A/N: HEY EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so terribly sorry it's been ages since i've updated. what can i say? Life happened. i am now a rising sophomore in college and am utterly baffled by the prospects of the future. this chapter has been sitting on my desktop forever, and i have no idea how it reads. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it a bit. I wish everyone well, and it's good to be back!
From the Diary of Edward Beneficius Clyde, Potions Master, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (several smiley faces drawn in)
It's been a most peculiar day, so strange that it could have been a mad invention of my darling students. This morning when I awoke, I found myself sprawled rather dramatically upon the stone ground of my chambers with a positively smashing headache. Almost as though I'd downed a whole beaker of Ogden's without a second thought the previous night. Imagine! I, Edward Beneficious Clyde, downing spirits! I, who have not touched a spirit since a moment of weakness in my fifth year! A serious lapse in judgment, that, never to be repeated again. Until last night, apparently. I found beside me the remnants of lovely goblet smashed. Well, that explains it. I was probably prepared to consume my nightly hot chocolate (with a peppermint stick, for flavor) from the goblet when, by some cruel twist of fate, that goodly liquid mutated alarmingly into the nectar of the Devil! After a mere sip, I must have dropped the vessel and collapsed in agony upon the floor. Such is the strength of my alcoholic intolerance!
Anyway, I rose in the morning feeling rather poorly and stumbled droopy-shouldered into my bathroom. Normally I abhor droopy-shouldered ness—positively frightful for one's posture, you understand—but recovering from the influences of the drink, I forgave myself. It was then that I experienced my second fright that morning. Peering into my mirror, I was assailed by a vision most horrible: a thin, disgruntled looking fellow with stringy black hair and a rather disproportionately large nose looking like he'd had a very trying evening staring back at me. He did look like me, to an extent, and could maybe pass for a ungroomed brother of mine if he wanted to, though I would certainly never allow it. Security in this castle! I ask you! It's quite a joke, if you ask me. Somehow, this unsavory creature had managed to slip into my rooms undetected. If you'd asked me then, I'd bet my vault at Gringott's that he'd spiked my hot chocolate.
"I say," I said as sternly as I could. I don't enjoy being stern—it's not a terribly good way to make friends. To my horror, he mouthed my words into the mirror at exactly the same time. I felt the first glimmerings of anger. Obviously, I never allow myself to become completely angry—I do far too much yoga for that. But this young whippersnapper needed to be dealt with and then, if I did say so myself, scrubbed within an inch of his life.
"I say," I said again, "How did you manage to invade my private chamber?"
At that moment, though, a rather cold, dreadful fact acquainted itself with me. I knew I'd said these words—I'd heard them—but the man in the mirror said them, too! I rose a trembling hand to my nose (the man did, too) and touched it. I gave a shout. Somehow, I'd been transformed into this bird's-nest-headed gangster! It was horrendous!
If not for my own internal strength, I believe I would have passed out again. But I glanced at the clock and realized I was already running late. I need to have breakfast and then go teach my classes. I couldn't possibly punish my students, dear little things, for my own lack of coherent identity this morning. I'd have to make do with how I currently looked. Surely, there wasn't anything that a good, vigorous bath couldn't fix?
I stepped out of my bath feeling like a new man. I'd scrubbed myself (or this body I was currently babysitting) all over with soap and removed about six pounds of grime (ick!!). Apparently in my madness during the previous night, I'd thrown out all of my hair care products in addition to rolling around in the mud (?). I must have been inebriated beyond belief! Luckily, I always have a few hair-fixing charms up my sleeve. With a flick of my wand, the matted locks untangled, became clean, fresh, and even a little shiny. Not up to my usual standards, I decided, but as I combed my hair carefully so that it fell in two shiny black curtains around my face, I looked more like myself. Even my face, after a near-hour of vigorous scrubbing, seemed far more open and inviting. But no amount of scrubbing could remove these stubborn frown-lines. I definitely hadn't had those yesterday, which convinced me that something suspicious was afoot. But no matter; I resolved to smile more than ever today so that my students wouldn't notice the difference. Unnerving the precious dears is the last thing on earth I'd ever wish to do!
Apparently, the surprises today were endless. Striding into my closet, I came close to fainting for the third time. I must explain—I like to think of myself as a fairly stylish man. I observe fashion quite closely—I imagine it is the influence of being surrounded by thousands of charming adolescents daily. I always maintain a closet full of the latest trends with robes of every cut, color, and texture. This morning, in order to cheer myself up, I had already decided on my sunny yellow robes made of a light, floaty material. "You brighten up our day, Professor Clyde," my little angels would shout at me as I waltzed down the halls, and all would be right with the world. Thinking these happy thoughts I entered my closet, anticipating a veritable rainbow of options. Imagine my horror as I stepped into a vast dungeon, hung with funerary, charcoaly robes of the darkest black! "Oh no," I murmured, running my fingers over the dreadful, colorless clothes, "Oh no! All of my beautiful colbat blues, fuscias, lemon yellows, apricots, lavenders…" each brilliant shade I voiced a powerful blow to my heart. Where on earth could they have possibly gone? This was really turning out to be a most trying day, clearly the work of some malevolent spirit determined to ruin my fun. But Edward Beneficius Clyde always has fun—no matter what the circumstance! It was time to show courage like those plucky little Gryffindors I loved so well. Especially that Harry Potter—brave, dear boy that he is!
Eventually, after some rummaging, I found a set of emerald robes. They wouldn't be my first choice in most situations, but one is not afforded the luxury of choices when one is desperate. I simply refused to wear those horrid black things. I dragged the comb through my hair a second time after donning the green robes—quite becoming, actually—and deemed myself presentable. Perhaps this day wouldn't be so terrible after all. And then, I went on to the next great adventure—breakfast!
I ran hurrying into the Great Hall, conscious that many little dears were probably looking towards their usually punctual Potions Master, wondering why he was so late. I resolve to set a good example, and have decided since never to be late again.
I took my seat between the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall. For some strange reason, they were eyeing me most peculiarly. To set them at ease, I gave them the biggest smile I could manage. "Good morning, Albus, Minerva," I said nodding politely to both. "I say, are the house elves around? I think I could use a double helping of everything this morning!"
Almost immediately, a whole troupe of elves appeared bearing loaded breakfast trays, and I helped myself to piles and piles of delicious food. I could feel Albus and Minerva staring at me but I chose to ignore them until I'd stuffed my face sufficiently. "Ahhh," I sighed with relief after polishing off an egg as big as a Hungarian Horntail's.
Albus spoke first. "That's quite an appetite you have this morning, Severus," he said.
"Severus?" I asked lightly "I beg your pardon, Headmaster, who's he? More coffee, please," I asked the house-elves and held out my cup, ignoring the way that Albus an Minerva continued to stare at each other. It was a trying morning, I decided again, dumping piles of sugar into my drink. And now Albus insisted on calling me "Severus"! Honestly.
"Severus Snape," said the headmaster finally, "that is your name, is it not?"
What was this madness? "I am Edward Beneficius Clyde," I replied. "Surely I don't need to remind you, headmaster? You hired me!"
Albus was staring at me again.
"Severus, are you feeling all right? Perhaps you ought to go lie down."
"I am feeling perfectly well, headmaster. Even if you do insist on calling me Severus. Well, you may if it makes you feel better. Perhaps it is you who ought to lie down!" and then I gasped at my own cheek. "Oh, dear! I am sorry. I've been feeling most out of sorts all morning. Forgive me, Headmaster. My behavior is appalling."
Dumbledore smiled at me kindly, and patted me on the arm. "That's quite all right, Severus. My goodness, we do find you in an unusual mood this morning, don't we, Minerva?"
McGonagall looked as though she was incapable of speech. "Er, yes, quite unusual" she said finally. Her eyes looked like big great golf balls.
I daintily patted my lips with a napkin. "Perhaps I ought to go prepare for my next lesson, then," I said.
"Yes, do," said Dumbledore. "Which class do you have?"
"Fifth year Gryffindors and Slytherins, a double period," I replied promptly.
"Yes, that's correct," said Dumbledore, but he still stared at me as though he wasn't sure what I would do next. There was an awkward pause.
"Well, I'd better go," I said smiling cheerily, eager to get on with my business of educating delightful young minds. "Lovely breakfast!"
"I'm glad you enjoyed it," replied the headmaster. "But Severus…"
"Yes?' this Severus business would require more patience than I'd initially thought.
"Just why are you wearing your Quidditch referee robes this morning?"
I looked down and saw that he was right. They were Quidditch robes.
"Well," I replied, "They were the only things with a bit of color in my wardrobe, if you must know," I said. "I can't bear wearing black!" and with this pronouncement I swirled out, though just in time to see both Dumbledore and McGonagall looking thunderstruck. It was quite comical, and so I giggled a little as I made my way down to the dungeons, attracting more than a few stares. It was so strange! All of the children in the halls were looking at me as though I was completely deranged, as though I didn't always have such a sunny and charming disposition.
Of course, I continued to be myself. "Good morning," I said pleasantly to each knot of children that I passed. How peculiar that each knot dispersed instantly! I caught strains of rather unkind comments: "Snape's gone mental." And "can you believe the git's wearing color?" "I heard he bumped into someone and actually said 'pardon me!'" Anyone would think they were discussing an uncharitable, ornery fiend!
I continued to walk briskly until I found myself nearly crashing into a tiny Gryffindor girl, a first year, right outside of my classroom. Our collision forced her to drop all of her books. She looked up at me with enormous brown eyes and was trembling so vigorously I was sure they would fall right out.
"Pro-pro-prof-f-f-essor Sn-n-nape," the poor creature stuttered out, pure terror in her eyes, "I-I-I-'m s-o-ory"
I smiled at her kindly. "Nonsense! I crashed into you and it was entirely my fault. Please, permit me to help!" I knelt down and gallantly scooped up her books, putting them into her hands. The girl had the same thunderstruck expression I'd seen on Minerva. She seemed as though she wanted to express her gratitude, but couldn't find the words.
"Th-th-th…" she muttered hopelessly.
"No need to thank me! I do hope you're all right. What is your name, my dear?" I asked her warmly.
"G-Gladys Bundchen," she said shakily
"Well, Gladys, let us hope I shall be more careful in the future," I said, patting her on the head. "Now run along."
Gladys didn't need a second command. She bolted immediately, almost crashing into the oncoming fifth year Slytherins and Gryffindors who made up my next class.
"Ah, there you all are," I said to them smilingly, "How delightful to see you! Please, come inside." If any odd looks were exchanged I missed them, swirling grandly into the classroom.
"My goodness me, but isn't it dark in here?" I wondered aloud, examining all of the windows. By some foul design, they were all chained up, almost as though someone didn't want any lovely natural light pouring in! This was really too much. "My dear Draco," I said as the strapping young lad strolled in (such spirit! So like his father, that one!), "Would you mind opening all of these windows? We could all do with a lovely kiss from the sun this morning!"
Draco eyed me with utter astonishment, as though he couldn't fathom a word I was saying. I can't imagine why; I always enlist Draco to help me with the windows to usher in the blessing of the sun. I commented on such. "Goodness, Draco, such temper!" I laughed cheerfully. "One would almost believe that you didn't want to usher in the blessing of the sun today!"
Draco muttered something under his breath, but waved his wand and flung open the blinds. He took his seat again, pale and muttering. Perhaps he was feeling ill?
The rest of the students came in, most of them hastily retreating to the back end of the classroom. "No, no!" I cried, beckoning them forward, "How on earth am I to see your glorious young faces so from so far away?" a question which caused them to, for some reason, collectively flinch. But a command from a teacher cannot be ignored, so they all came forward, muttering to each other in the same way Draco'd muttered to himself.
"Ah, that's better," I said, observing their dear little faces up close. Well, some of them were not so very little, particularly some of the older, pimplier Slytherins. But of course, they were no less dear to me. "I am so pleased to see all of you here this morning, and in such fine health!" A few looks were exchanged, but mostly they gazed at me with rapt attention, undoubtedly prepared to open their minds to the fruits of academic learning (and I cherished them for it).
But ah, I feel the gentle pat of the evening star upon my head. I must sleep, and shall narrate the rest of the peculiar events of the day upon the morrow. Nighty night, Dear Diary.