat you out, and as far as he hopes, Snape won't either.
Severus' scowl deepens. He rises from his seat to pick up his book from the floor. He places it back on his desk and studies Potter. Potter really does look terrible. The lack of sleep leaves its marks clearly on Potter's features and demeanor. The other man did look that bad at the moment. "I can see that, Potter." Why isn't Potter just leaving? Why was Potter still sitting in this chair in his office?
James sighs and puts his elbow on the arm of the chair and slumps his head into it when Snape mentions he can see for himself how fucked he is. "That bad eh?" He says shaking his head a bit. He fidgets a bit and switches arms which he is leaning in to. "You got anything that will stop . . . this permanently?" He says feeling a bit awkward just sitting here. But oddly enough it's the calmest he's been in over a week and that's not saying much.
Severus scoffs. "You cannot rely on the Draught forever, Potter. It is only a temporary solution. You have to learn your nerves. You are going to have a nervous breakdown if you continue as such, potion or no potion."
James leans forward his elbows on his knees and runs his hands through his even more messy hair now that he's not been sleeping. "It's been 15 years Snape. I hardly say it's a permanent problem right? I mean . . . is this normal?" He asks quietly. God forbid someone hear him asking Snape if he's normal. "Well the last thing I need is to trouble everyone with a nervous breakdown, but God dammit . . . It's . . . well it's just worse. And . . ." He stops, he does not want to air his dirty laundry to Snape, at all. He sits back and takes a deep breath.
Severus resists the urge to roll his eyes. He is losing sleep because he has to play therapist to Potter of all people. "Morgan forbid it should be post-traumatic stress syndrome," he mutters. "Your problem is obviously of the psychological nature. Have you talked with anyone as of yet?"
James looks up a bit. "I don't think it's Post traumatic whatever . . . I mean. I'm NOT traumatized." he says horrifed by the thought. He thinks about it for a moment. "Talked to anyone? Ummm . . . Well I talked to Remus." He says rather pleased with himself. After a moment he fidgets again in his seat and looks around the room. "Good God you don't mean . . . A professional?"
Severus snorted at the imagery of Potter in a reclined chair pouring his heart out to a therapist. He folds his arms over his chest. He cannot believe he is losing sleep over this. "If need be. I meant have you talk with anyone in depth about your fears or whatever may be bothering you?"
James leans forward and shakes his head. "I'm not scared. I just can't bloody sleep." He says a bit indignantly and stands up and paces back and forth a bit running his hand through his hair. "You're bloody mad. I'm fine." He says frustrated and getting that edgy tone he's had lately.
"And I suppose you have just discovered a new type of insomnia then?" Severus did roll his eyes this time. "There is something in that empty head of yours that is making you restless. Will wonder ever cease?"
James continues pacing and shakes his head. "You're wrong." He says before turning around and putting his hands on Snape's desk. He could go down the list of things that are going on his head. "I'll tell you something, if I could pick out just one of the thoughts racing through my fucking head . . . I would. But I can't. So give me a hint here Severus . . . How the fuck do you sleep? God knows you must have enough going on in your head to kill someone . . . How do you sleep? Do you sleep?!"
Severus settles back into his seat. This is not going to be over anytime soon. He might as well try and make himself comfortable. Try being the operative word of course. "Our bodies cannot simply function without sleep. At one point or another, the body just shuts down and you have to sleep. Even insomnics sleep, no matter how troubled. Are you telling me you have not been able to sleep at all?" He is not going answer Potter's other question. Those are getting too personal.
James rolls his eyes and stands up straight and starts pacing again. "Well I sleep. I mean, typically? Lately it's been try going to bed around 10 or 11. Lying there for an hour or two. Toss, turn etcetera. Get up take an insanely long walk. Come back lie down again, drift off for an hour or two, get up go to work, be a complete terror to those who work for me, come home spend time with wife and the kid, terrorize them, and do it all again. Granted some nights I don't sleep at all. Sometimes I manage as many as four hours a night . . . The norm is about two or three hours a night I would say."
Severus brings a hand to his temple. "Do stop pacing, Potter. It's quite irritating," he folds his hands in front of him. "If it is becoming to be such a problem, why not see Poppy? I have limited medical training as required for my Potions mastery. Poppy is a medi-witch. She can diagnose whatever ails you."
James stops walking and runs his hand through his hair again. "I'm not pacing." He says indignantly. He shakes his head. "No, I've got the potion. I'll be fine. I don't think it's medial. It's . . . a phase."
Severus smirks. "I see you are as delusional as ever, Potter. We, at least, know this phase has not fried your feeble little mind- yet."
James takes a deep breath. "Yes, which is a good sign. I'm perfectly normal and just as daft as ever." He says flatly. "It's not going to fry my mind Snape! It didn't last time. I was fine. I'll be fine this time."
"Are you attempting to convince me or yourself?" Severus raises an eyebrow.
James shrugs. "It's not a matter of convincing. It's a matter of looking at the facts. 15 years ago, I got a little edgy, needed some help sleeping. I got the potion. Took it daily for . . ." Did he really want to admit how long? No. "A while. And was fine. Now I need it again. I'll be fine."
"Fine," Snape waves a hand toward his door and it swings open. "Leave then, Potter. You have your potion. Contrary to the beliefs of my dunderhead students, I am not creature of the night and I need sleep just as much as any other human being."
James nods. "Thanks okay. Really. Don't tell anyone, especially my wife. Please." He says a bit imploringly before heading toward the door and going to finish his walk.
Severus watches as Potter leaves. The fool would probably trip on the staircase and crush the vial with the way he went about. "For the record, Potter, I normally sleep the amount you have just described."
James stops and nods feeling . . . oddly better . . . Granted he doesn't want to end up a permanent grouch like Snape at all, but it was a . . . comforting thought none the less. "Goodnight then."