Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Harry Potter characters.

Half Alive/Half Dead

Chapter One: See-Ya, Snape

I'm just sitting down to lunch. Steak- rare, both bloody and brilliant. My taste buds are dancing in eager anticipation. I strike my knife and fork together with such ferocity that sparks fill the air.

I've got to admit, it's an impressive display. Oh, it's not fireworks, mind,.. but it is enough to have everyone around me move their own chair further away in trepidation.

Everyone around me? Hah, that's a crock! There hasn't been anyone around me in close proximity since that first bleak day when I awoke to find that I was no longer the same me.

Some would claim I'm far more than what I was, but still beneath contempt. Others would claim I'm far less than what I was...but still, also, beneath contempt.

My opinion...par for the course.

My current predicament is just another in a long line of 'taking it up the arse' or another day in the life of the 'boy who lived'. Strike that,.. I guess we better change it to the 'boy who died'.

Wait no,.. maybe it's: 'The boy who died and returned'? 'Half died'? 'Half lived'?

I know.. it's the 'boy who can't decide '. Hey, ..I like that. Though the truth is, I've already decided, not that it was an exactly hard decision, nor was it easy.

Here's how the dilemma started...

One month earlier...

Her I am, just a week ago. Merlin knows, strike that...it's frowned upon; my use of magical sayings is now cosidered taboo.

Anyway, I'm thoroughly not enjoying yet another summer on the prison work farm known as the "Dursley's".

Day in day out,.. you got to hand it to Vernon; the bastard does know how to abuse someone without leaving a mark. He could give old Voldie a lesson or two on torture. Not that Voldie has the patience for it, thank God.

Notice I said; 'thank God', see,.. nice generic term, no magical reference- I'm being good.

As I was saying, Vernon has made torture an art form. No beatings or rape, just mind numbing toil, intermittent with character assassination, degradation and let's not forget the ever popular...starvation. Vernon likes all things with a 'tion' suffix.

Now starvation's the key here folks. It keeps the person too weak to resist all the degradation let alone fight back.

Now, I don't want to complain, but I've had an entire year of Delores Umbitch- who was no slouch in the character assassination and torture department.

I'm sure on some level it all contributed to my having made the abysmal decision to go to the Ministry of Magic on a rescue mission that culminated with me actually getting the person of interest killed rather than rescued.

What can I say.. I'm hell in a fight, but not much for the whole strategic planning thing.

Bottom line... Sirius is dead. My friends are in various states of injury and either not talking to me, or ordered by Dumbles to have 'no contact'.

I'm guessing it's a bit of both.

Those were the first two punches delivered in the opening round. Vernon's the knockout blow whose waiting for the chance to land that right hook he's banking on.

So anyway... I'm grieving, alone, miserable and endlessly tired from working day in and day out from dawn to dusk with little to no food, but thankfully I can still get all the water I can lap up out of the garden hose.

I'm burnt raw from going without a tee shirt while working in the hot sun. –Isn't it supposed to turn into a tan after awhile?

The reason I don't wear a tee shirt is because it's so abysmally foul from several days work without being afforded the luxury of a shower, let alone the use of a laundry. I'd go without pants if I could get away with it. As it is.. it feels like my jockeys are welded to my sticky arse.

Did I mention the Dursley's excel at degradation? It's all in keeping with the cover story that I'm some deranged delinquent, or some such.

In my current state, I definitely look the part,... smell it too.

Am I rambling again? Sorry, I tend to do that now as the loneliness has made of me my one and only companion and I never tire of feeling sorry for myself.

As I was saying; I'm tired, miserable and alone. If Dumbles even has a guard on me,(which I doubt), they're damn good at ignoring my plight. Either that or they just don't give a hang.

Again, I'm guessing it's a bit of both.

It's getting toward twilight, funny that,.. I laugh to myself at the irony. Anyway,... it's getting dark out. Now, I'm not mad like 'Mad eye' Moody, (at least I don't think so, but how do you know if you are, right?), but I've got a bad feeling all of a sudden. Now, I'm not Spider-man either, but I do have great instincts,(probably from always being attacked as a kid by Dudley and friends, as a kid and by Voldie and his goons as an adult).

Right now, my 'spidy-sense' is a tingling something fierce.

Almost on cue, a scream rips through the muggy night air of our muggle neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I recognize the scream. Even more unfortunately, despite the identity of said screaming person, I go to lend assistance.

I do it more out of respect for my dead mother than for my Aunt's sake.

I find my aunt and my 'useless coward of a cousin' in the same culvert where the dementors attacked me and my 'useless coward of a cousin' last year.

Why do the dark and evil cling to classic locations to work their foul deeds? You know; graveyards, catacombs, my back yard?

It turn out there's vampires; three of them. Voldie must've taken a leaf out of Umibitch's page.

Two of them have Dudley by the arms not that he's any threat to them in the offensive department other than having just soiled himself.

Phew! Jesus Dud,.. what have you been eating?

The other vamp is currently using my aunt for his own personal puppet, eliciting no end of screeches and cries for help, and here I am..Du-Du-Du-Dah!

Now, like I said, I'm not much of a strategist, more of a people person, but even I know a set up when I see one.

I enter the culvert, brilliant right? Well, no, not really, but at least I've learned the hard way and I ward the way I came in to keep from getting a surprise from behind while I'm dealing with Larry ,Curley and Moe and no,.. I don't want no moe, that's why I set the ward in the first place.

I decapitate the taller of the two nearest me, (the one that's holding Dudley), with a well placed severing curse. Unfortunately, my aim is great and I miss Dudley altogether,.. so much for the hope of collateral damage.

The other tosses Dudley at me like a baseball, apparently trying to avoid his comrade's fate?

Despite his freaky speed and even freakier strength; with my seeker reflexes I manage to get off a nice incendio hex and he goes up like a Roman candle.

The third of the trio, I'll call him Moe, (as he's the least nice of the three), he abandons tormenting my aunt and is now using her as a human shield.

Eyeing me, his feral eyes glowing in the dim radiance of the tunnels mercury lighting, he waits for me to make my move.

"Voldemort sent you, right?" I ask in morbid curiosity.

The creature merely nods in response, his talon fingers digging cruelly into my aunt's upper arms, causing her to whimper while she goggles petrified, silently begging me to save her.

With a calculating eye, I note the vamp's a good six to eight inches taller than my aunt.

Ah, well,... I've always had a soft spot for the ladies.

"Tell Voldie,... ah, hell... I'll tell him myself."

I use the vamp's height advantage against him and conjure an arrow that I banish into my aunt's shoulder with such force that it pushes right through and into the vamp's chest behind her.

She screams out more in fear than pain. The vampire screams in definitely more pain than fear.

Did you know that vampires tend to be unstable when their hearts are pierced by wood? Some explode, some implode, some go up in flames and others just turn to dust and float away on the breeze.

This one... he rips free from my aunt, arrow and all, and bounces off the culvert walls like a pachinko ball, screaming and howling fit to wake the dead.

Wake the dead? Har!

Finally, the dying vamp explodes, raining guts and gristle down on the rest of us.

What a drama queen.

Also, did you know that fire incapacitates a vampire, but doesn't kill it unless it burns it right down to the bone? I didn't.

Chalk one up to inept DADA teachers. This is another fine mess you've gotten me into Stanley, I mean, Dumbles.

I just register the foul smell of 'burnt dog' when the second vamp becomes a distinct pain in the neck.

He starts slurping away on me like I'm a snow cone. Despite the pain, or in spite of it; I reverse grip on my wand and blast the burnt crispy into ash just before I pass out from blood loss, though in retrospect; it's probably more from exhaustion and starvation- thanks, Vernon.

I wake up a week later, gasping in pain as bright light burns into my brain like one of Snape's patented 'mind rapes'.

"My apologies, Mr. Potter." The Hogwart's healer says as she pulls the infirmary's drapes close.

Thank, God!

Spots are dancing before my eyes but at least it's tolerable compared to the searing pain of the bright light.

"I'm afraid you'll tend to be sensitive to bright light from now on." She explains with a hint of sympathy in her voice.

"Am I,... did I...c-change?" I hear myself stammer in a voice laced with fear, the sound of which is alien even to me.

"Yes and no." The matron answers in a maddeningly vague fashion reminiscent of his Dumbleship.

"Yes and no?" I ask curiously, blinking as my eyes clear enough for me to cast a few furtive glances about.

"Yes in that you're no longer entirely human. No, in that neither are you precisely dead, or should I say, Undead? You are not a vampire, Mr. Potter. You lost a great deal of blood, but managed to fight off your attacker before he could drain you unto death. Normally, you would have recovered to your normal self, but...?"

"But what?" I ask becoming irritated with the distinct lack of pertinent information being delivered in an expedient fashion.

'Expedient fashion'? OMIGOD, I've died and come back as Hermione's sister!

"You did have a great deal of vampire blood upon your person from another such creature you dispatched, and some of that blood infected the wound on your neck." Pomfrey continued to explain.

"And?" I ask drolly, as the suspense is literally killing me.

"And,... you are neither a vampire, nor are you the human wizard that you were. You are something in between, Mr. Potter." She returned succinctly.

"So I'm what,... Blade?" I ask with the beginning of a 'too cool for words' kind of excitement growing in the pit of my stomach.

"Blade?" she asks, not understanding the reference.

"He's a fictional comic book character." I answer. "Half vampire/half human, but all the strengths of a vampire though none of the weaknesses. Sort of a dark superhero."

Pomfrey smirks at that. "Yes, well.. don't plan on any comic convention appearances just yet. As to the rest,.. we shall see? I doubt you'll be in the superhero category, though hero definitely applies, ." she complements, causing me to color in embarrassment.

That was then- This is now...

So, here I am, trying to enjoy my rare steak and who should plop down across from me and make snide comments at my expense?

Nah,... you're wrong, not Malfoy. That little ferret practically flees in terror every time I round a corner that he's on the other side of.

No, this is none other than former co-best mate, Ron Weasly, who blanches at my meal and asks sarcastically.

"Why not eliminate the middleman and just go for the jugular?"

"Are you offering?" I return seamlessly, letting my incisors lengthen in anticipation. I'm rewarded with watching Ron pale like a ghost before he decides he's lost his appetite and attends to something far more pressing that needs doing, somewhere else.

So vampirism is the cure to Weasley gluttony- who knew?

"I suppose you think that's funny?" A prim voice cuts in from farther down the table.

Ah,.. the other former co-best mate makes her displeasure known. If you ever want to know who your friends truly are, just get yourself fanged by a vamp and see who sticks after.

"Not uproariously, no, but one must take pleasure where one finds it these days." I answer, continuing my meal, without giving her the benefit of my undivided attention.

Apparently she does hold more of my interest that I thought as I decide to tweak her nose a bit.

"Oh, and do cut down on the garlic you carry around, won't you? There's enough already on the pasta you're eating." I comment off handedly, adding, "It doesn't work you know, other than to make one that much more appetizing. If I liked garlic, that is,... which I do." At this I turn and leer suggestively at Hermione and am rewarded with a tremulous huff of indignation. The tremble gives her away more than she realizes.

Ginny snorts a laugh at Hermione's expense.

Ah, Ginny, and what might have been? I've giving up my schoolboy crush on the youngest Weasley, had to really. I didn't have much of a choice after the accident.

Accident? It was more of an awakening actually. Like I said; you find out who your friends truly are.

I can't be with, Ginny,..ever. Her brothers explained it to me.

Now, while I'm far stronger than most humans, I'm still weaker than most vamps. I do heal almost as quickly though, which in this case was not a bonus as the Weasley boys took delight in beating me up and then being able to do it all over when I managed to heal up just as they were recovering their strength.

They compared me to Chinese cuisine; something about being able to stuff yourself and a half hour later being able to enjoy it all over again.

Ron was among them- voracious appetite as always. Even the twins took part, though I don't think their hearts were in it as they were definitely hitting with less behind it than their siblings, and those two are beaters after all.

Anyway, that's all water under the bridge, as they say.

I've finished my lunch and am off to double Potions with Snapey. Another ironic twist to the whole half vamp thing is that Snape detests me even more than he did previously, which is saying something as he really hated me before. Again... funny. It's funny because Snape is often referred to as a great bat or great Greasy bat, yet he seems quite terrified of all things vampiric in nature.

Again... funny. Funny because he's paler than I ever was, vampiric or starving. The part that's most ironic is that usually he'd have taken a load of points off me by this far into the semester. I estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred to a hundred fifty- just for breathing.

That may be part of the ironic, I mentioned. He's not taken any points thus far,.. maybe it's because he thinks I'm not breathing?

Actually, it's more because he can find nothing to criticize about my potion work.

You're shocked, I know, but it's true. Since my what.. accident? Well since the change my senses are enhanced, ie.. smell, taste, hearing... I could brew a potion in the dark by the smell of the ingredients and the brewing alone.

I barely have to concentrate on what I'm doing now to brew a perfect potion every time. Not that concentration's a problem either as everything is much clearer since the change. My attention to detail could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

So here I am brewing three potions simultaneously, just because I can. I've taken to brewing the Wolf's bane potion as a favor to Remus... we half breed's must stick together. I also don't necessarily trust Snape with his brewing of it. Lately, Remus has described some effects that don't jive with a properly brewed potion as the pain involved with the transformation should be negligible and Remus claims it's actually worse!

Now, I've always suspected, but since the change I know: Snape's dirty. And no, I'm not referring to his underwear, though that's another story as well. I'm talking evil. He's got Dumble's totally fooled, not that telling Dumble's will do any good. He'll just give me another load of "it's Professor Snape, Harry,.. and I trust him implicitly and with good reason, but that's strictly between the two of us".

What a load!

I know Snape's dirty for a simple primitive, but never the less, fool proof reason: I can smell it on him. I don't know if it's a vampire thing or if it's a hybrid thing or some whacky mixture of magic and vampirism, but bottom line: I can smell evil and foul intent.

And people, I'm telling you... Snape reeks!

Evil and vileness seep from the vermin's very pores.

What drives Snalpe bonkers is that he hasn't been able to sabotage a single potion of mine which was something he delighted in before. He hasn't been able to have one of his Sytherin stooges do it either as the moment I get a, whiff of foul play, my enhanced speed and senses foils their play before they can even begin.

So here I am, ignoring the looks of my former contemporaries and the sneers that Snape's shooting at my back as I'm brewing along. Currently, I'm brewing the sixth year assignment for the day... pepper up potion. I'm also simultaneously brewing a NEWT level: Blood replenishing potion- one that's rapidly becoming a personal favorite. Lastly, I'm brewing a master's level: Wolf's bane potion.

I'm just adding the powdered Drago's scale to my blood replenishing potion when out of the corner of my eye I see Daphne Greengrass surreptitiously flick a newt's eye toward my Wolf's bane as Snape looks on with a morbid sense of glee.

I don't know what surprises me more: the fact that Snape's willing to place an entire class's wellbeing at risk from the explosive results the newt eye would have on my potion, or the fact that Daphne Greengrass, of all people, is actually doing the contemptible swine's bidding.

I'll ponder that later. Did I mention enhanced speed?

I twist toward my neighboring potions with ladle extended, in the pretense of checking said brews. My ladle cleanly scoops the newt eye right out of the air.

Snape is nearly bursting with maniacal glee, his wand casually to hand to know doubt solely shield himself from the impending disaster.

His bubble bursts when I innocently notice the speck in the bottom of my ladle which I remove and proceed to carry to the front and drolly drop in the waste basket directly in front of Snape with a bored expression on my face that clearly states that he is 'so out of my league'.

Despite our recent differences and his characteristic slowness on the uptake; Ron sniggers at that and promptly costs Gryffindor twenty five points. He also ruins his potion by allowing himself to be distracted at a critical juncture.

Ah well,.. I'd like to feel sorry for the oaf, but he did bring it on himself and besides the whole 'beat Harry' thing with his brothers does grate on me.

The bell's about to sound when I deliver my capped potion to the front to turn in for today's grade. I've barely turned when Snape titers a half hearted apology as somehow my vial dropped and shattered, ruining the potion.

"I am sorry, Mr. Potter," he smirks with anything but regret. "I'm afraid you'll have to take a zero for today?"

I roll my eyes.. he is so out of my league. "That's alright professor." I sooth knowingly and delight in watching his smirk disappear when a I pull another vial from my pocket explaining. " I capped additional vials in case the first me with one of your patented 'Unfortunate accidents' Perhaps you should be tested for Parkinson's?" I suggest with false concern.

Snape's eyes seethe with hatred. I turn away with a chuckle and am rewarded with the sound of another vial, only this time it tinkles musically as it bounces across the floor instead of shattering.

"Did I forget to mention that I charmed the vial unbreakable? I call over my shoulder sarcastically and am rewarded by a few students snorting at Snape's expense. "I also kept a third sample that I'll submit to professor Dumbledore should that one still mysteriously meet with an unfortunate accident, oh, and by the way... Slug and Jiggers is buying up my supply of Wolf's bane potion. It seems their former brewer was over inflating his, or her prices and was providing a barely standard grade product.

"Detention Potter!" he screams in outrage.

" You,... me.. alone in the dungeon... anything could happen.. and probably will..HA-HA-HA" I laugh maniacally as I sweep out of the dungeon lab without so much as a glance back.

I'm half way to my last class of the day, Transfiguration, when I happen across a suspiciously 'standing ajar' door of an unused classroom.

"Har-rry" I hear a distressed female voice hiss from within.

Now,.. I am thick when it comes to girls and I freely admit that. What I'm not though, contrary to popular belief, is stupid. I know a trap when I see one. Even though my enhanced senses aren't screaming in alarm that evil's afoot, that doesn't mean I'm not about to be made a fool.

From my vantage point, I can't see anyone in the three quarters of the room that's within my view. Therefore, I'm thinking they're lying behind the door in wait.

A burst of vampiric strength and a well placed kick sends the door rocketing inward.

"OHHHH-Owe!" I'm rewarded with a gasp of surprise followed by a screech of pain.

Pleased with myself, I saunter into the room to check my handiwork.

Now that's a shame! I think in actual regret as I've managed to break Daphne Greengrass' nose. The poor girls holding the broken remain of her perfect doll-like nose that's gushing blood trying her best,.. and failing 'not to cry'.

"I..I'm sorry, Ms Greengrass." I apologize, and what's more... I actually mean it.

"Vhat the hell vas fhat for?" she wheezes at me.

"Here, let me.." I reach toward her and she instinctively pulls back in fear. I try not to show the hurt I feel, but by the look of shame that ghosts through her crying eyes, she knows she's hurt me far more than I unthinkingly hurt her.

"It's alright.." I reassure her, surprised at how gentle I'm being and probably stunning her too. I cast a wandless, soundless episkey, healing the break.

She goggles at me and I'm not sure if it's the casual use of supposedly impossible magic, or the fact that I've actually healed her when everyone else is just naturally assuming I'm an evil git out to drink their blood.

"T-Thanks" she manages to stammer, to which I shrug indifferently.

"How did you..?" she makes a funny gesture with her hand symbolizing the wandless bit.

"I'm not as inept as most people believed me to be." I offer vaguely, adding. "There's no reason to hide it any longer as I'm on my own now and people's opinion of me can't really get any lower or more fearful."

Daphne nods at that, understanding, even sympathizing with me, if I read her eyes right. They're a beautiful stormy grey color. I hadn't noticed that before.

"I'm sorry , again." With that I sheepishly turn to leave.

"No..." she blurts out..." I'm the one who's sorry. I tried to sabotage your potion.. I'm really sorry, Potter. Snape and Malfoy are pressuring a lot of us to step up their efforts to get you expelled. I...It's getting hard to refuse their, er.. advances." She hesitantly apologizes for her part in things whilst her eyes go out of focus as she's obviously remembering some traumatic encounter with one or both of the swine in question.

Like I said, I'm thick, but not stupid. I can read between the lines... the girl needs help. Damn nobility streak.. here we go again!

I nod my understanding of what she's trying not to say. "Just keep your head down." I warn her. "I'll ... see what I can do?" I make it sound pathetic, but actually, there's quite a bit I can probably do.

Maybe detention with Snap's a good idea after all. The wheels start to turn.

"If I do help, the next time I expect you to address me by my first name." I offer unconditionally.

Daphne smirks cunningly. "Allright,.. Harold."

I wince at that. It was a low blow and she knows it by the way her lilting laugh echoes back as she skips merrily down the hallway.

Entering Transfiguration class a solid ten minutes late I get the famous McGonagal glare of disproval that has most first years writing home in the fervent hope their parents will consider 'home schooling'.

I shrug in a half hearted apology offering.. "I was playing the hero again, bit of a story that, but I'd be happy to share the story over a cuppa or a bit of something stronger?" I offer hopefully.

McGonagal purses her lips distastefully as she hands out the usual.. "Detention Mr. Potter- Tonight!"

I clap my hands together winningly and squeal delightedly, "I've already got one with his greasiness tonight. Could we make it a double or better yet, a two for one? You two could pretend to check the stock cupboards for supplies. " At this I wink my eye suggestively and several classmates snort a laugh. "I'll play dumb and pretend that nothing's going on. For an extra sickle or two I'll even vouch for you if Dumbles or Filch happens along. "I'll make up some excuse like; you went to check a complaint that the water in the prefect's bath was a smidge too cool for extended, er.. activity of the erotic kind. "

The students that aren't diving under their desks to hide from the impending explosion are rolling around in side-splitting laughter.

McGonagal is gaping at me as if I've lost all sense of reason, let alone propriety. Now, I'll admit I have far less regard for propriety than what I did before the 'incident'. I guess there is some sort of macabre sensuality regarding the whole vampire phenomena, or maybe it just lowers the inhibitions.

Anyway, I like the new me and I especially like the gapping look on McGonagal's face.

She's finally able to formulate a rational response which is a chilly.. "To the headmaster's office at once, Mr. Potter!"

"Awe, but can't it wait until after class? Today was human transfiguration and I've been practicing all week." I plead with her, giving her a wounded puppy look.

I know she'd intrigued as none of the students had managed so much as a single limb transformation thus far.

"V-Very well... but make it quick, Mr. Potter. Let's see your transformation then?" She grants hesitantly, too curious for her own good.

I pounce on the offer and yell out... "Heads up, Weasley!"

Huh,.. what?" Ron's just thick enough to poke his head up curiously, giving me a clear shot and I hit him with a quick transmuto and Viola- instant "A Weaslepig!", I happily announce. "The body of a pig with a weasle's brain."

Ron's snorting around the room looking for a chicken to thieve while everyone's laughing uproariously.

"The headmaster this instant, Mr. Potter!" McGonagal shrieks pointing toward her door as she pulls her wand to try and reverse the damage.

'Tries' is the operative word here as I've taken the liberty of locking the transformation with an added wand twist of my own devise.

I make the trek to the aged one and realizing I don't have the password for the gargoyle guarding his doorway, I offer humbly.. "I've been bad... again."

The gargoyle steps aside glaring at me which is no small feat for a stone gargoyle, but he manages to pull it off.

The spiral staircase, a good solid knock or two on the door and I'm standing in supplication before his decrepit-ness.

I answer Dumbles questioning look. "I've been bad... again." I offer in afterthought, trying my best to look sheepish and failing.

Dumbledore rolls his eyes as he rubs his forehead wearily, too afraid to ask and too curious not too.

"And... what does "Bad" entail, Mr. Potter?"

I smirk as I answer facetiously. "Wait for it?"

It's only a scant, pensive moment or two before Snape sneers his way into the office followed by an outraged McGonagal.

Both shove me out of the way as they loom over the headmaster vying for first dibs on my hide.

I've a rather skinny backside so I can understand their not wanting to wait for what's left over after their counterpart chews me up and spits me out.

Dumbledore raises a hand calling for quiet and they desist. He shoots me a weary glare and glances toward the door to his office meaningfully.

I shrug and offer a lame... "I think they're the only two complainants, but one can never be sure."

Sirius would be so proud of me had he lived.

With Dumbledore's cue to proceed, Snape offers his own colorized version of grievance from a very slanted point of view.

Dumbledore shifts his attention to me periodically during the diatribe trying to judge the validity of Snape's many complaints.

Once Snape is at last, finally thru, his Dumbleship nods for Minerva McGonagal to state her complaint. Of which 'I'm tardy and did a human transfiguration on another student without said student's consent and while, exemplary work', at this I beam my agreement, 'I used a unique form of locking charm that defies even her ability to reverse the transformation'.

Dumbledore being, well Dumbledore; merely raises and intrigued eyebrow and asks her to clarify.

She tell him what I did that was.. "bad".

To which Snape snorts appreciatively and at least has the good manners to ignore Dumbledore's glare to desist.

Now, I've never got on with Snape, but at least I can side with someone who appreciates a good prank.

Ignoring Snape's ignoring him,..is that the way to say it? Anyway,... Dumbledore fixes an eye on me and asks "Harry?"

Oh... what the hell...

I fall to my knees in supplication. "I didn't do it! I'm innocent,... innocent I tell you. It's a frame up! They're all conspiring against me. Wait,... no,... I know... It's not my fault because I'm criminally insane. I belong in St Brutus'. They'll beat the crazy out of me." I even manage a few crocodile tears for effect.

Dumbledore stares blankly at me while McGonagal is again gapping as if I've lost all reason. At least Snape gets the routine and laughs, actually laughs, appreciatively.

Snape's starting to grow on me. I still have to kill him, of course, but now I'm tempted to do it quick so that he doesn't suffer.

Un-amused, Dumbledore renders his decision. "You will reverse the spell you placed on Mr. Weasley. Gryffindor forfeits twenty-five points and you must serve detention with Professor Snape tonight."

"No..." I gasp in dread revulsion, my eyes as big as saucers,(at least I think they are).

"Not that? Anything, but that?" I plead, groveling for effect. "His hands are ice cold and he doesn't even wash between boys!" I shudder for effect.

"Last time he made me slow dance with him. The Horror...THE HORROR!" I shriek in terror, seizing the opportunity to flee from the room whimpering like a trauma victim as I bolt down the spiral staircase and scream unintelligibly while running down the hallway in panic.

I have to admit,... I'm good when I wanna be. Dumbles and company were so utterly shocked by my display that none even thought to try and stop my escape.

Snape, the git, he looked so absolutely mortified that it was all I could do not to break down in gut wrenching laughter.

Like I said,.. I'm good.

Well, since I've got some unexpected free time, I may as well use it wisely. I figure I've got about ten to twelve minutes before the Great Bat recovers enough to scurry back to his dungeon hole to prepare for my eventual detention, despite my best efforts to the contrary. I never really expected to get out of anything, I just couldn't think of a better way to get Snape out of his pit long enough to arrange a little surprise for him.

See, I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress, ask anyone? The moment Daphne started pleading her case, the wheels started to click. Draco's nothing. I can deal with him anytime. I first need to get Snape out of the picture. Draco's made enough enemies over the years that with his protector out of the picture, it'll be open season on the git. I won't even have to do anything, ( though we all still know I will), as everyone will want a piece of Draco payback.

Hmm, I suppose I could turn Ron back. He'll want dibs on Malfoy and who knows; maybe he'll land in a detention or two for his trouble?

I finish my musings, having arrived at heir Snape's "laboratory". Briefly I consider the direct approach,.. or the indirect approach? Hmm, decisions... decisions...?

Why not both?

I make my way to the cleaning sinks in the back and sure enough! Snape's already planning for my personal enjoyment. The git has a whole stack of filthy cauldrons put aside for yours truly.

I find the filthiest, God awful one of the whole bunch and cast my spell on the night black gunk covering the bottom with surgical precision. A few well placed charms and 'instant blackface' in a bowl. Bless Lavender Brown for her cosmetic charm brilliance, not to mention- vanity.

I'm an artist... a true prodigy of mayhem.

Now to set the stage for Snape's downfall.

I'm waiting patiently in McGonagal's private office. I know the lady. She has a soft spot for all things Gryffindor and a genuine dislike of Snape that I need to shed more doubt upon.

I whip up some tears by hitting myself in the face with a wandless 'stinging hex' . It stings like the devil , but I'm a stickler for authenticity.

My eyes and nose are watering something awful and by the heated stinging sensation; I know my face is as red and blotchy as all get out.

McGonagal enters her room to find me mewling in a fetal position in the corner of her office. I beg and plead with her to commute my sentence, hiccupping through my manufactured tears. She doesn't hesitate in her compassion, partially because of my dead parents, partly because she's never seen me cry before and I've no doubt it's a humbling experience the way I'm spreading it on.

She won't budge on the detention as it's on the Headmaster's direct orders, but she adamantly promises me that she will check on my welfare during said detention, to appease my unfounded fears. I can tell by the worried look in her eyes that I've managed to plant the seeds of doubt which was half my intention.

I play the morose, but grateful bit and snuffling forlornly; I make my exit with a defeated slump to my shoulders, casting back a wounded puppy expression as I stammer my reluctant thanks and depart, leaving the poor women in consternation, if not growing alarm.

I attend the last minutes of supper and make a show of worriedly pushing the food around my plate as I cast doleful eyes toward the headmaster, silently begging his mercy. I'm starving, but I can always feast after the slaughter. Its ten minutes till seven when I push my plate away with a defeated sigh and slump dejectedly toward my impending doom.

Snape's waiting with his triumphant sneer in place as I enter the dungeon potion's lab.

He points out the waiting cauldrons and instructs me to clean all of them- without magic, predictable, as he hovers over me insulting my parents, my Godfather, myself, Gryffindors ect...

Sensing the time is right, I pull the waiting catastrophe of a cauldron into my chapped and bleeding hands and make a show of trying vainly to remove the offending crud from the bottom.

After a grunt of strain and no results I sheepishly offer the cauldron up for Snape's inspection claiming innocently.. "I can't get this out."

He seizes the cauldron and peers into its depths grumbling about what a pathetic weakling I am.

My prank goes off as planned with an almighty bang, that rocks the room and alerts anyone nearby the classroom.

The Professor is still shaking the stars out of his eyes and fails to notice he's covered in sinister black make up, painted red lips and a matching red bow pulling back his greasy strands into a pony tail. The outfit's complete with a rubber corset and knee high boots over tight black leather pants and a whip ready to hand.

"No!" I scream at the top of my lungs. "Don't please,.. I'll be good...I'll be good!"

"Why you miserable brat!" the man seethes, throwing away the offending cauldron. He whips out his wand to rain hexes down on me, but falters when his eyes alight on the whip provided for his outfit.

Snape's eyes gleam malevolently as he grabs up the whip and pronounces that I've 'provided my own punishment and fitting one it is'.

A quick flick of his wand and he silences the door and applies several locking charms.

It's all I can do to feign terror instead of bob up and down on the balls of my feet in anticipation.

"N-No...please..."I beg, backing away from the infuriated man, pretending to be terrified. I cast my eyes toward the door to the hall, pretending to seek escape and he grins delightedly when I start to tear up in horror over my impending plight.

Despite the silencing charms I can see the door vibrating and know someone is either pounding or throwing hexes at the door trying to break in.

Snape goes a step farther and seals his fate by casting the loco mortis charm which hoists me upside down in the air like a piñata.

Another quick flick to shred my clothes from my back and the man sets to work.

Merlin...Oh, sorry, my bad... Christ! That stings like the devil !

At least he's thoroughly enjoying himself when the door crashes inwards and an enraged McGonagal storms into the room.

"Minerva.. wha..?" Snape barely registers his surprise before he's trussed up like a pig for market and silenced before he can say a word in his own defense.

Despite my vantage point; I can see dawning realization spread through the man's face as his jaw works silently in outrage over his own stupidity.

McGonagal casts a quick "Finite", lowering me gently to the floor where I pull myself into a ball whimpering and mewling as I shudder, (in glee), over my apparent plight, (good fortune).

She pulls me reluctantly into her arms , cooing gently and reassuringly to me and it's all I can do not to break down in unending laughter as I can see the absolute rage, warring with fright in Snape's eyes as the full ramifications of what I've set up here comes to fruition.

Like I said before the man's evil and though this may not get him the death he richly deserves for the lives he's undoubtedly had a hand in taking, I've at least effectively removed him permanently from harming other students.

One down and one to go. Oh, Draco...