Notes: Written for the Snape Rarepairs Community July challenge: Snape/Luna and Loss.
by Rex Luscus
While the students were copying the list of ingredients off the blackboard, Snape took the opportunity to work discreetly on the kink in his viciously stiff neck. After producing a loud pop he hoped wasn't audible to the first row, his eyes returned to the students, and irritation seized him as he saw that Lovegood's hand was in the air.
He ignored her for as long as he reasonably could, hoping she would take the hint. But she had all the patience that Granger did not--even though she was not above clearing her throat a few times, as though she were saying, "we'll continue this polite fiction that you haven't noticed me, if that makes you feel better." He seethed.
Finally, the pain in his neck ate away the last of his tolerance for a battle of wills, and he stood. "Miss Lovegood?" he said, as menacingly as he could.
She put her hand down with a wispy smile. "I've just read the ingredient list and I thought you ought to know," she said, "that numerous studies have linked exposure to monkfish scales with infertility. The Ministry has had the studies suppressed under pressure from the Pharmaceutical Potions lobby, but my father says--"
"That's quite enough, Lovegood," Snape cut in sharply, dismayed to find himself blushing a bit--words like 'infertility' often had that absurd effect on him. It was only fair, therefore, that he return the favor with public humiliation. "You'll forgive me," he added with affected amusement, "if I don't find the threat of an end to your family line to be a cause for immediate alarm."
A volley of titters ran around the room as Lovegood's dull-witted classmates caught up with him. Good lord, Ravenclaws were such traitorous little jackals--even Slytherins recognized the purely strategic value in presenting a united front. Lovegood didn't even seem to notice; she just sat there staring at him with those huge, saucer-lid eyes and that stupid, beatific smile. Was--was that pity she was looking at him with?
"I should think you'd at least be concerned about yourself," she said. "If you ever decided to have children--"
"That's ENOUGH!" Snape spluttered. He was blushing all the way up to his hairline. Instead of titters, an awed hush had settled over the room.
There was no way out of this. No scathing response was adequate to divert attention away from his reproductive--whatever--once it had been drawn there. "There is to be NO mention of my p--private life--" he cringed-- "in this or any classroom under pain of indefinite detention, is that clear?" Pathetic. Yes, that's right, Severus, show them just how much you care. That will shut the little bastards right down.
Lovegood nodded her comprehension and fell silent, thank God.
Once class was over and the students were filing out, an unusual and irksome amount of quiet laughter fluttering between their bent heads, Snape felt a presence behind him that was not moving toward the door along with everyone else. He turned slowly.
Lovegood said, "I didn't think it was funny."
He made to sneer, then stopped. "Didn't think what--precisely--was funny, Miss Lovegood?"
"That you might have a private life, sir."
Don't give her detention, his mind cried out as he fixed her with the iciest glare he could summon. That will tell her she's won. "Get out," he hissed, and she fled.
Snape breathed a sigh of relief.