DISCLAIMER: "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" written and performed by Tom Lehrer, originally. Sev would also like to add 'No, I am not a vampire. Get over it.'
Snips and Spirals Fanfic: "The Vampire Snivellus"
Text by Lady Tesser
March came in like a lamb.
The only reason this could be said was because the inflatable sheep - nicknamed 'Lambchop' by the student body - trotted freely up and down the halls while students went to breakfast on March First and softly 'baa'ed the melody to Tom Lehrer's 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park'.
Britomartis Vox, aged thirteen, was among the students going to the Great Hall. Humming along with the sheep, she finally broke out into a verse:
"We've gained notoriety,
And caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society
With our games.
They call it impiety,
And lack of propriety,
And quite a variety
Of unpleasant names.
But it's not against any religion
To want to dispose of a pigeon ... "
A familiar voice joined her in the next verse:
"My pulse will be quickenin'
with each drop of strychnine - "
Martis turned around to see Severus Snape, aged fifteen, singing along with her. She grinned and both finished:
" - I feed to a pigeon
It just takes a smidgen!
To poison a pigeon in the park!"
Both students laughed, poking the other's shoulders and saying 'Bother' with each hit. The students around them placed a bit of distance between themselves and the duo known as Snips and Spirals, while others muttered about such activities as animal poisonings really going on in Slytherin House.
"Oh, look," Narcissa Black snarled in the Great Hall. "It's Vox and her pet Snape." She narrowed her eyes. "Heel, boy."
Sev's grin left his face and he sneered at Narcissa as he sat down. Martis' grin turned wicked and she draped her arms around the Fifth-Year's delicate shoulders. "Narcissa, my best friend and pal - shall we start a society of ladies with the men they lead around on leashes? You can be the president; Malfoy can be your Chief Consort."
"OFF - OFF - OFF OF ME!"
"Boo-hoo!" Martis sobbed amid her giggles. "Narcissa Black has rejected my idea!"
"Not the first time," Sev commented casually as he began peeling an orange. "It would look bad to admit everything that goes on behind closed doors."
Narcissa turned on him, waving her arms around. "I swear, Snape, you were much more well-mannered before that Cretin showed up - ARGH!"
"Oops," Martis said, lifting Narcissa's head up from the bowl of oatmeal her face was currently buried in. "Sorry I bumped into you. My apologies."
Narcissa snarled again and stomped out of the Great Hall to clean up.
"Ah, peace," Martis sighed as she sat in Narcissa's place across from Sev.
"You know she's right," Oriana Crescent said. "Before you showed up, Spirals, Severus was such a quiet loner, we thought he was mute."
"Well, I had nothing to say to anyone," Sev stated.
"Now," Akiko Mori added. "He's making innuendoes. We blame you for this, Martis."
"Yay, I'm a bad influence on someone!" Martis tossed a grape up in the air and caught it in her mouth. "Am I a bad influence on you, Snips?"
He swallowed his orange slice. "Absolutely. If you need a bad influence in your life, I suggest Spirals to be it."
She stuck her tongue out at him. "You're just saying that because you saw my underwear."
"Yes, that must be it," Sev replied dully.
Akiko and Oriana were turning bright red as they tried to suppress cries of shock and giggles of embarrassment; being too busy with their circuits being blown, they did not see Sev smile shyly and mouth 'Sexy Knickers' at Martis.
This resulted in Martis coughing up her milk and laughing hysterically.
Care of Magical Creatures class was taught by Professor Kettleburn, a one- armed old man with goose-greased silver hair and a thick handlebar mustache. The eye patch and his elegant but frayed old-fashioned robes and suit gave him an air of studied machismo, making several female students regret they were born eighty years (or more) too late to have known him in his obviously virile prime.
Sev had a morning class in this subject, shared with the Marauders of Gryffindor. It became a common occurrence during the class when they were introduced to new creatures for either Sev or one of the Marauders to torment the other by provoking the creature in question.
"Today," Professor Kettleburn said. "We'll see how you can handle the care of a magical creature egg. With special permission from the Ministry of Magic and the African Ministry, I have acquired several Fwooper eggs, one for each student, in this class. Consider yourselves fortunate."
"WICKED!" the boys cried.
"Wow!" the girls added.
"Fwooper eggs are so pretty," Lily Evans commented.
James Potter grinned. "Hey, Evans, how about we raise our Fwoopers as twins and you can the be the mum and I'll be the dad."
Lily rolled her eyes. "Forget it, Potter. You keep your Fwooper to yourself."
"Maybe our Fwooper kids will play on the Fwooper playground together."
"Go suck on your egg, Potty," Sev growled to himself.
"What was that, Snivelly?" Sirius Black jumped in. "Speak up. The whole class needs to hear what you have to say."
"No, they don't, Mr. Black," Kettleburn said. "Mr. Pettigrew, could you pass the eggs out - CAREFULLY - please?"
Peter Pettigrew got up, nearly knocking into the table where the box held compartments full of the brightly patterned Fwooper eggs. Several students gasped.
"It's all right," Pettigrew assured them. "I know what I'm doing."
"God help us all," Sev commented.
A murmur of agreement from the four corners of the classroom made the Marauders frown.
Pettigrew managed to pass the eggs out as Kettleburn gave instructions in how to care for Fwooper eggs, mostly involving keeping them warm and turning them every so often.
As Pettigrew approached Sev's desk, the combination of Pettigrew trying to toss the egg and Black's foot reaching out to kick Sev out of the way of catching it nearly caused Fwooper fetus to splatter all over the desk and floor.
Fortunately, Sev's reflexes were better than most in such things, and he caught the egg with one out-stretched hand before it reached the floor. A few witnesses applauded politely.
"Smartarse," Potter muttered as Sev got up and rubbed his kidney where Black had kicked him.
Sev glared at them, holding the lime green and electric blue speckled egg in both hands. His Fwooper was going to be a vivid green color, he concluded. And from what he understood about the patterns, it was going to be female.
"You will be caring for your eggs for twenty-four hours," Kettleburn continued. "After that, you will return them for the next class. I expect all of them to be intact." He glanced at the Marauders playing catch with their eggs. "COMPLETELY intact."
They settled down and Kettleburn dismissed the class.
Sev picked up his book bag and looked at his egg in his hand. He looked up to see the Marauders staring at him, grinning.
[Obviously they're seeing where I put the egg ... so that they can figure out how to crush it while out in the hall.]
[All right. Let them try.]
Sev slipped the egg inside his uniform trousers' pocket and left the room. The Marauders jumped up behind him, following him down the corridor and eventually surrounding him.
"OOPS!" Black drawled, hip-jolting Sev right in the pocket where he put the egg. "Sorry to bump into you like that!"
Sev froze as the Marauders strolled off, laughing like they had brain damage. Sev glanced down and lifted the hem of his still-new robe; the egg was perfectly balanced on the instep of his shoe, having slid down his trouser leg from the hole in his pocket. Smirking, he kicked his foot up and caught the egg, depositing it inside the front of his sweater.
"Never mess with the Master," Sev stated as he continued down the hall. A smirk briefly passed his lips as he spun around, flicked his wand and chanted, "Ovum Leviosa," and continued on his way.
The Marauders paused, and then started cursing as they fought to keep their own eggs from floating away.
Martis held the egg up to the light from the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, which provided the first clear day in ages; the blue sky seemed to go on forever above their heads.
"So, this is the start of where I get my sister's quills," Martis said. "Very pretty. Have you named it yet?"
"Named?" Sev asked after he swallowed his food.
"Why not? I mean, sure, we didn't make it, but this is your Fwooper. When it's my turn, I'll see if I can grab it to continue to take care of it."
Sev shrugged. "You can name it, Spirals. I'm not too good with naming things. It was pure chance that I had named my raven 'Mercury' and that he actually answered to it."
Martis giggled, adjusting her python over her shoulder. "Sometimes they tell us what they want to be called. Medusa here insisted she wanted a dangerous name so people would know not to mess with her."
"A six-foot python usually keeps people away on general principle."
"She's only four-feet - a pygmy python if anything." She smirked. "So, where are you going to keep your egg warm?"
Sev thought about it. "Body temperature is usually best, right? I was thinking inside my sweater."
Martis nodded. "It's how snake eggs are incubated for familiars. It gets the embryo ready to accept human contact when they hatch. I carried Medusa's egg around in my tunic when I was eight." She glanced at the Fwooper egg - slightly smaller than a chicken egg - and murmured, "I'm just curious ... "
She pulled down her tie slightly and undid a few buttons of her shirt; a few of the Slytherin boys watched with mild interest while a few of the girls had an idea of what she was doing and giggled. Sev watched passively as she slipped the egg inside her shirt.
"Yes, that holds it a lot better," Martis finally said. She tapped a breast. "I knew these things had to be good for something!"
Sev rolled his eyes, blushing. "You put it between ... ?"
From down the table, Jonas Kennebunk muttered, "I wouldn't mind being that egg right now ... "
His fellow Quidditch teammates hit him with various empty serving platters and bowls for saying such a thing about their Miss Spirals.
Evan Ryper, much closer to the duo, smirked and commented, "I dare you to take that egg out of there, Snape."
"I'm not stupid," Sev snorted.
"It has nothing to do with being stupid," Martis added helpfully. "It's you willing to do it in front of the entire school with the teachers watching." She smiled cutely. "Of course, you'll probably have to marry me afterward."
He looked up at her and laughed. "That's the British way of looking at it. What's the Cretan way?"
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, she answered, "That's when I just drag you off to the bushes and do baby-making things."
"I'd say go for the Cretan way, Snape," Evan goaded.
"Shut up, Ryper," Sev answered. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. "Besides, the Fwooper still needs a name and it's up to the girl who adopted it to give her one."
"A she-bird?" Martis said. "Then we'll simply call her 'Harpy'."
"Sure it's not a personal description?" Lucius Malfoy asked.
"Shut your hole, Lucy."
"Time to go," Sev reminded her. "We need to go to the dorms to get my book bag."
Martis and Sev got up, leaving the Slytherin tables and the Great Hall.
Not far behind them, the Marauders followed them down to the dungeons and as far the staircase going down to the Slytherin common room area.
"When he comes back," Black whispered. "We jostle him from all sides to break his egg."
Pettigrew giggled. "Take that, Snivellus, for nearly busting our eggs!"
"Shh!" Remus Lupin shushed.
Martis' voice finally broke out with, "I suppose you want to fumble around in my shirt now?"
"Not necessary unless you want me to," Sev's voice replied.
"You're getting a sense of humor, that's good of you."
"I want it now."
"Go ahead and get it." She squealed. "You really are! Snips the Pervert - hey, watch it! You're drawing blood!"
"Don't bite my neck like that!"
"How would you prefer being bitten, Sexy Knickers?"
She squealed in response again.
The Marauders looked at each other, disbelieving what they were hearing.
"Come on," Sev said. "Enough playing around. We need to get our book bags."
Lupin felt his face flush; of course he had heard the rumors about those two, but actually witnessing it was another matter entirely. He found it sort of ... fascinating.
However, the key phrases that bothered him were 'drawing blood', 'bite my neck', and biting'. And considering last week they were studying vampires and Snape spent a good portion of the class huddled down in his seat and looking quite offended...
"Oh, my God."
The Slytherin common room door closed and the other Marauders looked at him. "What?" Potter asked.
"Snape's a vampire."
Pettigrew shook his head. "They were messing around, Moony. Snivelly can't be a vampire."
Lupin got up and hurried down the corridor to the stairs out of the dungeons. The rest followed as he muttered, "We hardly ever see him eat regular food, he never goes outside, he's as pale as a sheet. He's the only person Miss Britomartis ever obeys ... "
"It's still Mr. Slick," Black reminded him. "You know, the little geek that gets smacked around by his dad and played the horse-dung-on-a-stick prank at us back in our First-Year."
"So, that was three years ago!" Lupin exclaimed. "Weren't you paying attention to what they were saying??"
"Yeah," Potter answered. "Snape was feelin' up Vox ..." His face squeezed into an expression of utter disgust. "... and she liked it. I can't believe it, but I envy the guy."
"Prongs," Lupin sighed in disgust. "You're a disgrace to our gender. Anyone else notice the words 'blood' and 'biting' were involved?"
Pettigrew firmly stuck to his conviction. "They knew we were there and were messing with our heads again."
"He's a vampire," Lupin stated with certainty. "And we need to take care of it now, before - "
"Hold on, Moony," Black said, clapping a hand on his shoulder. "We need to make sure that he is one. I have a hard time swallowing that tripe."
"You thought that Box had Father Christmas in it - who are you to talk about swallowing tripe?"
Black pulled back, blinking, then broke into a grin. "All right, Remus, you're the obvious expert on bizarre creatures. You can head the Vampire Snivellus Task Force."
Lupin pressed his lips together. "All right. We need to do some more research on vampires, and then administer tests to determine if he really is one."
"After classes," Potter chirped up. "We've got the whole afternoon to find out."
The group continued on their way to their dorm to gather their book bags, Lupin now worried that they may not be able to save Miss Britomartis in time.
Quidditch practice was especially hard this time around, as Slytherin Captain Onslow Daizer pushed his players over the edge of endurance, getting them ready for the final game - the Cup Match - for May. Slytherin was now certain to win against Gryffindor and the House Master was making sure by waiving homework for the players and allowing them all the practice time they needed.
The Slytherin Quidditch team was exhausted and overworked. Markham Dearling, the other Beater, nearly collapsed from the combination of sun, unseasonably warm weather, and the work his Captain put him through.
Martis herself was no great shakes, either, as she stumbled back to the Great Hall where the Marauders were studying a book on vampirism.
"'A vampire's victims have varied symptoms of their affliction'," James Potter read to the rest of the group. "'They can appear from quite mild to quite serious, but all share the same characteristics' - "
Lupin looked up to see Martis staggering into the Great Hall, clad in her Quidditch uniform. She collapsed on a bench and a large glass of fruit juice appeared, which she gulped down.
" - 'The victim will be usually pale and flushed, since this is a sign of vampiric blood-draining'."
Lupin checked that off as he noticed Martis' normally dark complexion was quite sallow.
" - 'She or he will also display disorientation due to blood loss'."
The stumbling around, yes.
" - 'They will also show an aversion to food in general, although they will consume mass amounts of liquids, subconsciously trying to replace the missing blood'."
Martis, at this point, was working on her third glass of juice.
"Anything else?" Lupin asked in a worried tone.
"Mm. Yeah - 'In particular, the observer should note if there are any mental changes such as distraction or appearing to be under the control of the vampire, since the creatures are essentially beings of psychic force'."
Martis got up and clutched the table for support as she made her way to the door, murmuring, "Snips. Where's Snips?"
"Miss - " Lupin got up, going to her.
"No, have to find Snips," she muttered distractedly.
Lupin sat back down, the group watching her leave. "Well, gentlemen?"
Potter shook his head. "I can't believe Snape is using her for his own personal soup kitchen."
"It's probably the foreign aspect," Black suggested. "Very likely has more flavor."
"Will you two cut that out?" Lupin snapped. "He's a vampire! Prongs, what does it say about tests?"
Potter opened the book again. "Crosses, holy water, garlic, mirrors - "
"Is that one of our textbooks?" Lupin asked.
"No - I picked it up at a Muggle bookstore in London."
Lupin headsmacked him; Potter readjusted his glasses. "Garlic will work, but everything else there won't."
"What's holy water?" Pettigrew asked.
"Some water blessed by a Muggle priest," Lupin answered. "Got it thrown at me all the time when we lived in Whitby."
"Could always shove a wooden stake in his heart," Potter concluded. "That should determine if he is or not."
Lupin headsmacked him again, making Potter's glasses land on the table. "What, and explain it to Dumbledore - 'We ran a stake through him and he died, that proves he's a vampire'?"
"Would it be such a great loss?" Black asked. "After all, one half of Snots and Spitballs will be gone."
"Not the dangerous half," Pettigrew mumbled. "You guys are being stupid. They're messing with us, that's all."
"Should we follow Vox, though?" Potter asked as he pushed his glasses back on. "I mean, she's looking for him, probably to get sucked on again." An eyebrow raised in an obscene manner. "Of course, if they continue talking as they did - "
"Will you get your alleged brain out of the gutter?" Lupin chided him. "After he's through draining Miss Britomartis, he might move on to someone else - like Lily Evans - "
"Over my dead body!" Potter cried, getting up. "Let's sharpen some stakes and hunt us up a vampire!"
The Marauders began to make plans for their vampire hunting expedition.
Martis, feeling much better after a shower and a change of clothes, skipped down to the common room and found Sev there.
"Oh, good, there you are," she said as she plopped next to him on the couch.
"What is it?" Sev asked.
Sev put his book down in his lap and brushed his hair over an ear as he looked at her. "She's in my sweater right now, still safe."
"That's what I was concerning about. The Drooling Quartet would welcome the opportunity to kill an embryo for their amusement."
"They already tried, twice." Sev rolled his eyes. "They keep forgetting they helped sharpen my reflexes."
"You're so smart, Snips!" She kissed his forehead and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.
"Must you two fornicate in public?" Lucius Malfoy sneered.
"This isn't fornicating," Martis retorted, her arm still around Sev. "If it were, then - "
"Spare me the lurid details," Lucius sighed. He sat on the couch next to them and glanced at the bulge in Sev's sweater. "You have one of those Fwooper eggs, don't you, Snape?"
Lucius picked up a goblet and took a sip. "Fine birds, gorgeous plumage. I'll buy it off you - "
The goblet suddenly transfigured into Narcissa Black, sitting in his lap and looking shocked. Lucius was surprised to find her bra strap in his mouth.
Narcissa screamed, jumping up and running to the girls' dorms. Her bra snapped off in the process, leaving her in her uniform and the bra in Lucius' mouth.
Penderdandis appeared just as Narcissa ran up the stairs. "What - ? Mr. Malfoy, why is there a brassiere in your teeth?"
Lucius muttered around it, "I really can't say, sir."
"And whose brassiere is it, Mr. Malfoy?"
"Narcissa Black's, sir."
"And why is Miss Black's brassiere in your teeth, Mr. Malfoy?"
"There is no real explanation, sir." He glared at Martis and Sev who were pretending to be studying the pattern details of the Fwooper egg.
"Detention with me to grade Arithmancy tests."
Penderdandis left the common room. Lucius spat the bra out. "I hate you two."
Martis picked up the bra and looked it over. "Well, I can understand why you hate me - I have bigger boobs than your look-a-like girlfriend."
"No, I just hate you both on general principle." Lucius got up and left the common room.
Martis and Sev clutched each other and broke into laughter.
Dinner was a cheerful occasion as Fwooper eggs were passed around and admired. It was also one of the less-formal dinners with 'spagh and toast' for the meal.
The Marauders were watching the Slytherin tables like hawks.
"What's Brit-o-tart-is' condition?" Black asked quietly.
Lupin glared at him. "Looking a little better than this afternoon, although it's hard to tell with her back to me."
"And the Vampire Snivellus?"
Pettigrew twirled his spaghetti around his fork. "I don't blame him - the House-Elves used up all the garlic in Scotland in this lot."
Potter shook his head. "I took the precaution of stealing some garlic cloves while the House-Elves were making dinner." He pulled one about half the size of a Bludger from his robe.
"That's what the stink was," Black muttered, waving his hand in front of his face. "I thought it was just dinner." He turned to the group's werewolf. "Moony, I hope the garlic works in incapacitating Snape."
"It should," Potter choked as he put the clove back. "It's incapacitating me."
"Then we slam the stakes in," Black concluded.
"Yeah," Lupin said distractedly, gazing at Martis and Sev. "Then we'll save Miss Britomartis before she becomes his undead bride - "
Black and Potter smirked, exchanging looks. Black snatched Potter's glasses from his friend's face and pulled his long hair out of the ponytail he had it in. He slipped Potter's glasses on his face and flicked his hair over his shoulder. "Oh, Remus," he breathed in a high-pitched, sultry voice tinged with a Greek accent. "Thank-you so much for saving me from the vampire! Take me, you big manly vampire-hunter stud! I'm your personal love-slave, my wolfy-hero!" He ran his hands over his chest and sides, his hands outlining a female form. He added some lip-pouting and tongue wiggling to emphasize the impression.
Pettigrew choke on his spaghetti in laughter and Potter chortled. Lupin turned scarlet and glared at their leader. "Will you shut up, Black?? This is serious!"
"No, he's Sirius," Pettigrew supplied as he pointed at Black.
Potter and Black laughed. Lupin headsmacked Pettigrew. "Goits! What do you think is going to happen if she dies and Dumbledore asks 'Who knew about this?' Can you really lie and say you didn't?"
"With a song in my heart," Black answered, grinning.
"I still say Snivelly isn't a vampire," Pettigrew muttered. "I bet you guys anything that they're putting us on."
"If they are, so what?" Black asked. "Be good for a larf. Just slam the stakes in him and we'll be rid of one pest."
"When should we get him, then?" Pettigrew asked.
"In the library," Potter suggested. "Hardly anyone ever goes in there after dinner."
"Except Mr. Slick," Black chuckled. "We can toss the body behind the Restricted Section."
"Good call," Potter agreed.
Lupin grunted. At least he was taking this seriously; he had been working on the wooden stakes between classes and dinner, and they were held in a satchel he was wearing under his robes at the moment. He just hoped the others would be able to use them if Snape really did turn out to be a vampire.
"I'll offer you a hundred galleons, Snape," Lucius Malfoy said down the table. Sev looked down at his barely-picked-at plate while Martis nonchalantly stated, "I got dibs on Snips first; you'll have to wait your turn on him, Lucy." Sev almost choked on the small bite he had taken and coughed to keep the noodles from going down the wrong way. Martis handed him his goblet to drink as she continued to exchange nasty expressions with the resident Malfoy. "For the Fwooper egg, Miss Vox," Lucius sneered. "It's incredible you aren't carrying his child already with the way you carry on." "I'm not selling the egg," Sev interrupted after he finished his coughing fit. "It's on loan from the Ministry of Magic, you can ask Kettleburn." "You can tell him you broke it."
Martis rested her chin on her fist. "Why do you want to buy a Fwooper anyway, Lucy? You can buy quills at the quill shop without any problem. You already have an owl familiar. The only reason I can think of is for decorative purposes or good eatin'."
"Don't be crude," Lucius snorted. "Everyone knows Fwooper meat is too stringy and tough for consumption."
"No, that isn't widely known. So, you're trying to buy it for decorative purposes. How about going to the pet shop for such a thing?"
"It's none of your business as to why I wish to purchase it."
"You can't," Sev stated.
"Exactly," Martis added. "We named her 'Harpy', and I'm going to take care of her when it's my class' turn."
"Oh, good god," Lucius sighed in disgust. "I'm going to be ill."
"Do it over there. I'm trying to have dinner."
Sev glanced up at Lucius. "It IS a valid question, Malfoy. Why do you want my egg?"
The Fifth-Year rolled his blue eyes and shook his head. "You both declared the negotiation void. I accept it. No more shall be said about it." He picked up his goblet, looked it over, and then checked out the Slytherin table to see if any girls were missing. Satisfied it was a regular goblet full of ordinary pumpkin juice, he drank.
"Why, Luscious Lucius," Martis sighed huskily. "One thinks you are paranoid about what you drink from."
Lucius' nostrils flared, then he relaxed into a smirk. "I always knew you wanted me."
Martis grinned wickedly. "Yes. I always wanted my own living porcelain doll. I can dress you up in pink ruffles and lollipop curls, but maybe a bit less lipstick than you normally wear - "
"Shut up, Vox. And quit laughing, Snape! A man on a leash has no right to laugh ... "
Sev smirked, gazing across the table at his roommate. "Jealous."
Lucius narrowed his eyes and angrily mouthed, 'Yes.'
Sev still had studying to do, most all of it unrelated to school, and so he left the Slytherin common room after he had left Harpy's egg with Martis and went to the library's Restricted Section.
Madame Pince had declared that the library was to close early that evening (reason given was because she had a headache, but truth to tell, she did not want to miss her 'Doctor Who' radio-play that was being re-broadcast on the Wizarding Wireless Network).
Sev picked up the text he was studying - a medium-sized volume that was currently sleeping at the moment - and tucked it into his robe to finish reading in his dorm room.
The Marauders - fearless heroes and vampire slayers of Gryffindor - huddled close together as they made their way around the bookshelves. Stakes were gripped firmly in one hand while cloves of garlic were held tightly in the other as they scanned around them.
"What makes us think he's in the library?" Black complained quietly. "He's probably someplace else and sucking Vox - "
Lupin swatted him with the blunt end of his stake. "Will you stop with the innuendoes, you dirty-minded freak?"
"Really, Moony," Potter spoke up. "Maybe he's not here at all; you heard Pince call closing time. He's probably out already."
"But then he probably isn't." Lupin - the most attentive of the group in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes - recognized the fact that Snape was TOO well-versed in the Dark Arts (the big dragon attaching itself to the Gryffindor Tower their First Year was the deciding factor). It would be awfully tempting for someone like that to spend nights in the Restricted Section. He had an idea Snape did that sort of thing, anyway. "So, shut up and keep a look out!"
They continued on, concentrating on looking around and through bookshelves rather than what was ahead of them ...
"So," Sev's voice said. "Is this proof you can read or did you get lost on your way to the little boys' room again?"
The Marauders looked up and saw Sev standing before them at the end of the aisle, his arms folded across his chest over his robe and glaring at them from between strands of hair.
"Where the hell did he come from?" Potter whispered.
"He wasn't there before!" Pettigrew insisted.
Lupin swallowed, images of Miss Britomartis sprawled across a gravestone in moonlight, her long gorgeous ash blond hair spread all over the place like tendrils. Her nubile body clad in a slinky white gown and had puncture wounds on her throat that trickled with blood.
"Die, Vampire!!" He raised his stake and clove of garlic. The Marauders did the same, shouting a war cry as they advanced on Sev. Their target shrieked, pulling his wand out to defend himself.
In less than a second, Pettigrew reached Sev first, slamming the garlic into Sev's shoulder. "Damn - wrong hand!"
Meanwhile, Lupin's stake aimed for Sev's chest, striking something hard and solid.
A large, screeching object blasted out of Sev's robe, slamming leathery wings into the heads of the Marauders.
"RETREAT! RETREAT!" Potter shouted, covering his head and running.
"MY GOD!" Pettigrew cried. "HE TURNED INTO A GIANT BAT!"
"NOT THE HAIR! NOT THE HAIR!" Black exclaimed.
Lupin summed it up best:
Madame Pince suddenly appeared at the other end of the aisle, wearing her robe and a pair of large bunny slippers. "I heard a loud profanity - "
Potter slammed into her, knocking her down, and continued running. Three more teenage boys ran over the tiny librarian in their haste to escape the library.
Sev discreetly exited, knowing Pince would be in a hell of a mood when she woke up. Whatever the Marauders were intending to do, they managed to damage a library book in the process.
Not good. In fact, it was bloody terrible.
The Marauders had locked the door of their dorm room and crawled onto Lupin's bed, hiding under the blanket.
"Argh," Potter protested. "What am I sitting on?" He pulled out from under his backside a magazine and read the title, "'Blonde Greek Beauties Monthly'?"
"You're lucky," Pettigrew groused. "I ended up in the shedding-pile."
"Will you quit your bitching?" Black snapped. Potter idly flipped through the magazine. Lupin snatched it away from him and shoved it under his pillow. "What are we going to do about this??"
Lupin glared. "Oh, NOW you finally believe me!"
"Well, when he turns into a bat and tries to bite me - YES!"
"We should tell Dumbledore," Pettigrew piped up.
"NO!" Lupin shouted.
A knocking came from the door. The boys became silent. More knocking.
"Boys, open this door!" Professor McGonagall's voice said sternly. "There is something that we need to discuss."
McGonagall's voice cried out, "ALOHOMORA!"
The door blasted off the hinges. The Marauders peeked out from under Lupin's blanket at their House Mistress.
McGonagall stared at them. "I was hoping those rumors voiced by Miss Vox were false."
They looked at her in confusion, and then at each other, then they squealed in disgust and jumped out of Lupin's bed.
"PERVERTS!" Pettigrew whined. "Professor McGonagall, we are NOT like that!"
"That can be discussed another time - it seemed Madame Pince had a run in with you just moments ago. To the Headmaster's office - now."
Sev entered his dorm room and found Lucius Malfoy crawling around behind the curtains of his own bed. Plastering his best smirk across his face, Sev opened the curtains and looked at Lucius.
"Mr. Malfoy, you must know that Martis will be quite upset if it were known you were waiting for me in my bed."
Lucius flushed white, the blue veins in his face visibly throbbing as he snarled, "Snape, you have been thoroughly, utterly, and disgustedly corrupted by Britomartis Vox!"
"Only for the better, Malfoy." Sev pulled him out of the bed. "What the bloody hell are you doing, anyway?"
"I want that Fwooper egg! I'll quintuple it - five hundred galleons!"
Sev was almost tempted. Five hundred galleons was good starting money for a young wizard to establish himself on his own. Images of running off with Martis and finding their own place without the involvement of anything resembling their parents was quite appealing to him.
"No," Sev answered. "Forget it. Knowing you, it would be Leprechaun gold."
"PLEASE!" Lucius begged. "I need that egg!"
"What FOR?!" Sev demanded.
Lucius flushed, hemmed and hawed, and finally confessed, "It's for my mother."
Sev listened passively. "Your ... mother?"
"She always goes to sleep to the sound of her pet Fwooper, Mister Nasty - "
Sev choked on his own laughter, but Lucius did not notice.
"- and last month, Slimer - our chief House-Elf, he's three hundred and quite potty - he accidentally cooked Mister Nasty for supper. Mummy hasn't been able to get a decent night's sleep since, and she's taking it out on everyone, and the whole house is going barmy as my father had written me." He looked at Sev pleadingly. "Owning Fwoopers officially has so many rules and regulations around it, like needing those Silencing Charms. But we wouldn't have to worry about that with our own Fwooper egg - "
"Do you know why those Silencing Charms are there, Lucius?" Sev asked in irritation. "Because the Fwooper's song causes insanity with prolonged listening!"
Lucius looked embarrassed. "Well, Mummy read this paper that said it had health benefits."
"The legendary Fwooper report written by Uric the Oddball? Did you know he delivered that report to the Wizard's Council dressed in nothing but a toupee made of a dead badger?"
Lucius' blush went up a few notches. "There's nothing wrong with Mummy ... Every family has a few eccentrics ... It's the neighbors' fault if they can't keep track of their house pets ... and those little gnome statues actually had some artistic merit after the manure stopped smelling ... "
Sev shook his head, quite disgusted and very ill. "I'm going down to the common room. The answer is an unequivocal 'no'. Give your mother narcotics or something." He turned to leave, then turned back. "And you can get my sheets washed since you've been crawling around in them. Ick."
Albus Dumbledore listened patiently (and to his credit, without laughing) as the Marauders explained how they reasoned about and hunted down Severus Snape the Vampire.
"So, you're sending him away, right?" Black asked.
"If he were a vampire, but he's not," Dumbledore replied.
"But he is!" Lupin insisted. "We heard him admit it!"
"And did it occur to you that the Protection Spells would have covered such a thing? From what you described of the conversation between Mr. Snape and Miss Vox, they would have." Dumbledore gazed at them over the rims of his half-moon glasses. "However, the real reason you were called up here was because of damaging Madame Pince's books."
"We didn't damage any books!" Potter objected.
Dumbledore held up the book Sev had been carrying, a large leather book with a puncture in the center of it. The book itself was whining pitifully at this point, shaking in both shock and fear.
"Wait a minute," Black said. "That was a book?"
"We thought Snape turned himself into a bat!" Pettigrew added.
"He was beating us about the head with his wings!" Potter finished.
"No, that was an ordinary library book jinx placed upon it by Madame Pince to prevent vandals from abusing the books - I got beat about the head myself once when I idly doodled in one book." His face became serious as he placed the book back down. "The poor woman was catatonic about the book being damaged. She was more upset by that than by - as she put it - your attempted molestation of her."
"Ewww!" Potter stated. "She's too old!"
"Gotta work on her priorities, sir," Black added helpfully.
"Eighty points deduction as a group for attacking Madame Pince and a book."
"What??" the boys demanded.
"Twenty points deduction, Mr. Lupin, for not doing any real research to determine if Mr. Snape really was a vampire. Why do you think we have a Defense Against the Dark Arts class, anyway?"
Lupin hung his head, his shaggy ginger hair falling into his eyes. Being considered one of the best students of the class, this was going to hit his reputation hard.
"Detention for Mr. Lupin - helping Madame Pince shelve books for two months during the afternoons after classes."
"Yes, sir," Remus Lupin sighed.
"Detention for you three - writing essays on three foot scrolls on the importance of not jumping to conclusions. And nothing larger than a half- inch script."
"I was the one telling them not to do it!" Pettigrew whimpered.
"Then perhaps you could add another two feet on how to go about convincing others NOT to jump to conclusions?"
"Dismissed; good night."
The Marauders left the Headmaster's office and Dumbledore picked up the book again. Across the cover in gold plate was its Arabic title, "Al Azif", and other writing in flowing Arabic script.
He felt a spike of fear in the pit of his stomach. This was in the Restricted Section for very good reasons; it was better known by its Latinesque title of 'The Necronomicon', and was one of the most evil tomes to exist. Dark wizardry beyond darkness, the original written in human blood by a howling madman, with enchantments described in its pages to make the Unforgivable Curses look like blessings.
If this were indeed the book young Severus had been carrying when the Marauders attempted to stake him, there were some very pointed questions he had to ask the child.
Dumbledore only hoped that what he discovered did not force him to use that wooden stake on young Snape.
He Flooed the Slytherin House Master. "Professor Penderdandis? Could you send Severus to my office, please?"
"What happened last night?" Martis asked the nest morning as she met Sev in the common room.
"Besides Malfoy trying to tear my bed up looking for my Fwooper egg?"
"Nonsense, I had custody of Harpy last night." She dug into her sweater and shirt and produced the egg, handing it to him.
"The Drool Posse seemed to think I was a vampire," Sev sighed, putting the egg in his own sweater. "They actually tried to STAKE me in the library!"
"Those creeps! I'll stake them - to anthills!"
"Don't worry," Sev told her. "They got detention and points taken away." He plopped on a couch and brushed his hair out of his face. He gave a brief snigger. "Vampire. That's funny."
Martis thought for a moment, and then giggled.
Sev raised his arms to her and, perfectly deadpan, said, "Bleah!"
Martis tried to say "Eek!" but was laughing too hard.
"By the way, do you have any idea why they think I was a vampire?"
She tapered off her giggling. "Well, have you looked in a mirror lately, Snips? You're all pale and gaunt and stuff."
He ignored the barb. "They had followed us down in the dungeons after lunch yesterday and heard us talking."
Martis thought about it. "Weren't we joking about you biting me and playing in my shirt?"
"Yes. Evidently they only heard and not saw."
She shook her head. "Morons. It was perfectly innocent - your hands got nowhere in my shirt. Pout-pout-pout."
Sev laughed. "Nor did I actually bite you anywhere."
"Still can," she offered helpfully, holding her wrist up to his mouth.
Her spicy perfume over the pulse point tickled his nose. He enclosed his fingers over her wrist and pressed it back to her. "No, thank you, Spirals; I haven't had breakfast yet."
Martis pulled him up with her. "Then let's go have breakfast."
"Not yet. I just had a BRILLIANT idea for a prank." He grinned in a lewd manner, and then grabbed her wrist again. "I need your help."
Martis raised her eyebrows, and then pressed against him. "All right - but I'm on top first."
"Not that, Sexy Knickers." Sev narrowed his eyes and smirked. "If they think I'm a vampire, I won't disillusion them."
Dumbledore had a few minutes before he had to leave for the Great Hall, and he spent those moments studying the notes he made last night.
It was indeed true that Sev's father was a Dark Wizard. The Headmaster had suspected all this time, especially after that incident involving the dragon (a summoning spell beyond any Seventh-Year student), but having Snape's son admit it in low whispers and references to his 'Sire' left no doubts at all in his mind. This was the reason the boy had been accessing into the Restricted Section since his First Year - his father had been training him in the Dark Arts since toddlerhood.
Not only in whispers, but a promise from the depths of his soul that he would not tell the boy's father about the copy of 'Al Azif' or being caught. That would only lead back to his father visiting and beating him again.
Not here. Hogwarts was at least going to be a safe haven for Severus as much as Dumbledore could make it.
The Headmaster got up and filed away the information in a cabinet for his own use. He felt he was going to need it someday. Soon, he hoped.
Breakfast went about as usual, the students talking and eating. The Marauders sulked as they picked at their breakfasts, commiserating about losing a hundred points while several of their housemates jeered at them.
One of their housemates right next to Sirius Black picked up a spoon and cried, "Oh no, a vampire!" He handed the spoon to him, crying, "Oh, slay it, mighty Vampire Hunter!"
It is greatly to Black's credit that he only ground his teeth at the peals of laughter.
The doors of the Great Hall suddenly burst open, revealing an upright coffin being wheeled into the room by Britomartis Vox. She swerved around and pushed it to the end of the table where the Marauders were seated.
The coffin lid swung open and Severus Snape - wearing a Muggle Halloween vampire costume - stepped out. Raising his arms up to make the ragged cape look like wings, he opened his mouth to show wax candy fangs and asked in a quite pretentious cultured accent, "Do you have any tomahto juice?"
Martis and Sev were immediately pelted by various breakfast foods as they scrambled behind the coffin to hide from the Marauders' thrown food and shrieks of anger. Their laughter could be heard over the Gryffindors' uproar and the giggles from the rest of the school.
It took weeks for the student body to stop pointing at random objects and screaming 'Oh no, it's a vampire!' whenever the Marauders were around.