DISCLAIMER: Lady Rowling would smack me upside the head for doing this with her universe if she ever found out.
Snips and Spirals Fanfic: "Attack of the Robe Monsters"
Text by Lady Tesser
February came in cold and rainy, making the moors surrounding Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry a dull brownish-gray. In weather like this, it could be believed how the Northern clans could be driven stir- crazy and go off to commit such acts as Viking raids, mass suicides, and eating haggis.
Britomartis Vox, Second-Year, was singing merrily to herself...
"Oh my feet - they are a-freezin'.
And my nose - it is a-bleedin'
My toes will fall off
I will hack and cough
Dyin' in a frozen Hell-hole.
In the spring you will find my bod-ee
After it has be chewed on by wolves
And believe me after the winter
Being eaten by wolves will feel good.
Hypothermia - is setting in
Drool is frozen - on my chin.
I can't stand the cold
I can't feel my nose
Dyin' in a frozen Hell-hole."
Since this was between classes in the hallways, many students heard her singing this little ditty and a few offered grunts or nods of agreement. Remus Lupin, Fourth-Year, had followed her for a discreet distance (their classes were in the same corridor) and was being mesmerized by the way her hair swished back and forth across the back of her black robe, just inches above the hem (where a shapely calf covered in gray sock appeared every now and again).
His daydreams were interrupted by Severus Snape's voice saying, "Ah, pleasant, spring-like weather; care to go swimming in the lake, Spirals?"
"Dry up and die, Snips," she answered. "Smartarse."
"I had a good teacher," he replied. "Don't look now, but you're being followed by a Maraudiot."
Lupin hung back, pretending to be looking in his book bag for something. He could feel her glancing back at him as they walked on ahead.
"Oh, it's only Lupin. He's harmless by himself ... "
Lupin looked back up to see Sev glance back, his black eyes boring into Lupin's blue. A sneer at the Slytherin's lip made Lupin roll his eyes and mutter, "Geez, Snivellus, you act like she's your personal property or something."
Martis and Sev glanced at each other, not hearing Lupin; she darted her tongue out to her upper lip and he raised an eyebrow. In one smooth motion, Martis backpedaled while Sev slipped ahead to one of the empty classroom doors. As Lupin caught up with Martis, she moved her elbow to his ribcage, intending to shove him into the classroom -
Inside the classroom, three individuals hunched over a scrying pool realized someone was trying to get in.
"Bloody hell!" one of the persons whispered, pulling his wand out.
"Do something before they find us!" the female said.
The potential conflict that would have resulted was suspended due to the very elderly Potions Master Professor Sejanus Sartoris skipping down the hall, his robes held delicately in his hands to show off a pair of very glittery pink panties. The fact he was singing "I'm pretty - oh so pretty!" in his soft, high voice did not help matters.
Students either stared in shock or began sobbing, begging for Memory Charms.
Filch suddenly appeared (as he does), his eye twitching. "Where are they?" he demanded. "I know which one'a'ya did it!"
Down the hall, Martis and Sev yelled in perfect harmony, "WE SWEAR TO THE LOCAL GODS WE DID NOT DO IT!"
In retrospect, they should have realized that rehearsing that line together was not a bright move.
Professor Minerva McGonagall, witnessing the whole thing, stated, "Mr. Snape and Miss Vox had nothing to do with this - I was watching them the whole time. They were about to shove one of my students into a disused classroom, in fact." She narrowed her eyes. "And frankly, that kind of illusion charm is beyond the experience of a Second-Year and Fourth-Year - and quite beyond the expertise of a Seventh-Year. Only a professional illusionist could have crafted that apparition."
In the disused classroom, a figure said in a low voice, "See? I told you I was professional quality!"
"Oh, shut up, Ron!" a female voice sighed.
"You're just sick and twisted," another voice added.
"But it was still funny," the first voice insisted.
In the hall, Filch sniffed. "This shall get reported to Professor Sartoris, Professor McGonagall."
"Then do so. It may help in figuring out what happened." She clapped her hands. "Students! To your classes! Next session is almost starting!"
Lupin turned around to find Martis, but she was already gone. Sev stood in the doorway of the Arithmancy class they shared together, apparently talking to someone with blonde hair.
"Miss Britomartis - " Lupin began, then stopped short as he realized the blonde hair was only shoulder-length and was attached to Sonia Stellamaris, Fourth-Year Ravenclaw. "Oh, sorry."
Sev narrowed his eyes at him as he squeezed past and took his seat. Lupin saw Sev enter with Sonia and sit on the opposite side of the room, both close and talking quietly.
Remus Lupin blinked. He heard what everyone else heard - that Snape was seen to hang around with Stellamaris. But now that he could actually see what was going on, he realized that Snape's ... interest toward the Ravenclaw was more than academic.
Lupin felt his heart skipping beats. That would mean Miss Britomartis was NOT Snape's!
He did not pay much attention to Professor Gallo Penderdandis' lecture for most of the afternoon.
Sev scratched at his Arithmancy notes, but just barely. He could not help but glance up at Sonia Stellamaris every now and again through the strands of his hair and gaze at her.
She was so pretty ... and she wanted to be around him!
Sev was so used to girls ignoring him, pushing him out of the way, using him to check their homework, and just generally mock the fact he was a teenage boy all over the place. The closest thing he got to any type of attention from them as a whole was before Martis showed up when the stupid Marauders would write dirty note to girls in their classes and sign it with his name; he usually got a slap in the face from the girls in question, leaving him wondering what happened until much, much later. At least with Martis around, nobody believed the notes anymore and the Marauders finally stopped doing that prank.
Besides Martis, Sonia was the only girl who really talked to him like a human being. He liked that. And the facts that she was gorgeous and had deep blue eyes and smelled like roses helped matters along. And that she discussed philosophy and magic and all sorts of things with him coolly and intellectually, as such discussions were intended (unlike with Martis, in which she got passionate enough about a subject to start yelling, then the whole thing would end in the Bother Game).
There was reason enough he had a crush on Sonia to begin with, now he was certain she was a Goddess. Especially when she held his hand, making his skin become hypersensitive to her touch, and then looking back into those blue eyes...
And for some mysterious reason, she was with HIM.
The Valentine's Dance was coming up in less than two weeks. There was going to be a Ravenclaw-Gryffindor Quidditch match the next day, and Sonia had already invited him to sit with her in Ravenclaw's stands. That would be a good time to ask her to go with him to the dance.
Gods - he was asking a girl to go with him to a dance! A dance of all things! The last two school dances (the Valentine's of last year and the End-of-Year Ball) he spent with Martis in the Slytherin common room and doing homework. Dances were not his forte ... but with Sonia, he felt he could do it. And enjoy it.
He prepared a mental checklist of what he needed to do before he asked her - showering that morning would help, plus washing and combing his hair. He might even braid it, since Martis tells him he looks best with a braid...
Wait a minute. He was going to look his best for Sonia, not Martis. Martis could care less how other people think about looks. This was for Sonia.
Well, he could get his robe washed tonight. The house-elves usually did laundry every other day, and he only had one robe. And Friday happened to be the day between washings. It simply would not do to be seen at the side of Sonia Stellamaris in a threadbare, frayed black cloak. Perhaps he could borrow a cloak from one of his roommates - not Lucius Malfoy, but maybe Evan Ryper or Thomas St. Claire...
Still, he could not sit with Sonia with his robe smelling like Potions class, and - admittedly - he spent so much time in Potions doing extra credit work and such that he smelled like the Potions lab even when he was not in it. Probably due to all those stains.
He had to wash his robe, but where?
"No problem," Martis said during lunch. "We'll wash your robe in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom."
Sev raised an eyebrow. "Why there?"
"Because I can't help you wash it in the regular lavvies without people freaking out. Besides, the place hasn't been touched since she died there, so the sinks are those huge things from the Edwardian era. The only thing we have to worry about is listening to Myrtle bitch and moan."
Sev put his fork down. "Why do you think you have to help me wash it?"
"Because that's what I do." She grinned. "Besides, you'll probably miss spots and you'll go around with one over your crotch which makes you look like you wet yourself."
He snorted. "Your confidence in me is amazing."
"Innit, though?" Martis lowered her sunglasses. "And why do you feel you need to wash your robe, anyway? You're just going to a Quidditch game with 'her'."
He looked up, opening his mouth to reply, and then closed it. For some reason, he felt telling her would make her angry. He finally answered, "Just felt like it."
She pushed her sunglasses back up. "All right. Then should I braid your hair back for your 'date'?" She spat the last word out with such force, she made it sound like a dirty word.
"No." He looked back down, finishing his lunch in a hurry and not saying another word. He did not understand what Martis had against Sonia. She should be happy he was not bugging her so much or having to listen to him bemoan how he was the only Fourth-Year never to have had some sort of girlfriend. He was still a teenage guy, even if he was considered the most unpleasant student to grace the school.
He had Potions that afternoon with the lovely Sonia. Time to get ready.
Remus Lupin would remember this day as long as he lived.
Potions class was mainly lecture notes on the nightshade family (there had to have been some real reason tomatoes were called 'Love Apples'), and students spent the whole of the class writing notes as Professor Sartoris lectured.
Finally, unable to keep it in, Sirius Black blurted, "Hey, Snivellus, how did you manage to get Sartoris into the pink panties and make him skip down the hall like that?"
James Potter snickered. "Probably gave him some potion instead of his tea."
Peter Pettigrew snorted in giggles. "Yeah, that's the only useful thing out of Snivelly - mixing up drinks at the Slytherin Quidditch Parties."
"Absolutely," Black agreed. "Somebody had to make drinks." He 'PSST!'ed rather loudly. "Hey, Snots! When Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup, why don't you play bartender at our bash?"
"Wouldn't trust him," Potter pointed out. "Might poison us."
Sev's left fist rested on his knee as he continued taking notes, feeling his nails dig into his palm from the tight fist he was making. He was not going to make a scene in front of Sonia Stellamaris, especially since she was sitting next to him, overpowering his potion-stinking robe with her rose perfume.
Sartoris stopped lecture and gazed into the back. "Mr. Black, is there something you would like to share with the class?"
Black smirked. "As a matter of fact, yes. I'm thinking of chasing down Brito-tart-is Vox and make her my woman since it's obvious Snape has left her for someone with a bit more class."
The entire classroom went dead silent. Artemisia and Adonia's auras began to shimmer, making their seat-partners scoot away.
Sartoris snorted. "And since you seem to think that your hormone-driven soap operas are more important that your scholastic work, I'm sure you won't mind Gryffindor losing ten points due to your crude behavior."
"WHAT?!" Black cried, standing in his seat. "You can't do that!"
"Make it twenty more, for insufferable rudeness and cheek in class. And for disrupting the work of students who care about Potions, I think you can go and talk to you House Mistress." Sartoris looked through his notes. "And take an 'incomplete' for today's class."
Black ground his teeth as he marched out of the classroom, several Slytherins and two Gryffindors giving him the Two-Finger Salute as he walked past. The Vox twins added their own rude hand-gestures at him, most of them seeming to involve a human and a horse.
Sev could not quite hide the smirk and Sonia saw it through his hair. "You two have to work this rivalry out. Most unbecoming."
"He won't," Sev replied in a whisper. "It won't end 'til one of us is dead, and I have no doubts he is plotting my murder as we speak."
"Children and their hormones," she sighed, going back to her notes.
Lupin hunched down, continuing his own notes. If it were indeed true about Snape and Stellamaris, then there should be no problem in asking Miss Britomartis to the Valentine's Dance as his own date. He would have to make up some excuse to the rest of the Marauders (well, at least for Sirius and James, who both would rather see her hang by her hair from the tallest tower) as to why he was escorting their mortal enemy.
He will ask her tonight after dinner. That is what he will do!
Sev and Martis entered the disused girls' lavatory on the second floor; Martis had a box of detergent in hand and Sev began unbuttoning his robe.
A round face full of teenage acne and a pair of thick glasses that made the eyes fill up the whole area of the lenses appeared before them, inches from their faces. "Come to visit and make fun of Myrtle?" the ghost squeaked.
Martis rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses. "Get over it, girl. And stop whining, it's undignified."
"Spirals, don't encourage her," Sev warned as Myrtle burst into wails and floated away to her toilet. "Ghosts aren't able to change their personalities."
"Of course not. They wouldn't be ghosts anymore."
He switched on a faucet, plugging the hole with a wadded up kerchief as it filled with hot water.
Martis poured a bit of detergent into the sink, pushing her sunglasses up on her face. "Just need a thorough agitating, then we rinse several times. We can probably dry it with our wands."
"Sure it'll work?"
"Trust me, Severus. I had laundry duty as a child." She plucked his robe from his hands and shoved it into the hot, milky-colored water, allowing the faucet stream to soak it thoroughly. She then twisted the water off and wandered back to the stalls where she took her own robe off and hung it up. She rolled up her sweater and shirtsleeves as she said, "I'll sit with my sisters during the game. I doubt Stellamaris will want her dainty ears to be filled with screams from the island of barbarians."
"You can sit with us."
"No, Severus, I can't." She finished rolling up her sleeves. "Two's company, three's a crowd."
Sev sat down against the wall of a stall in his under-uniform, the pant legs finally the right length, although the sleeves were slightly too short, exposing his slender, skinny wrists. Why did this feel like they were having a fight? It frightened him, made him want to hide. He had no idea what to say or do ... it seemed anything he would say would result in her getting mad at him.
Martis went back to the sink and began washing. "So, kissed her yet?"
Sev turned several shades of red. "No."
Myrtle poked her head out of her toilet's stall door, giggling. "What's going on? Is the infamous duo of Snips and Spirals all broken up? I heard from Peeves about what you two did over Christmas holiday - all the gory, disgusting details." She leered. "He cried like a baby."
"Those were accidents, Myrtle," Martis said, her back to her.
"Sure, sure." The ghost snorted. "Everything was so hunky-dory, then Severus went off and found some other girl! How's it feel, Britomartis, with your boyfriend chasing someone who's better looking than you? Especially since you have to wash his clothes!"
"WE AREN'T TOGETHER!" Martis and Sev yelled at once.
Myrtle broke into sobs again and vanished back into her stall.
"Great Mother, she's annoying," Martis mumbled.
"No wonder she's dead," Sev muttered. "Somebody probably killed her to shut her up."
"I HEARD THAT!" Myrtle wailed.
"He didn't mean it, Myrtle," Martis called over her shoulder. "You know how insensitive boys are to girls that don't matter to them."
"Yes!" Myrtle agreed.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Sev asked.
"Nothing," she answered curtly.
"No, what did you mean by that - I got the distinct feeling that was aimed at me."
"Maybe it was," Martis said as she turned around to face him. She folded her arms. "Maybe it wasn't. I was referring to those who have other things on their minds - the two things they pay attention to, anyway."
"Will you cut with the thrice-damned innuendoes and talk straight?" Sev demanded as he got up. "What is the problem?"
Martis could not see the smoke rising up behind her from the sink. "The problem? There is no problem. Annoyances, maybe, but no problems."
Sev stepped back as a large black THING rose up behind her from the sink. A pair of glowing red eyes snapped open and STARED at them.
"What are you stuttering about now??"
Sev pointed. "MONSTER!"
Martis turned around, seeing the mass of black looming over her, the glowing red eyes unblinking. Arms raised up, threatening to encompass her.
Sev rushed to her and grabbed her waist, both dropping to the floor and rolling away to the exit door. Both looked up to see the cloth spill over the sink and onto the floor, neatly floating just above the surface of the tile as it attempted to straighten itself up into the shape of the robe, swaying as it stacked up into a vaguely humanoid form.
Myrtle poked her head out, saw the disembodied robe, screamed, and then flushed herself down the toilet.
Sev and Martis got up, running out of the bathroom as fast as they could and down the corridor.
"This is all YOUR fault!" Sev said.
"MY fault??" Martis retorted. "It's your robe!"
"But you insisted you should wash it!"
"Well, if you weren't so intent on getting close to Sonia 'The Tramp' Stellamaris - "
"WILL YOU STOP CALLING HER THAT?"
"All so you could snog her like a drooling - "
"The only girl I've wanted to kiss was you - SO SHUT UP!"
Both stopped dead in their tracks, staring at each other, until hands clasped the scruffs of their necks. Both twisted in panic and saw Caretaker Argus Filch looking down at them. "What are you doing running around the halls without your robes?"
"Mr. Filch!" Martis cried. "Just the man we wanted to see! There's a monster in the disused girls' lavvy down the hall - be a sweetheart and take care of it!"
She moved to leave, but Filch lifted up the back of her sweater to keep her from running off.
"I haven't been a sweetheart since before you were born! You two are comin' with me."
"But what about the monster?" Sev asked.
"We'll sacrifice your remains to it when we're done with ya'."
Filch dragged them off to the nearest teacher's office.
"WHY do you think the house-elves are the only ones permitted to do student laundry??" Professor Penderdandis said coldly. "Any ideas? Perhaps because of potion spills on the robes mixing together at random in a warm medium and reacting to each other? I believe Professor Sartoris could explain the more scientific aspects to you, but I think I've covered it quite well."
The two Slytherins looked down at the floor. Martis was busy grinding the toe of her shoe into a hole behind her, while Sev wondered when was the last time the House Master had the floor swept. Interesting the amount of fluff that collects under a desk.
"Now there is a sentient robe roaming the halls of the school with a Slytherin badge on it." Penderdandis gazed over his pince-nez glasses at them. "What are you going to do about it?"
"The last time we created a monster, we froze it out at the lake," Martis explained.
"I did that - you just played bait," Sev corrected her.
"Yes, so how come we end up making monsters when we're together? If that's all we can do, maybe it's a good thing you're trying to get into Sonia's pants instead."
"I AM NOT - !"
"Quiet, both of you." He narrowed his eyes and his lip curled up in a sneer. "Congratulations. In the thousand-year history of Hogwarts, you two were the only ones who ever tried to wash a robe. To do something so stupid requires a talent that I had never come across in my decades of experience, and I've met some pretty stupid individuals. I never thought I would rank you right up there next to Uric the Oddball. Imagine - Chocolate Frog cards featuring Snape and Vox and their possessed school robe - AND NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!"
Martis slammed her hands down on his desk, leaning forward and in his face. "Well, if you weren't spending so much time wheezing about what failures we are, we'd be out there hunting it down, SIR!"
He got back up in her face, his long thin nose nearly touching hers. "Miss Vox, I suggest you both leave now, before I decide to ship you both back home. Take care of that thing before midnight and I won't have you expelled."
She pulled back, pushing her sunglasses up. "Thank you! Snape, let's go."
As they left the office, she made sure to slam the door hard.
"Attention, students," Professor McGonagall's voice stated over the wizarding public address system in the school. "Until further notice, all pupils will return to their dorms. No one is to be out unless accompanied by a member of staff. And do not believe any reports of Lethifolds in the corridors."
The halls were emptied within twenty seconds.
"Well," Sirius Black commented as the Gryffindors filed into the common room. "That was the fastest retreat I ever saw."
"Except for when we enchanted the cream pies at Snivelly and Vox," James Potter reminded him as he plopped on a couch. "Wonder what McGonagall meant by Lethifolds?"
"Rumor says a Lethifold escaped from Professor Kettleburn's class," a Third- Year girl commented.
"I heard that a student brought it back from holiday break," a Fifth-Year boy remarked.
A First-Year boy piped up, "I heard someone created it by washing a potion- splashed robe."
Everyone broke into laughter at that.
"Aw, Lovegood, you'll believe ANYTHING!" Potter chortled.
Black smirked. "Nobody would be stupid enough to wash their own robes if they have potions all over them. Besides, who in the entire student body would have potions splashed all ... over ... their ... robes ...?"
Three light bulbs (and a faint firefly for Pettigrew) went off over the heads of the Marauders. They looked at each other and pronounced the verdict simultaneously.
They broke into harder laughter, imagining Snots and Spitballs being chased down a hallway by a mad robe.
"Think it's really a Lethifold?" Potter whispered.
"Let's find out!" Black returned.
Potter and Black grabbed Lupin and Pettigrew's robe sleeves, and all four slipped out of the Gryffindor common room.
Sev and Martis carefully tracked the halls, the only students allowed out in the corridors without escort. Sev was armed with his wand while Martis carried a double-headed axe.
"You know," Sev said quietly. "That thing is totally useless. If you do succeed in ripping the robe to shreds, it'll become several pieces of possessed cloth and reassemble itself."
"Do all magical monsters we make end up with that sort of stipulation?" she groused.
"It's a simple matter of the Principles of Affinity and Conjugation, which are more crucial in Potions than in regular casting. The affiniated pieces have an overall supra-personality matrix that -"
She swung around at him, axe held at the ready. "Any more impersonating a textbook and I'm going to shave your head down to the armpits!"
"It's taught in Second-Year classes, Martis," he snorted. "If you weren't concentrating so much on the backends of Quidditch players, you'd be a half- way decent Potions student."
"What's that supposed to mean??"
"Dropping a book and asking Keith Woot to pick it up? Really, Martis."
"I did drop it! I don't know what you're implying, MISTER Stellamaris!"
By this point, both had stopped their search altogether and were arguing in the middle of the hallway. Both failed to notice the robe standing less than ten feet away, its sleeves folded and looking like it was waiting for them to notice it.
"Hey, she's ONLY my study partner!"
"Yeah, I bet you're studying stuff together - "She leered angrily. "Deep, probing studies, eh?"
Sev sneered. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I'm surprised she hasn't tutored you in that. Only a matter of time, then."
The robe decided to take things into its own cuffs at this point and wrapped itself up. It snapped at Severus' skinny backside, making him yelp and jump forward, knocking Martis to the floor with him on top of her.
"IT'S THE ROBE!"
"AFTER IT THEN!"
The robe jumped around, and then skittered off down the hall and around a corner, Martis and Sev in hot pursuit.
After losing the two hormonal teenagers, the robe flew down the staircase and up another hallway, speeding through the air -
Until it wrapped itself around a head.
James Potter's voice screamed from under it, "GET IT OFF!! GET IT OFF!!"
"HOLY - !" Black and Pettigrew shrieked.
Lupin drew his wand out just as Potter transfigured into a stag. Swinging his head wildly around, the robe caught on the antlers and could not escape even if it wanted to.
Potter the Stag, panicking, began bashing his head into a wall.
The rest of the Marauders watched in speechlessness as their friend tried to get rid of the robe monster.
"Uh, Prongs?" Black said. "It doesn't have any internal organs for you to bash."
"So," Martis' voice murmured, right next to Lupin. "He's trying to knock out his lack of brains. I guess dinner tonight will be venison."
Sev was on her other side. "This is rather entertaining, actually. Is he really going to knock himself unconscious trying to get that thing off?"
Remus Lupin turned to Martis, her sunglasses reflecting the image of the mad stag. "Miss Britomartis!" He was about to bring up the dance, but decided the time and place were not appropriate.
Black smirked. "Well, Snivelly, looks like we finally caught you and your sidekick bitch."
Martis waved her hand dismissively. "The teachers already know - we have authorization to be out in the halls. What about you?"
Pettigrew smiled nervously. "Ah, we're just getting ... "
Potter the Stag finally fell to the floor, unconscious. The robe untwisted itself from the horns and raised its shredded arms toward them, appearing large and ominous like a Dementor.
"YAAAAAAAHHH!" all five conscious students screamed, running off.
The remaining Marauders ran down the hall while Martis and Sev ran the opposite direction. The robe took off for the stairs to the dungeon floors.
"Wait a minute!" Martis suddenly yelled. "We're AGREEING with the Drooling Menagerie about something!"
"We can't do that," Sev confirmed. Both turned around and headed down the stairs.
By the time Martis and Sev reached the small stone corridor leading to their House's common room, Oriana Crescent, one of Martis' roommates, was running out of the secret doorway.
"There you are!" she cried. "You won't believe it! A Lethifold crept into our dorm room, Martis!"
"What?" Martis asked. "Are you all right?"
"No!" Oriana sobbed. "It stole your underwear!"
"WHAT?? Wait a minute - it what?"
Oriana clutched the sides of her face, and then wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her own robe. "It stole your underwear! A pink pair! Then it slinked out through the common room. Everyone's freaked out - Gods, why would it steal your underwear??"
Sev blurted out, "It's really Lucius Malfoy in a Lethifold suit?"
Both girls glared at him.
Martis turned to look at Sev. "It's YOUR robe, Severus," she hissed in his ear.
"I can't control what it's doing!" he whispered back.
"Does anyone know where it went?" Martis asked aloud.
"No," Oriana answered. "Come in, before it gets you!"
"You go back in, Ori."
She went back in and Martis led the way back up the stairs. "I don't get it. What would it want with a pair of my underwear?"
"The main question is what would it do with them?" Sev stated. "Which may answer why it had to be yours in the first place."
Martis headed up another staircase to the original floor it was made on. "Well, I wonder if it might be tied into your energies."
"Your thoughts and emotions. You've worn that robe constantly since school started. It's embedded with your energies ... "
Sev's face colored over. "Hey, I would NOT steal your underwear!"
"Yes, but minus my roommates, you're the only one who's ever seen them. Your robe might have picked that up."
"So you're saying my robe's a pervert?"
"Well, it's not trying to steal Stellamaris', is it?"
"Not yet, anyway," he admitted. He looked up in alarm. "I have to warn Sonia about it, then! It might try to stalk her or something -!"
Martis snorted and swung into the abandoned girls' bathroom, then pressed Sev back; both poked their heads in.
"What's it doing?" Sev whispered.
"I don't know," Martis breathed.
The robe monster was in the bathroom, holding Martis' robe like a dead body. It carefully folded her robe, and then stuffed it into the pair of pink panties.
"Eww!" Martis squeaked.
It ceremonially placed the package of robe and panties in the laundry water. The water bubbled, frothed, and produced a rolling bank of smoke...
Until at last, from the water arose Martis' robe, stretching its sleeves up. Sev's robe helped it out of the sink, and both robes were now possessed and stood of their own accord. It became evident - when the new robe fluttered around to leave - that it had on the pink panties underneath.
Martis and Sev silently left the doorway and stiffly made their way to the stairs.
"I don't know whether to be fascinated or appalled," Sev admitted. "It just created a companion."
"From MY robe and MY underwear!" Martis cried. "I feel soiled!" She leaned the axe against the stairway banister and threw her arms around him. "Hold me, Snips!"
"Will you stop that?" he snapped, untangling himself from her arms. "We have TWO robe monsters now, and if the other's taken on your energies, then the whole school's in trouble from both of them. Come on, we have to go back there and stun them at least."
Martis nodded and they dashed back to the girls' room, only to find it empty of robes.
"Sev? Where did they go??"
"I don't know."
The three Marauders sat in the Gryffindor common room and debated if they should go back out and rescue James Potter. Peter Pettigrew suggested Prongs would make a fine sacrifice, while Remus Lupin argued they should go back out, and Sirius Black counseled a period of waiting before venturing out again.
The common room was slightly fuller than usual, as a hundred students decided to wait out the Lethifold attack by playing board games or doing homework. A few sat around the fire, listening to another student read the entry for Lethifolds in Newt Scamander's book 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'. This did not help calm anybody down, as the calm, factual account of a Lethifold's behavior would have fit in perfectly in a horror story.
No one noticed the dark things sliding through the portrait hole, nor did they notice these same things creep across the floor toward the couch the remaining Marauders were seated on.
However, everyone noticed when the two things grabbed Sirius Black up by his ankles and pulled him up to the ceiling, hanging him by one ankle from the chandelier as he screamed many obscenities.
The common room erupted into chaos as students tramped over each other to get to their dorm rooms for safety. A few of the more level-headed ones pulled out their wands and tried to hit the robes with stun charms, but found they had no use on the cloth.
Pettigrew caught sight of something under one of the robes. "Wow - I just saw that Lethifold's panties!"
Both robes turned on him, enveloped him, and then used themselves as a slingshot to chuck him out one of the windows. One of them turned and began to loom over Lupin.
Lupin raised his wand again and yelled, "INCENDIO!"
The robe that had descended upon him caught fire, quickly flaring up in green smoke. As it disappeared, the badge that had been on it fell into Lupin's hands.
"Slytherin," he said quietly. He looked up to the other robe, which was quickly fleeing out the window. Lupin ran after it, leaning out the window to see if he could zap it.
"Moony old chap," Pettigrew whined. Lupin glanced down to see the blonde boy hanging onto a decorative statue by his robe. "Mind getting me down from here? It's cold."
"Me first!" Black yelled from the ceiling.
Lupin sighed, pocketing the badge quietly. He knew the robe he zarked had belonged to Miss Britomartis ... she was the only Slytherin who embroidered her badges with gold spirals around the snake.
"There you are!" Professor McGonagall said as she caught up with Martis and Sev on the fifth floor. "There was an attack by two robes in the Gryffindor common room."
"Was anyone hurt?" Martis asked.
"Pity," Sev murmured.
"Sirius Black was hanging by his ankles from the ceiling, Peter Pettigrew was thrown out the window, and Remus Lupin had destroyed one of the robes with a fire spell. James Potter can't be found."
"Third floor hallway, north side," Martis supplied. "Did the other one escape?"
"Yes. Out the window."
Sev tapped his fingers to his lips. "We should go to our dorms and intercept it; it might try to make a companion again."
"Then we need to clean out that laundry water," Martis added. "Why don't I do that?"
"Then I'll go warn Sonia," Sev said. "It might go after her things instead."
"Don't know why," Martis muttered. "I don't think she wears underwear ... "
"What was that?" Sev and McGonagall asked.
One of the Ravenclaw Prefects shook his head, coming back into the common room. "Sonia? That Snape guy is outside the entrance and wants to talk to you."
Artemisia and Adonia Vox glanced up from their wizard chess set and rolled their eyes.
"Instead of hunting down his robe," Artemisia murmured. "He's visiting Teasey."
"Baby Sister is probably hunting it down," Adonia pointed out. "Just like lions, I guess. The males try to mate and the females do the hunting."
Sonia Stellamaris passed by them to get to the entryway.
"See that?" Artemisia commented. "Never even took her nose out of the book."
"Yeah, she's real excited to see him. Wonder what game she's up to?"
"Well, it's not because he's a sweetheart and drop-dead gorgeous."
"She wants him for his mind?"
"Well, he IS the best potions student within the past fifty years of the school's history." Artemisia bit her lip, thinking. "But she's a Ravenclaw. I've partnered with her in Potions; adequate, but nothing to write home about."
Adonia leered. "Maybe she believes the myth about a guy's nose corresponding to the size of his member?"
"In that case, I still wouldn't mind a test ride." Artemisia smiled cutely. "Severus is adorable ... in a half-grown, scary puppy sort of way."
"He's little sister's and you know it - hands off." Adonia glanced at Sonia standing in the entryway, talking with Sev. "At least some of us respect that."
Sonia turned around and the door shut.
"Hey, Sonia," Artemisia called. "What did Snape want?"
Sonia rolled her pretty blue eyes. "He says there's a robe monster roaming the halls and that it might attack me. I asked him why and he said that his friend - your sister - tried to wash his robe and the potions on it mixed up and made the robe sentient."
The twins giggled. "And what do you think of that?" Adonia asked.
"I asked him how they could be so stupid. He gave some nonsense about it making sense at the time, but I don't quite believe him. Sorry to say this, but your sister causes more trouble with her brilliant ideas than is humanly possible. I still wonder why he idolizes her considering the trouble she gets him into with those boys in Gryffindor." She yawned. "Well, barring any invasions by possessed robes, I must go up to my room to study before dinner - provided they serve any."
She climbed the stairs to the dorms and both twins pushed the tips of their noses up with their fingers as she left.
"Snotty bitch," Adonia complained.
"The motion has been seconded and approved," Artemisia agreed. "I'm going to relish the day when Martis kicks her skinny, pale butt."
"We should sell tickets."
"To our Potions class, at least."
Martis and Sev met on the stairs down to the dungeons.
"Sink's empty," she said. "Is Stellamaris still unmolested?"
"Yes." He thought about it and turned red. "That was a double-entendre, right?"
"What is your problem? I thought we cleared this up?"
"The problem? Yes. St. Claire told me about your notebook covered in mushy doodles. Says it was quite disgusting how 'SS' and 'SS' were artfully linked together inside little hearts."
"That's a lie! Besides, you don't know about their notebooks, do you? I'm pretty sure 'BV' on Thomas' and Evan's notebooks would mean you!"
Martis rolled her eyes. "Evan's dating Brittany Valkaria, remember?"
"Oh, right." Both instinctively turned toward the Potions classroom and lab as they argued. "So why do you have a problem with me being normal and doodling on my notebook?"
"Because you said she was ONLY your study partner. Just admit she gives you the screaming widdershins and get it over with." Martis kicked open the classroom door.
"But - "
His thought was thrown to the side as they gazed at the robe trying to throttle Professor Sartoris over the teacher's desk. Sartoris' wand was out of his reach, lying on the floor.
Sev stood in morbid fascination, seeing the Dark Wizard being choked. It seemed almost worth allowing it to finish its job before trying to blast it.
Of course, his father would throw a fit for allowing something to kill his potions tutor.
Without a glance to each other, both student raised their wands and cried out, "PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!"
The robe stiffened straight, as if a giant iron had ran over it, and then it fell back from Professor Sartoris and hit the stone floor with a gentle thud.
"INCENDIO!" Sev added, setting the robe on fire.
The robe burned as Martis dashed to Sartoris and patted his back while he coughed and choked for air.
"Thank you," he wheezed. "Thank you, child."
Martis released him quickly and rubbed her hands over her skirt and sweater. She did not like how he felt and it infuriated her that she could not place the reason why.
Sev hesitantly approached the desk. "I'm really sorry for causing all this, sir. We had no idea - "
Sartoris smoothed his robes out. "A little terrifying, I assure you, but you took care of it, Master Snape. And you, too, Miss Vox - seems I underestimated your natural abilities."
"It was only laundry," she stated coolly.
He blinked. "I didn't mean the robe, I meant the illusion this morning."
The students blinked this time; that morning did seem like a long time ago. "No," Martis said. "I didn't do that, neither did Snips - I mean, Severus. I doubt anyone would do such a thing concerning ... you."
"Pity. It was a brilliant illusion from what I heard." He patted her head and smiled in his grandfatherly way at Sev. "Time we told the staff that the robe menace has been disposed of. Go on and inform the teachers, Miss Vox, I need to speak with Master Snape."
Martis bit her lip, nodded, and left. Sev looked down at the floor. "So, you'll tell my father about this, won't you?"
"We must Floo him right away, of course," Professor Sartoris stated as he guided the boy toward his office. He shut the door and picked up a handful of Floo Powder, tossing it into the fireplace. "Lord Snape! I must speak with you about your son!"
Sev curled up into a corner of the room, trying to fit his shoulders between jars on the shelves lining the walls. He would rather be faced with the robe monsters again than his father. Gods only knew how the old bastard would take the news of what happened. He prayed his father would not decide to Floo himself into the room and beat him half to death again.
Confutatis Maledictis Snape's face appeared in the fireplace, sneering and angry. "What has that useless brat done now??"
"You must congratulate him, sir," Sartoris corrected him. "He created a faux-Lethifold from his robe. Had to destroy it, but it was a brilliant piece of work."
"A faux-Lethifold, hm?" Lord Snape's face looked around the room. "Boy! Come here and tell me what happened."
Sev forced himself to approach the fireplace, standing ten feet away from it at the closest. "I made it sentient. It attacked students by throwing them out windows or hanging them from the ceiling. It created a companion for itself from another student's robe. It stole a girl's underwear to make its companion." Sev felt tears prickle the back of his throat. "And it tried to kill Professor Sartoris. I ... almost let it."
The face was impassive for a moment, and then it broke into harsh hoarse laughter. "Severus, you are indeed an heir of the Snape Bloodline! That was brilliant of you, boy! No one has ever - EVER - created a faux- Lethifold in the history of magic! The Dark Lord will be pleased that you aren't as useless as we thought. Since your robe got destroyed, I'll send you funds to get a new one. Make sure it's in fine shape - you are on your way to being a halfway decent Dark Wizard at last. Continue your studies, hear?"
"Excellent." The face turned to Sartoris. "Keep me posted on his progress."
"Of course, sir," the Potions Master replied.
The face of the Senior Snape vanished and Sev found himself able to breathe again. "I thought he would have killed me for that," Sev gasped softly.
"He's quite proud of what you did," Sartoris remarked.
Sev glowered. "Figures the only thing he would be proud of me for was for something that nearly killed people. He'd probably love me unto death if it succeeded."
"You've opportunity enough, Master Snape," Sartoris commented lightly.
"Attention students and teaching staff," McGonagall's voice stated from the ceiling. "The lock-down has been lifted. Please report to the Great Hall for dinner."
Sev felt his stomach rumble, realizing the adventure had left him rather famished.
"Well," Sartoris said. "Time for our evening meal. Come along."
Dinner in the Great Hall had been filled with rumors, stories, and tall tales surrounded what had happened that afternoon. The truth about the robe washing finally circulated, and Sev hunched down in his seat to not have to reply to anyone's questions or jeers. Martis, on the other hand, bragged about the robe causing James Potter to knock himself unconscious (three of the Marauders being conspicuously absent due to being in the hospital wing) and having helped end its reign of terror.
Dinner ended and the students scattered; Martis watched as Sev made his way down the aisle to Sonia's place. She rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses and got up to leave. It somewhat surprised her to see Remus Lupin approach her.
"Miss Britomartis," he said politely. "I think this belongs to you."
He handed her the spiral-embroidered Slytherin badge. She accepted it. "Thanks, Lupin. Didn't expect to see any of it again. I heard you're the one who took it out."
He blushed, bringing color to his face. Lupin smiled shyly. "Just a simple fire spell. They want to hail me as the hero of Gryffindor, but I didn't do much. Although McGonagall was talking about making me a Prefect next year."
Martis chuckled. "Does this mean we make up a new Truce? The current one is quickly deteriorating."
"I'm aware of that. Considering the way Sirius has been arguing with Snape in Potions, there may be a complete breaking of it soon." He glanced at her profile as they walked down the hall. "Miss Britomartis?"
"Hm? Oh, yeah, thanks for taking it out, Lupin."
"You can call me Remus." A bold move, he decided. Having her call him by his first name would be a leap in progress.
She glanced up at him. He was still a full head taller than her, his shaggy ginger-colored hair getting longer and touching the collar of his shirt. Plus a pair of azure blue eyes that seemed both exhausted and powerful at once. She decided he was cute, even if he did have the spine of an ostrich with the way he kept burying his head whenever the rest of his friends were being stupid.
"I can't see you as a Remus," she finally giggled. "You're still Lupin."
"How about John? It's my middle name."
"John? Like toilet?" She raised an eyebrow in a suggestive fashion. "Why, Remus Lupin, are you trying to break ranks while the rest of the Maraudering Idiots are incapacitated? Will they allow you when they find out?"
He leaned close, inhaling her delicious scents of olive oil and spicy perfume and Girl ... And he found he was unable to ask. It should be simple - he rehearsed it in front of a mirror, for Gods' sakes! And now that he was with her, her tasty scent and soft dark skin and incredibly gorgeous long hair filling his senses, he could not say it!
Martis did not quite understand why Lupin suddenly turned around and began banging his forehead into the wall. She decided to leave him there and go back to the Slytherin common room.
She suddenly remembered there had been something important Sev had told her during their adventure with the robe monster, but for the life of her, she could not remember what he had said. The trauma surrounding the event seemed to have erased it.
Tomorrow would be the Ravenclaw-Gryffindor match.
So much to do. At least Evan Ryper loaned Sev a robe and cloak for the game, even though Evan muttered something indistinct under his breath about fidelity.
Tomorrow he will ask Sonia. There will be nothing to stop him. And Martis can go to the lowest realms of hell if she doesn't like it!