"I'll make them pay," Severus Snape thought to himself. It was midnight; he had taken his Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. exam earlier that afternoon; after which he had endured what was likely the most agonizing ten minutes of his life. Those foul fucking Gryffindors had exposed and humiliated him to more than half their bloody year. Even the people in his own house; Slytherin - had been whispering and sniggering at him behind their hands.

To make matters worse he had been defended by a witch. A filthy fucking mud-blood - not even a real witch! That nasty, meddlesome Evans girl. He loathed all of them. Gryffindor was full of filth.

He made his way to the Prefect's bath, sticking closely to the shadows of the giant knights; wanting to be sure he was alone when he took his baths as he knew what kind of ridicule he would go through if he were to be seen.

"Oh look! Snivelly found water!"

"Have you tried the shampoo yet, Snivellus?"

Above all things, he couldn't think of a more degrading name. Yes, his nose was massive and he wasn't able to do a bloody thing about it. His mother had seen how sensitive he had been about it before starting his first year and offered to shrink it a bit for him but most unfortunately his father had overheard their discussion and beat her for insulting him. He felt that Severus should look like his father because "with a reputation such as hers, people would talk". He decided never to mention it again in fear of what would happen to his mother, and made a mental note that before his seventh year finished he would most certainly kill his father. All he had to do was achieve an O in his potions every year and he would have all the knowledge to make it appear to be an accident. And Severus would make sure it would be painful. His mother and he had endured years of it, he wanted his father to feel every ounce of their pain all at once.

The hall outside the Prefect's bath was deserted as he stalked through the fourth door to the left of the statue of Boris the Bewildered; uttering the password "Irish Spring". He shivered a bit realizing that the windows had been left open and a cool breeze was wafting through. That wasn't a bad thing, Severus preferred the cold. He looked around the room uneasily as he quickly undressed, sitting on the edge of the bath and sticking his foot in to make sure it wasn't too hot. It was perfectly nippy and he slithered in, swimming to the center and letting the water skim over his head, cooling down his anger and humiliation - washing it all away.

Everything was so calm and relaxing now, he floated up onto his back, staring at the portrait of a very fetching mermaid - who was sleeping on the rocks. He had to practice blocking everything out of his mind, focusing... he had read about Occlumency in his first year and had decided it would be the only way he could get through the next six years of his life - learning to rid himself of all emotion. It was rather difficult though, with those arrogant fucking Gryffindors turning him upside down and...

"No!" He hissed at himself and closed his eyes in anguish. He could NOT think about it! He had to block it out of his mind and be thankful that old McGonagall had come outside just as Potter had begun to attempt to remove his underpants. Those fucking assholes!

He had to cool down! It was imperative to his learning of Occlumency that he master his emotions and not let these little things get to him! He dove down under the water, completely soaking himself before re-emerging. He decided that he had had enough, going to the golden faucet and rinsing all of the soap from his hair.

Tomorrow would be a better day, he had to tell himself, climbing out of the bath and summoning a towel. He DID feel a bit better, the breeze was wafting through the window and giving him refreshing chills as he held the towel over his head to dry his hair. He didn't even have time to react when he heard the door swing open - though as that was the direction he was facing he saw that Bellatrix Black had burst in with her snooty sister and a couple of other girls she was obviously sneaking in for a midnight swim. He stood frozen in horror as the girls looked at him; particularly focusing on one area with cruel satisfaction written across their faces as they shared a mutual laugh.

He quickly covered himself with the towel but he knew he had been standing there stupidly for too long. Severus's wand was on the ground so he couldn't curse them and there were too damn many of them! All standing there silently - he wished they would say something and get it over with. He soon regretted thinking that.

Bellatrix was the one to break the silence; raising her eyebrow and trying to keep her voice even though he could most certainly hear the laughter ringing like a cruel song.

"Nice night isn't it? Shrivellus?"