A- So, the next chapter is up! We had fun writing this one XD even though we got kicked out of our hiding place at school, then almost had our book stolen by some scary second-years 0.o
L- Bloody kids! We weren't that cheeky! Anyway, this chapter has been CHECKED. No mistakes, ohh no... it's perfect...
A- Oh yeah, thanks for not noticing accidental use of the word 'slashing' for 'splashing'... or if you did, not pointing it out
L- Well, they'll notice now, won't they, Amy? ¬¬;
A- Um, yah. Anyway, we know this long conversation here might be boring you, but we have decided to scrap the little bits in the main story, on the suggestion of Silesia... thanks! And we tried to do more description this time.
L- Yes, we need advice, tips, whatever. And thanks to everyone else who reviewed- we're glad you like the fic, and aren't tearing our heads off for doing SS/MM. Believe me, we know people who would! 0.o
Avoiding Professor McGonagall was a tricky business. Snape sat in his office contemplating ways of hiding himself. Invisibility potions wouldn't work because of the complication of explaining where he had gone. He had tried to steal Potter's invisibility cloak, but curiously, Snape hadn't seen him wearing it much lately. He sighed and lit a cigarette; taking a long drag and watching the smoke curl up and disperse. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Severus choked and hurriedly put out the cigarette.
"Severus?" called Professor Dumbledore from outside. "You weren't at breakfast this morning. Are you feeling unwell?" Thank God! thought Severus.
"Yes, headmaster. Yes, I- I am afraid I'm not really feeling up to teaching today. In fact, I- I think I'd better go to the hospital wing," he croaked, faking a coughing fit afterwards for good measure.
Snape staggered convincingly to the hospital wing, glad that it seemed almost empty.
"Hello!" a cheery voice greeted him. Snape groaned. "Oh, are you feeling unwell, Severus? Why don't you take this bed next to me? Don't be afraid to ask, I know talking to celebrities can be a bit daunting, but don't be in awe of me! I sometimes get mobbed by women when I go out, you know... bless them! It's a hard life being famous, but some of us are just born that way!"
"I'm sure," said Snape curtly. "Is there any chance of me getting a bed in an isolation ward, Poppy?" he asked, addressing the nurse who had appeared mid-way through Lockhart's speech. "I'm afraid what I've got might be... ah... contagious."
"There are no isolation wards here, Professor Snape! There never were. Why don't you take this bed here, next to Professor Lockhart? It's already made up, look." Snape gritted his teeth and remembered he was supposed to be ill. It was this alone that prevented him from hitting the nurse. He collapsed into the bed reluctantly and announced loudly that he wished to be left alone to sleep.
Snape awoke suddenly at about 3am, aware of a strange warmth in his bed. He closed his eyes again momentarily before opening them slowly and looking down at his bedclothes. Something was wrong... He was definitely sure he didn't have that many legs! Snape felt around below the sheet gingerly and suddenly froze.
"Ooh, Severus! Don't touch me there!" said Gilderoy Lockhart's voice from somewhere near his feet. He screamed and pulled his hand back quickly, kicking violently where he thought his colleague's head should be.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY BED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?" he screeched, grabbing his wand and pulling back the blanket, crouching over Lockhart with the wand pointing at his chest.
"I got cold," he replied with a faltering smile.
"The Conflagration Curse will warm you up," snarled Snape, "If you don't get out of my bed now."
"Well, I, uh, that is... I think I'm warm enough now, thank you!" stammered Lockhart, crawling back into his own bed. Snape fell back on his pillows in relief, feeling the beginnings of a headache and cursing inwardly.
"You're not cold, are you, Severus? It's a bit chilly in here, isn't it?" asked Lockhart tentatively ten minutes later.
"No, Gilderoy. I am perfectly warm. I suggest you ask Madam Pomfrey for another blanket if you are cold."
"Oh, no. I'm fine. In fact, I'm feeling rather... hot this evening, if you know what I mean?"
"Gilderoy, if you say another word I will curse you into oblivion!" Snape hissed menacingly.
"Gilderoy, I'm warning you..."
"WHAT IS IT?!" Snape roared.
"I just wanted to say goodnight," Lockhart whimpered.
"Okay, you've said it. NOW GO TO SLEEP!"
"Aren't you going t -"
"DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEANT WHEN I SAID I WOULD CURSE YOU?!?!?!" Snape was once again standing over Lockhart with his wand raised. Lockhart grinned nervously, the pink rollers in his hair quivering, then promptly pretended to fall asleep. Snape shook his head in despair and got back into bed, willing himself to sleep. He found sleep unfortunately didn't come immediately, and so instead contented himself with the knowledge that he wouldn't have to teach Potter tomorrow. Or, in fact, for as long as he could stand to pretend to be ill... as long as he could stand being in the bed next to Gilderoy Lockhart, world's biggest bisexual flirt. He sincerely hoped every night wasn't going to be a repeat of this one.
Some weeks later, Snape was still enjoying the peace and quiet which set the hospital wing apart from the rest of the school. He was glad to note that there had not been any repeat performances from Professor Lockhart. Suddenly the peace and quiet was shattered by the door bursting open and Professor McGonagall running in, one hand clapped to her mouth. Snape's heart skipped several beats. He quickly hid under the blanket, hoping Professor McGonagall wouldn't notice him. He heard a retching noise and sneaked a look. Professor McGonagall had thrown up all over the floor, by the looks of things. Madam Pomfrey rushed out to help her.
"Lovely, Minerva. We'll just get this cleared up, then find you a bed. I expect you've got one of those 24-hour bug things. There's a nasty one going around, actually. Some of the students have got it." She indicated a small group of students looking nauseous themselves in beds near the hospital wing toilet. As Madam Pomfrey cleaned up, Professor McGonagall made her way over to Professor Snape's bed.
"Severus," she enquired, "what are you doing?"
"I'm not Severus," Severus replied in a squeaky voice, "I'm Filius!"
"Severus, I know it's you. And you've gone all red, by the way. I can still see your forehead." Damn. Thought Snape.
"Uh, I, um, need to stay under here in case... in case I breathe on anyone. This, um, this disease I have is very contagious. And very serious." He coughed again, hoping she would go away. "And I have a high temperature." he said to explain the blush.
"Right..." Professor McGonagall gave up and went away. She didn't want Snape to catch her bug, anyhow. "It's alright, Poppy," she called, "I'd rather just take a potion for this, if you don't mind. I have a very busy schedule, you know."
"If you're sure, Professor... it doesn't work very well, though."
"Never mind about that. I mustn't shirk my duty!" she said loudly, throwing a dirty look Snape's way. He didn't see it, being hidden, but she assumed he must have got the general gist. "I notice Professor Snape is still unwell," she remarked. "Is he looking any better? He's been off teaching for a while now. I was starting to get quite worried about him."
"Well, actually..." Madam Pomfrey beckoned Professor McGonagall closer, whispering in her ear. "There's nothing wrong with him. Never was. I've been humouring him, poor chap." She smiled fondly. "I do like having a lot of patients to care for." Professor McGonagall was slightly alarmed by this last revelation.
"Um, don't you think," she said nervously, "Don't you think you've been humouring Severus a little too long?" the school nurse nodded vigorously
"I've been thinking that for some time now. But he looks so sweet all tucked up in bed!" Professor McGonagall once more shot an alarmed look at Madam Pomfrey. She walked briskly over to Snape's bed.
"Um... yes, Minerva?"
"Don't you think this charade has gone on long enough?"
"What charade, Minerva?"
"Severus, don't be ridiculous. Everybody knows you're just pretending to be ill."
"Do they? I – I mean... pretending? Me? Why ever would I want to do that?"
She bent down to whisper in his ear. "You're not... avoiding anyone?" she muttered.
"What? No! Of- of course not!"
"I'm not stupid, you know, Sever-" she broke off. Snape slowly drew the blanket down to see why. He saw a glitter of teeth.
"Hello, Professor! I brought you some nice flowers to brighten up your bedside. Are you feeling any better yet?"
"I was until you came," grumbled Snape quietly, scowling as Professor Lockhart arranged the lilac tulips into a pretty vase provided by Madam Pomfrey in a flourish.
"Hello, Minerva! I didn't see you there! What a pleasant surprise!"
"...Hello. I- I should be going now though, Gilderoy. I have a lesson to prepare."
"That's alright, Minerva, I'll keep Severus company for you!" Lockhart proclaimed after her. Snape groaned loudly. "Are you quite alright, Severus?" enquired the clueless Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. There was a very pregnant pause. Lockhart looked rather worried, and turned to Madam Pomfrey as she bustled past to tend to some ill students.
"...He's not dead, is he?"
Madam Pomfrey raised her eyebrows and shook her head.
"No, Professor Lockhart. Perhaps Professor Snape simply wants to sleep." It was then that Severus had to prevent himself from cheering loudly. He promised himself that he would kill Lockhart some day, in front of as large an audience as possible.
A- 0.o Madam Pomfrey scares me!
L- Lockhart scares me more...
A- Hey, you wrote those bits ¬¬;
L- And my god, did I secretly enjoy it MWA HA HA HA! ...please review, we love tips and comments and suggestions and... stuff.
L- Ignore Rasmus Girl there ¬¬; She needs to sort out her priorities!