Tetris: An (Unintentional) Occlumency Story
A/N: So, yeah, it wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. You know how people who play Tetris a lot can dream about it, well, this is just taking it a step further.
Claire had enjoyed her summer. Really, she had. Yeah, she hadn't left her room except to eat and use the bathroom, and she looked like a Malfoy because she hadn't gotten enough sun, but really, she'd enjoyed it.
The first years straggled in, following Professor McGonagall, and Claire watched them line up, her brain creating and manipulating the differently shaped and colored blocks that it created as the Hat started its song. She didn't listen, preferring to sit back, her eyes slightly unfocused.
"Abbot, Hannah." A red T slipped into her range of vision.
"HUFFLEPUFF." It settled on its head, triggering a blue Z to fall.
The sorting continued, and the blocks started piling up, some causing a section of one color to disappear, dropping the top to a safe level.
"Potter, Harry." Something was different around her, but Claire didn't care. She was trying to fit a yellow L into her stack in a way that would get rid of the tallest column, leaving her with more time.
"Let the feast, begin!" Professor Dumbledore sat as food appeared. Claire absently grabbed the nearest serving utensil, dishing some mashed potatoes onto her plate as she maneuvered a green line into an empty space. Talk moved around her, but she paid it no mind beyond answering her friend's queries. As the people at the orphanage had, they soon gave up on getting any meaningful conversation out of her, and she settled into her mind's eye with relish. Well, all except Tonks, who kept shooting her worried glances, but she ignored the girl.
Partway through dinner she heard, surprisingly loud in the din of the Welcome Feast, the sound of a single fork falling to a plate up on the Head Table. She looked up in the strangely complete silence that followed, catching the eye of Professor Dumbledore, whose eyes were locked unerringly on her. As soon as their gazes met the picture in her mind's eye crystallized and became 3-D. With a giggle Claire backed up from her current game, and started dropping the blocks in a circle around a surprisingly small figure that looked like the Headmaster. She played wall-in in her mind quite a bit, trying to forget. She'd gotten really good at it, too, able to surround her memories in a solid cylinder of Tetris blocks, and cap the ends before the memories could get out. She'd never tried it with a person, but if her mind wanted to make a Headmaster-Avatar she'd container it, just for fun.
With deft movements she manipulated the bricks, caging the Headmaster-Avatar. Like her memories, he tried to escape, moving up and down at first, and eventually trying to rip through her blocks, but she'd long since found a way to make them impenetrable; her memories weren't things she wanted escaping. She'd let them out at first, but not anymore because they hurt worse when she did that.
Eventually the Headmaster-Avatar was walled in, and she wrapped the cylinder in a thread of thought and willed her and it into her mental storage room where she placed it in the school section of her mind, labeling it 'Headmaster Avatar'. With a smile and a pat for the new storage tube she slipped back into the physical world and looked around, bricks starting to fall again in her mind's eye, back into their 2-D patterns.
The entire room was in chaos. Many of the students were panicking, especially the younger ones, and at the Head Table Professor McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey were standing by the Headmaster's chair. Dumbledore, when she got a glimpse of him, looked like a marionette whose strings had been cut, his body limp.
"Hey Tonks, what's going on?" Claire asked, settling a red T on its foot between two Ls, one yellow, the other blue.
"Well, Headmaster Dumbledore dropped his fork about five minutes ago, and until a few seconds ago he was staring over here, like, really disconcertingly, and you were staring right at him I think, but you didn't respond either. Then he just collapsed, and you came out of whatever cloud you were in like, thirty seconds later." Tonks shrugged, and went back to her chocolate cake. Clair snagged some flan and a spoon, ignoring the chaos around her, blocks stacking themselves in her mind.
"All students will please proceed to their dormitories." Professor McGonagall's voice rang out a while later. "Prefects will make sure everyone is accounted for." Claire sighed, putting her spoon down and standing up. She followed Anne, her yearmate and one of Hufflepuff's prefects, who was walking with the main group while the fifth-year prefects rounded up the first-years.
They were at the double doors when a hand reached out and grabbed Claire's elbow.
"Miss deLune, please come with me." Professor Snape growled, his silky voice intimidating for anyone who didn't have a rather rabid crush on him. Claire, of course, was in the crush camp, and her nice Tetris formation shattered at his words and touch, forcing her to start over as she nodded for her friends to keep going.
"Password's 'friendship'." Anne whispered to Claire as Professor Snape started dragging her towards something on the upper floors, probably the Hospital Wing.
Turned out their destination was, in fact, the Hospital Wing, and they walked in on Professor McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey frittering around a one of the far beds.
"I just can't understand what happened." Professor McGonagall said, staring at her long-time friend and employer.
"I can." Professor Snape drawled, pulling Claire further into the room. Both women whirled. "I did tell him his habit of skimming the students at every meal would bite him in the arse one day."
"Severus!" Madame Pomfrey said, shooting scandalized looks between him and Claire.
"What? It's not as though she hasn't heard it before. Besides, she's of age, therefore I have no reason to mince words." He turned to Claire and pointed to the bed next to the Headmaster's. "Sit." Only then did he release her, though his glare told her it would be a horribly bad idea to disobey, not that she would have anyways what with that rabid crush of hers.
"Severus, what is..." Madame Pomfrey trailed off when Severus moved to stand in front of Claire, holding her gaze from barely over a foot away.
"She is here because she currently has the Headmaster trapped in her mind." Claire's eyes widened at the man's proclamation, and the cylinder with the Headmaster-Avatar popped off its shelf and started rotating where her ongoing game had been an instant before. "Yes, in there. Can you disassemble it?" Professor Snape was suddenly in her mind, the world receding as it had at dinner, her mindscape crystallizing again, only this time the intruder was the same size as her, and refused to let her zoom out.
"The Headmaster is a skilled Legillimens," mental-Snape drawled, "but one must be equally skilled in Occlumency to guard against the traps in another person's mind." He reached out to grab her when she tried to pull away again. "That's not going to work, so stop trying. If you want me to leave, you have to disassemble that container and release the Headmaster from your mind. If you insist on being stubborn I will start looking around whilst I wait."
Claire, not wanting her crush to find out that she was crushing on him, turned her mind towards the cylinder, and took a step back.
"Nu-uh. He'll destroy my mind." She started to shake. The amount of power being thrown around in the container was so great she wasn't entirely sure how she was containing it.
"Can you make it translucent?" Professor Snape asked calmly. In response she turned the top of the tube towards them and made the cap translucent. Unfortunately, it didn't help, as the spells being thrown around within clouded the 'air'.
"Um...we can't hear inside, but inside can hear us." Claire whispered after a moment, looking at her feet.
"Albus Dumbledore, calm down!" Professor Snape yelled immediately, taking a step towards the cylinder. The spells inside stopped, and the Headmaster-Avatar started looking around, trying to find Professor Snape. "Let him out." Professor Snape snapped, and Claire started calling Tetris blocks in the appropriate unlocking matrix. Within seconds the cylinder trapping the Headmaster-Avatar had vanished, and the man started stalking towards her, fury written on his face. Surprisingly, Professor Snape stepped between them, facing down the enraged Avatar.
"Out! Now!" Professor Snape snarled, and Claire felt something shifting around. A second later both Avatars were gone, and Claire shifted back into the physical world even as shouting assaulted her eardrums.
"It's your own damn fault and you know it! There's no way a muggleborn could get any training, much less enough to entrap you on purpose, and that's one being raised by parents, not one who lives in a bloody orphanage! You got caught in a defense mechanism you stupid old coot, and it's your own Skimming that did it, not any malice on Miss deLune's part!" Professor Snape was no longer in front of her. In fact, he was looming over a fuming Headmaster.
"Sever-" The Headmaster was cut off.
"No! Go sulk in your office until you calm down and realize that this entire incident is your fault, and the Board of Governors now has enough evidence to REMOVE YOU AS HEADMASTER!" There was the barest of pauses, just enough for Professor Snape to take a breath. " Further, you could very well be JAILED now that you've stupidly given PROOF that you use LEGILLIMENCY on STUDENTS!"
"Sev-" The man tried again, less angrily.
"No! Leave! Now!" Professor Snape pointed at the door, his entire body screaming fury and exasperation. The two men glared at each-other, and it was the Headmaster who looked away first. With a very put-upon sigh he levered himself out of the bed and stalked away, his back rigid.
"Miss deLune." Professor Snape drew Claire's gaze from the closing doors. "We need to talk."
A/N: Just what I think might have happened if Dumbledore regularly skimmed the students with Legillimency. What do y'all think? Leave a review! Make the author happy! And yes, I do know it's all very OOC. Blame the muses!