A Joke Gone Wrong

A Snivellus/Marauders Tale by Atana

Imagine the most excruciatingly embarrassing prank you can. Add the cruelty and thoughtlessness of four fellow students. Would you feel any differently if you were Severus Snape and the tormentors were the great and glorious Marauders?

The characters in this story belong to J.K. Rowling and not to me. This fanfic is for entertainment only and not for profit. "Samara's Song" is from the DreamWorks film "The Ring". This work is dedicated to Sarah, who kept nagging me to read the Harry Potter books until I finally did. PG-13, no slash, no sex. Major angst warning!

To see the illustrations for this story, go to my Profile and click on the hyperlink.

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Chapter 1 - Incident by the Lake

Oh dear gods.

Exposed –

He was exposed!

Only a few moments ago, James Potter—the great and glorious St. James of Gryffindor himself -- had flipped fellow student Severus Snape upside down in front of a group of Hogwarts pupils who had congregated by the lake for a bit of post-exam relaxation.

The Slytherin had been ambushed in a surprise attack this lovely afternoon after finishing his Defense of the Dark Arts test. He had been subjected to several hexes — including the one that kept him from moving and getting away, which always scared the hell out of him. In fact, the "Marauders" – Sirius Black (Padfoot to his friends), James Potter (Prongs), Remus Lupin (Moony), and that little toady Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail) – spent a good deal of their spare time thinking up ways to torment Severus Snape.

So here Severus dangled, his long thin legs and graying underpants in full view of the crowd. Lily Evans, who had been trying to get the Marauders to stop tormenting Snape, had ordered James to release the Slytherin. Potter had immediately obliged, landing that prat "Snivelly" right on his arrogant head.

Severus—aghast that Lily had seen him in such a state, particularly since he had a crush on her — had struck out from the mess of negative emotions he carried inside him and called her a mudblood. She had insulted him back quite handily. It had been this exchange, in addition to a wand-inflicted cut to James' face, which had caused Potter to flip him upside down once again.

It had seemed odd to Severus, his world suddenly having been turned topsy-turvy, to see his classmates staring laughing at him with their heads pointing down at a beautiful blue sky. He wished gravity would let loose of him so that he could fall down into that sky, his body tumbling end over end as he plunged through fair-weather cumulus clouds which stretched miles-high beneath him. He would continue to fall right through the highest layers of the atmosphere until the oxygen gave out, slowly suffocating him along with his own sick shame as clear blue resolved into a black carpet glittering with stars. If given his druthers, Severus Snape would fall forever.

And then Potter—humiliated himself by Lily's open rejection of him in front of all those people—had shouted, "Who wants to see me take off Snivelly's pants?"

No oh no please NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Without waiting for an answer, James Potter twitched his wand once, and it had happened. There had been a sharp intake of air from the assembled crowd followed by gasps, with all of it eclipsed by a long and terrible high-pitched scream from the boy himself.

The unearthly shriek had been so full of rage and shame and helplessness that many had turned away and fled the grassy lakeshore. Even those who disliked "Snivellus" for any number of perfectly valid reasons did not want to see him so debased and humiliated.

Elated and enjoying himself thoroughly, Peter Pettigrew clapped his hands in delight. Lily had decently turned away and now headed back to the Castle in long and angry strides. Sirius Black was howling with laughter. This was the best, the absolute BEST prank they'd ever played on ol' Snivelly!

"Gods, Prongs! End it!" Remus Lupin gasped.

If you insist," James drawled. He twitched his wand once again, and Snape collapsed onto the ground. He then shrugged and began to follow the crowd back to the Castle in general and Lily in particular. He hadn't even turned around to see if Severus was all right. Why should he? The greasy little git had it coming!

Severus was far from all right. In fact, he was light-years from all right. He hadn't been right for most of his young life. Being abused and homely and neglected and unloved did not win you popularity points at Hogwarts.

His face was bright red both from the excruciating and monumental embarrassment he felt and from all the blood that had rushed to his head. Stunned and dizzy, he lay on the ground and then frantically covered himself, hyperventilating and moaning deep in his throat. It was too soon for tears; it was too soon for reflection; it was too soon for recrimination or retaliation. Severus Snape got on his feet and took off

running.

After a few moments, Remus Lupin gathered up the boy's book bag and the few volumes that had slipped out when the bag had been dropped.

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If he couldn't fall through the sky, he could at least fall off the edge of

the Earth.

Severus ran with all his strength. The worn-down heels of his old black

shoes tore out divots of turf as he ran, his long and greasy dark hair flying and his robes billowing out behind him. He had yet to have a coherent thought; panic and shame swamped his brain and hot tears flew off his face as soon as they were shed. No one saw him run into the Forbidden Forest.