A/N: For explanation, see end note
Disclaimer: I own nothing... unfortunately
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
All Severus Snape had wanted was to spend a relaxing day by himself, not caring about the wizarding world around him and not being bothered by the students he loathed with every fiber of his being. Unfortunately for him, just as he had sat down on the settee in his Spinner's End home with the Prophet, the doorbell rang.
He laughed coldly to himself. He would ignore it, as he usually did – he hated guests and guests hated him. The memory of the last person to ring his doorbell – an unfortunate girl scout – was enough to drive him to tears of mirth. However, the ringer of the doorbell did not cease pushing that little button on the outside wall.
"Damn it all," Snape said bitterly, thinking that whoever was disturbing his peace and quiet was going to get a good hex in the eye – or a kick in the shins if the person was a Muggle.
Snape opened the front door and looked out, but saw nobody at eye-level.
"I'm down here, and no need to point out how short I am – I already know."
Startled at the voice of the person, Snape looked down and saw, to his surprise, that the thing at his door – the thing that had been ringing his doorbell – was not even a human being. It was a robot.
"What the - ?" Snape said, taken aback.
The robot sighed dejectedly and gave Snape an electronic glare with his upside-down-triangular, green eyes.
"I'm sorry, earth man," the robot said, "am I depressing you? I can be pretty depressing sometimes. All the time, if you want to get technical – not that I have a choice in the matter."
"Er…" Snape said. It was all he was thinking at the moment.
"I suppose you're not going to invite me in," the robot said. "I suppose I'll just stay out here and rust – not that it matters."
"Er…" Snape said again; he was beginning to feel a little like a robot himself. What was he supposed to do with this thing, anyway? It was like a walking, talking depression.
"Are you malfunctioning, earth man?" the robot asked disconsolately. "Don't bother answering, what's the point?"
At this, Snape stepped back and held the door open for the robot. He could think of nothing better to do anyway, and he could easily dispose of the robot if it caused him any trouble. The robot walked into the house without a word of thanks, mechanical shoulders rounded. It walked as if it was on its way to the electric chair or to its death. "Your home is dismal," the robot stated morosely.
"Who – what are you?" Snape asked with slight interest, closing the door.
"I am Marvin, a Genuine People Personalities robot. I'm also a prototype, as I'm sure you've figured out by now," said Marvin, "and you are Severus Snape."
"How did you know?"
The robot, now Marvin, gave a mechanical sigh and strode past Snape and into the sitting room, ignoring Snape completely. Needless to say, Snape followed, confused and annoyed. Marvin waited until Snape had taken a seat until sighing loudly again and staring at a very disconcerted Snape through glowing eyes.
"Er," Snape said yet again, "What's this all about?"
"I was sent here by Ford Prefect, earth man," the robot said in a voice that made Snape want to hang himself, and then added, "I'm not getting you down at all, am I?"
Snape was startled into replying, "No, not at all."
"I wouldn't want to be getting you down," Marvin insisted.
"No of course not, please continue," Snape insisted.
"What's the point?" Marvin asked.
Snape stopped himself from saying "er" again and took a deep breath – this Marvin character was getting on his nerves. "The point?" Snape repeated.
"The point?" mocked Marvin.
"The point of what?" Snape asked.
"Everything. What's the point of everything? Not that it matters to me, oh God, I'm depressed. And forty-two is not the answer."
Snape rubbed his temples in agitation and snapped, "What about this Ford guy, then? Why are you here?"
"Ford has a depressing habit of warning people about things," Marvin said, getting back on track – or, at least, Snape hoped. "And he sent me here, to replacement-earth, to warn you about some ghastly news."
There was a pause, in which Snape waited for more. What was this rubbish about a replacement earth? And who was Ford Prefect?
"And this would be… what?" Snape pressed in a forced patience.
"Prefect sent me to tell you to look out for a one Alan Rickman," Marvin said, "but I think he just wanted me to go away from him – I think I got him down. You know, being a super-brilliant robot does nothing for me. I only get ordered on insignificant jobs such as 'bring me the two aliens up here under surveillance' and 'go warn Severus Snape about Alan Rickman'."
"Sounds appalling," Snape said in a jaded voice; this robot was outliving its welcome.
"It is," Marvin agreed, the gears in his metal body clicking in dislike of the situation.
"So what about this Rickman?" Snape pressed, slightly amazed that this conversation had a purpose.
"He's an actor," Marvin said dolefully, "an actor who has begun playing the part of the depressed, disliked characters in movies."
"And what does this information have to do with me?"
"He's landed the part of you in a movie," Marvin said. "He's landed the part of my voice, too, and I'm sure it was a tedious, depressing job."
At this, before Snape could say anything, Marvin pulled a little microchip out of his mouth and clicked it. Instantly a holographic image of a dozen or so tuna appeared on Snape's carpet. Then, without further word, Marvin sulked across the house and to the front door.
"Your door is dismal," Marvin stated. "It's funny how you think things can't get worse and then they do."
"Hey, wait!" Snape said suddenly, standing up and going after Marvin. "What's all about this Alan Rickman guy? What's so important about him that you had to get sent down here to disturb me at my home?"
Marvin gave a robotic shrug, his back to Snape, and replied, "Does it matter? And how should I know – I'm apparently not worth anything more than relaying messages, what with the size of my brain being that of a planet and everything." The robot paused and turned around before adding, "Oh yes, and I was supposed to give you another message."
Snape raised his eyebrows to show that he was listening.
"Yes, Zaphod Beeblebrox requested that I inform you that you are welcome on the Heart of Gold at anytime for lunch – he says he knows a great restaurant at the end of the Universe. Goodbye, earth man."
Without another word, Marvin turned again and walked out the door. Snape hurried up after him and stopped in the doorway just in time to see Marvin stick his robotic thumb to the sky. Snape quickly glanced over his shoulder at the pile of holographic tuna on his carpet.
"Er, so long," Snape called as a strange ship came down out of the sky and picked the robot up, "and thanks for all the fish."
A/N: I saw Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy today and thought, after realizing that Alan Rickman did the voice of my favorite character, that I should do a tribute to the book. I thought it was funny that Rickman played Marvin and Snape. I think that's the only excuse for this.