Teacher's Pet

A Harry Potter Fanfic by Didodikali
Rowling's characters do not belong to me!
However these pictures are mine.
Rated PG-13.

Read this story with illustrations!

Now also available translated into Portuguese!

Translated by the fabulous Aline Carneiro.
Huge thanks! This woman rocks my world!

Professor McGonagall didn't like me working on this alone. She'd said that sometimes when people first transform that they find the experience too overwhelming. Like getting transported to Fairyland, she'd said. But I just couldn't focus with Ron and Harry watching and giggling at me in the Common Room. And even the girl's rooms were surprisingly loud with doors banging and people whispering in the halls until bedtime. So I'd snuck away from the Christmas party to an alcove near the front door of Gryffindor Tower to meditate.

Professor McGonagall had told me that so many people are not able to become animagi because they're only open to big handsome animals like lions or tigers or bears. Who wants to spend months of work only to discover that one's inner animal is a leech or maybe a gopher?

But I wasn't in it for an ego boost, I just wanted to know how the thing was done. I'd gone through the dictionary of animals from aardvark to rhinocerous. Now I was meditating on the Ss. Somewhere in this dictionary I would find something that felt right. I took my shoes off and got comfortable, stared into a little hand mirror for a minute so I wouldn't forget who I was, crossed my legs and shut my eyes. I said the words and ran my mind through the now familiar warm-up meditation ritual. Then I started feeling things out. Salamander?. ....no. ...Salmon?......no. Scallop?. ....no. ....Scorpion?.....no. ...Seagull?.....no. .....

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It took forever but I didn't care; I wanted to get through the Ss tonight. ..........finally....Snail?.....no.

Oh! Oh, my god!

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I looked in the mirror. I was a snake! Eeew! But I couldn't help feeling delighted that I'd finally done it. I looked again at my reflection. I was brightly coloured in red, yellow and black stripes. Rather pretty, actually. Wow, I look absolutely poisonous! How cool!

And then I saw a movement in the mirror; there was something behind me. I whipped around, tasting something delicious on the air, and I looked in the direction of the taste. Something hot and furry, its blood strangely visible to me, glowing warmly through its fur...I grabbed it in my jaws and choked the life out of it...and then it was gone.

...Oops. Well, that was gross. I wonder if that mouse will still be in my stomach when I change back...

And then I tried to change back .....and couldn't. Aaaaaagh!

Professor McGonagall's teachings slid through my brain. Form follows function. Mind over matter. Never eat the food of Fairyland else you won't return for seven years. Don't do this alone. Oh, no!

I knew Professor McGonagall was still at the Christmas party. Somehow I had to get to her. Somehow I had to get help. Seven years! I slithered out the front door of Gryffindor Tower and wriggled as quickly as I could to the Main Hall.

It's snowing! The paving stones were freezing and wet and my slithering got slower and slower... Oh yeah. I'm a cold-blooded reptile! Oh, noooo! But before I froze to death, footsteps approached and then stopped next to me. Hagrid's voice, miles above me boomed, "Eeek! A snake!"

"It's a Scarlet King snake. Not poisonous although it's colouring does mimic the extremely venomous Coral snake. Red and yellow...maybe it's a Gryffindor familiar?" That was Professor Snape's voice.

"Well, if it's a Gryffindor familiar, I'd better take it to Professor McGonagall." And Hagrid picked me up, by the tail which was uncomfortable, but his hands were blessedly warm. Yes! I'm saved!

"I wouldn't. She's had a few too many Christmas schnapps with Albus. I don't think she'll appreciate you dropping a snake on her tonight."

"Aah," said Hagrid, "Well, I've got a little aquarium up at the house-"

Snape sounded appalled. "-I've seen your reptile coffin! Give me the goddamn snake! I'll give her to Minerva tomorrow."

Nooooooo! But Hagrid was giving in. "Her? You can tell?"

"Only girl snakes have those cute little twisty tails."

Snape thinks my tail is cute? I was handed over. Snape held me gently in hands that were much smaller and much cooler than Hagrid's and they said their farewells. Then Snape looked me in the eye. "You are in a whole heap of trouble. Only a Gryffindor snake would go outside in winter. No proper Slytherin familiar would be so stupid. I should have let Hagrid stuff you into his miserable cold glass box."

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I wasn't going to get a more opportune moment than this. I stuck my little forked snake tongue out at the nastiest teacher in the school. Blaaaaaaattt! He raised his eyebrow at me and stuffed me into the pocket of his robe. Warm! Finally! And hopefully Professor McGonagall will be able to help me tomorrow.

I could hear Professor Snape talking to himself as he entered the dungeons and walked down the stairs. "What a waste of time! Just because he would hate being a hermit doesn't mean that I can't find it great fun! Christmas parties suck. I could have been running another experiment; now it's too late!"

You talk to yourself. And to snakes. You're nuts.

He pulled me out of his pocket once we got to his flat in the dungeon. I swiveled my head, looking around and around. White walls. Bookshelves. Ordinary-looking oak furniture. Not what I was expecting. "What?" he said to me, "Looking for the piles of gnawed human skulls? So sorry, they're in the wash."

Why am I not surprised that you're snide even to defenceless little animals...

He carried me into another room and tossed me on a bed. He walked around the bed, muttering and quickly sketching a design in the air with his wand. Then he lit the fire in the fireplace and left. The fire looked inviting, so I thought I'd slither over and warm up, but I couldn't slide off the bed. The unfamiliar spell he'd cast had walled me in. Darn!

Professor Snape returned after a while. His hair was wet and he was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with Snakes Rule emblazoned over a big green snake. I wished I was back to being human again just so I could snicker at it. He sat down on the bed with a teacup and saucer and an arcane-looking periodical.

I'd never seen him in muggle clothes before. He never even rolls up his sleeves when Potions class gets messy. The faint shadow of the mark on his naked arm reminded me why. Would he cover it back up if he knew I was really a human?

He doesn't know who I am... I don't want to stare. I looked at the alchemy journal that he was flipping through instead. ...It is really quite interesting.

I felt cold again, but I wasn't about to warm up by him. I curled the end of my tail through the handle of the teacup that he had set down on the bed. It felt just like a hot water bottle. Oh, perfect! I twisted forward trying to get a better viewing angle at the text he was reading while holding onto the teacup with my tail. Professor Snape seemed to find my efforts amusing. "A snake that can read. I think not."

I hissed and nodded my head furiously. I can, too!

"Well, if you say so, Miss Snake. But I won't believe a snake can read this article faster than me. You must be skimming the difficult bits."

Well, that was true enough. Slightly chastened, I looked back at the previous page, which made him chuckle. He picked me up and draped me over his knee so I could have a better view of the journal. "Too bad Hagrid found you first," he said. "Pity you're not green, too. If you weren't dressed in Gryffindork colours I'd be tempted to keep you. Missing snake? Nope, haven't seen it. No, I've had this snake for years. So sorry, guess you'll have to buy another familiar. Hahahaha!"

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Snape sounded like a naughty little kid when he laughed. Actually he sounded like Ron. I looked up at him. I'll bet you earned detentions all the time when you were a kid. IF you ever got caught... which you probably didn't...

An hour later Professor Snape doused the lights and went to bed. He'd stuck me under the covers, which creeped me out some, but the fireplace had fizzled out to embers and his shoulder was warm, so I stayed where I was.

This is so weird.

Finally I slept, but even in my dreams I was still a snake.

I was a snake and I lived in an apple tree but the apples were too big for me to take a bite out of them, my fangs just slid off. How frustrating!

Then Professor Snape walked by, picked a fang-pricked apple off the branch I was on, took a bite and then offered it to me. I tasted the sweet white flesh and then I fell out of the tree onto the ground and lay there stunned. Oh, no, was the apple poisoned? Had I poisoned it with my own fangs?

Professor Snape picked me up, dusted me off and put me back in the tree. And then I felt fine and went to go have another taste of the apple. Guess it isn't poisoned after all. Yum!

Perhaps Professor Snape's apartment was in the dungeon, but it did have basement windows. I woke slowly with the sun in my eyes. I stretched, which took a long time. What a great day for a slither! Hmm. Uh-oh. That was a very snakey thought. What if I'm stuck like this forever! Perhaps if I tried to think less snakey thoughts...

Human thoughts, human thoughts...I looked over at Professor Snape, the closest thing to human around at the moment. He was still asleep. His hair was falling into his face. Gosh, I must be a pretty tiny snake; his nose seems as big as my head from this perspective.

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The patch of sunlight crept over to Professor Snape and he opened one eye. I looked into it. Now, if I was human, what would I be thinking? Hmm. Wish I had eyelashes like that. Too bad I'm a snake and I don't even have eyelids. The sunlight picked out hazel and green reflections in his black eye. He smiled at me suddenly and reached out and petted me on the head just exactly the way I pet Crookshanks. Then his long fingers closed around me and he pulled me closer...and he kissed me on the top of the head...just exactly the way I kiss Crookshanks.

But still. He kissed me! Eeeeek! And then there was a swirling rushing feeling inside me and ...I changed back. I was human again!

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Professor Snape screamed and jerked away from me. I leaped up and tried to run, but I crashed into the invisible barrier around the bed. Darn, it's spelled for me, not for snakes! I looked back at Snape. He scrambled backwards out of bed, through the barrier, and then he waved his hand at it. It no longer felt like I was leaning a brick wall; now it felt like I was stuck to a big sheet of flypaper. I couldn't move my hands or my knee away from it.

Professor Snape was murmuring spellwords too quietly for me to hear; his wand flew into his hand, I felt a surge of energy through the barrier. It occurred to me that surprising an ex-Deatheater in his bed a few seconds after he's woken up was an unhealthy thing to do. He probably thought I was there to kill him. Oh, my god! He's gonna blast me with something! I yelled, "It's me, Hermione! I was the snake!"

"Miss Granger?" He stared at me suspiciously, as though he'd only just recognized me. "What the hell are you up to? Are you an assassin under the Imperius? Or are you trying to get me fired?" Either way it looked like I was still in for capital punishment; the rising ire in his voice was far beyond his casual classroom nastiness.

"No! Please don't kill me! I got stuck! Yesterday was my first day in that form. I was doing an independent study project with Professor McGonnagall, animagus forms, I was just doing the meditation, I didn't think I'd get it to work so soon and then I couldn't change back and I went to look for Professor McGonnagall to help me and..." I was babbling, but it looked like he believed me. At least he lowered his wand and the charged feeling in the air around me lessened and then faded away altogether. "I'm really sorry for bothering you. Can I go now?" I asked, a little pathetically.

He flicked his wrist and the forcefield around the bed vanished. I fell off the bed into a heap on the floor. I scrabbled to my feet, and edged my way around him. I wanted to just run through his apartment so I could get to the exit, but I had too much pride for that. I walked carefully and with as much dignity as I could muster. Professor Snape followed me to the door. "Ten points from Gryffindor for harking me off," he said and then asked, "How did you get stuck in snake form?"

"Well, I...found a mouse in the hall last night...and....before I knew what I was doing...I ate it...and then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I didn't mean to eat it. It was just so automatic...and the whole process of stalking it... it was so... and eating it!...I...I..."

"Yes?" he said, and opened his door. He was obviously preparing to shove me out.

"I really want to eat another mouse and I'm a vegetarian!!" I burst out.

Professor Snape rolled his eyes at me. "Go away, Granger."

"Yessir, just one more thing-"

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He interrupted me, glowering. "-Are you sure the vaunted Gryffindor courage isn't just brazen stupidity?"

"Erm. No comment. I...uh...like your snake T-shirt. Where can I get one?"

My question elicited from him the ghost of an appreciative smirk. "The Slytherin Quidditch team gave me mine," he said. "You can try asking Malfoy Junior if he's got any left. If that's all, Miss Granger?"

I nodded and he slammed the door in my face. I stood there for a second and then turned to leave, but was stopped by what I heard coming from behind his door. I took a step closer, and then suddenly afflicted with Gryffindor courage again (or maybe it was curiosity or just plain nosiness) I pressed my ear to his door. "Mmmm, yummy. Mouse!" I heard him say and then the sound again. I smiled and stepped away.

I had no intention of going the long way home through the dungeon, even if it was indoors. I had no coat, no hat and no shoes, but I went up the stairs and ran sock-footed through the winter slush to Gryffindor Tower, warmed by the sound of his laughter.

He really does sound just like Ron.

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