101 Chapters Why Severus Snape Hates His Life
Updated Note to the Reader (11-15-07):
At first glance, this chapter appears to be an ungodly length. And while it's true that this is probably one of the longest humor-fics you've read, I must stress that the first four chapters are about 70-80 percent dialogue. Subsequent chapters are about 90 percent dialogue. Thus, they are all much shorter than they appear. I attribute the relatively small number of reviews to the fact that this fic seems so long, and people give up before they begin. So if you've opened this story and already feel intimidated by its length, I hope you'll keep reading anyway. And I strongly encourage you to read beyond chapter one, as it's not very representative of my best work. That's not to say it isn't funny, but it moves more slowly than most of the other chapters. I'd like to think that this fic is getting better and better as it moves along.
Happy reading! (And please review!)
NOTE: If I remember correctly, in Order of the Phoenix, the mass breakout that frees Bellatrix Lestrange and several other Death Eaters from Azkaban occurs after Harry returns to Hogwarts. I've taken an "artistic liberty," however, by pretending that they were already free by late July (preceeding Harry's fifth year). I am aware of this continuity error. Please try to ignore it if you can. I'll do my best to avoid straying from canon in the future, but for the purposes of this story, I really needed them to be loose a few months earlier. Also, I've made up a couple of spells. Technically, they're probably incorrect, but I'm really not in the mood to conjugate verbs. In any case, pario means "create," and corrumpo roughly means "destroy" or "annihilate."
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize, including the couple of references to Seinfeld and Family Guy (though I'm not sure how blatant the latter is).
Chapter 1: The Slumber party
Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape were sitting in the Headmaster's office, having a very serious discussion about very serious topics -- specifically, Death Eaters, Voldemort, and a number of other very scary things -- when Dumbledore was suddenly thrown from his train of thought by a loud, obnoxious noise, which seemed to be issuing from Snape's robes. He watched in bewilderment as Snape reached into his pocket and pulled out a violently pink cell phone.
"Severus... what on earth is that?" asked Dumbledore.
"It's a RAZR," answered Snape. Noticing that Dumbledore's expression hadn't become any less confused, he rolled his eyes and elaborated: "A cell phone. It's a muggle device to which the Dark Lord has taken a liking."
"The noise coming out of it is terrible!" cried Dumbledore. "Has Voldemort bewitched this muggle device to contain Dark magic?"
"No... that 'noise' would be Master of Puppets by Metallica. Anytime the Dark Lord calls us or sends a text message, it always plays that damn song."
"That noise is music? Why does Voldemort use that particular song? It's ghastly!"
"Yes, well, I expect that's the point. The Dark Lord tends to like ghastly things, doesn't he? However, the more specific reason for his choice of this song is, I believe, the lyrics. You know, 'Come crawling faster, obey your master...' Very appropriate, you see."
Snape scowled at Dumbledore's persistent confusion and said, "I don't know. He said he thinks it's a laugh."
Finally registering the the color of the phone, Dumbledore chuckled. "My, my, Severus. I've known you for so many years, yet I never would have guessed that pink was your color of preference."
A pained expression passed over Snape's face. "The Dark Lord picked it out. He felt that it would be -- ah -- amusing for me to have to carry something pink in my pocket 24 hours a day."
Dumbledore continued to chuckle as Snape opened the phone. "Just a moment," he said. "The Dark Lord has sent me a text."
"What does the message say?" inquired Dumbledore.
Snape read it aloud with a look of distaste on his face: "'u should totally come 2 luce's crib 2nite at 11 b/c his old lady & kid r out of town 4 the weekend. avery says he can get sum chronic. plz bring cheetos. ttyl'." He sighed. "Luce is Lucius Malfoy, in case you were wondering."
"Why does he use all those numbers and abbreviations?" asked Dumbledore.
"Because he's a lazy piece of crap, just like every other idiot who sits around incessantly sending text messages," spat Snape, sneering.
"Chronic..." Dumbledore mused. "Is that a disease?"
"No, he means weed."
"It's drugs, you senile old fart!" barked Snape.
Before Dumbledore had time to ask what the hell "drugs" were, Master of Puppets started up again. "Hang on," muttered Snape. "He's sent another one. It says... 'p.s. make sure it's the puffy cheetos, u kno how luce hates the crunchy 1s.'"
"How could anybody hate the crunchy ones?" asked an incredulous Dumbledore.
"Apparently they cut the roof of his mouth... Headmaster, is there any way we could finish this conversation quickly? I have a distinct feeling that these are just the first in a very long line of texts, most of which will probably be equally annoying requests for food." Just as finished saying this, another text came through, which he read aloud: "'get funyuns 2.'"
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak, but a fourth text message popped up on the phone: "'also pepsi. bella wont drink coke.'"
Snape let out an exasperated sigh, and Dumbledore attempted to steer the conversation back to more serious matters: "I assume you've heard no more details about the--"
Dumbledore stopped. Master of Puppets was, yet again, blaring from the phone. Snape glanced at the message: "'on 2nd thought go ahead and bring crunchy cheetos 2.'"
Seeing that their meeting was going nowhere fast, Dumbledore was about to dismiss Snape when the phone played another chorus of Master of Puppets. Snape pushed 'talk' and put the phone to his ear. "Hello? No, I'm-"
"Who's that?" Dumbledore asked.
Snape cupped his hand over the receiver and whispered, "It's the Dark Lord. He's already gotten into the Firewhiskey, and he's drunk-dialing. ...Again." Snape returned his attention to the phone: "Yes. ... That is true-- ... Naturally, my Lord. ... I am aware of -- ... Indeed, but --"
It quickly became apparent to Dumbledore that this conversation was fairly one-sided. He was beginning to get irritated, and he was debating whether to simply evict the Potions Master from his office, when he heard Snape saying, "What? ... No, I'm sitting with Professor Dumbledore. I can't leave just yet. ... Yes, but--" There was a pause, and then Snape said, "...You want to what? ... With Dumbledore? ... Are you certain that this is wise--? ... Of course, my Lord, I meant no offense-- ... Yes, certainly." Snape cupped his hand over the mouth of the phone again and addressed the headmaster: "The Dark Lord says he wishes to speak with you."
Puzzled, Dumbledore reached out and took the phone. "Hello? ... Good evening, Tom." A loud shriek issued from the phone when Dumbledore used Voldemort's childhood name. The headmaster ignored it, saying, "I trust I find you well? ... Am I to understand that-- ... Of course he-- ... I really don't see how it's any of your business what detergent I use on my -- ... Well, do you mean for whites or colors? ... Clorox for whites, obviously. ... Excuse me? ... That's my private affair, and I refuse to-- ... Tom, I'm afraid I don't know how to talk to you in this state. ... You don't seem entirely yourself. ... I'm sure you don't mean that-- ... I must insist that you stop interrupting me if you wish to-- ... No-- ... DAMMIT!" With a look of disgust, Dumbledore flipped the phone shut and threw it back to Snape.
"May I ask what just transpired, Headmaster?"
Dumbledore looked livid and said, "Just go. I don't feel like... He was implying that..." He shook his head. "No, just go."
Snape looked at him quizzically but complied, sweeping silently from the office. He stood outside for a moment. Damn it to hell. He needed Funyuns, Cheetos, and Pepsi. He'd was definitely going to have to go to the store.
Severus Snape's life was seriously going down the shitter. He'd come to the conclusion that pretty much everything sucked. It was late July, less than two months after the Dark Lord's return, and Snape was beginning to think of this as the ultimate "low point" of his existence. And that's saying a lot, considering how shitty his life had been. Truth be told, no one was very pleased about the Dark Lord's return. Well, except for Bellatrix, of course, but she'd never been "all there" in the head. Wait, no... Correction: she was absolutely bat-shit insane. But everyone else was pretty pissed about it. The idea of the Dark Lord returning was far more glorious than the reality of the situation. When he'd signed up to be a Death Eater, Snape had assumed it would be a pretty sweet gig: the kind of impressive, prestigious thing you'd definitely want to put on your résumé one day. As it turned out, putting it on your résumé was a one-way ticket to Azkaban. Quite the disappointment, really. On the other hand, being a Death Eater was kind of sexy. Well, it was sexy to outsiders, which, he supposed, made it useful in the sense that it might potentially help him get laid, if he were so inclined to bother trying -- and not that he needed help, anyway. But no one who actually knew anything about the Dark Lord or his Death Eaters could possibly think it was sexy. Sure, it seemed mysterious and Dark, but in all actuality, the Dark Lord was an insecure, validation-seeking little bitch. Spending the large majority of one's time stroking the Dark Lord's ego was not part of the original Death Eater job description, and Snape really didn't appreciate the fact that it was now a necessary requirement if you wanted to stay in the Dark Lord's service (and, more importantly, on his good side -- if he can be said to have a good side). Yes, thought Snape, the Dark Lord may be a little bitch, but that doesn't stop him from killing everyone in sight. Especially when he's PMSing. ...Which is all the goddamn time.
So now Snape was on the way to the store. But which store? Where the hell do you buy Funyuns? Who honestly eats Funyuns, for god's sake? Maybe you can buy them at a 7-Eleven, he thought. No, that's ridiculous. He didn't even know where to find a 7-Eleven. But maybe he could conjure up some Funyuns? True, it's supposed to be impossible to conjure food out of thin air, but were Funyuns really food in the traditional sense? Might as well give it a try, he thought.
He pulled out his wand and said, "Pario Funyuns!" And there they were. Well, that was unrealistically easy... but no time to dwell on it! It was 10:15, and he still had to go to the store for the other items.
At 10:45, Snape stood at the front door of the Malfoy Manor, holding a huge sack of junk food, and waiting impatiently to be let in. A terrified-looking house elf appeared at the door, gazed up at Snape, and asked, "Password, sir?"
Snape looked at him warily for a moment. "What?" he snapped.
"Dingleberry is needing the password, sir, to let you in," said the elf.
"What's a dingleberry?"
"Dingleberry is Dingleberry's name, sir. It is the longest name in the history of house elves. But Dingleberry is needing the password, sir."
"There is no password, you insolent little rat," spat Snape.
"But there is, sir, for tonight. Master... Master-Can't-Say-His-Name-Or-Dingleberry-Gets-Flogged-Within-An-Inch-Of-His-Life says that tonight there is to be passwords."
Snape sighed. "The Dark Lord is already bloody well crocked, isn't he?"
The elf shuffled his feet nervously and repeated, "Dingleberry is needing the password, sir."
"It's something incredibly stupid, isn't it?"
"Dingleberry cannot be saying, sir."
Rolling his eyes in disdain, Snape began listing off possible passwords: "Let's see, what would he use...? Organizations, perhaps--? Mudblood Haters Anonymous? National Association of Muggle Hunting? ...No?" he asked, looking at the elf, who didn't respond. "Fine. I'll try again. Mudblood? Avada Kedavra? Inferi? Murdering-psychopath? Power-hungry-jackass? Crucio? I'm-an-insecure-little-pansy-who-fancies-himself-evil-because-I-like-to-kill-people? Dark Lord? Tom? Tom Riddle? Tom-Dick-and-Harry? Harry Potter? I-hate-Harry-Potter? (No, that would be my password.) Dumbledore? Malfoy? Death Eater? Chamber of Secrets? Slytherin? Snake? Nagini? ...Hell, I don't know! What is it? Is it, like, dildo, or something equally vulgar and absurd?!" The elf cowered but didn't say anything. Snape gave up. Pointing his wand at the elf, he yelled, "Damn it to hell! Let me in, you wretch. Let me in, and then slam your fingers in a hot oven, if you think it will help you assuage your guilt."
Dingleberry gave a little squeak and said, "The password is 'kitten whiskers.'"
Sneering, Snape stepped across the threshold and into the house. He entered the parlor and saw Lucius walking briskly toward him. "Severus, thank god you're here. Bella is driving me mad." He took hold of Snape's proffered bag of junk food and began rifling through it.
"Who else is here?" asked Snape.
"Yaxley, Lestrange (Rodolphus, that is), Macnair, Travers, and Wormtail. Avery should be here in a few minutes."
"Why is Wormtail here? I thought the Dark Lord said he wasn't inviting him to any more of these little 'get-togethers'."
"You know how Wormtail is. He's like that kid in school that everyone tries to avoid -- you know, the kid they try not to invite to the party, but somehow he always finds out anyway and always shows up and no one has the heart to tell him to leave."
"Right... But where--" began Snape.
"Dammit, Severus! You've brought the crunchy ones!" cried Lucius, brandishing the offending bag of Cheetos at Snape like a weapon.
"Don't interrupt me, Lucius. The other kind are in there as well, if you would take the time to look."
"Oh," said Lucius, looking relieved.
"As I was saying, where is the Dark Lord?"
"He is... indisposed." Lucius cast a quick look around and leaned toward Snape before whispering, "He's upstairs, and... I'm afraid he's gotten hold of Narcissa's stilettos."
"Here, come on in. The others are waiting for us, and there's plenty to drink. Personally, I'm getting blitzed. When he's in this sort of mood, I find it much easier to face the Dark Lord after a drink or two. ...Or 12."
Nodding, Snape followed Lucius into the living room. Tonight is destined to be horrible, he thought. He wasn't sure why -- he just knew that it would be completely miserable. He could make that prediction with a reasonable degree of confidence, simply because pretty much anything and everything that happened to him usually proved to nightmarishly awful and unpleasant, and he couldn't see any reason to assume that this evening might turn out any differently. He acknowledged the presence of his fellow Death Eaters with a nod and then immediately headed for the bar.
As he prepared a modest drink for himself and reflected on how terrible his life was in general, Bellatrix spotted him from across the room. It was clear from the look on her face that she had decided that now would be as good a time as any to come bother the holy living shit out of him. He caught sight of her out of the corner of his eye and decided that light drinking wasn't going to be an option tonight. Abandoning all pretenses of a prudent attempt at moderation, he turned the bottle up and poured himself a rather indecent amount of Firewhiskey.
"Snape!" she said, walking toward him. "What are you doing here? You know I don't trust you."
He could tell she'd been drinking. Quite a lot. He really didn't want to have this discussion, but perhaps if he gave her an opportunity to vent her frustration, she'd get it out of her system. This in mind, he asked, "And why is it that you do not trust me, Bellatrix?"
"A hundred reasons!" she cried, pacing frantically back and forth. "Where to start! Where were you when the Dark Lord fell? Why did you never make any attempt to find him when--"
"You know, on second thought," said Snape wearily, "and do forgive me for interrupting -- but I think I'd rather not have this conversation. I have a feeling that it will be repeated verbatim sometime within the next two years. Excuse me."
He quickly stepped away from her, found a seat by the fireplace, and settled in. Addressing Lucius, he said, "So. What has occurred that has put our Lord in this... unusual mood?"
Lucius snorted. "He's depressed because he can't get George Harrison from the Beatles to respond to his fan mail."
"Remarkable," said Snape, genuinely startled. "You would think George Harrison would rush to answer any mail he got. The Dark Lord must be the first person to write him in 20 years. Possibly the first ever, actually."
"Yes, well, it's gotten him very upset. Especially coming on the heels of the Paul Reubens debacle."
Lucius sighed. "He's been writing Paul Reubens three times a week, trying to get Pee-Wee's Playhouse back on the air. Reubens has been pretty nice about it, actually. He says he doesn't have time to do the show anymore, though. He said something about spending too much time in movie theaters..."
"Why on earth would the Dark Lord want that mind-numbing, brain-liquidizing garbage back on television?" asked Snape.
"He wants to meet the King of Cartoons. And he wants to guest star and help Pee-Wee make snacks for the kids. Naturally, even if it did come back on the air, the producers would be daft to let him do it. Liability issue, you know... all those children..."
Suddenly there was a loud bang, and Snape and Lucius jumped in surprise. They rushed into the parlor with their wands out, only to see a very angry Avery striding into the house. Dingleberry the house elf was lying in a crumpled heap in the corner of the room.
"Did you just kill my house elf!?" exclaimed Lucius.
"What? No, I--" Avery glanced over at Dingleberry's motionless form. "Oh hell, I don't know. The little bastard called me a 'dingleberry!' Honestly, what would you have done? Anyway, it's not important. Listen, I've got a huge problem--"
"Those damn things are expensive!" interrupted Lucius. He looked awkward for a moment and then said nervously, "Not that I don't have the money, of course! It's not a question of the money. Money's not the issue..." As Lucius prattled on about the fact that he not only had "plenty of money," but also had what could almost be considered "too much money" (in a way that seemed altogether too defensive and exaggerated to be entirely believable), Yaxley and Wormtail wandered into the parlor. Lucius rambled on, oblivious to their presence (possibly, Snape thought, oblivious to everyone's presence): "It never has been a question of money, you see. Even with the current problems with the stock market, I've been lucky, or perhaps I should say clever, enough to find a way to--"
"Didn't you hear me?!" shouted Avery. "Big problem! Sprout backed out at the last second! She said her connection didn't come through! Here I am, under orders to bring pot to the Dark Lord, and I haven't got any!"
"Professor Sprout?" asked Snape, shocked.
"Yes! Oh god, what is he going to do with me?"
"I'll give you a hint," replied Lucius. "It starts with a 'c' and it rhymes with 'Fabio'."
There was a long pause.
"...No it doesn't," said Snape.
"Wait... No, I think it does. They both end with io," agreed Wormtail. Lucius nodded smugly.
"That isn't how it works. Crucio doesn't rhyme with Fabio! If Crucio makes an 'oooh' sound, then the word that rhymes with it would make an 'oooh' sound as well!"
"I'm going to have to disagree--" began Lucius.
"It doesn't matter!" roared Avery. "What matters is what's about to happen to me!"
"Yes, it was a terrible attempt at a joke, anyway," said Yaxley. "There's nothing poetic about Fabio. And somehow I don't see Edgar Allan Poe using the word Crucio or--"
"Well, poetry doesn't always have to rhyme," said Lucius.
"Generally, when poetry doesn't rhyme it's because it's badly written drivel, authored by talentless, angst-ridden, barely-pubescent 'goth' kids, who are only bothering to write it because they need a break from cutting themselves!" sneered Snape.
"That's not true. What about--"
"Doesn't anyone care about what's going to happen to me!?!" bellowed Avery.
"Not unless it involves gerbils and wine bottles being forcibly inserted into interesting and unconventional bodily orifices!" called Bellatrix drunkenly from the living room.
Snape blinked. "What the FU--"
"She hasn't killed a Mudblood in six days," explained Lucius. "She's starting to come unhinged a bit. Look, let's go back in there. I'm afraid of what she may be doing in my house. I'm sure no one else is troubling themselves to keep an eye on her. I'm afraid I've left my cat in there, and god knows what she might do to it if she's left unsupervised."
Snape, Avery, Yaxley, and Wormtail followed Lucius back into the living room, where Rodolphus, Macnair, and Travers were sitting across the room from Bellatrix and staring at her with varying levels of disgust etched on their faces. The fact that Rodolphus was married to Bellatrix didn't seem to lessen his disgust in the slightest; in fact, it probably increased it. During the few minutes that the others had been in the parlor, she had managed to work her way through half a bottle of Firewhiskey. No one was speaking, unless you counted Bellatrix herself, who was lying on a sofa, twirling her wand in her fingers, and belting the lyrics to Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police. Everyone else looked a little too scared to speak.
"Amazing, Bellatrix," remarked Snape, upon seeing her. "It seems you've already 'out-drunk' several men twice your size. And it's only..." he looked at his watch, "11:15! Perhaps if you continue on like this, you can engage Wormtail in a rousing vomiting contest by midnight!"
"Shhhhhhut up, Snapes!" she slurred. "You've got no businesses here anyway! Can't imagine" (hic) "why the Dark" (hic) "Lord invitedes you here all the time."
Ah, Bellatrix-baiting! thought Snape ecstatically. This might possibly provide enough amusement to save the evening! But it's almost too easy... The pitiful creature is blind-drunk, after all... it really wouldn't be right... Oh, what the hell! That just makes it better! This is going to be fun.
"Are we singing, Bellatrix?" he asked. "How is it that you have kept your musical talents a secret from your fellow Death Eaters for so very, very many years?"
"Shut your mouth, you greasy little--"
"Unfortunately, I'm afraid your singing leaves quite a bit to be desired," said Snape, his eyes glittering. He glanced around the room for a moment, addressing the others: "Perhaps someone would be so kind as to conjure a bucket for Bellatrix, with which she might endeavor to carry a tune."
Snape jumped aside as she hurled an empty bottle of Firewhiskey at him. The bottle flew through the air and hit Wormtail (whose reflexes left as much to be desired as Bellatrix's singing) right in the crotch. Wormtail let out a yelp and fell to the ground, clutching his now-thoroughly-compromised manhood (as if it wasn't compromised enough to begin with). Seeing this, everyone else quickly backed away from Bellatrix, covering their more... sensitive parts as best they could.
Noticing their nervous behavior, Snape's eyes shone with malevolent glee. "Bravo, Bellatrix. Once again, you've managed to demonstrate your beastly masculinity to such a formidable degree that you have effectively castrated a room full of men."
Bellatrix let out a furious scream, leaped from the sofa, and whipped out her wand. Before she could point it at him, however, Snape grabbed his own and thought, Expelliaramus! Her wand flew into his hand, and he stood there, smirking at her as if he'd never seen anything so pathetically amusing in his entire life. She launched herself at him, but she tripped over one of Lucius's many, many ornately-decorated ottomans and momentarily knocked herself unconscious.
Distracted by her alcohol-induced clumsiness, no one realized that the Dark Lord had walked into the room until his high voice said, "Not fighting, are we? I should hate to think that my loyal servants were quarreling amongst themselves."
Immediately, all heads turned and all eyes fell upon the Dark Lord. Wormtail got off the floor and leaped to attention. For a moment, Snape almost wished he'd just let Bellatrix curse him. Sure, he might have died or collapsed, but it couldn't have been much worse than this...
The Dark Lord came strutting proudly across the room. If possible, he'd probably had more to drink than Bellatrix. He was wearing the most disturbing ensemble Snape had ever seen. He had squeezed himself into a turquoise Muggle evening gown (god only knows where he got it, thought Snape). He was wearing a pair of lime green pumps that were so long, thin, and sharp they threatened to create a puncture wound in any surface upon which he stood. He wore a fluffy red wig beneath a top hat, and on top of all that, he'd pasted a god-awful, overlarge, fake white rose. Around his neck, he wore a heavily-feathered ladies' boa and a Hawaiian lay. He'd tied a fur around his waist (a real fur, mind you, fox head and all). He had about six gaudy rings on each finger, and it was impossible to guess the number of bracelets he'd put on his wrists.
In short, it was distinctly and unspeakably hideous.
"Oh holy hell... The Dark Lord is dressed like a mental incompetent who got loose in a high class thrift shop. ...An extremely gay mental incompetent," muttered Macnair.
Bristling at the 'gay' comment, Rodolphus hissed, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
"Right, of course, not that there's anything wrong with that," agreed Macnair, eager to correct his faux pax.
"He's off his chump," whispered Avery, gawking at the Dark Lord in horror.
"I knew I should have killed myself this morning," mumbled Travers.
"I think I need another drink!" announced Lucius loudly.
Voldemort sauntered up to his Death Eaters, looking very pleased with himself (and more than a little tipsy). It was a miracle he wasn't slurring his words. Snape wondered vaguely whether the ability to drink unimaginable amounts of liquor and then speak one's drunken ramblings clearly was some kind of Dark Art in and of itself. Usually, the one mercy about drunken ramblings is that they're almost impossible for others to understand, due to the significant amount of stuttering and slurring...
Voldemort's voice jarred Snape out of his thoughts: "Well then! What do you think of my attire? I have chosen it especially for this occasion!"
Yaxley gaped at him for a moment before warily responding, "It is... overwhelming, my Lord."
"You... humble us," returned Lucius deferentially.
"It... surpasses words," said Rodolphus carefully.
"Its carefully-crafted and subtly-refined artistry is a credit to your genius, and its elegant grace accentuates the natural eloquence of your infinitely impressive and duly exalted figure, my Lord," said Snape smoothly. Several of the others narrowed their eyes at him, a bit miffed at having to follow up such a spiel (crock-of-shit though it was).
"It compliments your royal bearing," said Avery, trying to emulate Snape as much as possible.
"My eyes are alight with wonder as I gaze upon its beauty," proclaimed Travers proudly, clearly pleased that he had come up with what he believed was a line worthy of Snape. Voldemort didn't seem to notice anything odd, but everyone else looked at Travers as if he'd lost his mind.
"Watch it," murmured Rodolphus, "that's laying it on bit thick..."
"What?" hissed Travers. "Snape's was so full of shit I could smell it from over here, and I don't hear you criticizing him!"
Ignoring the whispered argument, Macnair returned to the topic at hand. "It is a testament to your vision, my Lord," he said dutifully.
And then Wormtail was the only one left to speak. Despite having more time to think up a response than anyone else, he looked ten times as nervous as the rest of them (and not half as capable of coming up with anything good). Searching for something to say, he glanced sideways at Snape and was hit with sudden inspiration: "It... it... it bewitches the mind, ensnares the senses-- OUCH!"
He stopped short, as Snape stomped viciously on his foot. There was no way in hell Snape was going to let Wormtail of all people plagiarize one of his favorite speeches. For a moment, Wormtail looked like he might die of fright, but then he relaxed a bit as he realized that Voldemort still hadn't registered what had happened. (He really was drunk as hell.) After several seconds of indecision, Wormtail finally managed to squeak out, "It's very, er, creative, my Lord!"
Voldemort didn't seem to notice anything amiss, and Snape guessed that the Dark Lord must be far more crocked than he'd originally thought. Despite the inadequacy of Wormtail's compliment, Voldemort looked pleased. He smiled and said, "I'm glad to see you all--"
"Holy shit!" interrupted Bellatrix. Everyone looked over at her. She was still on her hands and knees, and she seemed to have just regained consciousness. She looked at Voldemort in shock for a moment and then blurted out, "You look like you walked out of somebody's nightmare! It's like something Dr. Seuss would come up with if he was on acid!" She burst into hysterical laughter.
"Wasn't he was always on acid?" asked Macnair.
No one paid any attention to Macnair's slight on Dr. Seuss. They were all too busy watching Voldemort, who looked murderous. At first, Snape thought Bellatrix was too drunk to realize her mistake, but suddenly something seemed to click. Her eyes came back into focus, and she saw the look on his face. She abruptly stopped laughing, cowered, and dropped to the ground, kissing the hem of Voldemort's robes. "My Lord! I-- I didn't realize that was you! You look stunning! Or... beautiful! Or... dashing! ...Whichever you're going for..."
Voldemort smiled cruelly and raised his wand, which -- to Snape -- didn't seem half as intimidating as it normally did, which was probably due to the fact that the Dark Lord had tied a frilly pink bow on it. Still, it was apparently pretty scary to Bellatrix (perhaps doubly so because it was pointed directly at her face). Looking between the two of them, Snape felt an urge to laugh. Voldemort was swaying where he stood, and his eyes looked strangely unfocused; he was having quite a bit of trouble keeping the wand pointed in the right direction.
Terrified that he would manage to curse her despite his seeming lack of coordination, Bellatrix rushed to divert his attention elsewhere. "My Lord! Avery didn't get the weed!"
"WHAT?!?!" screamed Voldemort, turning slightly to look at Avery.
"You manipulative little bitch!" snarled Avery. Bellatrix grinned devilishly at him, and he turned back to Voldemort. "My Lord, you must understand! I tried -- it... it wasn't my fault! I--"
Pointing his wand at Avery, Voldemort yelled, "Crucio!" Fortunately for Avery -- and rather less fortunately for Bellatrix -- Voldemort was too drunk to aim. A scream of pain echoed throughout the manor, and Bellatrix crumpled to the ground.
"That's a shame," said Snape, smirking. "Shall we return to the living room?"
Cursing someone (nevermind that it happened to be the wrong person) seemed to take the edge off Voldemort's anger, so he led his servants into the living room and sat down in a large armchair near the hearth. After a few moments, Bellatrix dragged herself into the room, retrieved her bottle of Firewhiskey, and plopped down in the chair next to Snape. She glared at him for a second, and he graced her with his finest sneer.
"So!" said Voldemort. "I'm pleased you could all make it. Several of our number were not able to attend. Rest assured, they'll regret it. But that's not important right now. What is important is the amount of fun we're going to have tonight!" Drunk, thought Snape. So fucking drunk.
"What will we be doing, my Lord?" asked Macnair.
"All sorts of things! And we'll have all night in which to do them. I've decided that this will be a spend-the-night!"
"A spend-the-night..." repeated Avery stupidly.
"Yes!" cried Voldemort. "A sleep-over!"
"What a brilliant idea, my Lord" gushed Wormtail, clearly beside himself with excitement.
"It is brilliant, isn't it? Now, the first order of business will be to get everyone into their pajamas!" said Voldemort happily.
No one said a word. Snape could swear he could hear crickets chirping. Finally, he worked up the nerve to ask, "What do you mean, my Lord? I don't believe any of us brought night clothes..."
"Of course you didn't! I'll be providing them!" answered Voldemort, beaming.
He reached under his chair and pulled out a small box (the inside of which had clearly been magically enhanced) and began pulling out pair after pair of pajamas. He called out his Death Eaters' names, and they reached forward to take the clothing he'd chosen (or perhaps made) for them. Snape couldn't help but notice that some of the patterns on the pajamas looked a little less than dignified: ducks and rocket ships and the like. When his name was called, he hesitated for a moment, and then held out his hand in trepidation... And that's when Voldemort threw him the most offensive pair of pajamas he'd ever laid eyes on. He stared at them, aghast.
Seeing his reaction, Voldemort asked, "What's the matter, Severus?"
"But you seem less than pleased."
"No, my Lord. I am..." Snape trailed off, apparently unable to bring himself to say that he liked the pajamas. Occlumens or no, there was no way he could pull off that lie.
"But look, Severus, you should be pleased! Look at the pajamas -- tell us, what is the design there?"
"And what sort of animals, Severus?"
Snape mumbled something inaudible.
"Come now, tell us what's on the pajamas!"
"...Bunnies..." Snape muttered.
"Ah, but what sort of bunnies?"
"Pink ones," he mumbled. "Pink bunnies." He made a face that betrayed his overwhelming desire to vomit, and everyone in the circle began laughing. Bellatrix, in particular, took great joy in his humiliation.
"Well, Snape," she sneered, "I had no idea you had such a soft spot for bunny rabbits. How have you managed to keep this from your fellow Death Eaters for so very, very many years?"
"Hold your tongue, detestable woman!" he spat.
"Oh and look!" she cried gleefully. "They're footy pajamas! HAH! They have little feet! For your wittle footsies!" She collapsed in a fit of giggles.
"Bellatrix," said Snape silkily, "If you do not close that Firewhiskey-vacuum you so stupidly refer to as a mouth, I swear I will wrap a strand of barbed wire around a baseball bat and violate you with it!"
"...Can I--" began Avery.
"No, Avery, you cannot watch!" Snape yelled.
His threat shut Bellatrix up pretty effectively; she could tell that he meant it: he had an especially murderous look on his face, and he had a death grip on his wand. No one present would have been particularly surprised to see a baseball bat, barbed wire, or the Devil himself shoot out of it.
"Alright, everyone," said Voldemort. "Go get changed, and meet back here in five minutes."
Snape retreated to one of Lucius's numerous bathrooms and spent several minutes contemplating suicide. He wondered whether dying hurt. Perhaps he could just walk back in there and tell the Dark Lord to go fornicate himself with his frilly, bow-adorned, gay (not that there's anything wrong with that!) little wand. That would definitely result in death. Not a bad idea, really. The dying probably wouldn't hurt too much, he thought, but the torture that led up to it might be pretty unpleasant. So, keeping in mind that he could always kill himself later, he braced himself and put on the accursed pink bunny footy pajamas.
He stared at himself in the mirror for a few seconds. It was truly horrible -- bunnies, pink bunnies, all over his body. And a nightcap to go with it, which Voldemort had insisted that he wear, and which also, unfortunately (but predictably, considering how shitty his life was), had a fuzzy little bunny perched on top of it. In that instant, he realized that everything people said was true: the Dark Lord was the sickest, most twisted, evil wizard who had ever walked the face of the earth. Snape felt slightly nauseated, but decided that if he was going to throw up, he'd rather do it on one of Lucius's posh rugs -- after all, it was Lucius's idea for everyone to become Death Eaters in the first place. After scowling queasily at his reflection for a few more seconds, Snape left the bathroom and went to join the others. He was the last person to return to the living room, and by the time he got there, there was only one place left to sit: right next to Wormtail. Sighing, Snape took his seat.
Without preamble, Voldemort said, "We shall be playing a very high stakes game tonight."
"Which game is that, my Lord?" asked Rodolphus.
"It is a game which has been played for centuries. Lives have been lost, careers destroyed! It is..." Voldemort paused for dramatic effect before saying, "Truth or Dare!"
Snape rolled his eyes and held his breath for a second, waiting to see which imbecile would take this opportunity to scream "DUN-DUN-DUUNNNNN!" And predictably enough...
"DUN-DUN-DUUNNNNNNNNNNN!" cried Wormtail.
No one else said anything, but Voldemort wasn't paying them any attention anyway. "So! I'll start. Yaxley -- truth or dare?"
"What? I--" Yaxley stopped, unsure of what to say. "Er, truth...?"
Nodding, Voldemort said, "Who is your favorite Spice Girl?"
"Uh... excuse me?" He looked around the circle for help, but everyone else merely shrugged. "I... my Lord, I don't know what a Spice Girl is."
"Crucio!" cried Voldemort, pointing his wand at Yaxley. Apparently the Dark Lord's aim had improved. Yaxley screamed and slumped forward in his chair, breathing heavily. "Tsk, tsk," said Voldemort softly, "lying to Lord Voldemort..." He then turned to Snape and said, "Severus! Truth or dare?"
"What...? Well, I... er... dare, my Lord...?"
"Very well," Voldemort nodded, clearly pleased. "Severus, I dare you to neuter Yaxley!"
"WHAT!?!?" yelled Snape and Yaxley in unison.
"Go on, get on with it. We don't have all night," chided Voldemort.
"But--but," Snape stuttered, "but, my Lord, don't you think that perhaps there is a better way to--"
"Do you wish to feel the wrath of Lord Voldemort?"
"Do you know, Severus, what I will do to you if you refuse to neuter Yaxley?"
"Well, I have an idea--"
"Let me give you a hint," said Voldemort smugly. "It starts with 'c' and rhymes with 'Fabio'."
"TOLD YOU!" shouted Lucius triumphantly.
There was a long pause. "For god's sake! No it--"
"Stop!" Avery interrupted. "We've already had this conversation, Snape. You get the point."
"Well, Severus?" said Voldemort in a menacing tone. He tapped his wand impatiently against his palm.
"You can't fricking neuter me! I'm a person, not a DOG!" screamed Yaxley.
"You'd better do it," whispered Lucius to Snape. "If you don't, the Dark Lord will have your ass!"
Snape looked at Voldemort's wand, shook his head resignedly, and turned back to Yaxley: "Sorry, but your balls aren't worth my ass." Yaxley leaped to his feet, but before he could get away, Snape took aim at his privates and yelled, "Corrumpo!"
Every man present grimaced and collectively gasped. "Yeesh..." Bellatrix giggled stupidly, then burped.
Yaxley fell to the ground, screaming, writhing, and clutching his crotch. Everyone stared at him in horror. "Oh my god, I can't believe you actually did that!" exclaimed Voldemort.
"What?!" cried Snape. "You made me!"
"You're allowed to turn down a dare, you know!" yelled Voldemort, fighting to be heard over Yaxley's screams. "Oh to hell with this," he said, waving his wand in Yaxley's direction, silencing him.
"Allowed to turn it down...? But you said--"
"Well, I wouldn't really have cursed you, you moron! That's not how the game works! You're allowed to turn it down. All that happens when you refuse to do a dare is that everyone else knows you're a pussy."
"Not a pussy..." mumbled Snape sulkily.
"Obviously," said Lucius.
"Uh, should we do something with him?" asked Travers, indicating Yaxley, who had fainted.
"He'll be fine," said Voldemort. "Well, Severus, it's your turn."
"Right. Um. Yes. Well." He was feeling pretty embarrassed. Someone really should have told him he didn't have to do the dare. Now he looked stupid. Not to mention the fact that Yaxley had no balls. Lucius had even encouraged him to do it. Lucius... that's it! "Alright, Lucius." he said. "Truth or dare?"
"Truth. Definitely truth," returned Lucius. Everyone in the circle breathed a sigh of relief at Lucius's wise choice.
"Very well," said Snape. "You realize, of course, that there is to be no cheating. As it happens, I always carry a small vial of veritaserum, which is especially fortunate tonight. Wouldn't you agree? I think you'll be taking some before I ask my question. We have to be certain of your honesty, you know..."
"Excellent idea!" agreed Voldemort, as Lucius blanched. "Go ahead, Lucius." Everyone watched as Lucius took the vial from Snape and drank a small amount.
"Now then," said Snape with a twisted little grin on his face. "What do you really think of the Dark Lord's attire this evening?"
Lucius, clearly horrified, mouthed the word WHY in Snape's direction and gave him a pleading look.
"This is what you get for setting me up on that blind date with that gay (not that there's anything wrong with that!) non-English-speaking Muggle fraternity boy back in 1981," hissed Snape. "Answer the question!"
Lucius looked back at Voldemort, took a deep breath and said, "That ungodly ensemble you're wearing is a fashion catastrophe. A fashion-DON'T to the nth degree. It makes me want to kill myself. And not just me -- it makes me want to kill everyone in the vicinity. It also makes everyone else want to kill themselves. It's the sort of outfit one might pick out after having one's head repeatedly smashed against a street curb for hours on end. I've been trying to avoid looking at you tonight because I die a little on the inside every time I lay eyes on that limp fox head that's hanging from your waist. I would rather use those stilettos to gouge out my own eyes than to look at you for one more second, and I'm pretty sure everyone here would back me up on this if they weren't afraid of dying. You need Queer Eye for the Straight (or not-so-straight) Guy stat, and if I have to look at that ludicrous flower on top of your head for one more minute, I'm fairly sure I'm going to throw up on my own rug (which cost 1,250 galleons, by the way, in case anyone was wondering)." He stopped abruptly, eyes wide in terror. "...my Lord..." he finished lamely.
Half an hour later, Lucius was curled up in a fetal position in the corner of the room, still trembling and moaning periodically. The Dark Lord had made extensive use of the Cruciatis Curse (for about 15 minutes), and they'd all been waiting for Lucius to recover ever since. Finally, Voldemort sighed and said, "I don't think he's going to come out of it anytime soon. So I'll pick the next person." He looked around the circle for a moment, then said, "Wormtail! You take Lucius's turn for him. Pick someone and ask them 'truth or dare'."
Wormtail was practically bouncing with excitement. Snape glared at him disdainfully, noting his strong resemblance to a 13-year-old girl who's usually the school reject, but somehow got lucky enough to be invited to a slumber party hosted by the most popular girl in class.
"Okay, Macnair. Truth or dare?" asked Wormtail.
"Okay..." Wormtail thought for a moment, then said (and even Snape wasn't prepared for this level of idiocy), "Macnair, I dare you to go into that closet with the Dark Lord and make out for 10 minutes."
Silence. Crickets chirping again. For about 45 seconds. Snape wondered how long the Dark Lord would torture Wormtail before he killed him. Suddenly, Voldemort broke the silence:
Snape gaped at him. "You're not actually going to do it are you?!?"
"Honestly, I don't see why not," said Macnair. "Now that I think about it, I've always found the Dark Lord incredibly--"
"Stop. Stop now," said Snape. "Just tell me. Are you honestly going to do this?"
"Well, yes, that's the dare," said Voldemort.
"That's it. I've had enough. Thank you for the wonderful evening," said Snape. "I would love nothing more than to stay, my Lord, but I've just recalled a previous appointment with a family of muggles I promised to kill. And I need to finish laundering Dumbledore's unmentionables. And I need to update my Reasons-To-Give-Harry-Potter-Detention Rolodex. Most importantly, however, I've just remembered that I also need to kill myself before I go to bed tonight, and I'm really very tired, so I don't have a lot of time."
Everyone stared at him as he stood to leave. "But Snape," said Macnair, "can't you do all that later?"
"Perhaps, but were I to do it later, I would have to participate in what is quickly developing into a slash fanfic -- and there's just no way in hell that's going to happen." Snape turned to Voldemort and said, "Thank you again, my Lord. I shall hold the blessed memory of this night close to my heart for years to come, and I have no doubt it will give me the strength to endure countless hardships in the future."
Without another word -- and without bothering to change out of his pink bunny footy pajamas -- he swept from the house, taking care to step on the unconscious (or dead?) house elf on his way out the door. He regretted that the impact of his exit was somewhat lessened by the fact that he'd left his cloak in the living room and, therefore, could not make it billow behind him. All things considered, however, he was extremely fortunate. He hadn't really expected the Dark Lord to allow him to leave like that. He'd probably only gotten away with it because of the "Muggle killing" comment. Thank god for that moment of inspiration. Or maybe the Dark Lord was just too caught up thinking about Dumbledore's unmentionables...
Either way, Snape was lucky, and he knew it.
He also knew that he hated everyone in and everything about his life. He still hadn't ruled out killing himself when he got back to his chambers. He wasn't sure how he was going to resist the temptation, considering the powerful allure of the countless poisons that were so close at hand...
Yes. Almost definitely going to kill himself.
If you made it through the whole thing, thanks for reading! Please review!