CHAPTER THREE: Slytherin Victory

Martis had been rescued by her sisters and the Quidditch team, resulting in a severely-beaten and unconscious Lucius to be taken to Nurse Pomfrey, fifty points from Slytherin for causing a disturbance (five points from the Quidditch team and forty-five for Lucius' behavior), and insult added to Lucius' injury when Remus Lupin showed up in the hospital wing and wrote 'Lucy is a Squib' across the resident Malfoy's forehead.

In the end, Martis was in a hell of a way by the time the team got ready for the Cup Match in their prep room.

Amazing. Something always came up to get her in the proper frame of mind for Quidditch games. She wondered what piece of equipment she would destroy this time.

The team got up, their brooms clutched in their hands, and strode to the entrance.

Captain Onslow Daizer looked over his team. "We've a chance of winning the Cup for the First Time in twenty-eight years, folks. All we have to do is keep the point spread below two hundred twenty points. I would prefer to go out in a victory, but a loss by less than two hundred twenty is all we need."

"Let's make Penderdandis proud," Beater Markham Dearling stated.

"Come back with our shields or on them," Martis added.

"Ready?" Seeker Thomas St. Claire asked.

"Ready," the Chaser Woot brothers answered.

"Sick to my stomach," Chaser Jonas Kennebunk admitted.

"Barf on the Gryffies," Keeper Fearghus Flynn suggested.

"Here we go," Onslow said, as the drape opened.

They mounted their brooms, and then shot out of the entry, circling the pitch, then broke off into all areas.

The crowd was pretty much divided - Gryffindor and Hufflepuff wearing scarlet rosettes and waving gold and scarlet banners, while Slytherin and Ravenclaw wore green scarves and waved their own silver and green banners. The banners proclaimed 'GO SLYTHERIN' or 'SNAKES SQUEEZE THE CUP'. One was hand-painted with the words 'WILL YOU MARRY ME, BACKBEAT SPIRALS??' while others had proposals for Thomas St. Claire. The silver snake on the huge main banner literally glittered in the sunlight.

In the faculty stands House Master Gallo Penderdandis wore a green robe over his dark blue suit and House Mother Rowena Price wore a green cape over her indigo gown. Miss Price grinned herself silly while Penderdandis remained stone-faced save for the slight smile of pride he permitted himself to show.

Madame Hooch stepped out onto the field, gazing up at the team captains of Slytherin and Gryffindor. "Daizer, Bell - off the brooms. Come down and shake hands."

Onslow Daizer and Bertram Bell descended to the pitch and clutched the others' hand in a tight shakes, trying to glare down the other while breaking their fingers.

"Lose it again, Daizer," Bertram snorted.

"Kiss my Bludger, Bell," Onslow answered.

They pulled apart and got back on their brooms, climbing back up into the air with their teammates.

"Keep it clean and play hard," Hooch intimated. She released the Golden Snitch, the Bludgers, and finally the Quaffle - and the game was on.

----------

Slytherin and Gryffindor were tied fifty-fifty after a half hour, playing as hard as Madame Hooch ordered. Two penalties were given to Slytherin, notably after Beater Markham Dearling claimed he thought James Potter's head was a Bludger ('Do Bludgers wear glasses, you Neanderthal Moron?!') and Keeper Fearghus Flynn had attempted to kick Sirius Black in the face when he tried to score a goal ('Sorry, I thought he was a long-haired Quaffle.')

Gryffindor's Seeker was spending more time dodging Bludgers than chasing the Snitch. It did not help matters as Slytherin Seeker Thomas St. Claire sat to the side on his broom and watched the game as he combed his Afro with his Lucky Hair-Pick.

"Time to chase it," Onslow stated.

Thomas nodded, sticking the pick in his hair. "Here we go!"

He dove into the melee of Chasers and Beaters, his green robe fluttering in the wind.

Martis spotted Thomas and flew over to cover him, taking on one Bludger after another as the Gryffindor Beaters slammed them toward the Slytherin Seeker. She backhanded them in return.

Another ten points to Gryffindor - the Quaffle was snatched away by Keith Woot, who tossed it back to Ryan and then threw it back to his brother, keeping it out of reach of the Gryffindor Chasers.

Sirius Black somersaulted over Ryan Woot, grabbed the Quaffle, then landed on his broom and tossed it to James Potter. The mass swerved around to the opposite end of the pitch.

Thomas set his jaw and chased after the Snitch over the heads of the crowd; Gryffindor's Seeker tailed not far behind him, also focused on the Snitch.

The Gryffindor Beaters (Captain Bell one of them) were keeping Martis busy with defending her team's Seeker - which took up all of her concentration to keep track of both Bludgers. She realized they had finally figured out how to keep her busy during the game.

"MARK!" she yelled. "Get their Seeker!" She hit a Bludger in his direction.

Markham nodded, hitting the Bludger back.

It missed the Gryffindor Seeker.

The Seekers were now neck-to-neck, their hands reaching out for the Snitch -

The Bludger slammed into Thomas St. Claire's side.

Stunned, Thomas fell to the grassy pitch, crashing into a heap.

This was overlooked by the fact the Gryffindor Seeker caught the Golden Snitch. A roar came up from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, while Slytherin and Ravenclaw hissed.

"GRYFFINDOR WINS THE GAME AT TWO-HUNDRED-TEN TO FIFTY!" the student announcer cried. "BUT SLYTHERIN WINS THE QUIDDITCH CUP!"

Ravenclaw and Slytherin howled in triumph.

The Woot brothers grabbed Markham and Jonas up in mid-air bear hugs while Fearghus flew figure eights around the hoops and Onslow shrieked in glee and performed flips on his broom. Bertram Bell flew up to Onslow and both shook hands, grinning their faces off.

Martis flew down to the pitch and checked on Thomas, who was sitting up and rubbing his side but grinning like a maniac. He hugged her around the shoulders as she picked him up, but both were overwhelmed by the human wave of students coming down to the pitch to congratulate the Slytherins for winning their first Cup Match in twenty-eight years.

Martis was surprised to find herself lifted on the shoulders of her housemates like the rest of her team, her sisters leading the way with their war whoops; even Thomas was gently lifted up as all were carried to the faculty stand where the Headmaster waited with the huge Cup. They were deposited in front of the faculty, becoming quiet.

Penderdandis was next to Dumbledore, his grin nearly making his face split open and his pince-nez glasses to fall off his nose. Dumbledore smiled kindly as he handed the Cup to Onslow.

"I present the Quidditch Cup to Slytherin, winner of this year at five- hundred and twenty points. Congratulations: Captain Daizer, Mr. St. Claire, Mr. Dearling, Miss Vox, Mr. Woot, Mr. Kennebunk, Mr. Woot, and Mr. Flynn." He turned to the House Master. "And congratulations to your House, Professor Penderdandis."

The Slytherins cheered and whistled, drowning out all other noise.

Martis felt a hand squeeze hers and she looked back to see Sev smiling at her. She squeezed his hand back. "Thanks, Snips," she whispered as she turned and hugged him.

He hugged her in return. "Despite what you claim, I'll always be here for you."

Martis grinned and pulled away, noticing the student photographer taking pictures. She posed with Sev, hugging him, his arm around her, and the photographer snapped the picture - as Sev raised his arm behind her head.

"What was that?" she asked.

"Bunny ears," he answered, grinning.

She laughed as well, hugging him again. "Please, please, please be at the Victory Party with me, Snips."

He pulled away, looking everywhere else but at her. Martis reached over to him and held his face in her hands. "Severus, please think about why you want to be with Narcissa. It won't make sense once you analyze it through."

Sev glanced up at her, then said, "I know what I'm doing."

The team made their way back to the prep room and Martis watched him return to the stands.

"I hope you do. I really hope you do."

----------

Lunch for Slytherin was spent in the common room as the Cup Victory Party kicked off with a fancy feast for the House that lead into honoring every member of the Quidditch team with toasts and speeches.

Martis hated this part. The British Wizards (especially teenagers) had no idea how to hold a proper ceremony and feast, as she knew such things to be refined and practiced on Crete. Also, the fact that several members of her own house propositioned her (mostly guys, but a few girls) did not sit well with her either.

It probably had to do with the dress - a turquoise mist of a classical Greek-style gown with exposed arms and draped neckline and sheer enough to see her skin tone beneath the material. It still covered a lot more than her tunics did back home.

But these teenagers were not used to Mediterranean casual. And never mind their reactions if they ever see the bull-leaping costumes!

The Streaker provided a little welcomed distraction, even though a mask covered his face and his body was misted out due to a Protection Spell. A good portion of the girls made noises of disgust and told Henry Goyle to put his clothes back on because they did not want to see his 'love-handled and puckered backend'.

Martis had kept an eye on Sev the whole afternoon. Which was not hard to do. Seeing her best friend cuddling in a corner with Narcissa Black made her stomach turn, but at least they were in plain sight and not trying to find private places to do the hoppi-hoppa. And they did not set off a Protection Spell once...

Unlike half of her teammates. The hormones were really beginning to choke her. Plus she had to kick Jonas Kennebunk in the cods after he transfigured water into rum and tried to get 'chummy' with her. While he was holding himself and trying not to squeak, everyone stole the rum and passed it around.

"Where's the band?" Thomas St. Claire asked as he came back from the hospital wing, discharged with instructions to not overextend himself with his bruised kidney.

"They're late," Evan Ryper replied. "I booked them for four o'clock, just to make sure we got back in time from the game."

"It's already five," Demetrius Jones added.

A shimmer in the space-time made their hair stand on end a moment (well, Evan's hair, since Thomas and Demetrius had an Afro and dreads respectively and were not as dry as Evan's) and they turned to see two men and a woman standing in the stairway to the House Master and Mother's rooms and looking a little disoriented.

"You're the band, right?" Evan greeted them.

"Must be," Thomas added, grinning. "Look at her boots."

"Damn quantum flux," the dark-haired man with the scar grumbled. "We couldn't pop up in the Forest, no - that would be convenient."

The woman smiled, striding up to the boys. She was still a head shorter than Evan and Demetrius, even though she was wearing sky-high stiletto black leather thigh-high boots with an equally short leather skirt. Her green robe was laced up over her torso, but still exposed the skirt and boots. Long frizzy brown hair completed her appearance. "Well, the temporary band at any rate."

The man with long red hair pulled back in a ponytail glanced at the man with messy black hair and round glasses. The dark-haired man shrugged and mouthed 'Play along.'

"Great!" Evan said. "What are you called?"

The dark-haired man blurted, "SPEW."

"Groovy!" Thomas stated.

The woman shot a dirty look at the man as they followed the boys to the stage, then turned to the boys, "So what are we playing for again?"

"Slytherin Cup Match Victory," Demetrius answered. "First time in almost thirty years."

"Right time," the dark-haired man murmured.

The woman nodded. "Have you seen this girl?" She produced a wizard photograph of a twelve-year-old girl with wild red hair, glasses, freckles, brown eyes, and wearing a Hufflepuff robe and scarf. The girl was apparently trying to pull somebody with a spiked bracelet into the picture with her, but he obviously did not want to be photographed.

"Nope," Thomas said. "But I'll be on the lookout, she's very cute."

"That's my daughter, punk," the redheaded man snarled.

"Sorry." Thomas chuckled. "I meant it in a wholesome way, sir. I prefer the big-boned island beauties myself."

"Here we are," Evan said. "Everything's set up - have fun."

The woman looked around, then located a guitar and checked it over. "Well, the equations were right - we dropped in at one of the turning points."

"Turning points?" the redheaded man asked as he picked up a pair of drumsticks.

"Yes. We're focusing on Snape and Vox, and we'll pop in at their turning points and crises - just like the kids. Look - Snape's with Narcissa Malfoy. And Vox is about to break hell loose. Just like the story."

"What are you talking about?" the dark-haired man asked, experimentally plucking a bass.

"Nothing. It's something us wives talked about. I would have expected the kids to show up at a time like this, though."

The redheaded man sat behind the drums. "Ready?"

"Check," the other two confirmed.

"ALL RIGHT!" the redheaded man cried out, getting everyone's attention. "We're the band SPEW - that's the Dude Who Lived on the bass, Spanky on the lead, and I'm NOT the Caped Crusader on drums! VICTORY TO SLYTHERIN!"

The dark-haired and scarred 'Dude-Who-Lived' did not make as bad a face as he could have. At least his muttered indecencies could not be heard over the cheers and wolf-whistles of the Slytherin student body.

Spanky strummed out a harsh rock intro, and the group dove into a hard- driving rock song with her singing lead:

"Waiting hours in the rain
waiting hours for my pain
To wash away
and leave me here again."

Sev got up and made his way over to the other side of the common room, trying to find Martis in the crowd.

"Waiting hours in the night
waiting hours by your side
Until you turn around
and see me here again."

Martis looked up and smiled. "Hey, Snips. Joined reality again?"

"This music is too loud," Sev complained.

"Perfectly fine to me, although the bass-player looks like James Potter."

"Every river that I cry
becomes an ocean in my mind
Every time you have to lie
I start to drown, I start to die ..."

"Can't be Potter. That guy's really old."

"True, must be twice his age," Martis agreed. "What'cha up to?"

"I'm taking Narcissa up to the Conversation Room."

Martis' mouth opened and she began screaming obscenities that were drowned out by the music and chorus.

"Wash me away
It starts today
Can you feel the difference?
Am I the one
who'll make you come
around to your senses?
Wash me away
It starts today
Can you feel the difference?
Am I the one
who'll make you come
around to your senses?"

"I FORBID IT!" Martis finally shrieked.

"You can't stop me!" Sev argued.

"WATCH ME!" Martis turned and stalked across the common room crowd, finding Narcissa in front of the mirror.

"Watching weeks turn into months
Well I've been feeling weak and feeling numb
Until you come around
and see me here again."

"Narcissa Black."

Narcissa turned and found a wand almost up her nose.

"Tell me how you cursed him!"

Narcissa snorted. "No."

"Walking barefoot down a mountain
Walking barefoot through a fountain
Until you come back
and see me here again ... "

"CONJUNCTIVITUS!"

Narcissa screamed, clawing at her eyes and causing everyone to freeze, including the musicians.

Narcissa tried to locate her wand as Martis grabbed her hair. "You manipulative, Dark Arts-using slut! I don't know what game you're playing, but you [CENSORED] keep Severus out of it! If it's about your leg-humping boyfriend being a slut himself, then take it up with him! HOW DID YOU CURSE SEVERUS?!?!"

"Martis!" Sev called. "Stop it!"

Martis pulled Narcissa's hair again. "TELL ME OR I WILL TEAR OUT YOUR WOMB!"

Narcissa's hand desperately reached up and slapped squarely across Martis' mouth, causing her sunglasses to fly across the room and blood to splatter on the approaching Sev.

He stood shock still for less than a second.

[Somebody hurt Martis.]

The common room broke into an uproar as Sev descended on Narcissa and began slamming his fists into her face. Martis, still bleeding from the mouth, tried to pull him off.

"Sev! Don't do this! Severus!"

At that moment, Lucius Malfoy showed up, took in the sight of Sev beating up Narcissa, and raised his cane, intending to kill Sev.

Martis turned, sprinted up to him, grabbed the cane out of hands, then swept it in a great arc around to the back of his head, sending him out cold to the floor of the common room.

"Onslow!" Martis yelled. "Get Sev off of Black!"

It took most all of the Quidditch team to snag the rage-filled Sev and pull him off of Narcissa - then Evan and Demetrius helped by restraining his legs from kicking Narcissa's head in.

"They're distracted!" Spanky said. "Search the place!"

Miss Price and Professor Penderdandis rushed breathlessly into the room, surveying the unconscious Malfoy, the badly beaten Black, Snape struggling and snarling while being constrained by the Quidditch team and then some, and Vox holding Lucius' cane and bleeding.

The members of SPEW had vanished during the chaos.

----------

"Well, the good news is the curse that had been put on him is broken," Miss Price said a little while later in the quiet of her rooms. "The bad news is that he's catatonic."

"Is that the result of a curse breaking?" Martis asked, sitting on the couch next to the fetal-knotted Sev and stroking his hair while his head lay in her lap.

Miss Price slipped her round glasses off and cleaned them with the hem of her gown. "No. This reaction is the person realizing they were 'mind- raped', as you put it." She placed her glasses back on.

Penderdandis continued the explanation, "Charms and enchantments caused to make people feel what they normally would not are considered Dark Arts for that reason - they're no better than the Imperius Curse."

"And such emotions as one's love and lust manipulated like that will literally feel like rape," Miss Price concluded.

Penderdandis stared down at the subdued and huddled Narcissa, who was curled up on the other couch, her bruised face hidden in her folded arms. "We found the charm on Miss Black - it was made with hairs and a drop of blood. At least that's what I gathered before it disintegrated. And if I understand the type of incantation she used, it is one of the most hazardous lust spells to use. Dark Arts always have a way of backfiring on the caster - the result of this one would have been obsession on the victim's part until he murdered the caster to keep her to himself."

Narcissa's shivering increased.

"Pity," Martis commented coldly. "If it wasn't Sev being involved, death would do Black a world of good."

Narcissa whimpered.

"Britomartis!" Miss Price scolded.

"I'm not apologizing, especially after what she did to Severus."

"Excused," Penderdandis stated. "Miss Price, Dark Arts is still Dark Arts. Inexcusable."

A knock came on the door and the Headmaster entered. "I came as soon as I heard. How is Severus?"

Martis looked up at Dumbledore. "Fallen apart, no thanks to the faculty. After this morning's displays, NOTHING was done about it."

"And would you have preferred us interrupting your crusade to save him?" Penderdandis asked. "You did not exactly ask for help."

Martis' nose wrinkled as she narrowed her eyes. "I did. Ask Sartoris." She turned back to Dumbledore, who walked over to the fireplace. "Students aren't even safe from the - "

The Headmaster threw Floo Powder into the fireplace. "Professor Sartoris, please come here."

Sartoris suddenly appeared out of the fireplace, brushing ashes and soot off of his dark gray robes. "You summoned me, Headmaster?"

Penderdandis began to attack. "According to Miss Vox here, you KNEW about Mr. Snape being under a lust spell!"

"So I did," Sartoris answered, making sure not to look at Martis. "I gave Miss Vox the tools to determine what sort of spell it may have been so we could work on an antidote."

"And yet," Dumbledore said softly. "Did you inform anyone in the faculty or attempt to contact me about this?"

Sartoris was silent a moment then answered, "I did not think it wise to bring others into something so dangerous."

"Dangerous?" Martis repeated. "And you sent me out there armed with nothing but a giant quartz??"

"Your concern could not be overridden," Sartoris replied to her. "And you never gave me an answer."

"I'm quite sure the entire school found out about it just before the game," Martis retorted. "How Vox carried a rose quartz into the Great Hall and it shattering all over the place. From what everyone was muttering about, anyone above a Third-Year would know what THAT meant."

Dumbledore raised his hand, making Martis quiet down. "You've endangered the lives of three students, Professor."

"It was a lapse in judgment, sir."

"In such matters, a lapse in judgment is unacceptable. Perhaps probation for the rest of the year will help you in remembering to place the welfare and safety of students above all other things?"

Sartoris lowered his head and nodded. "I understand, sir."

"We'll talk more later. Dismissed."

Sartoris Flooed himself back to his office and Dumbledore turned to the House Master, House Mother, Martis, Sev, and Narcissa. "Back to what we were discussing. Has Miss Black been spoken to?"

"Yes. Parents were also owled," Miss Price answered. "I took care of the minor injuries to all involved, including the Conjunctivitus hex Martis placed on Narcissa. We were unsure of a suitable punishment for Narcissa for such an offense - "

"Azkaban's the usual punishment," Penderdandis interrupted. "I'm inclined to agree with Miss Vox's wordage - Azkaban might do Miss Black a world of good."

Narcissa began to whimper again.

"Professor Penderdandis, we do not scare students," Dumbledore stated. "However, this will be dealt with accordingly. Right now, I suggest Miss Black be taken to the hospital wing to get medical treatment for those bruises and broken nose."

Miss Price and Professor Penderdandis escorted the girl out.

Dumbledore sighed and sat down next to Martis. "I repeat my question: how is Severus?"

"In shock," she answered flatly, her hand resting on Sev's shoulder. "After he stopped screaming, he began muttering and crying. Most of it about killing Black for doing something even his monster father never did. That was mixed in with apologies to me and disgust at himself for being violent. He shut down about ten minutes ago."

"I'm so sorry, Martis," Dumbledore said, gently touching her hair. "I hadn't known what was going on with this ... "

"You have a thousand students to look after, I don't expect you to specially look after us." She managed a sick smile. "I'm used to it."

"What happened was still unacceptable - to both of you. Mr. Malfoy's behavior would have resulted in the same ending as Miss Black's ... two innocent souls caught up in Mr. Malfoy and Miss Black's mess and being torn to shreds for petty ideas of what's important."

"I never expected to hear you speak badly of students, sir."

"I'm speaking about their behavior." Dumbledore held her chin and turned her head to look at him. "When something of this magnitude is involved, I want you to tell me immediately. Professor Sartoris' inaction almost caused murder and had traumatized Severus." He touched the boy's hair. "This Dark Child is as fragile as fairies' wings, but there's Darkness in him that could destroy those that underestimate him. A dangerous combination."

"And Black underestimated," Martis added.

"By miles." He released her chin. "She did not count on you risking your life for him, nor did she count on his devotion to you to break the enchantment."

"What?" Martis asked.

Dumbledore closed his eyes, and then opened them. "I thought you knew. From what I understand about the curse and the circumstances, Severus had broken out of the spell when he saw you being hurt."

Martis was silent, glancing down at Sev in her lap, then looked back up at the Headmaster again. "Then why didn't he go ballistic when Malfoy tried to kidnap me?"

"Perhaps it had to be related to the caster doing the violence?"

"Maybe." Martis felt a warmth for Sev, a warmth that threatened to make her burst into tears; that his ... 'devotion' ... to her was strong enough to break one of the worst lust spells cast on anyone. The feeling of knowing of such protection, love, and adoration overwhelmed her and she leaned against the Headmaster's shoulder and cried while she held Sev's shocked body.

Dumbledore wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulder, holding her, as he gently stroked the messy hair of the boy's head. His children had been through so much; was there an end in sight for either of them?

He allowed her to compose herself before he asked, "Whatever did happen to Lucius Malfoy?"

Martis bit her lip. "I think he's still out cold in the common room." She brushed Sev's hair, looking down at him. "I certainly hope he now understands that I'm not interested."

"Very likely." He hugged her again. "Shall we take Severus upstairs to his room? I'm quite sure he would like his own bed."

"I wouldn't be able to look after him. He'll need me when he wakes up."

"You'll find ways." The Headmaster smiled gently. "You both always do."

----------

After she helped Dumbledore take Sev up to his dorm room, Martis came back down to the common room to see what had happened since the fight.

Evan Ryper was collecting winnings on the outcome of the 'Snape/Black Break- Up' while he actually paid out a large chunk of cash to Peony Danderfluff for predicting that Sev would do the honors of beating Narcissa up.

The drama had been abandoned for evening cuddling by the fireplaces. Here and there showers of ice water rained down from the ceiling as Protection Spells were activated, and one girl's hands caught fire.

A few were passed out around the room, goblets of water-turned-rum in their hands. A few other odors indicated fire whisky and Bridget's last poteen stash had been found (not to mention that sickly-sweet scent in the air from the thin layer of smoke around the room).

Lucius Malfoy was still passed out on the floor. Martis knew she had to do something about this.

As she thought about it, the inflatable sheep trotted in, sat next to Lucius, and licked his cheek, bleating and wagging its tail.

"Oh, beautiful. I can't pass this up." Martis carefully approached the sheep. "Hey, Lambchop, want to play a joke?"

Lambchop the Inflatable Sheep baa'ed happily.

----------

A couple of hours later, the three members of the ersatz band SPEW appeared out of various forms of invisibility - one spell, one magic bracelet, and cloak - in the middle of the Slytherin common room.

Spanky reported, "No sign of them anywhere."

The Dude-Who-Lived and the redheaded man nodded in agreement. "They're not here."

Spanky pulled out her wand. "So we'll try the next crisis nexus."

The Dude-Who-Lived held up a hand. "Half a moment." He got a nasty grin on his face.

"What are you going to do?!" the woman accused.

The Dude-Who-Lived located a small placard and passed his wand over it, causing the Slytherin victory slogan to re-arrange itself.

"Just giving Mr. Malfoy a present, dear. Never liked the snooty little hog's pizzle. Can I borrow your riding crop?"

----------

The next morning was a disaster in the Slytherin common room.

Martis looked around at the carnage as she padded into the common room in her slippers and wrapper - passed out bodies all over the place, empty liquor bottles and goblets, ice still melting from Protection Spells.

From the ceiling came a high-pitched voice, "Uh ... ma'am? Could you help us down, please?"

Martis looked up and noticed four Gryffindor First-Years attached to the ceiling. James Potter and several other members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team were with them, but they were all out cold with bottles of various sorts in their grips.

"In a bit, kids," she said. "I'll want to get your House-Mother first -"

"AAAAAAAHHHH!!!"

She located the Slytherin House commonly owned camera and located Malfoy among the debris. Lambchop looked adorable in the bridal veil, Lucius looked very natural in the pink mini-dress (she realized the night before that Lucius and Narcissa had almost identical body-shapes, which was how she was able to get him into Narcissa's favorite party dress), but the riding crop and the sign reading 'Sailors Wanted For A Good Time' were new.

She snapped a picture. "Lovely, baby - come on, pout for me, love the camera ... " She almost choked on her own laughter.

Above, the First-Year Gryffindors shuddered. "That could've been us."

----------

"THIS!" Penderdandis wheezed. "THIS IS INTOLERABLE!" He glared at the common room at large. "Alcoholic consumption! Debauchery! Hashish smoked! Inflatable sheep! Gryffindors on the ceiling! Brawls! Protection Spells set off left, right, and center! Bookies! Students owling from Johannesburg for rides home!" He waved his hands in frustration. "AND GRAPE JUICE STAINS ON THE PERSIAN CARPET!!"

Everyone edged away from Onslow Daizer, his juice preferences being widely known.

"FOUR HUNDRED POINTS!"

"Granted?" Evan ventured.

"LOST!!!"

Dead silence. Their own House Master took away four hundred points! Four HUNDRED points!

"There goes the House Cup," Demetrius muttered.

"AND reports will be sent to your PARENTS!"

"Oh, bugger ... "

"Can't we just be executed instead?"

----------

Outside the Great Hall where the large hourglasses for the House Point Totals stood, Artemisia and Adonia Vox watched in shock as the emeralds in the Slytherin hourglass literally poured upward into the upper chamber as if they were being sucked up by a Muggle vacuum cleaner.

"Damn!" Adonia commented in amazement. "Must have been a hell of a party!"

----------

According to Sev's roommates, he had left the dorm room early in the morning and they had not seen him since.

Martis checked the library and the Great Hall first, then climbed up to the Conversation Room and poked her head in.

Sev was lying on his back on the floor, staring up at the stained glass ceiling. The climbing sun caressed the edge of the wall and ceiling, causing a glittering effect with the colored glass.

"Snips?" she said softly.

Sev did not look at her. "I'm surprised you still want to be around me after what happened."

"You were enchanted - it wasn't your fault." She crawled in and sat next to him.

"I don't want to be around anyone."

"Don't blame you."

"She - she ... " Sev swallowed loudly.

"She raped your mind," Martis finished for him. "Which can be just as bad as the physical type."

"You have no idea." He turned to look at her. "I feel both sick and soiled. When I woke up this morning I ended up throwing up three times." He rolled over and clutched her arm. "Martis, why???"

"She's a sick person. That's what sick people do - they drag innocents through the mud with them and don't care how the innocent feels about it." He buried himself against her in her arms. "It's just how some people are no matter where you go."

"I abandoned you," he moaned into her shoulder. "When Malfoy ran off with you, I acted like a lump!"

"You were still being enchanted." She squeezed him, smiling. "Now you're not the only one who's seen my underwear."

He sobbed.

Martis sighed. "All right, nothing funny right now." She rocked him gently and held him tightly. "My poor Snips, like a delicate spider web. Then rising up like the great tarantula and attacking back - "

"Like my father."

"No. Your monster father enjoys it. You didn't."

Sev was quiet. "No, not really. All I could think of was 'someone hurt Martis. They have to pay'. I wasn't even thinking of how I was doing it." He reached up and placed his hand on her shoulder. "I drew blood. I promised myself I'd never do that."

"You were righteously angry," Martis told him. "Not only for your reason, but for the fact that she used you against your will. And besides, according to Penderdandis, that particular curse would have eventually compelled you to murder her. If anything, you saved her useless life."

"The logic in that is very weak."

"Bugger logic and the hippogriff it rode in on. You're a goody, don't forget that."

Sev looked up at her, his liquid black eyes glittering with tears. "How could you ... ?"

"Snips and Spirals Forever. I meant it. You and me to the end, Severus. No one's going to mess that up."

Sev could not speak for most of the next hour or so. He was far too busy clutching at Martis and sobbing. Martis cried, too, holding him tight, and they let the world go away.

----------

Narcissa Black got a three-month detention by having to work as essentially a 'candy-striper' at St. Mungo's on the psychiatric ward where patients who had been affected by Dart Arts enchantments had ended up. This happened after school, which really cut into her OWLs studies, and gave her a taste of what could have happened to her and/or Sev if he had NOT killed her as the curse would have played out.

Her parents were not pleased that she had attempted Dark Arts on 'Snape's son' and had berated her for not sticking with her betrothed Lucius ... yes, even if he was being a gigolo.

Lucius Malfoy himself had decided to stay with Narcissa, mostly because trying to pursue Martis proved to be dangerous ... especially when she began waving around a Wizard photograph of him in a pink dress, holding a riding crop, with a vulgar sign around his neck, and the inflatable sheep wearing a wedding veil and nuzzling him in bliss. She promised to keep the photograph out of general circulation if he would stop chasing after her. He agreed quite readily.

When Lucius returned from his second trip to the hospital wing, he was not surprised to find his things moved out into the hallway of Slytherin Tower and Fearghus Flynn moved into his bed. He quietly accepted his exile from his dorm room and located Fearghus' dorm room, only to discover that it was mostly full of Quidditch fanatics and half-bloods.

The Quidditch team got their player posters back from the photographers - 8x10 portraits of the players on their brooms and either performing house plays or their positions along with their stats.

Martis rather liked hers. Her sunglasses reflected the sunlight as she swooped toward the viewer, a Bludger coming at her back and her performing the backhanded Bludger Backbeat hit, the wind making her ponytailed hair and robe fly back. Her stats read:

[Britomartis Vox - "Backbeat Spirals" - 1974 - Slytherin Team Beater - First Female in Slytherin House to be on Quidditch Team - Perfected the Bludger Backbeat - 5 games, 4 wins, 2 equipment accidents, 1 Hell-of-a- Victory-Party]

Although she was not pleased that Thomas St. Claire and Evan Ryper were selling copies of her poster to the guys in the other Houses. She at least wanted a cut of the profit.

Remus Lupin considered himself lucky that the rest of the Marauders never found out he bought five copies of the lovely and strong Miss Britomartis' picture.

The euphoria of Slytherin's victory lasted for at least another week, even though they lost nearly all of their House points and received Howlers from parents nearly every day for that time.

Although noticeably restrained were Martis and Sev as they sat closely together and talked or studied. The Rumor Mill had by this point ran the course of Narcissa's use of charms on Sev as well as Lucius' attempts for Martis, and had now considered the matter closed since both couples were apparently back to normal again. Or whatever passed for normal.

Martis and Sev's quiet talks were them hammering out an agreement. It was an agreement to not get involved, date, or pursue (or be pursued by) anyone romantically for the rest of the year. It was obvious they were just not ready to have Third Parties involved yet.

Lambchop the Inflatable Sheep ate James Potter's naughty story while he was not looking.

It gave Lambchop indigestion.

-End-