DISCLAIMER: Don't mess in the affairs of the Vox clan, for you will get a foot up your hind end.

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Snips and Spirals Fanfic: "Teasey's Revenge"

Text by Lady Tesser

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"It really was like hexing fish in a barrel," Britomartis Vox, Second-Year and Slytherin Beater, muttered to the Slytherin Quidditch team as they entered their prep-room under the stands.

"Can we help it they have fifty-foot-high flaming signs that say 'Thank you, sir, may we have another'?" Captain Onslow Daizer asked.

"Or that the Hufflepuff Seeker thinks that I'm an axe-murder," Seeker Thomas St. Claire added as he pulled his gloves off.

"You are not," Martis stated. "My axes are perfectly alive and well."

St. Claire laughed, flashing bright white teeth.

"Are you guys going to throw another victory party?" she asked. "I have better things to do than watch you lot set off the Protection Spells."

Jonas Kennebunk, Chaser, leered at her as she stripped out of her outside armor. "Well, you could always join us in - "

The suggestion was never finished as his fellow Chasers, Ryan and Keith Woot, sat on him. Keith wagged his finger in Jonas' face. "You don't talk to Miss Spirals like that, dungbrain."

"Boys, off of him, I think you broke his spine."

"Yes, Miss Spirals," the Woot brothers replied in unison. They bounced on Jonas' back then got up to finish putting their green robes on over their light-colored trousers and green sweaters.

Martis shook her head. "The Cup Game is going to be Hell."

----------

The end of February saw an increase of rain, drenching the moors surrounding Hogwarts and keeping the students inside out of the cold wetness. One of the large lecture halls had been converted into a gymnasium to allow students some exercise after classes.

Some used it for other purposes.

For example, Sonia Stellamaris, now commonly known as 'Teasey' by the entire school due to her hare-brained mix-up with Snips and Spirals, was sitting against one of the walls in a desk chair, watching Martis Vox leap over the heads of the Slytherin Quidditch team to demonstrate how to jump bulls.

She rubbed her jaw, now nicely healed thanks to Nurse Pomfrey. A barbaric snake-charmer from a family of the same. Even though she was roommates with Artemisia, Sonia had the aristocratic habit of looking upon most foreigners as 'primitive'. The Vox siblings (despite the incredibly gorgeous Kyros Vox, whom had graduated last year) were essentially barbarians with their snakes, double-axes, sporty lifestyles, and Earthy attitudes.

It was surprising, when she had done her information gathering, to find out that the Vox's were one of the foremost wizarding families of Crete and highly regarded by the European wizarding community. The only reason any of the siblings had attended Hogwarts was due to Matriarch Saphira Vox offering her children an introduction into the 'Modern Wizard World' (as Artemisia had called wizarding Britain).

So, they were Purebloods as well. Even that gorilla Brit - Brito - whatever, the one in Slytherin.

Sonia did find it odd how every single Vox was put in Ravenclaw but the last one. And the last one being put in ambitious, devious, politicking Slytherin.

Not all Slytherins become Dark Wizards, but all Dark Wizards were once Slytherins.

How could one bribe the Sorting Hat to reveal why it placed a certain student in a certain House? Indeed, was there any way in locating the Sorting Hat to find out? It was very likely in the Headmaster's office, but getting in there was near to impossible.

All right. So, what would be damaging information for that Spirals creature? Some sort of skeleton in the closet that she could rattle around in public - like being an illegitimate child of a goat herder or a vampire- lover or even (ugh) a Chudley Cannons supporter.

She had to do a bit of sniffing around, and that required investigators of some type. Perhaps one of that creature's roommates? Or better yet, one of Narcissa Black's Handmaidens. They would know everything - or they would be able to find out for a nominal fee.

----------

Severus Snape, Fourth-Year, left the Potions' classroom from his extra tutoring from Professor Sartoris. Most hated and most loved classroom in the entire school. Only three weeks ago, Sneerius and his posse followed him in after Sonia rejected him and attacked him like a group of thugs.

The Truce was Officially Off. The last three weeks had been a plague of pranks, at least once a day from each group; weekends saw a volley of prank fire.

He was climbing the short set of steps down to the Slytherin common room corridor when a girl's voice cried out, "SNIPS! Look what they did to me!"

Sev turned around -

Martis was in the hallway, her knee-length ash blonde hair puffed out in all directions from her head, making her look like she had an exaggerated blonde version of Thomas St. Claire's Afro. She could barely move through the corridor due to the hair.

Sev lowered his face, trying to hide the grin.

"Stop laughing!" she barked.

"Help!" a wheezy voice whimpered from somewhere within the hair. "Dappy stuck, he is!"

"Shut up, up there!" Martis yelled. "I don't like it any more than you do!"

Another House-Elf voice called out, "Goody drowning, Britty Vox! If anything happens to Goody, tell Sneezy I love her, Goody do!"

"Goody and Sneezy??" the first House-Elf exclaimed. "Goody never tell Dappy!"

"I said shut up!" Martis banged the mass of hair against the wall, knocking the House-Elves unconscious.

Sev fell to the stone floor in laughter, clutching his sides and howling.

"Will you stop laughing like an idiot and help me? I can't fix it by myself!"

"I'm sorry," Sev choked through giggles. "Really, Spirals, I am. But that's - !" Another wave of laughter erupted from his throat.

Martis burst into tears. "You're mean! Those creeps hexed my hair and all you can do is laugh at me!"

Sev sat up, wiping tears from his eyes as he continued grinning. "I'm sorry, Spirals. I'm really sorry - but you should see yourself!!!"

She wailed in response and Sev got up, carefully avoiding getting tangled in the giant blonde Afro-puff, as he pulled out his wand and said, "Finite Incantatum."

Her hair fell out of the Afro, two House-Elves hit the floor, and Martis wrapped her arms around Sev's neck, kissing his cheek in thanks. Sev tried to think of ice and potion formulae as she kissed his face, hoping the Protection Spells would not be triggered again.

"What made them hex you with that?" Sev asked as he went to pick up his books. Both continued on to the common room entrance.

"No reason," she sniffed. "Nothing major, anyway. They should know about the Muggle urban legend of alligators in the sewers."

"Oh, Martis ... "

She sniffed again, trying not to giggle. "Poor, poor Porky-grew and Sillyass Prat - you should have seen them run out of the boys' lavvy with alligators clamped on their backsides. Screamed like little girls."

Unable to hold it in, both fell to the floor in front of the Slytherin entrance, holding each other and shrieking in laughter.

"If you are quite done rolling around the floor like stoats," a familiar snotty voice commented. "Some of us would like to go into the common room."

Both looked up to see Lucius Malfoy (Fifth-Year) sneering over them.

Martis blurted, "You know, Lucy, when you flare your nostrils like that, I can see every single one of your nose hairs."

"You are not even worthy of - "

Sev drew his wand. "Leave the sentiment unsaid, Malfoy."

"Very well." He flicked the cane he had begun carrying around, motioning them to get out of the way. "Give my regards to the fluff."

He gave the password and entered the common room. As the door shut, Martis and Sev gave him the Two-Finger Salute and raspberried his back.

----------

A few minutes later, both managed to control their giggles and were in the Slytherin common room, sitting next to one of the large windows that gazed into the interior of the lake. The dim daylight that could reach down in the early afternoon made the greenish waters glow into a yellowish silver near the top of the windows.

Martis and Sev were studying Transfiguration notes from their classes and discussing the application of totem theory to human-animal transfiguration, when Peony Danderfluff (one of Martis' roommates) danced into the common room and announced, "Grant Parkinson and I are officially a COUPLE!"

"Grant Parkinson?" Sev repeated, glancing at Martis.

"Ravenclaw Prefect," Martis replied, flipping a page in her notebook and not looking up. "They've been dating since the Valentine's Dance, according to Peony. He must have proposed already. Wonder if he knows she hangs up her underwear on the lampshade to make them dry faster?"

"That's more than I wanted to know."

She giggled, poking his ear. "Bother."

He poked her ear. "Bother."

She poked his neck. "Bother."

He poked her neck. "Bother."

She poked his shoulder. "Bother."

He poked her shoulder. "Bother."

She poked his collarbone. "Bother."

He poked her collarbone. "Bother."

She poked his chest. "Bother."

He poked her breast, hitting one of the more sensitive areas. "Bother."

"Snips!" she squealed, grinning.

Sev stared at her in horror, then jumped up and dashed across the common room, sprinting up the stairs two at a time.

Martis got up, yelling at the foot of the staircase to the boys' dorms. "Severus! Come back! I'm not mad!"

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Lucius was changing out of his school robe and into an expensive silk tunic when Sev burst into their dorm room and dove into his own wardrobe, slamming the door behind him.

"Snape!" Lucius snorted. "What are you doing?"

"I DIDN'T MEAN TO DO IT!" Sev whimpered from inside the wardrobe.

"Do what, Snape?" Lucius asked in exasperation.

The door slammed open and Martis appeared, marching right into the room and asked, "Where is he?"

Lucius debated. As a fellow Male, he was obligated to protect his own kind from a mad Female. However, considering how Snape has practically given her a leash to walk him with, Lucius was not too inclined to get involved with any of the pair's domestic problems.

Protecting his own skinny ass, he pointed at the closet. "In there."

Martis pulled open the wardrobe door. "Will you stop that? I forgive you for touching my - "

ZARK!

The time limit of the Protection Spell within the boys' dorm had been reached, and Martis had been apparated out in a hurry.

Lucius pulled Sev out of the wardrobe. "What did you touch?! I want details, I want descriptions, I want photographs if you have them!"

Lucius was quickly taken out with a sucker-punch across the face as Sev - filled with righteous offense - hit him.

Sev looked at the out cold Malfoy at his feet, looked at his fist, then began jumping around and moaning about his hand being in pain.

Meanwhile, Martis had apparated in Headmaster Dumbledore's office, her mind and body still thinking she was in Sev's dorm room. " - You were very gentle when you poked me, Severus."

She glanced up to see Dumbledore raising an eyebrow at her. She looked around the cozy office and at Fawkes the Phoenix, then allowed her mouth to drop open with a Minoan expletive that she was certain the Headmaster would not know.

He sighed. "I expected it, but not this soon." A pile of books stacked themselves up into the shape of an armchair next to his desk and he motioned her to sit. "Want any tea, Miss Vox? I would like to hear the explanation concerning this intrusion from the Slytherin boys' dorms."

Martis gingerly sat down. "How did you know I was there?"

Dumbledore smiled to himself, getting up to fix tea things. "Because your House Founder - Salazar Slytherin - was more cynical regarding teenagers than the other Founders were. Slytherin House, as a result, is slightly more strict in that regard. Consequently, any time this happens, I usually get Slytherins in my office."

She thought about it, accepting tea from him. "I suppose this should be explained before you send me back home."

"I doubt I'll send you back home, my child."

Martis inhaled and began to explain.

----------

She was sent back to Slytherin House where the House Mother Rowena Price was first to meet with her.

"The Headmaster Flooed me about what had happened," Miss Price said as she guided the child toward the boys' dorms. She raised her wand and softly incanted a phrase no one could hear, then lead the girl up the stairs. "Severus has been in a state since you apparated - yelling about not doing anything to you and about his father killing him - he even struck Lucius, that was how upset he was."

"Lucy probably deserved it, then," Martis commented off-handedly. "Always wanted to shove that cane of his up his nose myself."

Miss Price knocked on the door to one of the dorm rooms. "Severus-dear? I brought Martis up."

Martis peered around Miss Price, seeing Sev sitting on the floor next to one of the windows. "Snips?"

He looked up at them, blinking. "I really didn't mean it," he said softly, his voice quavering. "You know I wouldn't do that. I'm so sorry I did it. You do know I didn't mean to do that?"

"Yes." She glanced up at the House Mother, who nodded. Martis entered the room and sat next to him. "I know you didn't mean to poke my chest."

"Maybe we should quit the Bother Game," he sighed, resting his chin on his fist. "It's rather childish, actually."

"But ... it's Ours." Martis pulled her sunglasses down, gazing at him with moss green eyes. "And it annoys everyone else to death. Do you want to give that up?"

Sev shrugged.

She snuggled closer to him. "When I appeared in Dumbledore's office, you know, I said something like that. He said that it's all right to keep a few childish things - keeping all of them would make you insane, but losing all of them will make you dead. The Bother Game is a good childish thing."

He looked up at her. "It really is all right?"

"Sure." She quickly hugged his shoulders. "Just be more careful with your aiming next time is all." She smirked. "You can even grope my breast as long as it's in a pure and chaste fashion."

Sev turned a brilliant crimson red, getting up and saying, "I WON'T DO THAT! Stop turning everything into a - "

Martis got up as well, guiding him out. "You really need a sense of humor, Snips."

Both teens left the room and Miss Price turned to do so as well, meeting Evan Ryper out in the hall.

"Y'know, House Mother," Evan commented. "Soon there won't be any 'accidents' and both will mean what they did."

"I don't want to think about it, Evan," Miss Price remarked.

"I have to - we have a betting pool going on. Average says by next Christmas. Although I'm convinced it'll be before this year lets out."

She stared at him. "You know and I know that both are closer than they should be, but considering their families they need to be that close. Just ... make sure nothing happens."

Evan shrugged. "Why?"

"Because if anything does happen with an 'undesired result', we'll lose our team Beater for sure. And I'll be shoved into Cerridwen's Cauldron if Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup again."

Evan nodded. "Good enough reason. McGonagall does get a case of catty pride when they win." He hit his chest with a fist. "I, Evan Ryper, Slytherin Prefect, solemnly swear to play shut-eye chaperone - "

"RYPER!"

"Don't worry about it, Miss Price." He slipped into the room he shared with Sev, noting the resident Malfoy coming to. "Good afternoon, Lucius, was it good for you, too?"

"Shut up, Ryper," Lucius groaned, rubbing his jaw. "What happened?"

"Snape hit you. Evidently, you were being an unusually larger smeghead than usual."

"Snape - hit me??" He snatched a mirror from his bedside table and looked at the bruise developing. "I'll be ... hm. It appears I underestimated his abilities. Where is he?"

"He and Vox ran off to commit more pranks or the like. Last I heard it involved a lot of poking each other."

Lucius made a face, as if some particularly gruesome odor filled his nose. "I'm sure."

"What did you say to get Snape to actually hit you?"

"Shut up."

----------

The following week happened to be a major test week, and many students studied in the Great Hall after classes. Sometimes the quiet discussions were punctuated by loud cries of, 'Get this bloody snake out of my trousers!' or 'Who the Avernus wrote "Help, I'm a big bug!" on my notes??' from opposite sides of the Great Hall.

At the Ravenclaw table, Sonia was sitting in conference with one of the Slytherin girls, being surprised at what she was finding out.

"Indeed?"

"Quite true. It has been checked."

Sonia brushed her quill against her lips in thought. "Well then, that's something that would be quite damaging." She dismissed the girl and glanced down at her parchment.

What to do with this information? Should an apology be demanded first, or just go to the jugular in the same manner that Spirals Creature did?

She looked up, staring down the Slytherin table and seeing both her and Snape practically all over each other as they studied.

Of course. Considering what she was ranting about, anything to make her look bad in front of Severus Snape would be ideal. Even though he was an awkward, ugly boy, he was still Pureblood and would recoil in disgust at his Precious Spirals having her closet's skeleton waved around in public.

Right at the throat. Subtlety - as such things usually called for - would not apply.

Sonia got up, clutching her wand in her hand, making sure she was prepared to defend herself against any physical attack. Her blue eyes stared intently at the back of Martis' long hair as it gently brushed the floor behind her.

The intent was felt, making several individuals look up discreetly. A few edged away from Martis and Sev, knowing that was where Stellamaris was heading.

"Excuse me," Sonia's voice stated severely.

Martis looked up, as did Sev, both looking at her cautiously.

"Yes, Stellamaris?"

Sonia's lip curled up into a slight sneer. "I have an announcement that the whole school should hear - it has to do with some very damaging information regarding Brit - Brit - "

"Stellamaris, you learned how to pronounce your own name, what's so hard about pronouncing mine?"

From the Gryffindor table, Sirius Black yelled, "It's pronounced 'Brit-o- TART-is'!"

"Shut your hole, Sirius Prat!" Martis yelled back. She turned to glare at Sonia. "So, what is it?"

Sonia folded her arms, carefully applying a slight smirk. The entire hall had hushed, giving her plenty of attention as she spoke.

"The history of the Vox of Slytherin began fourteen years ago when she was the last child conceived by her parents. The youngest of thirteen children, her birth was surrounded by the general consensus that she was not wanted. Indeed, her mother's apathy toward her was so great, that she was only given a first name and not the three like her siblings had. She was neglected, left alone hours on end. The only people who bothered with her were these same siblings, whom left their own immature mark on her. And when she arrived at Hogwarts, instead of being sorted into Ravenclaw like every other Vox, she got sent to Slytherin, showing what darkness comes from being an abandoned and hated child."

The reaction she got was a wave of bitter laughter from her target, not quite what she was expecting. Sev, on the other hand, was shooting daggers of rage at Sonia with his dark eyes. The rest of the hall was dead silent.

Martis' mouth fell into a thin, neutral line. She adjusted her sunglasses. "And this is news to me? Dear Stellamaris, it's the tapestry of my life - it's who I am." Her voice became flat and dead. "How is this supposed to damage me?"

Sonia heard the sound of knuckles cracking behind her. "The question is," Adonia's voice said. "Is who's going to keep Teasey from being damaged?"

Behind her, the Vox twins and eldest sister attending stood over her, battle armor materializing over their bodies in golden light and several types of weapons appearing in their hands.

"Outside, Stellamaris," Phaedra said as unemotionally as possible. "You know how the Headmaster gets about blood in the Great Hall."

"Don't bother," Martis remarked, gathering up her books and putting them in her bookbag. "Stupid Idiot Girl seems to think I'm important enough in her life to try to ruin my so-called 'reputation' by aristocratic means." She approached Sonia, who lifted her wand up. Martis gazed at the wand, then looked back up at her. "Moron. You're not even worth the breath."

Martis left the Great Hall. The students fell into the rooba-rooba of conversations of which Sonia caught snippets -

"Vox's parents hate her?" "The poor girl!" "No wonder she's like that." "What the hell does that Stellamaris think she's doing?" "Well, that was completely and utterly pointless." "Teasey must be desperate." "Think she's trying to get Snape back?" "Why would she want Snape back?"

The Vox sisters glared at Sonia as they sat down and continued their studies.

On the other side of the room, the Marauders were having their own conversation.

"I almost feel sorry for her," James Potter commented.

"I don't," Peter Pettigrew remarked. "Who'd want to look after that bint?"

Black smirked. "So, Snots and Spitballs hang out because they both come from friggin' messed-up families. What a relief they're sticking together away from the rest of us."

Remus Lupin wanted to hit their pack leader; Padfoot was the LAST person to talk about messed-up families. Lupin remembered the one time they had all visited the Black family home in London - the Black parents nearly made him wet himself, they were so scary. Not to mention the grandfather clock shooting bolts at him whenever he passed by it. And that House-Elf Kretcher ... Gods only knew what he did with the cats in the neighborhood.

He brought himself back to the situation at hand - despite her words, something about Stellamaris' proclaimation hurt Miss Britomartis. It was obvious that it was not because everyone knew.

He got up at the same time Severus Snape did ... then sat back down. He was probably the last person Miss Britomartis wanted to see.

Damn.

Lupin continued his studying, wondering if he could turn Stellamaris' food into maggots for hurting Miss Britomartis.

----------

Sev climbed into the Conversation Room and sat next to Martis. "I thought you didn't care if everyone knew?"

"I don't care. And really, it doesn't matter that my parents hate me." She took her sunglasses off, tossing them across the small room and against the stone wall. "It's the fact that Sonia Stellamaris is trying to get up my nose about it. If she wanted to fight like kids, she could have just hit me. Stupid bitch still doesn't get it."

"So why is it bothering you?" he asked.

"She insulted my family! She called my siblings 'immature'! Great Mother - I have nephews older than me! My eldest siblings are old enough to be my parents! What does she freaking know about my family or how I was raised? And she actually tried to hurt me with it? Who does she think she is?"

"Your mortal enemy?"

Martis rolled her eyes and snorted. "Oh, please. Nothing will replace the Maraudiots. The sad thing is, they outclass her by ten-fold."

"So, what are you going to do about it?"

"I dunno. I don't think Hagrid will let me feed her to the squid."

"You're letting her bother you."

"Mosquitoes do that, you know." She leaned her head against his shoulder. "Funny, but even though she intended to hurt me, she ended up insulting my family instead."

"Considering what she said," Sev commented. "That should have only affected you."

"I guess we do things differently on Crete as opposed to here." Martis turned her head and kissed his shoulder. "I actually had to leave because I had this lovely mental image of gouging her eyes out and using her head as a blonde bowling ball. As Phaedra said, the Headmaster doesn't like blood in the Great Hall."

Sev chuckled, drawing his arms around her and squeezing her tightly. "Your willpower is an amazing thing, Spirals."

"Oh, isn't it?" Martis hugged his waist, snuggling closer. "I should bottle it and sell it at an outrageous price."

"If I work out the formula, we'll share it."

"Done deal." She grinned up at him, then giggled. "Of course, we may end up creating yet another animated creature powered by magical means."

"We'd be doing it on purpose - I doubt we could ever make a living thing together on purpose."

They looked at each other, slightly startled, then released each other and moved away.

"Listen," Sev finally said. "Why don't you get some rest? I have something I need to do."

Martis nodded and hugged him, leaving the Conversation Room. Sev brushed his hair back from his face and looked up at the stained glass ceiling, thinking of how he was going to avenge his Martis' honor.

This Stellamaris bug was going to get squashed.

----------

It was still a half-hour before dinner, but students began to clear out of the Great Hall to go back to their dorms to wash up and prepare for the evening.

Sev was sitting on the stairs going up to the Ravenclaw common room in one of the towers. The Ravenclaws hardly paid attention to him, although a few had an idea of why he was there ... and pointedly did not make eye contact with the one student known to wield the Dark Arts.

"Hold it," he said in a severe voice heavy with seriousness.

Students hurried up the stairs as he stood, facing the halted Sonia Stellamaris. She lowered her face and glared at him from under long blonde lashes.

"What?" she asked in an equally hard tone.

Sev gazed down at her, two steps above her own. His dark brows were lowered over his black eyes, which were not glittering at all, but appeared to be tunnels going on forever.

"What did you think you would accomplish by exposing something like that?" he asked plainly, his voice edged with anger. "It wasn't enough that you wanted to shame me, you have to shame her, too?"

"So it worked?"

"It bloody nearly got you roasted alive. Are you so suicidal that you want to declare war on the Vox family?"

"No. After she broke my jaw, I wanted her to be ruined!"

"By what? Letting the whole school know about her monster parents?"

"Mainly you." Sonia frowned. "You'd never shut up about her! She was so damned perfect to you and she is so damned protective of you, that if you saw what kind of a messed-up family she had, you'd be broken."

"A stupid plot to shame both of us??" Sev almost roared. "What kind of a puerile mind operates like that? Let me set some facts straight, TEASEY - I already knew about it! I knew about it before anyone else did, and I'm angry as hell that you'd use something like that to try to break both of us because we have the decency to be honorable. For another, it's generated SYMPATHY for her rather than the shunning you wanted. And lastly, you enraged her sisters. You are so fortunate that Martis is on your side, else her sisters in Ravenclaw would have already torn your hair out."

"But I wasn't trying to ... you know, them - "

"They aren't British, they're Minoan, you stupid girl! They have different standards than we do! But you're such an inbred aristocratic Pureblooded TWIT, you don't bother pulling out of yourself enough to notice they bring WEAPONS to school and KNOW how to use them!" He snorted at her. "If I were you, I wouldn't fall asleep around them."

Sonia rolled her eyes. "I didn't insult them - "

"YOU'RE STILL NOT LISTENING!" he bellowed. "You insulted their ENTIRE family! Gods, what the HELLS did I ever see in you??"

She pinched her face in a snotty expression. "You thought I was an easy - "

Sev did not believe in hitting females. But this one richly deserved it so much that he found his fist clutched in a hard, white ball and pulled back, ready to be delivered to her wide-eyed, unbelieving face. He slowly lowered his hand and snarled, "You are so fortunate that I am a British gentleman." She continued to stare as he walked back down stairs in pure disgust.

----------

Sonia made her way up to her room to change into a fresh robe - and discovered her belongings and her bed were haphazardly tossed down the stairs going up to her dorm room.

"What the - ?"

Climbing over robes, trunks, and the basket-bed for her cat familiar, Sonia finally made it to the landing of her room and tried the knob.

Locked.

She banged on the door. "I know you're up to this, Artemisia Vox! Open this door, now!"

"Do you hear something?" Artemisia's voice asked from inside the room.

"No," one of their other roommates asked.

"I thought I heard a rodent," Artemisia continued. "I used to be able to hit rodents in the dark with the dagger I'm sharpening now. Right through the breastbone."

"It must have been bloody," another roommate commented.

"Sometimes. If you hit them just right, they expired with little screams. Always nice to hear."

"Artemisia, open this door! I'm warning you!"

"Hey, sis," Adonia's voice said. "She's warning you."

"And she'll what?" Artemisia asked. "Try to ruin my reputation? What's she going to blab about - how I tried to get Evan Ryper to make out with me in Filch's broom closet?"

"How about when you traded your underwear with Henry Felix DURING the End- of-Year Ball last year?" another roommate suggested.

"Or the fact you snore?" Adonia added.

"I do not snore."

"Yes, you do. We've shared a room for ten years straight."

"Or," a roommate said. "The fact you share men with Adonia."

"Not this year," Adonia corrected her. "I'm a lesbian this year, remember?"

"Ooh!" Artemisia exclaimed. "She might think nobody in the school heard about you being gay!"

A roommate laughed. "Right - and she'll say that you have a huge crush on her, Doni!"

"Yuck," Adonia remarked. "I have better taste - although, given the right clothes, she could really work for me."

Sonia fled in horror.

Inside the room, the Vox twins and three roommates grinned wicked grins.

"Phase One accomplished," Artemisia stated.

"Take that, you Snotty Aristocrat Bitch," Adonia giggled. "Phaedra will instigate the Second Phase during dinner."

----------

Dinner passed quietly, even though Professor Flitwick dabbed his forehead constantly and his eyes darted all over the hall to make sure no fights would break out between Slytherin and Ravenclaw over what had happened that afternoon. It seemed Ravenclaw as a whole was also expecting violence to break out - not against them, but them against Stellamaris for going too far.

Phaedra was noticeably absent during the meal.

Dinner ended, and students left the Great Hall.

A gale of laughter drifted into the hall from the antechamber and hallways outside. As students left, more laughter followed.

Sonia left by herself and walked out into the hall, finding flyers posted all over the walls proclaiming:

'Experienced "hostess" to entertain you and your guests at your next party. Reasonable rates. Varied wardrobe and props. Quite flexible. "I can do it ALL!" Contact Sonia "Teasey" Stellamaris in House Ravenclaw.'

In smaller print on the bottom: 'Will not be held responsible for any diseases transmitted during contract.'

Sonia tore down all the flyers she could find, although she was unaware of the ones plastered in the boys' bathrooms throughout the school.

----------

"What do you mean you can't control them???" Sonia cried in exasperation.

Professor Flitwick looked up from the test he was making in his small office. "Miss Stellamaris, the only reason the Vox sisters are as well- behaved as they are is because it suits them. Considering what had happened this afternoon, they have every right to defend their family honor in any way possible short of violence."

"But haven't you seen this??" she demanded as she shoved a flyer across his desk. "Look at what they're doing to me!"

"And how do you propose I deal with it, Miss Stellamaris?" One of his small eyes twitched in the same way that Filch's did when dealing with particularly thick students. "Allow you to continue your attempted bullying of their sister while their hands are tied?" He shook his head sadly. "I expected much better behavior from Ravenclaw students."

"But they started it!"

Flitwick, not prone to emotional upsets, was on the verge of one. "No, YOU did, by being a stupid teenager and leading on that Snape boy. If you did not try to take advantage of him because of your inability to work in Potions, none of this would be happening. Good night, Miss Stellamaris."

Sonia slammed the door to her House Master's office loudly. From another room, Phaedra stepped out. "Thanks, Professor."

Flitwick rolled his eyes. "Miss Vox, I do have your word that it will not escalate into violence."

"Of course it won't. That's why this will take another day or two; normally by this time, we'd be dragging their carcass to the healer's doorstep and telling them we found MOST of the pieces."

"I don't know whether to disbelieve you or hide under my desk."

"We like you, Professor, don't sweat it. Night."

----------

Sonia snuck back into her dormroom later on that night, being careful to remain quiet.

She could not sleep in the common room. Their House Mother - Professor Sinistra - would not allow it; it implied she was waiting for someone. And after those flyers had been distributed, there was no reason to make her think that at all.

As she settled on the floor next to one of the windows with her blanket (which had been wadded up inside a laundry bag), she saw the glint of moonlight on a knife held in Artemisia's hand as the one Vox roommate slept soundly in bed.

Too late now. She knew a single sound would mean death. She could not leave.

And she could not sleep for fear of making a sound. A snore would result in her being pinned to the wall like a moth in a display case.

Sonia sat by the window and looked out over the moors the rest of the night, trying not to fall asleep.

----------

The next day was not any better. It seemed some unknown person had transformed Sonia's breakfast into maggots (making several students around her quite ill) and Artemisia was wearing her dagger in a strap on her arm (five points from Ravenclaw for carrying a weapon in public - Artemisia asked if it were concealed, would it be more acceptable ... this sparked a debate at the head table for the rest of breakfast).

Sonia's History of Magic class made her aware of a stench surrounding her - and it was because someone had splashed the contents of a dungbomb on her robe. The rest of the class congregated on the other side of the room to stay away from her.

Her Transfigurations class had her transfigured into a puddle of water for most of the lesson as Sev made stirring motions with his wand; this made her too motion sick to have lunch when she was changed back into her normal self. McGonagall - having no tolerance for such crude behavior in such an elegant subject - fined Slytherin ten points. (And a talk with him in private in how he managed to transfigure a human into water without permanent harm.)

Afternoon Potions presented a triple-whammy - the Vox twins and Sev were present in the class, which meant Sonia sat in the very back to keep an eye on all three of them.

Sonia was so busy focusing on the obvious threat that she did not notice Slytherin Chaser Jonas Kennebunk passing her desk or the tiny quantity of silver powder that went into her cauldron. She did notice the burst of silver smoke that erupted when she began mixing, as well as her clothes going completely transparent. However, she was relieved that the effect seemed to last only a second and that no one noticed. It took her until that evening to discover that her clothes were turning transparent for two- second intervals at random throughout the day - she never did discover how many people got a Free Show.

The only persons she knew for certain that saw the Free Show were the Marauders, who tried to sneak into the Ravenclaw dorm to take her up on the offer from the flyers. She knew that Pettigrew had seen her because he loudly described a certain very personal part of her anatomy.

After they were finally hauled off to their House Mistress (the password having to be changed - it seemed their random guess of 'Flying Purple Wombat of Death' was correct), Sonia sat in the common room and began sobbing about her life being ruined.

During a particular wail involving how she will never find a suitable husband, she felt something tugging at her hair. She wiped her eyes and glanced up to see the inflatable sheep nonchalantly eating her shoulder- length blonde locks.

The screams from this particular event woke up the entire dorm and they watched as the sheep continued to eat her hair as she ran around the common room. When it was finally pulled off it vanished, leaving her hair half- eaten and the girl babbling as she was taken to the hospital wing for some sedatives.

----------

"Don't understand it," Artemisia commented the next morning as the Vox sisters and Sev walked toward the Great Hall for breakfast. "She just went catatonic."

Martis snorted. "I would, too, if the Maraudettes took that sort of flyer seriously and showed up in the dorm wearing little more than their robes and underwear."

"Oh, it was Lambchop who pushed her over the edge," Phaedra stated. "Professor Flitwick said it looks like her hair won't grow back." She made a face. "Admittedly, I did not think the Four Hairdressers would actually believe the flyer."

"It was only Black, Potter, and Pettigrew," Adonia reminded her sister. "Lupin was sick last night again."

"All right," Phaedra said. "So it was the particularly-stupid-three of the quartet."

"The flyer was only a joke," Artemisia chuckled. "When we did it to our sister Nerissa, she stood up at the feast and challenged any guy to take her up on it."

"That's how she got engaged to Vassio," Phaedra stated proudly. "Anyway, something like that should not break a person down."

"It would around here," Sev remarked. "The girls here are such 'ladies' that anything implicating their ... private activities, is going to traumatize them."

"Serves them right then," Adonia stated. "If they can't laugh about sex, then they should just be dead."

Phaedra smirked, leaning close to her youngest sister. "How long did it take you to explain to Severus what the flyer meant?"

Martis shrugged as Sev blushed. "Not long. But I told you not to bother with Stellamaris."

"She insulted the rest of us - we had to answer back," Artemisia insisted.

"In kind," Adonia agreed.

"What was the score, anyway?" Sev asked.

Phaedra ticked it off on her fingers. "Black, Pettigrew, and Potter were assigned detention for a week, plus fifty points off each for running around in their skivvies and trying to procure sexual favors from a fellow student. I got caught for the flyers - costing us twenty points and I have detention with Professor McElwain."

"The Defense Against Dark Arts?" Adonia asked. "Why?"

"Because he needs help researching in the Restricted Section and I'm trusted to not go evil. Anyway, I think McElwain just wants to be alone with me and ogle my backside as I look for books on the bottom shelves."

"Going to let him?" Martis asked.

"Yeah - he's yummy." The rest of the Vox sisters nodded in agreement. Phaedra continued, "Lessee - Arti here got ten points off for creating a mess in the hallway with Teasey's stuff and has to clean it up."

"I will," Artemisia said absently. "I'll pitch it out the window next."

"Then you'll be fined twenty points for littering," Martis pointed out.

Phaedra finished off with, "And dear old Teasey Stellamaris is being sent home with her nervous breakdown for the rest of the semester."

"Aw, too bad," Martis commented.

Sev sighed. "I suppose we only have to worry about the Marauders again?"

"Back to them again, I suppose," Martis confirmed. She suddenly draped her arms around his shoulders. "Woe is me! They will probably try to procure sexual favors from me next! Comfort me, Snips!"

He laughed, blushing, and said, "I'll protect you, Spirals. Your virtue is safe with me."

"Wanna hold it?"

To his credit, Sev actually laughed. He was learning.

The older Vox sisters grinned at each other as their baby sister and Severus walked on, their arms around the other's waists.

-End-