Braces For Severus

Severus glared at the smug Headmaster who had just reminded him of their dental appointments.

"Yes I think you would be much happier once your teeth lose that yellow colour and have been straightened." Albus said with the assurance of somebody who had spent the last three weeks scouring pamphlets and dental magazines that Ms. Granger's father had obligingly gave him to peruse. "It might even help you with your social life."

"Social. Life?I don't think cosmetic surgery on my teeth will accomplish all that you wish Headmaster." Severus commented as he fought down the desire to hex the overbearingly cheerful expression off the Headmasters face. It was just not natural for somebody to be so upbeat so early in the morning.

"Don't tell me you are going to be difficult about going with Albus to the dentist." Minerva inquired as she surveyed both wizards with a stern look even if she silently agreed and felt sympathy for her young colleague.

"No I will go along willingly. "answered Severus in a deceptively mild tone which made Minerva peer at him with suspicion.

"I hope you don't plan to do anything you may regret." Minerva turned her head toward Albus. "No matter the provocation."

"Me?" the normally dour Potions Master said as he gave her a wide eyed innocent look. "I'm going to escort Albus to his appointment and to keep the peace I will attend the one that he sneakily made behind my back."

"It is for your own good my boy." Albus told him while looking at him with amusement showing in his ever twinkling eyes. "Your teeth are atrocious."

"I would make a comment about that statement but for now I will keep my opinions to myself." Severus muttered through gritted teeth as he glowered at the Headmaster whose teeth were beginning to develop shallow cavities on their sides; hence the appointment to have them taken care of before they developed into major cavities.

"Now Severus, the experience won't be as bad as you imagine." Albus said in a comforting tone as he reached over to the ever present box filled with lemon drops, "It will go better with your co-operation."

"I am being more co-operative than I could be If I decided to really be unco-operative." snarled Severus as he bit back the impulse to snap a a nastier retort. The idea of having his mouth full of metal at his age wasn't something he was looking forward to.

"Lemon drop?" Albus offered his tensely pensive colleague.

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Severus cursed quietly under his breath. Of course Albus just had to have a very extensive conversation about the various kinds of braces and how much they were going to cost.

Why he couldn't have just worried about his own appointment, but no—of course not. That would have been too easy. It occurred to Severus that the reason that the Dark Lord was terrified of Albus was because he had the ability to torture without being obvious. After all who else in the wizarding world would be so innocent looking while plotting...er discussing different kinds of braces for teeth and their care with a muggle dentist of all people.

"Yes you are right years ago a kid would have a mouth full of metal but now there is more of a variety. Clear braces or ones the same colour of your teeth...." Mr Granger commented as he explained what the new braces were like. But after examination I believe that the traditional brace is the best way to go with the extensive realignment that your son's teeth require."

Severus reminded himself to speak with Albus about his habit of giving the impression that they were related

"Fortunately the traditional type of braces, where thin metal wire is run between anchors attached to each tooth and tightened gradually to move the teeth into the desired position, are still generally the most economical option. Total cost will be about 1986.1 pounds …. about 397 galleons 3 sickles and 21 knuts in wizarding currency.

'Oh please somebody stun me.' Severus pleaded silently while his eyes glazed over with shock. 'Albus must be out of his mind to think that he would think of putting out that much money out on his teeth considering... '

"Wonderful!" Albus said as he dug deep into his pocket and pulled out a wallet filled with muggle currency-- paid for his appointment and then paid in advance for the braces without flinching, "Severus my boy, you are going to have such a wonderful smile by the time those braces come off."

The receptionist took the payment from Albus as a pensive Severus was escorted to the examining/operating room by Dr. Granger's assistant.

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After taking a load of ex-rays of Severus's teeth Mr. Granger was oblivious to the death glares he got from Severus as he poked about the exposed gum around the yellowed teeth in wizard's wide open mouth with a thin metal object. "Lets see, I have to check for gum disease and plaque build-up before attempting to attach braces, for they are more complicated and time-consuming. Hopefully you wont need Jaw surgery."

Severus' eyes widened as a sense of panic momentarily took hold. He fought down the urge to pull out his wand as it would not done him any good considering it was Albus' fault that he was sitting in this reclining dental chair being prodded and poked. Not that he had ever had any experiences when he was younger either with dentists.. or the magical equivalent known as tooth healers. Albus had told him of his own experiences with them! To keep his mind off his current situation he was thinking of various ways of getting revenge upon a certain headmaster for getting him into this situation.

"TSK, TSK...Oh dear they are really in need of extensive realignment." Dr. Granger said sympathetically as he studied the ex-rays of Severus' teeth again after the physical examination of his jaw and gums.

At that moment, if Severus could scowl and make his opinion known he would have done so but it was nigh on to impossible what with all the muggle stuff currently holding his mouth open so the Dr. could work.

Dr. Granger loved to try and make his patients feel more comfortable by explaining everything in detail and besides it wasn't every day that one got to work upon the teeth of one his daughters professors."You see they are made with a new space-age material that straightens' your teeth much faster and the wires are much smaller. The rubber bands help to correct the alignment of your teeth. " He showed the various coloured bands to an incredulous Potions Master who was beginning to realize from whom Hermione Granger got her tendency to prattle on.

'You can even have black and orange rubber bands for Halloween' Mr Granger said as he thought that with Severus being a wizard he would appreciate the thought since he understood that holiday was very important in the magical world.

In desperation Severus tried to drown out the overly friendly voice by thinking of what kind of potions he could brew that would require body parts … willingly or unwillingly donated by his tormentors starting with Albus then...

Luckily for Dr. Granger Severus had stopped paying attention to everything he was saying for he surely would have been turned into potions ingredients then and there. "...Headgear with wires attached to your teeth. can be worn at night . Night gear give the teeth a little extra help to fall into place and protect them while you sleep. Later on we will fit you with a retainer, which is a small hard piece of plastic with metal wires or there is another kind that is virtually invisible made of a thin piece of plastic shape like a mouth guard. They make sure your teeth don't rotate or migrate and it will be specially moulded to fit your straightened teeth."

Once Severus was allowed to sit back up---complete with the new braces attached to his teeth, he was given one last piece of advice before being allowed back into the reception room where Albus was waiting.

'Braces act like magnets for food so be extra careful to get out any food that gets stuck in your braces. Stay away from popcorn, hard and sticky candy and gum. Sugary drinks can cause a problem as the sugar stays on the teeth and may cause tooth decay."

While feeling a little numb by his 'ordeal' which in his opinion made a session listening to the Dark Lords ravings tame by comparison, Severus thanked Dr. Granger tersely as the good Doctor handed him some boxes and sheets of information and then stalked out into the waiting room where Albus was entertaining himself with reading some of the more recent pamphlets he found and listening to some of the other patients talking.

"Severus my boy, you already look much better. Won't it be nice when you can reveal your new and improved smile?" Albus said as he looked up when the door to the examining room opened with what he thought was a most encouraging tone.

Feeling a bit embarrassed by the furtive looks from some of the various muggles waiting for their own dental appointments, Snape threw him a most irritated look which made his normal death eater glares bland and gentle. He didn't say what he thought out loud. He just clamped his lips shut tight and glowered. 'Smile? When ever did he smile?'

Severus was feeling even more murderous than normal as he walked out of Dr. Grangers office with Albus beside him. His mouth was aching terribly. It did not comfort him to know that many people, both adults and teenagers had braces nowadays. He could taste the vile bonding cement' that was holding the brackets onto the surfaces of his teeth. There was a slightly uncomfortable sensation of extra pressure caused by the wires that were running through the brackets and those little rubber bands that Dr. Granger called ligating modules.

To his credit—for once, Albus kept quiet as they walked down the street together towards the alleyway where they could apparate back to Hogwarts. He wasn't foolhardy enough to engage the obviously ill tempered wizard stalking down the street beside him in any more small talk... at least not yet.

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Severus was in an intensely sour mood as he ignored the staff and students assembled for supper in the Great Hall. He was feeling like somebody had hit him squarely in the mouth with a blodger. It seemed like the pain relieving potions he had taken after he had returned to the dungeons were taking their sweet time to take effect. He had also inadvertently bit the inside of his cheeks even though he was chewing the obligatory soft food slowly and carefully.

He felt somewhat self concious as he tried to dislodge a piece of food that felt like it had lodged itself in his braces without drawing attention to himself.

He hoped that Voldemort wouldn't decide to have a meeting for awhile... In fact he wished. there would be none within the next two years or so. Yes that just might be quite sufficient as far as Severus was concerned but he knew that would be impossible wishing on his part. He could just imagine what would be said not only by the Dark Lord but everyone else that would be present then. He shuddered involuntarily as his imagination took over and he glared over at the students sitting down at the Griffindor table.

At the Griffindor table Hermione glanced up at the staff table and then quickly looked back down at her supper, shuddering as she felt the obviously irate potions Masters eyeing them with malicious hatred. She had a sinking sensation that their next potions class wasn't going to be one that anybody would be looking forward to... not that anybody but her ever did.

"Mione... what's the matter?" Harry asked with a bewildered look plastered across his face. "You look as though you weren't too happy about something."

" It's nothing Harry..at least nothing that can be helped now." she sighed and whispered so that only Harry and possibly Ron could hear." Notice how Snape is glaring at us?"

" He always does that." said Harry as his forehead furrowed in a frown. "Now if he was smiling..."

" Please Harry, don't mention the slimy git while we are eating." Ron pleaded, "It's bound to make me lose my appetite." He told his best friend while reaching for yet another helping of pudding and sauce.

" Ron... that is your fourth helping!" Hermione whispered back with a note of disgust in her voice. " you are going to rot your teeth!"

Ron just snorted instead of answering back as he shoved a spoonful of pudding into his mouth.

Snapes eyes narrowed as he observed the youngest Weasley's attempt to break the record for the most food to be eaten at one meal. At least that what it appeared to be as he observed the boy toss back another large glass of pumpkin juice and grab a piece of pumpkin pie with a large dollop of whipped cream.

Honestly he wondered as to how the boy could pack so much away at every meal. The images that came to his mind caused him to feel as though he would upchuck right then and there. He quickly Occluded his mind as he pushed the remnants of his meal away then stood up and quickly made his way out of the Great Hall.

The nest day Griffindors and Slytherin students gathered in the dungeon room for their potion lessons and sat down in their seats waiting for Professor Snape to make an appearance when the door slammed open and startled them all with the force with which it hit the stone wall behind. Hermione gulped as did her fellow Griffindors for it was obvious that Snape was in a fouler mood than they have ever seen him before.

The strange thing happened though. He kept tight lipped and said not a word but with a wave of his hand placed the instructions for the days assignment up on the board and said nothing for the entire period to anyone... until he went to verbally eviscerate Longbottom for once again melting another cauldron with yet another improperly made potion.

Harry, Ron and Hermione looked over at the tall menacing looking wizard who opened his mouth and revealed the rows of metal that now currently occupied his mouth.

"Snape has a metal mouth!" Ron blurted out without thinking. He was shocked at what he saw as he knew nothing about braces or anything else about muggle dentistry. He only knew that Hermione's parents were dentists.

"They are only braces!" Hermione hissed at Ron as quietly as she could but unfortunately she was overheard by several others who were staring, fascinated by the sight of Snape's face over which a myriad of emotions played. The most prominent was of embarrassment and anger.

"BRACES? THEY"RE FOR KIDS!!!" yelped Dean Thomas or was it Seamus Finnigan. No matter—to Professor Snapes chagrin the secret was out already.

For once Griffindors and Slytherins were united as they startled and looked around in confusion before looking up at the terrifying sight of their Potions Master's fury and then within seconds records were made in that would stand for for years for detentions, loss of points and the fastest exodus of a single class in the history of Hogwarts.