Disclaimer: I do not own these characters; neither harm nor profit intended.

Note: All right, you jokers. This is for all of you who think Snape and Count D look so much alike.


by Rex Luscus

Living without magic was damned irritating. For one thing, Snape now had to pay for haircuts.

No one had told him when he'd chosen Tokyo to hide out in how expensive a city it was. He'd finally found a cheap place to get his trims on the ground floor of an enormous tourist trap in the Shinjuku District. It was filled with ladies in curlers sitting under dryers, reading magazines with their drying nails held out at ridiculous angles, cotton wads crammed between their toes. He hoped no one he knew saw him through the window and called his masculinity into question.

"The usual," he said in his awkward, newly acquired Japanese, flopping down in the first chair. The stylist got to work without a word.

Fifteen minutes later, he grunted his approval to the mirror thrust in front of his face, rose, dropped a wad of yen on the hair-sprinkled counter, and headed for the door. On the way, he passed a stunning young woman who was just entering. She was wearing a bizarre outfit straight out of a Chinese period film.

"The usual," he heard her say to the stylist, in a sweet but disturbingly deep voice. Snape's gut lurched; he mentally clutched his masculinity closer, and turned to look.

The woman--boy--was arranging himself neatly in the chair. The stylist draped him with a smock and sighed. "I hate cutting men's hair," she said. "You all want the exact same thing."