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The old man was ornery. Its common. Severus knew that he would be the same, were he so old that he would require an entire week to count that high on his digits; mainly because he is apt to lose his place over and over. He disregarded the sense of disdain. He could never see the Headmaster as of late. He had to demand his time, or he would never be granted it. As usual, Severus suspects it has something to do with Potter, and that he does not believe the boy capable of defeating the Dark Lord.
In regards to the text, Severus would rather refrain from the entire list of details surrounding its discovery, but instead decides to offer, "it was the lure amidst a back alley auction. It took quite a price. But I suspected that you would not have liked me to pass it up without giving it my best shot to possess it." In reality Severus did not gain the personal writings by way of bidding on the item. He did in fact, wait until it was purchased and carried off alone, where finally he cursed his way to gain its possession. This is what he would prefer to keep to himself. Should he be arrested in Knockturn would not sit well with the old man; but neither Warlock is at all inept that they could not fight their way through when needed, and escape entirely without witnesses to boot!
Severus did not read the pages within, nor even glance through them, beyond flip to the petals of the flower to assure they were not dangerous to be in his possession. "I merely suspected it was for the best." He was obliged to uphold the integrity of the school at all costs.