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Chapter 4: Shoe Shoppin' Snape
The next day, I came out of the closet (and I mean that in the most literal, non-homosexual of ways). I would prefer not to describe what led up to my exit. It is very painful for me to recall. Let me just say that it involved the three most loony people in the universe, a cat, a lobster, and the ghost of Oscar Wilde camping outside the cupboard door and alternating between karaoke and sharing ludicrously detailed past-relationship stories. Nothing could have induced me to run away so fast as Filch’s singing voice or Dumbledore and Trelawney bonding over their last love affairs (not with each other, of course…I shouldn’t have even brought that up; I have developed a twitch), both of which occurred over thirty years ago. And now I am shuddering. Nothing is so bad for the nerves as this school, I can tell you. I need a 20-hour sleep and a new life. Perhaps one with a garden and pet peacocks.
In addition to all my regular pain and toil, Shoe Shopping Day came, like a smack on the bottom, a few days later. I was hoping to avoid it for a few more decades, but Dumbledore made a comment about my old shoes that I simply could not bear.
He said that they were just his style. And he was right, which, as you can imagine, made me strangely willing to take my own life.
You see, it’s a very hard job finding shoes to fit my image. I can still remember the look on McGonagall’s face when she saw me sweeping down the hall in bright white trainers. I thought that the person she had been talking to (Dumbledore) had just made a very good joke, and you can imagine what pleasure she took in correcting me.
“What is so funny?” I snapped, never one to miss a good joke.
“Your—feet,” she wheezed, before falling over and knocking over a suit of armor, which then began to chase her in circles. Still, much as that spectacle amused me, the insult to my footwear would not be erased.
You know, now I realize, in retrospect that it was impossible for Dumbledore to have made a good joke. The funniest thing he has ever done was unintentional. It was about five years ago, when he tripped and slid down to my dungeon door, shouting all kinds of amusing profanities (the floor slants downwards). It was actually the Third Favorite Moment of My Lifetime when he tried to get up again, but his feet came right out from under him and he fell back on his rear. I have never laughed so hard. And never will again.
But anyhow, my next pair of shoes I believe were those sort of sensible sandals with the Velcro strap round the back that let me feel the wind through my toes. Those, however, got a similar reaction from the sanity-challenged members of our staff (Sprout and McGonagall, who are never particularly friends until it comes to laughing at me. It is truly demoralizing to be laughed at by two old hags, one of whose name matches her profession, which is so naff that it borders on criminal). So the sandals as well were retired to the Closet of No Return, which also holds old eighties outfits and the stick-on moustache that I used to be so fond of.
Then, for nearly six months last year I was able to get along barefoot, making sure only to wear my extra-long robes. It was very painful (walking to Hogsmeade—in the snow. That would not agree with anyone.).
But then came the Noodle Incident, which is another fiasco that I will never disclose to even this most secretive Account of my Life. The Noodle Incident will go with me to the grave. In any case, Dumbledore/McGonagall (because sometimes they sound so similarly irritating that they may as well just be the same person) and I had a row, so I stormed out of Old Dumb’s office in a very billowy-imposing way, sporting the pissed-off look to end all pissed-off looks. Unfortunately, the billowing got a little out of hand, exposing my bare (but perfectly pedicured) feet. Dumbledore yelled something completely ridiculous and off-topic about a dress code, and McGonagall just gasped. Many times. I thought she might have been dying, so I whipped around expectantly, but I was mistaken. She was merely expressing shock. How dare she express shock in so ambiguous a manner?
Well, as you can imagine, this only made me angrier, so I kicked the wall (breaking two toes, as I later found out), and limped off to the Hospital Wing, which sort of ruined the dramatic affect.
Still, I was not inclined to put on shoes until two weeks later when I overheard Minerva and Professor Sinistra speaking.
“They were just so sexy,” said Minerva, which in itself made me trip over myself and fall to the ground with a severe stomachache.
“His feet?” asked Sinistra. I gagged. Quietly.
“Yes—oh, I can’t explain it. It’s very silly of me, but I’ve never seen better feet.”
Sinistra paused, probably to throw up, as I was ready to do.
“Sorry, but Severus Snape? Sexy feet?” She paused again, while I went into spasms, “I guess I’ll just have to see them for myself.”
And ran, but of course in a non-feet-exposing way, which I imagine made me look like a skittish duck, which is why I never imagine for long.
Ever since then I had covered every inch of foot with a high-heeled, black, silver-buckled boot. Most unfortunately so did Dumbledore, so naturally upon notice of this I was forced to skitter off in between classes to that God-forsaken shoe store. I remain amazed it didn’t take my life.
The dashing dress shoes that I acquired from the experience, however, are well worth mentioning. The number of blisters I acquired, immaterial.