An Unusual Specimen

'Well, there's two hours gone down the dumper,' grumbled Sirius Black, throwing A Spotter's Guide to Natural Shape-Shifters across the dormitory. 'Did you find anything useful, James?'

'Not really,' replied James Potter, setting The Gift of the Animagi down on his bed, 'but did you know that an Animagus who dies as an animal transforms back to human once he's dead? Could come in handy ...'

'I don't see how,' said Sirius, giving him a funny look.

'I mean, if you're a rabbit or something, and you get swallowed whole by a Blood-Sucking Bugbear, you'll get your revenge inside its stomach!' James said with relish.

From behind the cover of My Life Amongst the Lions, Peter Pettigrew let out a small, frightened squeak.


'Headmaster?' a voice called out of the fire in Albus Dumbledore's office.

'Yes, er, Severus?' Dumbledore answered, looking up from the letter he was writing to the Minister for Magic. It had taken him a moment to identify the speaker; there was an odd, un-Snape-like note to the Potions master's voice.

'Could you come to my office? I -- I think you ought to see this.'

Dumbledore stepped into his fireplace and emerged seconds later in Snape's office. Snape was standing near the fire, bleeding slightly from a shallow cut just under his left eye and staring at the floor with a shocked expression on his face. Dumbledore looked down.

'Oh, dear,' he said.

Snape went rather shakily back to his desk and began to speak.

'The fourth-years were to study Sustaining Solutions this week ... My order with the Hogsmeade Apothecary was delayed ... Rather than postpone the lesson -- a single animal could provide blood enough for the whole class, I thought surely in a castle this size ...' Snape swallowed. 'It -- he -- would have drowned in the Preserving Potion before the Stunning Spell wore off. I never imagined ... I'd truly believed that Potter was Confunded ...'

'You could not have known,' said Dumbledore soothingly.

The Potions master was as rattled as Dumbledore had ever seen him. But he certainly had cause to be, Dumbledore thought, as he gazed down at Peter Pettigrew's body, lying amidst the exploded remains of the jar Snape had put him into as a rat.


Related Stories:

The Bug - Rita Skeeter suffers a similar (though unfortunately non-fatal) Animagus accident

The Serpent of Lord Voldemort - Wormtail nearly does get swallowed whole -- by Harry.

The Slytherin Kama Sutra, A Terrible Joke - More sick humour.

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Disclaimer: All characters and concepts from the Harry Potter series copyright J K Rowling.