A/N: After suffering through indigestion brought on by too much garlic at dinner, I had an incredibly silly conversation with Jocelyn, and this story was the result. I hope that reading it tickles you as much as writing it did us!
Death by Garlic: A ridiculous collaboration by Jocemum and Jocelyn
"I'm telling you both. Snape is a ruddy vampire!"
Hermione put down her book and sighed. "Don't be an idiot, Ron. That rumor has been going around Hogwarts forever, and there is absolutely no proof that he is any such thing."
"Maybe no proof, but look at it this way. Why does he keep himself in the dungeons where there is no light? When have you ever seen him outside, except for Quidditch, and then he's muffled up to the eyebrows? Practically no skin exposed."
"That's true," Harry agreed. "Not to mention the way he dresses."
"All this is purely circumstantial," Hermione argued. "Just because the man is pale and anemic-looking, dresses in black, lives in the dungeons…" She paused.
"Aha!" Ron pointed a finger at her. "Even you have to admit…"
Hermione pushed his hand away with a snort of impatience. "I'm beginning to think you two have to have something to chase after now that the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets is dead. I'm admitting nothing, but… suppose he is a vampire. Short of going down to the dungeon and standing in front of his desk with our necks exposed, how do you suggest that we prove it?"
Harry shuddered. "I don't even want to think about that. Besides, he'd go for your neck, Hermione. Vampires like to bite women."
She looked thoughtful. "He's unlikely to try anything with the two of you there. Maybe if we set me up as bait..."
"Are you crazy?" Ron shrieked.
People around them in the Great Hall were turning their heads, and Hermione noticed that they'd caught the attention of the teachers, including the subject of their discussion, and were being watched from the head table.
"Bloody hell, Ron. Lower your voice," Harry hissed, and Ron subsided, abashed.
"All right," Hermione whispered, and the boys leaned in. "If you really want to prove whether or not it's true, then we'll have to come up with a plan. What do we know about vampires?"
"They drink blood," Ron replied, quickly.
"Besides the obvious, Ron," Hermione snapped.
Harry looked thoughtful. "You can't see their reflection in a mirror, and they're supposed to be sensitive to sunlight."
"How do we get Snape in front of a mirror?" Ron asked.
"No idea," Harry answered. "Can you see us trying to drag a huge mirror around and chasing Snape all over the castle."
"I've got it!" Hermione snapped her fingers. "Garlic!"
"What? What's that supposed to do?" Harry glanced up at the table. The purported vampire was glaring down at the three of them.
"Vampires can't tolerate garlic. It repels them"
"Do we want to repel him?" Ron looked puzzled. "He'll just walk away, and we won't have proven anything."
"I've read that their aversion to garlic is almost like a human allergy," Hermione explained. "So, all we have to do is make sure there is a healthy dose of garlic in one of his dishes tonight, and see how he reacts."
"Brilliant, Hermione!" Ron grinned. "I'll repeat what I've said before. You're brilliant, but scary. We're glad you're on our side!"
People around them were standing up and gathering their belongings, and starting to make their way to the doors.
"Transfiguration first," Harry reminded them. "Then Charms, then Potions." He grinned, evilly. "I think we'll enjoy that class today, thinking about what we're going to do to him."
Hermione shot him a look. "Don't give him any reason to suspect anything, or he'll be on his guard."
"Right." Harry slung his backpack up, and they followed him out of the hall.
After Transfiguration, Hermione made a quick detour. Tickling the pear gave her entrance to the kitchen, and she was immediately surrounded by house-elves, all vying for the chance to feed her. It took several minutes of insistence, but she finally made it clear to them that she did not want to eat, but only to have a word with the head kitchen elf. Taking her aside, she asked her for a favor.
"I'd like to do something nice for Professor Snape. He's very fond of garlic, you know, and since we're having spaghetti tonight, I'd really appreciate it if you would put some extra garlic in his dish."
The elf eyed her suspiciously. "Why does Miss want to do this for the Professor Snape who is always being very mean to the students?"
Hermione thought quickly. "I… well, I have to give him a paper to read, and it's very long. You see, he doesn't really like long papers, and I thought that if he was in a good mood, he'd be nicer about it."
The elf thought about it for a moment. "And Miss thinks that extra garlic would put the Professor Snape in a good mood?"
"I think it would." Hermione nodded her head. "Yes, I really think it would."
A broad grin appeared on the elf's face. "Then I will do this for you, and for the mean Professor Snape, and make him to be in a very good mood, indeed!"
"Thank you. I knew I could depend on you!" Hermione accepted a cinnamon bun, and darted out the door, pleased that it had all be so easy.
Harry paused, made an excuse to Ron, and headed down another hallway. Slipping into an empty classroom, he snapped his fingers and called out softly, "Dobby!"
There was a pop and Dobby appeared. When he realized who it was who had summoned him, he was overjoyed.
"Harry Potter, sir! Oh, Dobby is so happy to see you! Harry Potter is giving Dobby a sock, and Dobby is so happy here at Hogwarts. Whatever Harry Potter needs, Dobby will see to it. Anything Harry Potter wants, Dobby will take care of it. Harry Potter has only to ask, and Dobby…"
"Yes, yes, Dobby. Thank you!" Harry interrupted him. "I want you to help me with something rather… um, difficult."
Dobby's ears pricked up. "Tell Dobby what it is you need."
"I need you to put extra garlic in Professor Snape's spaghetti tonight."
Dobby stared at him. "Why does Harry Potter want Dobby to do this?"
"Um… because Professor Snape said that if he doesn't get extra garlic, then he won't allow me to play for Gryffindor on Saturday. He thinks that I won't be able to do it." Harry winked at Dobby. "Snape doesn't know that I have a very good friend among the house-elves."
Dobby looked outraged. "Professor Snape should not try and stop Harry Potter from playing his Quidditch. That would be unfair!"
"Then you'll do this for me, Dobby?" Harry tried his best to look anxious and imploring.
"Dobby will be happy to do this for you. I shall give Professor Snape much extra garlic! He will not keep Harry Potter from playing on Saturday!"
Harry grinned. "Dobby, you're the best. Thanks so much!"
Dobby bowed. "It is Dobby's pleasure to serve Harry Potter."
Ron stood outside fourth-year Charms and waited patiently. He was determined that he would be the one to solve the mystery of whether or not Snape was a vampire, and for that, he needed the advice of his cunning twin older brothers. He'd slipped them a quick note on the way to class and was now awaiting their reply.
The door opened, and the fourth years came thundering out. Fred and George did little more than greet him with a slap in the hand – as far as any observers were concerned. But Ron hurried off around the corner to open the folded piece of paper they'd slipped him.
Ron… We're so proud to think that our little brother is prepared to pull off a stunt like this. Contact the house-elf called 'Rimsky.' Offer him the contents of the package stashed behind that old broken lamp in the common room, and he will do anything you want. Can't wait to hear the results of this! F/G
Ron located the hidden package in Gryffindor Tower; it contained three pieces of candy and a pink rose. Shrugging, Ron dropped it into his backpack and headed back downstairs to an unused classroom.
Safely inside, Ron called out for the house-elf, who appeared immediately. He was rather sly, and seemed to lack the usual self-depreciating manner of the average house-elf. He gave Ron a shrewd look, folded his arms, and said, "A Weasley, is it? What's the deal?"
"Uh, this. I want you to put a extra dose of garlic in Professor Snape's spaghetti tonight."
Rimsky seemed unfazed by the request. "That's all? How do you plan to reward Rimsky for doing this?"
Ron held out the package, and the house-elf pounced on it. Opening it, and peering inside, his eyes widened. He backed up and bowed.
"This is a great reward for Rimsky. I shall see to this personally. Professor Snape shall have an extra heavy dose of garlic placed in his spaghetti."
"Great," Ron said. "Uh… thanks a lot."
"A pleasure to do business with you." The house-elf bowed again, and disappeared.
"Bloody hell! Where did Fred and George find that one?"
Hermione, Ron, and Harry sat in the Great Hall, having positioned themselves in such a way as to have a clear view of the head table. All of the professors had taken their places except Snape.
"Hell," Harry whispered. "If Snape decided not to eat tonight, we'll have to start all over again."
He was answered by the slamming open of the doors, and Snape swept up the aisle, his robe billowing behind him, and took his place in the vacant seat at the far end of the table. The trio looked at each other, and exchanged quick smiles of satisfaction.
The food was served, and everyone tucked in. House-elf spaghetti was a favorite dish, and the hall was fairly quiet as dinner became a priority over conversation.
Hermione watched Snape out of the corner of her eye as he took his first bite. He choked, and coughed. Reaching forward, he grabbed his water goblet and quickly drained the entire contents. Picking up his napkin, he swiped at his eyes. She knew that Harry and Ron were watching as well. It appeared they were going to get the reaction they'd expected.
To their surprise, Snape put the napkin down, picked up his fork, and attended to his food, eating with obviously relish. In between bites, he'd choke and cough and drain his glass again, always to return to the dish. By now, he had the attention of everyone in the Great Hall.
"I don't believe it," Hermione whispered.
Down at the opposite end of the head table, Professor McGonagall was trying to get his attention. "Severus! I say, Severus!"
He paid her no attention, save for a grimace at being disturbed. She tried again.
He turned in obvious annoyance, and yelled down the length of the table. "Whaaat?"
Next to him, Hooch's chair went over with a crash. Next to her, Filius Flitwick slid under the table in a dead faint. Beyond him, Madam Sprout collapsed forward into her plate. One after the other, teachers fell beneath the onslaught of his breath, until only Professor McGonagall remained standing, staring in absolute disbelief at the bodies in front of her.
Pandemonium reigned. Panicked students, certain that they had just seen Vampire Snape kill off the majority of the faculty, leaped from their chairs and ran screaming from the hall.
"Hell! Bloody hell! We're dead!" Ron hissed, and he, Harry, and Hermione joined the swarm of students fleeing the hall.
Professor McGonagall surveyed the overturned chairs, and the empty hall, and turned back to look at Snape. "Professor Snape, I don't believe I have ever seen anything so… so absurd in my entire life. We're just lucky you didn't belch! There would be no survivors!" She performed a number of Enervates, gathered up the stunned staff, and ushered them out.
Severus Snape looked around him with a smirk of satisfaction, then snapped his fingers and glared at the cowering house-elf that appeared in front of him.
"Another dish of spaghetti…precisely like the last one!"
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