Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter NOR any of his friends NEITHER any of his enemies. It's hard to admit, but when I'm done with them all, I have to return them to Joanne K. Rowling in an original wrapping and unharmed.
I make no money, I mean no harm.
Send Me a Letter
The Nine Hells of the Hogwarts' Master
It was one of the last warm days in October. The weather was extraordinary beautiful, the blue sky was decorated by clouds, the soft breeze brought seductive smell of dying leaves to the Hogwarts grounds and Hogwarts renewed Potions master Severus Snape was sending all the world (and few individuals in particular) to the hell.
The dungeons were silent except for bubbling from two cauldrons. Snape preferred keeping his emotions inside his head, so he seemed to be perfectly calm while his thoughts wandered through a land where at least half of the people Snape knew had been murdered violently.
To the hell with Albus Dumbledore, decided Snape. To hell with the old manipulative fool who had had to emerge just in time to save Snape from dementor's kiss or rotting in Azkaban for the rest of his miserable, meaningless life. He had never asked for this lonely eternity brightened time to time with a lemon drop.
Snape didn't like lemon drop brighteness.
To the second hell with Veronica Shandess. The stupid woman, who should have taught Potions while he should have been happy, or at least content Defense Against Dark Arts master, simply got lost during her holiday to be found only on the thirtieth of August, comatose. As far as Snape knew, she hadn't woken up so far. The only teacher Dumbledore had been able to get before the school started had been Remus Lupin.
Lupin sucked at Potions. So, of course, Lupin had got DADA and Snape had got stuck with Potions.
Not that he minded so much. Over the course of years he had grown accustomed to quiet dungeons and he had started research he would like to finish but it just wasn't fair. He had been beaten by a werewolf. The werewolf. Twice!
And, not to forget, to the third hell with Remus Lupin.
Snape toyed idly with rat liver on his desk, watching the cauldrons and frowning. He felt like throwing something against nearest wall. Of course, he wasn't going to throw anything against the innocent wall, but the idea was tempting at the moment. Very tempting. His frown deepened and he threw the rat liver into the left cauldron.
Thinking of cauldrons... to the fifth... no, not yet, to the fourth hell with St. Mungo's incompetent idiots of employees who had remembered to order some Advanced Diagnostic Draught right at the instant they had needed it. Like if he could brew it in two minutes. Or had stores of it somewhere. It had collided with his research and no way had he been willing to stop in the middle of work, ruin his potion and work on their precious Draught instead.
So he ended up with two potions in labour, which, given his state of mind, hadn't been the brightest idea in the first place. Maybe he should have told the St. Mungo's receptionist exactly what he had thought of their Advanced Diagnostic Draught as well as of their ability to order potions in time. But no, he had accepted the order like some brainless hero ready to save the world, or at least the hospital, any bloody time.
Oh, a hero... time for the fifth hell now. Right in there with Rita Skeeter and her devilish article about the Order hero, Severus Snape. It had been awarded The Best Satiric Piece of the Year just a month ago and it was still very popular. Snape didn't particularly like being adored by other people, but he hated to be laughed at. Thanks to Skeeter, he could hear the laughter even there and then. And even in the middle of night, lying awake in his own bed, guarded by his wards. How he hated the ill-tongued bitch! The fifth hell served her right. She would suffer there for the whole eternity.
Speaking of adored heros, the sixth hell should be filled with Harry Potter's shrieks of terror. The ridiculous brat, unlike him, was adored and was NOT being laughed at. Maybe he should share his unfortunate fate with his bloody father.
At this stage, it was hard to distinct what was boiling more violently, Snape's potions or Snape's blood.
The seventh hell, the Potions master decided, should belong to Black. No doubt he was already in there. The thought made Snape's mind a bit lighter, as he carefully checked his notes on his research. He let his hands continue cutting aconite on their own, analysing the colour of the liquid in the left cauldron.
Snape glanced at the clock above an old wooden cabinet. He had just few minutes before the students arrived for their well earned detentions. To the eighth hell with them, then. They had been snogging in the corridors so senselessly that they had completely failed to greet him (as they should have), not even mentioning they should have stopped snogging in his presence. Prefects, on the top of it. He sneered at the non-present students, wishing them to come late so he could be especially nasty to them. Or not come at all. That way he could finish the potions without distraction AND be especially nasty to them the next day.
Or he can be especially nasty to them without any further reason.
He grabbed a bowl with pounded scarab beetles and swept the powder into the right cauldron. Seven times anti-clockwise... and then, just in time, cool down the other potion. He looked at the clock again. One to seven and still no sign of the love-birds. They would most certainly come late.
As his eyes slid down from the clock and over his desk, he sighed. There was a parchment lying on the desk. A letter, in fact.
So, to the nineth hell with Miss Hermione Granger, who had never EVER responded any of his letters, no matter how long or short or even self-humiliating they had been. Snape threw slice of horn toad spleen in the right cauldron, completely ignoring two very important facts. First, that he had never sent any of those letters for Miss Hermione Granger. Second, that he had been adding ingredients to the wrong cauldrons for the last ten minutes.
The explosion of the right cauldron made the cabinets tremble, books and phials from open shelves falling on the floor. Three seconds later the reheated left cauldron blew up as well, this time shaking the very walls of the laboratory. Snape flew backwards to the wall, hitting it with his head first and passing out. In seconds, the laboratory was filled with thick yet warm, strangely sparkling fog.
He was lying on a cool and hard surface. The floor, probably. He opened his eyes and blinked to clear them.
What am I doing on the floor?
Slowly he remembered. He looked around the laboratory. Everything looked so strange. So... different. His head threatened to split in two pieces, but he carefully lifted it to have a better look at his surroundings.
The table on which the cauldrons had been placed wasn't there anymore; instead, a huge violet stool stood in the middle of the room. Next to it, on the stock of wooden sticks, one of the cauldrons lay, the other couldn't be seen anywhere. The floor was covered with rubbish of what Snape didn't recognise much. There was a pink hat with fruit on the top of it that he saw certainly for the first time in his life. And his cabinet changed colour to orange. And some of the books were now in different shades of pink, purple and orange. And...
He cautiously turned his head to both sides. Everything seemed to be in different shades of pink, purple, violet and orange. The explosion must have impacted his sight somehow. No wonder, seeing what it had done with size of everything...
He frowned. It hadn't been such an explosion to enlarge the room. What meant that he himself had shrunk.
Mind racing over what could have caused the mixed potions to take such effect, he tried to stand up, finding the motion strangely unusual. He was startled by a knock followed immediately by the sound of an opening door.
"Professor Snape?" a girl voice called. He recognised Orla Quirke, the Ravenclaw prefect, who came for her detention along with her boyfriend, a prefect Stewart Ackerley.
Snape intented on giving the two students a piece of his mind, but no words left his mouths. In fact, his harsh words could be heard as a series of squeaks. He felt a cold rush of panic rising from his stomach and tried again, this time failing even remembering what he was going to say. Unable to resist his own fear, he shrieked in terror. This attracted the students. The girl - Quirke, he reminded himself - picked him up from the floor, carefully placing one hand under his butt to support his body, and presented him to her companion.
"Stewart, look!" she exclaimed. "I didn't know Professor Snape had a squirrel." She turned him over, her attention fully on him.
I'm not a squirrel! Snape tried to protest, unsuccessfully. The girl petted his belly, checked his tiny limbs, peeked into his mouth and finally settled into scratching under his chin.
It felt good.
The last thought Severus Snape managed to process at least in the sanctuary of his mind was how disgusted he felt with himself.
Stewart watched his girlfriend impatiently. He hadn't been lucky enough to kiss her in the afternoon without that old bitter bat interrupting them, they had been both awarded detention with the said damned bat and now, when they had come to serve the detention, the stupid professor wasn't even there, while his girlfriend was fully occupied with stroking a squirrel.
"We should tell this to Professor Dumbledore," Orla said and pressed the squirrel to her breasts.
"Shouldn't we try to look for Snape?" Orla shook her head.
"Well, can you see him anywhere?" she pointed out. Stewart tried to find Snape under a black cloth that might have been a pair of robes before the explosion.
"Don't be ridiculous," Orla intervened. "Let's go, shall we?"
"Can't you at least leave the bloody squirrel here?" Stewart asked, irritated.
"Oh, but he's not a common squirrel, he's a rainbow squirrel." Stewart's expression lacked any sign of recognition.
In fact, for a while, it lacked any sign of intelligence.
"Rainbow squirrels are magical creatures," Orla supplied. "They don't live so high as here, so he must be someone's pet." The squirrel squirmed and squeaked.
"You can tell it's a he?" Stewart felt insanely jealous of the poor animal. He couldn't help it, as long as his girlfriends attention was fully on it.
"Yeah," Orla nodded and turned the squirrel over for Stewart to see its belly. He refused to have a look. "My uncle used to breed them," Orla continued. "We all helped, so I learned a lot about them. Can we now go to tell Dumbledore?"
"And what would you like to tell me, dear girl?" a pleasant and amused voice sounded from the door.
"Professor Dumbledore!" Orla exclaimed happily. "We were coming down here to serve a detention and we heard an explosion. When we came in, we found the room in this state. And the squirrel." Dumbledore stepped in the room carefully and started examinating the walls and furnishing. At the apprisal of the animal he turned to Orla and took it from her hands.
"Hm, a rainbow squirrel. I didn't know Severus had a pet. Aside from the tarantula." Both students adopted horrified expressions and their eyes drifted to shadowed corners. Dumbledore chuckled.
"Don't worry, children, it died years ago. I assume, Miss Quirke, from your previous statement, that you are capable of taking care of this... little friend of Severus'?" The squirrel squirmed again and managed to bite Dumbledore. Orla caught the little body just before it hit the floor.
"What did get into him?" she wondered.
"Maybe he's injured?" Dumbledore queried. Orla scratched the squirrel behind his ears while turning him over once again to check him over.
"No, though it's a little wonder. He's a lucky little boy, isn't he?" and raising him to her eye level, she examined his eyes. "Not a single scratch... aside from a scar on his belly, but that's been there for some time."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled, but he merely sighed.
"I'm afraid Professor Snape wouldn't be ready to supervise your detention tonight. What did you two do, anyway, to get it?"
"We... er... weren't paying attention," Stewart answered elusively.
"Oh, I think we can pardon you then. Miss Quirke, could you take care of this... lucky boy?" Orla nodded. "Then do it, please, until we find Professor Snape. You may both go." As the students left, Dumbledore alarmed the rest of professors, running a list of possible supply teachers in his head.
The list was very short.
A/N: I hope I made you laugh, or at the very least snigger, with this one. The second chapter is nearly finished and should be up as soon as possible. I hope you'll stick with me and my little silly story (it won't be too long). Please review. Thanks for reading.