Disclaimer:Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Destiny du Maurier, in all her garish glory, is the brilliant creation of Milla (drama-princess).
Author's Note:This is an extremely early (because I just can't resist posting right away) birthday present for Milla, my partner in S/S crime and faithful competitor. :-) Love ya, darling.
And now story-related notes:
There is many a reference in here to other Snape/Sinistra works, primarily my fic Lamentations of a Starry-Eyed Twit and its companion piece, Diaries of a Dungeon Dwelling Moron by Gedia Kacela. There is also a reference in here to another S/S fic of mine, Not Just a River in Egypt.
This is rather insane, especially toward the end (not to mention wretchedly OOC for Snape), but really, you can't blame me. I was under the influence of Vanilla Coke.
What happened on April eighth?
The date stuck out in Snape's mind, and he knew with a certainty that something had to be happening.
The only problem was that he couldn't even begin to remember what it was.
It wasn't his annual 'take - as - many - house - points - as - you - possibly - can - from - Gryffindor' day (he had been sure to schedule that after the next Quidditch game, as he would surely be in a foul mood toward the whole blasted House if they somehow managed to beat Slytherin). Nor was it any sort of holiday that he could remember.
He could only hope to God it wasn't a staff meeting.
He hated staff meetings.
Particularly because throughout aforementioned staff meetings, Auriga Sinistra always sat next to him and either a) attempted to engage him in foolish games of footsie and/or b) threw winks at him whenever no one else was looking.
It made it very difficult to concentrate indeed.
It seemed that the starry-eyed twit of an Astronomy teacher had made herself out to be his...girlfriend. Which, naturally, was completely ludicrous and unsuitable. Severus Snape did not have girlfriends. He had...intimate female acquaintances.
And, of course, if she was his girlfriend (TwitchShudder), then it meant that he would have to be considered her...boyfriend. (TwitchShudderSneer.)
Which was ultimately degrading to the point of no return.
This wouldn't have all been so entirely bad, had he only been considering it to himself. But no. Auriga had actually done the thoroughly unacceptable the day before. She had called him her boyfriend. In a letter to her mother.
So now he was a boyfriend in a 'Hello, Mummy, how are you? Kiss kiss, hug hug.' letter. It was really too much to bear.
There was absolutely nothing that could improve this situation.
"Potter! Weasley!" he snapped dangerously, taking an imposing step toward the pair of unbearable fifth year Gryffindors. "While you undoubtedly consider yourselves far too important to pay attention to this trivial class, I must warn you that if you do not stop conversing about members of the opposite sex or something equally as important-" (Insert sneer here), "You will make up for it in detention. Five points from Gryffindor."
Humph. And Auriga said that he was too harsh with the students. He could have easily made it twenty points. (And he'd been tempted to, as well.)
Ah well. That had been vaguely satisfying.
Now if he could only frighten them a bit more...
"Granger!" he snapped. The bushy-haired know-it-all jumped a bit with surprise and managed to spill the armadillo bile that she'd carefully measured. (Mwahahaha.)
"Yes, Professor?" she asked, rather timidly.
He fixed her with a most sinister glare, remaining silent for a moment in order to scare her as much as humanely possible.
The whole class had gone silent. Ron Weasley was clenching and unclenching his fists, apparently ready to spring to his little girlfriend's defense. Neville Longbottom looked rather faint.
Oh, these were the moments he lived for.
"Tell me, if you will, Miss Granger," he said, lowering his tone rather dangerously, "What is occurring today."
She looked rather blank, a sight which the inhabitants of the dungeon clearly had never thought they would witness. A stunned silence had filled the air.
"Um...what do you mean, sir?" she asked.
"I mean," he said coolly, "That something important is supposed to happen today, and surely you know what it is. I am only, of course, judging by the fact that you seem to be painfully aware of everything else."
And more silence.
Snape fought back a satisfied smile. He had done the impossible. He had presented a question to Hermione Granger that she hadn't been able to answer. This no doubt proved that he was Hogwarts' most able educator by far. After all, if the other professors-
"It's Professor Sinistra's birthday, sir," Granger said suddenly, looking immensely relieved.
Snape, on the contrary, did not look at all extraordinarily relieved.
"Damn!" he swore violently.
If there had been crickets, they would have been chirping then. Because it was, quite frankly, a time for chirping crickets.
Auriga Sinistra's birthday.
He had forgotten her birthday. He had forgotten his (TwitchShudderSneer) girlfriend's birthday.
And Auriga wasn't a regular (TwitchShudderSneer) girlfriend, either. No, she could get very angry (not to mention very violent) very easily.
He was doomed.
He had created his own destruction.
And he couldn't very well magick her up some flowers or candy and set up a candlelit dinner for two in the Astronomy Tower.
Because that was such a nauseatingly...boyfriend sort of thing to do. Severus Snape would never even think of such a thing. (Ignoring the fact, of course, that he just had.)
And even if he was forced to be a boyfriend, well, he'd be damned if he had to act like one, too.
"What are all of you looking at?" he barked to the students, a few of whom had now started snickering. "Get back to work! Twenty points from Gryffindor!"
. . . Well, that hadn't been the least bit comforting.
"No. Thirty points from Gryffindor!"
That was better.
By the end of the lesson, Snape was still most perturbed. (And this was saying something, considering the fact that he'd taken away a total of forty-five points from Gryffindor throughout the course of the class, which usually left him in a rather pleasant mood.)
It was Auriga's birthday, and he'd forgotten about it. And he couldn't very well admit that he'd forgotten about it and then...apologize. That would go against everything he stood for!
What? sneered a mocking (not to mention Auriga-esque) voice in the dark recesses of his mind. An oppression to personal hygiene?
What he needed right now was....advice.
Not that he had just thought such a thing. Because Severus Snape simply didn't.
Or he hadn't, anyway. Not until he had become painfully aware of Auriga Sinistra's existence, some five or so years ago.
The damned hellcat was destroying his mind.
And then suddenly, an idea struck him.
A terrible idea.
An idea that never, ever would have occurred to him, had it not been for Auriga.
And the fact that his attention was suddenly drawn to Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
"Honestly, Ron!" she exclaimed, looking very annoyed, "How could you do that?"
"Do what?" he demanded. "Bloody hell, Hermione, you're so frustrating!"
"I'm frustrating?" she cried incredulously. "I'm frustrating?!?"
And vaguely familiar.
("Look who's talking, you dungeon-dwelling bastard."
"Dammit, you're frustrating."
"I assure you, the feeling is entirely mutual.")
Surely Weasley had been in a situation with a downright impossible, unbearable woman before. His constant rows with Granger were enough to ensure that. And perhaps he had an idea about how to deal with-
He could not.
He would not.
The day that Severus Snape asked one of his students - and a Gryffindor, no less - for advice was the day that Hermione Granger couldn't answer a question.
....And she had answered it. It had just...taken her awhile.
Oh, this was entirely ridiculous. What did he care if Auriga was angry with him? What could she possibly do that could be so formidable, so terror-inducing?
...Of course, there was that one time when she'd thrown the coffee mug at him a few years back.
That had been incredibly painful.
And he somehow doubted that she would object to a repeat performance.
"Weasley," he snapped. "Come over here."
An expression of shocked horror came over the Gryffindor's face, and he stepped forward as though approaching his fiery doom amongst the pits of hell.
Likewise, Snape thought bitterly.
Weasley gulped. "Yes, sir?"
"I have to ask you something," Snape said smoothly. "About Miss Granger."
(Shudder. Twitch. Sneer.)
He doubted that Weasley would have looked more horrified if he'd asked 'will you marry me?'
"Now, Weasley, it's painfully obvious to the whole of this school that you and Miss Granger have formed a bit of a...romantic attachment." The boy's ears had gone completely red. Which, Snape figured, served him right. This was, after all, the sole most degrading moment of his life. "And I was simply wondering if you've ever made her angry."
Weasley looked at him for a moment as though he'd just asked the most ridiculous question in the world, but managed to reply with, "Once or twice, sir."
"All right," Snape said, the vein in his temple throbbing with flourish. "And how do you go about seeking her forgiveness?"
Perhaps he could kill the stupid boy afterwards.
That would make the whole affair much more painless.
"Um...I guess I...er...uh..."
"Out with it, Weasley," Snape snapped. "I haven't got all day."
He cringed and muttered something to his feet.
"What was that?"
"Do something spontaneously romantic," said Weasley, his words barely indistinguishable.
Oh, yes. Right. Severus Snape was going to do something spontaneously romantic.
. . .
"Get out of my sight, Weasley," he snapped.
Weasley obliged, looking as though he'd just narrowly escaped death as he made his way back to his little friends.
That simply wasn't going to happen.
Coffee muuuugs, the Auriga-sounding voice chanted, Coffee-muuuugs...
He'd do it.
But he wasn't going to like it.
Twenty-seven 'happy birthday, Auriga!'s.
Not twenty-six. Not twenty-eight.
And not a single one had been from Severus Snape.
"That bastard," Auriga Sinistra muttered bitterly to herself as she entered her bedroom quarters. "I really don't know why I put up with him."
When she was a little girl, she had, like most little girls, dreamed up her Prince Charming. He was tall and handsome; he serenaded her on moonlit nights and kissed her no matter who was watching, just because he loved her.
And good old Severus Snape fulfilled exactly none of these qualities.
Hence the reason that he was a bastard.
If any other man had been her boyfriend, she wouldn't have been so entirely certain that he'd forgotten her birthday. After all, he could simply be planning a romantic surprise of the candlelit-dinner or moonlight-serenade variety.
But not Severus Snape.
No, Severus Snape would probably rather eat a bat than be even the slightest bit romantic.
And so he'd forgotten.
Sighing to herself, she picked up a hairbrush and absently ran it through her unruly golden-brown hair. The last thing she wanted was to go to dinner in the Great Hall; she felt rather hostile toward all human contact in general. Plus, she was rather tempted to read the new Destiny du Maurier romance novel she'd ordered from Flourish and Blotts a few days before. Yes, the woman was downright frightening in real life (which Auriga knew all too well from years ago when the disgustingly poetic authoress had served as Hogwarts' Defense Against The Dark Arts professor), as were her books, but this one happened to feature a certain male protagonist based off of a certain Potions master whom du Maurier had been frighteningly infatuated with.
And Auriga really was in the mood for a bit of Snape-torture.
But then again, she was rather hungry.
Oh well, she thought, making her way toward the door. The book will be there when I get back. God knows I'll enjoy it then, if I have to sit through dinner with him.
Snape wasn't there.
Well, this was just delightfully predictable. She should have seen it coming. (Then again, she was no Trelawney. Shame.)
He hadn't even shown up to dinner. Apparently, he was really going out of his way to punish her. Perhaps it was because she'd referred to him as her boyfriend in the letter she'd written to her mother yesterday. But really. She spent the majority of her extra time with him, she showered him constantly with pet names along the lines of 'love', 'dear', 'darling', and her personal favorite, 'Sev' (if not just to annoy him horribly), and they had done a horizontal tango or two (all right, more than 'or two') in their time. What was he if not a boyfriend? Somehow, she doubted her mother would be impressed if she referred to him as her sex buddy.
But sweet stars, did she ever hate him sometimes.
"Where's your potions master, Auriga?" asked Iolana Hooch rather slyly, winking.
Somewhere along the line, Hooch's teasing had grown rather annoying.
Five or so years ago.
Honestly, Auriga thought bitterly, If I were Snape, I would be doing some serious twitch-shudder-sneering right now. (And to think he didn't know that other people noticed this.)
"I don't know," Auriga replied, struggling to keep calm. "Torturing some Gryffindors, perhaps."
Leave. Me. Alone, Auriga thought, hoping that her brain waves would somehow give the Flying Instructor the hint. Because, quite frankly, Auriga was dangerously close to causing severe harm, and she simply couldn't be held accountable for it.
"Or not," Hooch said, mischievous smile flourishing as she nodded toward the doors.
Ah. So he'd decided to show up. How dazzlingly gallant of him. Maybe he'd even consider saying hello to her, too.
Now, now, Auriga, she scowled inwardly, Let's not get too carried away.
Well, Auriga wasn't looking up. No way in hell was she giving him the satisfaction.
"Good Lord," Hooch said, sounding vaguely awed. "Did he...?"
All right. Apparently the damned woman was going to make it as difficult as humanely possible for Auriga to not look up.
But she wouldn't.
Her resolve was steadfast.
"Oh my...." Flitwick said from the other end of the table.
Okay. Maybe a tiny peek.
She looked up.
And promptly fell sideways. (Coordinated, Auriga Sinistra was not.)
A shocked, excited chatter had spread over the Great Hall; all of the students seemed to be whispering to one another.
And Severus Snape was walking, very calmly, toward the staff table.
Just to make things a bit more interesting, Severus Snape happened to be holding a bouquet of red roses. And his hair happened to be....dare she even dream it...
No, her eyes did not deceive her.
Severus Snape had washed his hair.
Yes, Auriga had to admit that occasionally she wished that he would be a bit more romantic. But never, ever had she dared even think of...this.
Snape sunk down, very casually, in the seat next to her own; he appeared to be completely oblivious to the fact that everyone was watching him.
Until she noticed, with faint satisfaction, that The Vein was throbbing monstrously in his temple.
Clearly, he had not gone mad, and he was absolutely despising this.
Why he was doing it, then, she had no idea.
But it would surely be interesting.
"Hey, Sev," she said, a bit warily, testing him. If he didn't explode at her for her use of The Dreaded Nickname, she'd be forced to fear that he'd gone off the edge.
"Good evening, Auriga," he responded, very lightly.
Oh, God. He was ruined. Crazy. Completely mad.
Rather stiffly, he handed her the roses. "Happy birthday."
Was it just her, or was his left eye beginning to twitch in a rather frightening, albeit Snape-esque manner?
She could only hope so.
Perhaps there was still a tiny bit of sanity in his poor, obviously deranged mind.
"Severus," she asked, a bit cautiously, "Are you...all right?"
"Perfectly fine, I assure you," he said. "And yourself?"
. . .
"Sev. Honey. Sweetheart. Darling. You're scaring me."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"I mean that you cannot just show up in here with roses and clean hair, sans snarky comments, and just...expect me to think that you're sane! It just isn't right!"
He smirked at her, a little. It was quite the relief. "You mean to tell me, Auriga, that you aren't desperate for Prince Charming?"
"No," she snapped. "I want Prince Snarky Bastard back. Quite frankly, you're frightening me." She shuddered. "I mean, what next, Snape? Going to snog me in front of the entire student body?"
He raised an eyebrow at her.
He truly was absolutely mad.
"Oh, no," she said. "Severus Simon Snape, I will kill you."
Oh, that right there was a definite eye-twitch.
He hated the middle name, and therefore, she saved it for absolutely dire situations.
Of which, this surely qualified.
"Auriga," he started, his voice dripping with feigned maudlin sentiment, "Happy birthday."
Good Merlin, did he really have to talk so loud? She was only too painfully aware that everyone in the Hall happened to be watching them.
"Snape, if you don't shut up, I will throw another coffee mug at you!" she hissed violently. "And, Goddammit, I will enjoy it!"
This, however, only seemed to encourage him further.
"The shimmering incandescence of your iridescently divine beauty soothes my tattered soul and sepia-toned existence," he said, voice growing louder and more disgustingly saccharine with each horrifying phrase, "Saline crystalline raindrops of cerulean sorrow and cerise haemoglobin seeping from lifeless onyx-coated veins are brushed aside in favor of your beguiling, scintillating embrace."
"You," she breathed, quite terrified now, "Are insane."
"I love you too, darling," he said, with a rather evil smile.
"Dammit, Snape, you're scaring me!"
Perhaps she would be forced to resort to the coffee mug. It seemed that nothing else could save him.
"Kiss me," he requested in an alarmingly husky tone. "With the sanguine fire of a thousand fiercely smoldering suns, I long for the obsidian rapture of our lips' embrace. Hungry tongues will dance with the crimson yearning of desire's luminescent flame."
There was no way to possibly explain this. Never, never would Severus Snape do such a thing. Clearly, she was dreaming. Or he was possessed. Or-
Her 'or's were, however, cut quite short when he did, in fact, kiss her. And this was not an average Severus Snape kiss, which were (though she would never tell him) not bad at all as it was. No; this was a Muggle-film-Rhett-Butler-and-Scarlett-O'Hara kiss. Meanwhile, the Great Hall had burst into whoops and applause.
Well, this was definitely the most interesting birthday she'd had in quite sometime.
And not entirely unpleasant, either.
Unless, of course, he started spewing... 'poetry' again.
Then she'd be force to kill him.
"Snape," she said, later, as they made their way down to the dungeons. They passed a pair of Ravenclaw seventh years who burst into laughter as soon as they saw them. Snape gave the two students his dangerously potent 'Why Don't You Go Die?' sneer, which seemed to rid the situation of its comedic value rather quickly.
"Yes?" he asked simply.
"What the hell was that?"
"That, Auriga, was a sneer," he replied slowly, as though speaking to one of extremely limited intelligence. "I've discovered that such contortions of the facial features can frighten the dreadfully feebleminded rather easily."
"Thank you, Hermione," Auriga drawled sarcastically. "I meant that little...romantic display earlier."
"In Potions with the seventh years, they are covering a brief unit on the Poetique Potion," Snape explained. "When slipped into a drink, as those blasted Weasley twins very well might do, the person who has consumed the potion will become unnecessarily circumlocutory."
"And is this what happened to you?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at him as he pushed open the door to the dungeon and allowed her to enter before him.
Oh, the chivalry.
"Auriga, do you truly believe that I would start spewing such nauseatingly descriptive nonsense otherwise?" Snape demanded, sitting down at his desk and beginning to flip absently through the stack of essays on top of it.
"Well, I can't be sure," she said, unable to keep her tone completely devoid of coquetry, "You are full of surprises."
He smirked at her, then continued to glance over the papers.
"'O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?'" she demanded dramatically, clasping her hands to her heart.
"'What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?'" he returned smoothly.
Ah. It was, in fact, their Dorky Couple Thing. (As she had christened such quirks long ago.) Growing up, her parents had constantly sung Frank Sinatra songs to one another (both had a love of Muggle music), and Auriga had always hated it, claiming that if she ever fell in love, she wouldn't have a...Dorky Couple Thing.
But alas, the shameless quoting of Shakespeare had been part of she and Snape's conversations for as long as she could remember. (They had started, she vaguely recalled, when she'd gotten angry and called him a cankerblossom during a row quite a few years before.)
Shakespeare, she had always retained, was classy. Educated. Sophisticated.
So it was just...a couple thing.
Smiling at him, she made her way toward his desk and perched on the edge of it, slinging her arms around his shoulders.
"This has been quite the interesting birthday, I must admit," she said, kissing him lightly before running a hand through his hair. "Though the clean hair is vaguely unnerving."
"My intention exactly," he said sarcastically. "I do live to vaguely unnerve."
"Don't I know it."
She kissed him again, and he scowled at her.
"Please, Auriga," he said. His eyes were dancing. "I'm attempting to get some work done; it really is quite difficult with your constant nauseating displays of affection."
"Really, Severus, don't get too maudlin," she deadpanned, standing up. "Actually, there was a book I wanted to read; I'll go get it. After all, I'd simply hate to distract you when you're so busy failing innocent Gryffindors."
"How hospitable," he drawled.
She smirked and kissed him again.
"Oh, get off," he ordered with insincere irritation. She could see a rare smile playing at his lips.
Sometimes, she reflected, she just had to love him.
After all, Prince Charming was so overrated. Who needed him? She had her very own Prince Snarky Bastard.
And that was fine with her, thank you very much.
"But Severino," Marguerite cried, alabaster woe spilling from her lips in eloquently phrased sentences, "Our love is forbidden, drowning in acerbic sin and merciless pain!"
"No," Severino protested, brushing back oily strands of obsidian silk. "The shimmering incandescence of your iridescently divine beauty soothes my tattered soul and sepia-toned existence. Saline crystalline raindrops of cerulean sorrow and cerise haemoglobin seeping from lifeless onyx-coated veins are brushed aside in favor of your beguiling, scintillating embrace."
She trembled, languid, under his smoldering scarlet gaze, craving the fiery taste of his taut, impassioned lips. Lustful yearning asphyxiated her as she....
Auriga thought not.
Which could only mean one thing.
"Sev, darling," she said quietly, tapping him on the shoulder. He muttered sleepily and shifted in bed.
"Sev," she said, a little louder.
"What?" he demanded angrily. "In case you didn't notice, Auriga, I'm sleeping."
"Not anymore," she said sweetly. "Now, my dear, listen to this." She cleared her throat. "'The shimmering incandescence of your iridescently divine beauty soothes my tattered soul and sepia-toned existence'-"
"Spare me the agony," he requested bitterly.
"Someone has been reading Destiny du Maurier," she returned, grinning. "Someone who perhaps didn't consume a Poetique Potion after all."
"Shut up," he ordered.
"That was a rather pathetic comeback, Severus. So...juvenile."
"I'm half asleep."
"That's no excuse," she said, then continued, rather wickedly, "To think that you admire Destiny du Maurier so and you never expressed it before! I'm sure she'd have loved the attention, if you'd only admitted your...feelings."
"You are an unbearable wench."
"At least I shower, Severino."
"At least I can spell 'star'."
"You'll never let me forget that, will you?"
"Didn't think so."
"You know, I did have to wonder where the-" she inspected the book quickly, "'Hungry tongues will dance with the crimson yearning of desire's luminescent flame' came from."
"Disgusting, isn't it?" he asked, stifling a yawn.
"Actually," she said, grinning rather seductively, "I think it's oddly...alluring."
"Auriga," he said impatiently, "It is three thirty in the morning."
She snuggled a bit closer to him. "Your point being...?"
"You are absolutely incorrigible."
"Shut up and kiss me, you bastard," she ordered.
So he did.
A/N2:Lord, that was ridiculously lengthy, and spiraled into sheer pointlessness at the end.
But ah well.
Keep blaming it on the Vanilla Coke.
And Severino is the most awesome name ever. Seriously. I found it on BabyNames.Com. It means...severe. And its origin is Latin. Let me tell you, there's nothing as delightful as saying, "Yo, Severino!"
Just a little tidbit of information. :-)