In the DADA classroom deep inside Hogwarts Castle, three-quarters of the occupants there were glumly silent, while they waited for this year's new teacher to show up and start the course. This extremely dejected mood was shared by every Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw student. On the other hand, the Slytherins were openly gloating about the Head of their House finally attaining the post he'd been seeking for years.
From the small group of teenagers wearing green-and-silver striped ties, a jovial voice nastily wagered, "Two galleons says Scarhead doesn't survive the first ten minutes!"
The rest of the class shot a nervous look at the front of the room, where the seated young man with messy hair covering a famous healed wound in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead slouched, seemingly oblivious to Draco Malfoy's latest taunt. In fact, Harry Potter continued to blankly gaze straight ahead at the blackboard on the far wall, still stuck in his state of thorough depression ever since arriving at the castle for his fourth year, and then finding out exactly who was going to take over from Professor Lupin this term.
Eyeing with alarm her unresponsive friend at her side, Hermione Granger comfortingly patted Harry's shoulder several times, and then she suggested with actual hope in her tone, "Listen, Harry, it might not be that bad! I mean, the Headmaster had to agree to this, and surely Dumbledore wouldn't allow Professor Snape to do anything too horrible to you, right?"
Harry didn't even blink in his thousand-yard stare. Seeing this, Hermione leaned back to hiss past Harry at the other young man on the right side of their bench, "Ron, say something supportive!"
Abruptly jerked out of his own serious gloom, Ron Weasley let his mouth run away in a truly tactless request, "Can I have your broom when you've been hexed to pieces, mate?"
Sunk in his abject misery, Harry ignored the pained yelp of a red-haired berk getting a vicious punch on his arm from someone with impressive upper-body strength gained by lugging around dozens of textbooks at a time. Rather, the Boy-Who-Wasn't-Going-To-Live-Much-Longer fatalistically waited for his doom to descend.
Striding purposefully down the castle corridor, this approaching doom was just barely refraining from skipping along in sheer delight. He was Professor Severus Snape, the nightmare of a generation of Hogwarts students, and he didn't do skipping. True, when he'd finally gotten back to his living quarters in the building dungeons after being informed of the good news from Dumbledore at the Headmaster's office, Snape had allowed himself a few minutes of ecstatic celebration. This might've involved a modicum of hopping around in pure glee, but that was in total privacy and not witnessed by any gaping onlookers.
Allowing his habitual sneer to lighten slightly, the black-robed figure came to a stop in front of the closed classroom door, and Snape took a moment to savor his triumph. At long last, he'd achieved the position which none but he deserved, instructing the Defence Against the Dark Arts curriculum. It'd been essentially torture over the years, seeing all those other incompetents being given this highly respected position, and then with them ineptly presenting their ludicrous attempts at teaching such an important part of the wizarding world. Why, those blunderers had always gone so far as trying to justify their failures with that idiotic excuse of the appointment itself actually being cursed!
Rolling his eyes in utter contempt at such a feeble reason for his predecessors' lack of success, the greasy-haired wizard proudly drew himself up. Just a few more steps into the classroom, and then the legend of Professor Snape, DADA teacher par excellence, would begin…
Without any warning at all, an immense surge of magical energy appearing out of nowhere covered entirely the form of the man in the corridor, holding him fully immobilized. Standing there in shock, Snape then felt his body jerkily moving on its own volition, with his wand being drawn and held out in front at head level. Worse of all, this piece of enchanted wood started to wave in ever-increasing gyrations, signaling a powerful spell of some kind was about to be cast. At the same time, a horrified Snape felt his mouth fall open, just before a previously unknown incantation materializing in his mind was loudly delivered, ringing throughout the Hogwarts corridor.
A few seconds later, the classroom door opened, and someone walked in. All of the students there initially observed with either fear, apprehension, or smugness this new arrival, only to then have identical expressions of out-and-out bogglement appear upon the faces of every young man and woman in the room.
It was Professor Snape, they all numbly realized, no question about it. However, there were several little things different about the Potions Master at this specific moment. Such as the actual avuncular…smile on this wizard's tanned countenance. Not to mention instead of his usual midnight-dark robes, he was currently dressed in what the muggleborn recognized as a genuinely clichéd academic outfit right from any college film or television program from the past couple of decades. This consisted of shiny wing-tip shoes, good pants slightly baggy at the knees, a tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbows, a sweater vest, and a clumsily-knotted regimental tie over a white shirt.
Most incomprehensible of all, instead of oily, shoulder-length hair, this man's coiffure was a crew cut straight out of the 1950's, with distinguished patches of grey hair at the temples.
In the stunned silence throughout the classroom, Snape walked over to stand by the teacher's desk, and after coming to a halt there, he began to search through the pockets of his jacket. Ignoring the students staring at him, the professor soon happily removed several objects from this garment. These consisted of a tobacco pouch used to fill up a smoker's pipe, which was then lit with a Zippo lighter. Sticking the end of the pipestem into his mouth, Snape puffed several times on this, sending a scent of cherry-flavored tobacco drifting throughout the room.
Now that he'd gotten his pipe going comfortably, Professor Snape looked out at the stupefied audience, each unaware they were now seeing the most recent example of the famed DADA curse. Beaming at his new students (who simultaneously recoiled in their unease), the teacher pulled the pipe out of his mouth, and he pleasantly announced to all and sundry, "Good morning, class."
An hour later, Severus Snape staggered outside into the corridor through the classroom doorway, slamming shut this panel after him. Fortunately, those little perishers in there were still finishing up their notes from one of the most expertly delivered lectures on Dark Arts they'd ever heard, so they wouldn't be following him right away. Which meant nobody else in the stone hallway saw how a shuddering professor then magically transformed from a campus cliché into his normal malevolent wizardness. Sighing with relief as he tossed back his regained greasy hair, Snape immediately made a beeline for the Headmaster's office. Dumbledore had damned well better have a way to end that bloody curse, even if he'd previously claimed this was impossible. Failing that, the next best thing to do would be to obliviate the whole class-
Abruptly clutching at his roiling stomach, Snape had to pause in his hasty trek at a handy, remote corridor corner, where he spent an unhappy minute or two throwing up in there. He'd never smoked before in his entire life, and cherry wasn't his favorite flavor in the first place, besides.
Mistrustfully edging down the Hogwarts corridor to his assigned DADA classroom, Snape held his wand ready for anything.
The tale of yesterday's fiasco had been joyously recounted to everyone else in the castle by those students fortunate enough to have seen their Slytherin teacher affected by the mysterious magical curse laid upon his position. Dumbledore, rot him, had a few chuckles of his own over it all, and this other elderly wizard also benignly repeated his inability to do anything about the Defence Against the Dark Arts curse. Nor would he wipe away those little buggers' memories, "…since that would rather defeat the purpose of being taught, don't you agree, Severus?"
At least Snape managed afterwards to terrify his students back into their normal cowering anxiety in his potions class later that afternoon. Draco Malfoy had acted idiotically as usual by walking right up to the darkly brooding Head of Slytherin House seated at his desk in the classroom. Once more proving the pureblood of the British wizarding world were getting a little too inbred, that tow-haired teenager had completely overlooked Snape's smoldering attitude, akin to a vulture suffering from severe hemorrhoids. Instead, Draco then arrogantly congratulated Snape for no longer looking like a detested mudblood-
A full hundred points confiscated from Slytherin and a month's detention for Malfoy with Argus Filch, the castle caretaker, for insulting a professor right to his face ensured nobody else would ever openly mention this again. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything he could do about the muffled giggles following in his wake as Snape irately stalked through Hogwarts throughout the rest of the day.
It was now the next morning, and once again time for his DADA class, just a few steps further on to where he'd been hit by the curse yesterday. Waving his wand to strengthen his personal shields, Snape cautiously approached this specific point, only to have nothing at all happen to him. His spirits actually lifting at this good news, Snape advanced a bit further, reaching out to touch the doorknob-
Inside the expectantly awaiting classroom, the entire student body suddenly flinched in shared shock when the room's door burst into flame, before completely crumpling into ashes. These cinders were then trodded upon by an ablaze form grandly sweeping through the now-open doorway, with this creature composed of pure fire unfolding gloriously glowing white wings stretching across the entire room. In a voice of thunder which shook the very stones of the castle, Severus Snape now declared, "I AM THE METATRON!"
Tidily folding away his napkin on the staff table after a most delicious lunch, Albus Dumbledore glanced up from this to meet the eager gazes on the young faces of the castle students seated at their own tables. This same expression was also shown by some of the school's faculty, so without further ado…
Standing up from his chair, the Headmaster cleared his throat, and with a steady twinkle in his eyes, he announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, the DADA class detention for the full school year as punishment for attacking a professor is hereby revoked."
Dumbledore patiently waited for the cheers from every House table (even the Slytherins) to die down, before continuing. "According to Miss Grangers' very logical arguments, having a burning man unexpectedly walk into your classroom would naturally produce from anyone here, myself included, the aguamenti charm. After all, it would've made perfect sense to direct that strong stream of water from your wand right at this person in order to extinguish the flames covering them. In fact, I'm awarding ten points for all the students who were there as a reward for their class solidarity, given how all of those very…powerful jets of drenching liquid were done in perfect cooperation and with dead-on targeting."
Again, the deadpan Headmaster waited for the laughter rocking the whole Great Hall to finish. Going on in his remarks, Dumbledore mentioned, "Oh, by the way, for the next few days, the potions classes from Professor Snape will be in abeyance. Assignments will be left on the room blackboard, and you'll be expected to complete these on your own. Apparently, our fellow Hogwarts teacher will be spending all his time in the school library doing research on the DADA curse. I'm sure we wish him the best of luck in his scholarly endeavors, but it wouldn't be at all advisable to disturb him in this. One last note: despite the numerous requests I've received lately for transfers into Professor Snape's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, that course is full for now, so we'll have to see what happens in the future regarding this. Thank you, and carry on."
Right, the embarrassing incidents of the past few days were not going to repeat themselves, given all his extensive preparations for the latest attempt during the middle of the school week. Professor Snape had a wand in either hand, another firmly clenched between his teeth, and he'd also draped so many mystical amulets, talismans, and lucky charms over his black robes that this wizard actually clanked when he shuffled along the Hogwarts corridor.
Beadily eyeing the innocently-shut door to the DADA classroom, Severus Snape girded his loins for battle. That curse was going down.
On the other side of the door replaced yesterday by the castle's house-elves, close to twenty teenagers were waiting in their seats with bated breath. Virtually all of these young people kept their wands handy (just in case), except for one specific person.
Holding Colin Creevey's camera ready, Neville Longbottom nervously went over again inside his head one final time the detailed instructions he'd been given by the other, younger Hogwarts student on how to use this magical picture taker. Colin had only reluctantly turned over his precious camera to Neville when that junior photographer had been unable to transfer into Snape's class. Along with dire warnings of the numerous hexes he'd inflict upon the Longbottom scion if his camera was damaged in any way, Colin then prudently removed the lens cap beforehand.
Desperately trying to remember everything, Neville was taken off guard, along with the rest of his companions, by the door to the classroom being kicked open. This was followed by an athletic figure dressed in leathers making a soaring leap into the room. Landing lightly on his booted feet in front of the awestruck students, Professor Snape made several grand flourishes with his rapier. This expert brandishing of his blade finished with the slim sword being held in salute in front of the teacher's features, while Snape then fervently declared, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father; prepare to die!"
"Eeep," escaped from Neville's slack lips, as without actually meaning to, his fingers tightened upon the camera…and the button for the flash attachment.
An immense blast of white light from the camera promptly blinded everyone in the room, including somebody who immediately reacted to this very strange attack.
Tears streaming down his face while he frantically tried to blink clear his vision, Neville heard a worrying Crunch! sound coming from the desktop before him, along with a totally unexpected hard shove against his hands still holding the camera.
At last able to see again, a horrified young wizard looked down at where the needle point of a yard of deadly steel had been thrust completely through Colin's camera, starting with the shattered lens. It was clear this cherished item and whatever picture inside were both utterly destroyed.
Forlornly glancing up, Neville gazed directly into Professor Snape's sardonic countenance, who then matter-of-factly informed the boy there, "Niño, I sense you have a thirst equal to mine for vengeance, so it would be most wise to stay alive for this. Train, plan, and have victory over your enemies!"
With those last words, the second-greatest swordsman in the world now lifted his weapon from the desktop, with the camera still spitted on this blade. Effortlessly carrying his trophy over to the teacher's desk and the wastebasket nearby, Señor Montoya then allowed the ruined camera to slide off his sword into that trash receptacle. With one smooth motion, the rapier was sheathed at the lean man's side, who then turned around to regard the enthralled class, all eager for today's DADA instruction to begin.
Except for Neville, who gloomily wondered just how he was going to explain to Colin about this.
Severus Snape didn't think he could take much more of this. Looking back mere weeks ago, the morose wizard couldn't believe how unconcerned his attitude had been around then about that so-called curse which was presumed to wreak havoc upon any wizard who dared to teach the Defence Against the Dark Arts course at Hogwarts.
Well, now he knew better. Oh, yes, indeed. That bloody curse definitely existed, and today, it'd truly outdone itself.
It might've been different if the castle professor had any success whatsoever in finding some way to break or alleviate the curse laid on the DADA position. Unfortunately, nothing had worked at all, despite Snape's sleepless hours of study and experimentation about possible wards to protect him from being changed into increasingly bizarre people both looking and behaving far more eccentrically than this man had even considered possible. Much less ever wanted to directly experience, such as right this minute in the DADA classroom he'd stepped into a moment ago.
Observing in a mood of total defeat his transformed body acting entirely on its own, Snape felt his possessed form take a deep breath, which further swelled an already impressive bosom. A cheery expression exactly the opposite of his real feelings now spread over Snape's unaltered face slathered with enough blush, powder, and lipstick to effortlessly fend off the deadly Avada Kedavra hex. Patting with a dainty feminine gesture the bottom of her curled hair dyed light purple, a woman of a certain age dressed in a flamboyant feathered evening gown then merrily peered through her rhinestone-studded cat's eye glasses having ornate curlicues at the upper corners of these spectacles.
To the entire dumbfounded class staring in shock at Professor Snape's latest makeover caused by a curse with a seriously evil sense of humor, Dame Edna Everage now gaily caroled, "Hello, possums!"
Severus Snape roared "I QUIT!" at the top of his lungs.
This deafening bellow was loud enough to cause items scattered throughout the Headmaster's office to vibrate in place, with the mysterious metallic items arrayed along the shelves of the bookcase on the far left wall tinkling faintly in response. It also sent a startled Fawkes ducking his head under one wing as the phoenix perched on his stand in the room corner tried to protect his ears. A few seconds later, when nothing further injurious occurred to this bird's hearing, Fawkes warily peeked out from under his feathers.
At the middle of the room inside the top of the magical castle's highest tower, his master was pensively regarding the other wizard standing in front of Dumbledore's desk and at the moment bearing an irate face and fists clenched in absolute fury. In his typical grandfatherly tone, Albus then solemnly stated, "That isn't a decision to be made lightly, Severus. Have you really thought it through, resigning from Hogwarts?"
"What?" barked Snape, abruptly distracted from his towering rage. He gaped with disbelief at where the Headmaster was placidly gazing back, until Snape suddenly realized he was being teased simply for the other's amusement.
Sending towards the elderly wizard a supremely poisonous glare which should've slaughtered the impish school administrator on the spot, Snape then snarled, "I mean, as you quite well know, that I'm here to give my notice about the Defence Against the Dark Arts position! Enough's enough! I won't do it any more! Give the bloody job to someone else, and I'll gladly go back to teaching potions, even with the newest crop of dunderheads there! Anything to get away from that damned curse!"
Quizzically lifting a bushy eyebrow at the younger man's vehemence, Dumbledore reasonably pointed out, "I do believe I mentioned that detrimental consequence laid upon the DADA position whenever you previously petitioned for it, Severus. Furthermore, the topic was also raised at our last meeting concerning this, and you were most dismissive-"
"Fine, I was wrong!" gritted Snape, looking as if he'd swallowed something even more foul than usual. This wizard then forced out through reluctant lips, "Headmaster, I'm unable to effectively complete my teaching duties as the Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor due to the nature of the numerous unwanted magical transformations during this - all through no fault of my own! - and I'm here to formally request your permission to vacate my post…please!"
Well, now. The original magic word had at last been invoked from Professor Severus Snape, for the very first time in that difficult man's entire career at Hogwarts. Beaming at the glowering younger wizard, Dumbledore mentally marked this date as a day to indeed happily recollect in the future. Besides, of course, the other, equally treasured spectacle of exactly what'd happened today after the skilled potions master had ventured once more through the door to the DADA classroom-
Hmmm, Severus definitely did appear as if he'd either explode or start hexing everybody within range in the next two seconds, so it'd best be done quickly. Maintaining an utterly straight face yet with his eyes twinkling more brightly than before, the wizard well past his first century sat up in his desk chair, and he sonorously recited, "By the powers vested in me as the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, do hereby terminate the employment of Severus Tobias Snape as the Defence Against the Dark Arts educator. So mote it be!"
At once, a flash of enchanted illumination burst in the office, a white light momentarily brighter than the sun, leaving two wizards blinking away their dazzlement at this sign the magic of Hogwarts had surely done something. Eagerly looking down at his transformed self, Snape's impatient expression soon changed into growing anxiety at witnessing no change at all to either his body or his clothing.
Glancing back up with an actual pathetic stare sent appealingly at the other man behind his office desk, Snape then heard from a musing Dumbledore, "I must admit, Severus, given how the curse was beginning to noticeably expand in its effects on both you and elsewhere, it was rather prudent to end it today. Oh, don't worry. I think the last of it will wear off in no more than a few minutes, at the most."
A rare expression of genuine thankfulness blossomed upon Snape's normally sour countenance, only to alter into just as honest puzzlement. This same confusion was apparent in the professor's voice when he asked, "Wait, what'd you mean, about the curse-?"
It wasn't solely the twirled forefinger in which Dumbledore had now used to urge him to turn around which stopped Snape halfway through his question. There'd also been the disquieting suppressed snickers coming from the open room door behind the younger wizard, left ajar when Snape had barged into the office after his frantic sprint all the way up here from the DADA classroom.
Slowly glancing over his shoulder in sudden dread, Severus Snape gazed straight into the joyous face of Harry James Potter standing in the doorway. Behind this teenage boy, in a single line reaching down the office stairs as far as Snape could see, were the rest of today's DADA class, who were all sustaining their own looks of utter glee. Even Malfoy and the other Slytherins there presented identical malicious smirks to their Head of House. Seeing the latter, Snape felt rising in his mind a sense of righteous outrage over such insubordination coming from his own snakes.
Professor Snape was unfortunately beginning to remember what else had also happened during his mad dash to the Headmaster's office. For some odd reason, instead of heading directly there, he'd run rampant throughout the entire castle, and during this, the potions master had gathered up along with him virtually everyone there in the whole building. No matter who they were, what they'd previously been doing, or their personal feelings about being swept up in today's chaos, all of the teachers and students at Hogwarts had chased after Severus Snape racing to Dumbledore's office. Even now after coming to a halt, they were still standing there in their single long line, reaching from that Potter brat to probably the youngest first-year wizard or witch somewhere back at the Great Hall.
It had to be the curse! But why would-?
Still frozen in looking over his shoulder, Snape now watched that bastard James' son smile wickedly, and Harry Potter now started loudly humming a jaunty tune. This jingle was picked up immediately by Hermione Granger close behind, who shook with silent laughter while still joining in perfect harmony with her green-eyed friend. A pureblood Ron Weasley just stared in bafflement at his muggleborn pals, until with an accepting shrug, the redhead boy quickly picked up the simple melody, and he too started humming. The same thing passed down the line of people, whether from the wizarding world or the mundane one, until the entire castle resounded with a musical din.
Whipping his head back around to start demanding the Headmaster do something about this sheer defiance against a staff teacher, Snape then gawked in pure betrayal at Albus Dumbledore using his wand as a baton to extravagantly conduct his own cheerful humming. The really absurd culmination of this was when even Fawkes became involved, with the phoenix still seated on his perch enthusiastically bobbing his head in time with "Yakety Sax."
The dissipating curse took this opportunity to get in one last lick against its latest victim, whether he liked it or most decidedly didn't. A bespectacled Fred Scuttle snapped his pudgy body overflowing out of a hotel doorman's scarlet/black/gold uniform into a preposterous semblance of attention, to then bring up his right arm at just below the brim of his cap worn to the side. This ended with a delighted Dumbledore being delivered a flawless, open-palm Benny Hill salute.
Author's Note: Regarding the Tuesday chapter, yes, I know the aguamenti charm is taught to sixth-year students at Hogwarts in the books. In case you haven't noticed, this is decidedly an AU story.