Author's Note: Can't help myself…another fanfic…I know, but from another angle this time.
I do not wish to profit from the Harry Potter books. I just have fun with fanfics and the only profit I receive is cracking up laughing when I type…or getting fun reviews on occasion. Though I am sure Professor Snape is waiting for the day that I get bored with interfering in his life.
The Wrong Snape at the Wrong Time
Chapter 1: Any Day Now
I had worked at Hogwarts for years, was his mentoring subject for many months, and there were plenty of times that I could have had an interest in him. There were plenty of opportunities in which I knew for a fact that he wanted me…er, like that. Or, so I thought and believed a few other people were convinced as well. And now I think that I…maybe…not sure yet…er, might be interested in him and he was once again a Death Eater.
Perfect timing on my part…I must commend myself. Really I should.
It was comforting to know that my poor taste and severe lack of sound judgment were in perfect synchronicity.
And it all started, I think, over the mark.
The Yule Ball…Hogwarts Grounds.
I pulled up the hem of my dress and stood behind the column to watch in bewilderment and what I hoped was virtual concealment. Snape and Karkaroff exchanged heated words again in the courtyard where the carriages were being held. They had been bickering like schoolgirls since Durmstang arrived. Not sure what the problem is but Karkaroff is one scary man, yet Snape seems to be completely unruffled. He just appeared to wave him off like a very annoying, persistent fly. I was not so lucky. If he gave me one more rotten-toothed smile, I would scream. Karkaroff was scarier than Snape used to be when he first mentored me. I cursed silently that I had to observe the two people that I was usually avoiding. Well, maybe just Karkaroff. I enjoyed reading muggle history biographies and he bore a striking resemblance to Rasputin. Snape, a dementor, but I've never told him that, and it was pointless to broach the subject now that I was slightly,er, slightly infatuated with him. Though he still glided like one, as his robes floated behind him, but he was a bit more attractive to me now. Did I say now…now that he was once again an employee of the Dark Lord? Book me a room at St. Mungo's please. Just not next to Lockhart.
I had wanted to talk to Snape about something, er, for once. Some interesting rumors had just been brought to my attention.
As Karkaroff stormed off yelling and cursing in his native language, I guessed, I saw Snape, wand at the ready, apparently dueling with an innocent-looking enough rose bush. Snarling, concentrating, and hitting the mark effortlessly, most likely utilizing his practiced efforts at imagining his target was Harry Potter.
I stepped out from behind the column, very much like a dementor myself in my floaty gown.
"What in Merlin's name are you doing? You can't be serious? Blasting rosebushes? They are cared for by Sprout and could you please stop slamming the carriage doors? They are likely to fall off the hinges by the racket you are making, Severus. I'm surprised nobody else has come out here to see what the noise was all about," I stepped further out of the shadows and walked over like I hadn't been standing there watching this nonsense for nearly ten minutes with a palm to my mouth in disbelief.
Wondering if not only were some carriages unhinged, but quite possibly the tenured Potions Master of Hogwarts.
And pondering if Snape was really taking his chaperone duties a bit too seriously or if he refused to allow any young couples to snog with anybody in the bushes or carriages because he wouldn't be doing so and he had just had a meltdown at the unfairness of it all.
Not sure what it could be.
"Honestly, I can even sympathize with you regarding hurrying them along, and yes, for the first time even issuing some well-deserved deductions of points since I started working here, but really….even still…" I looked at him perplexed, my eyes widening.
"Vector, I do not remember you being asked for your input." He examined the last carriage window with his wand tip and when he saw there were no occupants, he lowered his wand, and swiveled to face me. He was less threatening without the big, billowy, black robe. He was in ball attire. Well, a shorter black frock coat was apparently ball attire for Snape. He stared at me in sheer annoyance.
"Is it really true you deducted one point from Gryffindor and the point was taken from Trevor, Neville's toad?" I asked about the rumor I had heard from congregating students in the hall near my class room today. I wouldn't tell him that the staff had met in the staff room to laugh themselves silly over it either. With a few, "Poor Longbottoms," thrown out because they felt bad even though they thought it was hilarious..
"Yes." He said smoothly and without blinking, his lips a taut, thin line.
"How is that possible? He is not a student, he is a toad." I couldn't believe I was holding this conversation with Snape and pointing this out to him. Then again he had threatened to poison the Toad once. Only Harry Potter got treated slightly better than poor Trevor. At least Harry wasn't turned into a tadpole….and then back.
Well, he had once threatened to poison the both of them…and me.
"He's a Gryffindor and he is not on my register for that class period. Am I making myself plain, Vector?" he glared at me darkly, daring me to object to his latest deduction of House points.
"And what did Dumbledore say?" I had to ask. I wasn't even sure House Point deductions would register for non-humans. If it did it was a first.
"I am a Head of House and if I felt strongly that it was necessary than he agreed with my privilege to exercise my power, rightfully so, Vector." He looked at me as if I was a dolt who should be aware of this fact.
And I assume Mrs. Norris should get the equivalent of a prefect badge I wanted to say, but didn't.
"Well, how is your evening going anyway?" I tried to ask airily, changing the subject to get to the real subject I was curious about.
"Splendid…would it be any other way?" The sarcastic low voice and raised eyebrow encouraged me to take in how ecstatic he was at the prospect of the ball. "Actually, where are you creeping off to, Vector? He narrowed his eyes and surveyed me as if he were sure I was up to something I shouldn't.
"I am leaving soon, Snape. I am tired and our staff really is quite exuberant when the dancing begins. I think I hurt my neck after the Weird Sisters. Sad really… that Dumbledore is wide awake when the rest of us are half his age and then some…."
"So am I shortly." He looked around alertly as if he suspected additional lurkers in the rose bushes.
"My heels are killing me and…"
"Does it look like I care, Vector? Did you expect comfort in this particular ball dress you selected as well?" He looked disinterested but he held eye contact with me a just a mere second longer than necessary.
"Listen, Snape all kidding aside…best I could do…the current style. I have dark hair and no other colors were available…"
"Did I appear to be jesting…and I don't particularly care." He sounded bored regarding the tedious conversation and looked like he was stifling a rare yawn. "I'm just exhausted, Vector, excuse the lack of my usual verbal vigor."
Strange… no insult… he seemed more distracted and not at all himself.
"Snape…Severus, did he really…your mark, is it…"
"Yes," he responded with deadly calm.
"Severus, it is dangerous. Is there nothing you can do? Is it true what I heard?" Now I was being serious and grew more concerned as the atmosphere changed. I thought he would be bothered about what I had heard from some gossiping co-workers but he did not react.
"No, and yes I returned. And I will have to again," He informed me, sounding unconcerned and only slightly inconvenienced.
"Or…what?" I blurted out tactlessly, cutting him off. I waited for the retort. It was not forthcoming.
"I was summoned and so were the others and I must go and offer my service," he said simply.
"Er…or…" I trailed off, prompting a decent answer from him at the very least.
He nodded solemnly. " Yes that…that which you were about to utter and decided against."
"And what is all this I heard about a mark?" I asked gently without making any eye contact with him whatsoever. I concentrated on my shoes.
"I hope you will not ask me to see it. I already showed the Headmaster and I will not show you or anyone else again so do not ask me." His tone was slightly warning.
"Foolish curiosity… like a muggle sideshow…" he spoke in a soft whisper, more to himself than me.
"Be careful." I felt sorry for him, and momentarily awed at his bravery. I could never do what they said he would do very soon. But even I refused to believe it. It was suicide and I was sure that Dumbledore would never ask so much of him. Nobody could fool Voldemort. Some people weren't even 100% sure that Snape had ever really turned, but still. Why did I feel safe around him now? Odd. This was likely the most candid he had ever been with me.
"I will." His voice was soft and barely a whisper.
And then he gazed up at me and his black eyes glimmered strangely. "Are you scared for me?" He sneered contemptuously, but I managed to feel that somehow his anger was not directed at me.
"Er…yeah…uh, I guess,somewhat…of course." I sounded like a complete dolt .
"Don't be." He snapped lazily. "…an utter waste of time and energy. What must be done, will be."
"But there isn't something more Dumbledore can do?" I always believed him to be omniscient, truly infallible. The only one he ever feared for sure. He knew everything, had all the answers, or did he?
He looked at me as if I were the biggest fool imaginable.
"You don't leave their ranks, Vector. It's quite impossible to just leave. I really wish you hadn't brought it up. I don't wish to speak of it just now. As I am sure you very well know, our staff has already weighed the potential risks of doing so, if they believed I would."
I shuddered. "Don't say that." I said through my teeth. His voice was chilling.
He appeared perturbed but slightly amused at my response. "Vector, I must face any possibilities. It would be foolish not to. And I am not a fool and now that is really quite enough," he said in lighter more dismissive tone.
"I will leave you some of the books I refused to let you borrow," he joked darkly, his lip curling at one side. I wanted to see what his eyes looked like but he had turned to the side and I couldn't see his face as his hair moved with him.
"How wonderful" I didn't find his sarcasm funny in the least.
"Go to sleep, silly girl, it is late." His words brushed off our exchange but his black eyes narrowed as he turned his head to face me once again.
"Good night, Snape."
"Vector," he nodded and turned around again, but over my shoulder I could see that he stood very still and waited and turned in my direction again as I walked back to my rooms.
And when I returned to my quarters I looked around. I checked my front door. Nothing. I glanced into my mail box. Nothing there either. I sat down on my bed and waited for the sharp rapping on my door that was usually Charon, Snape's owl, delivering blood lollipops and taking off before I could shout idle threats or launch an object of my choosing at him. He never came.
I believe the Honeydukes order has been cancelled. Well, for this week anyway.