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Chapter 6: The Fluffy Halloween Fiasco
The next eventful event of my life occurred on Halloween. All events previous were neither interesting nor conducive to my mental health if I have to relive now them by writing them down. I make a point never to be in a good mood, but in this particular year there was absolutely no risk of that, with Potter there as an exact replica of his father and McGonagall being all stroppy with me ever since I Stunned her. If we weren’t both mature, sensible adults, I’m quite sure we would have been hurling Dungbombs at each other in between classes…Well, actually, to be honest, we were. I hadn’t been able to hit her yet and she’d never even come close to me, but it drove Filch crazy. He thought the students were conspiring against him. I don’t think he slept.
Once, I was stalking around the castle looking for students out of bed when he started chasing me with a mop. He looked sensationally dotty, with his eyes nearly popping out and his hair sticking up in all sorts of odd ways, brandishing a dirty old mop like it was a spear. I was swatted seven times before he noticed that he was attacking a professor. And then he didn’t even apologize, he just sort of slumped against the wall and fell asleep, which was fortunate as it didn’t give him time to notice that my pockets and socks were bulging with Dungbombs, in case I ran into McGonagall. Poor man. I would feel sorry for him if I didn’t have a reputation to uphold.
But anyway, about Halloween. Everything was averagely unpleasant until the feast. I was taking a sip of pumpkin juice, feeling rather elated that Quirrel had chosen not to show up and irritate me, when the doors to the Great Hall slammed open. Flitwick, who is very excitable, was so startled that he leapt into my lap, somehow managing to knock my hand so that the entire glass of pumpkin juice was dumped right over my head. So not only was I sticky and wet, but I also had my male, elderly colleague in my lap. The whole thing was sensationally awkward for the both of us. I pretended to be paying attention to the fool Quirrel was making of himself while Flitwick removed himself with a lot of embarrassed mumblings.
Yes, it was Quirrel who had banged the doors. He flew in looking dramatically terrified; acting as if anyone actually cared that something had scared him. He ran too fast, however, and he careened into the Staff Table before he could stop, making all our drinks spill all over the place. Or mine would have spilled if it hadn’t been dripping down my robes already.
Anyway, then he said, “Troll—in the dungeons—thought you ought to know.” Then he sank to the floor in a faint. It’s not very reassuring when the school’s Defense teacher goes fainting all over the place at the first hint of danger. I stopped only to mention that to Dumbledore before springing into action.
I heard Flitwick say, “A troll? Why—and how—did a troll get in?”
Well, I knew exactly why. Dumbledore. It was the troll he had set to guard his fuzzy socks. The fuzzy socks that I had stolen. Dumbledore had sent the thing out when he knew we were all at the feast. He sent it to the dungeons, but I was too clever for him. As far as I knew, the socks were still on the third floor with Fluffy. Still, while trolls are dumb, they have a very keen sense of smell…and Dumbledore’s socks are quite easy to smell, I promise you.
So while Dumbledore was calming everyone down, I slipped out the side door. I walked briskly to the third floor, worried about “Fluffy” and what I would do if the troll had beaten me to the socks. I knew that I would not set my hostages free until I got the Defense Against the Dark Arts job, but I could hardly fight a troll and a mutated dog at the same time.
Well, it turns out that I didn’t need to worry about the troll. The dog was too much for me to handle anyway.
The door was closed and the troll was nowhere in sight. I unlocked the door and entered—slowly and cautiously. Fluffy was curled up over the trap door and I could see the pile of socks in the corner. One of Fluffy’s heads rose up and eyed me. I paused, but he/she/it didn’t make a move, so I crept along, pressed against the wall towards the socks. Fluffy began to growl then, so I burst into song.
“And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-ee-IIIIIIIIIIIII will always love you-oooooooooooooooooo. And III—“
I am ashamed to admit that before I could even finish the chorus, Fluffy lost it. She leapt up and snapped at me, but I dodged her, grabbed some socks, and ran for the door, shooting random spells as I went. Still, it was doomed. She has three mouths. Three. So just as my hand was on the door handle, she bit me pretty badly on the leg. I’ll probably have the scars for the rest of my life.
Now would also be a good time to explain why I would burst into song in the heat of battle. You see, Hagrid is the one who takes care of Fluffy and he should really be the only one who knows how to calm her, but, you see, Hagrid is also very fond of drink. Whenever he gets drunk (which is not seldom, mind you) he tells at least five people how to tame Fluffy. I don’t know why he does it. He just does. So every once in a while he’ll come and bang down the dungeon door, all tipsy and smelling of mead.
“Severus,” he says, “I have a three headed dog. Ever seen one o’ those? Aren’t you interested to know how to tame ‘em?"
“No,” I will usually reply good-naturedly. But he always says anyway. Sometimes I wonder what the point of me ever talking is. No one ever bothers listening no matter how brilliant I am.
“Well, you just play a bit o’ music and he falls right to sleep, that’s all you does!” And then he slaps me on the back (which feels a bit like getting hit by a train) and toddles off, weaving about and crashing into things and such, off to find the next person to tell. It’s a strange habit, I admit, but I thought it would come in handy. Apparently I was wrong.
I think I need to work on my singing.
So anyway, I had just run out the door with five pairs of socks in my hand and blood running down my leg when Quirrel crashed into me. I don’t know what his problem is with walking like a normal person. He went into a sort of nervous spasm. He’s another fellow who’s rather too excitable for his own good.
“Severus!” he squeaked, and then cleared his throat and then said in a normal octave, “What are you doing here?”
“I could ask the same of you, Quirrel. I suppose you’re running away from the troll? Not a very good quality in a Defense teacher, don’t you think?”
Well by that time he had almost recovered himself so he said, “Not at all, I was looking for the thing, s-same as you, I assume.”
“Ri—right,” I said, thankful he had made an excuse for me. I was in no state to think one up for myself. He was eying the socks so I quickly shoved them in the mouth of nearby gargoyle (which then spat them right back at me, cursing and carrying on) and said, “Those students, always leaving their things around. . .losing their socks all over the place. You know.”
He very clearly didn’t know, but he didn’t seem to mind so we set off to look for that blasted troll that caused all the trouble in the first place. We ran into McGonagall, who was looking very disheveled with her hair flying about and all, pretending that she actually cared for the students’ safety. She said she had heard screams from the girl’s bathroom, and Quirrel said that he had thought so too, though I personally believe that Quirrel was just saying that so he could get the chance to go into a girl’s bathroom, as he had been with me all the time and never mentioned any screams.
Well, anyway, then we heard this great thud from the bathroom’s direction so we began to run. Or rather McGonagall began to run and we had to follow so that we could prove we were good teachers too. My run was more of a wincing limp/pirouette because of my injury. I’m rather good at handling pain, but the bite was deep and messy.
When we arrived at the bathroom (panting like a bunch of old hippos—really, the school should offer some sort of fitness program so we teachers don’t have to embarrass ourselves like that whenever there’s an emergency), the troll was already knocked out and laying on the ground, if you’ll believe it. Quirrel almost pissed his pants of fright and he ran over to sit on a toilet just in case. He was pretending that he just needed to sit down out of shock, but I wasn’t fooled.
But then we turn, and guess who is standing there. You will never guess. It is too much of an outrage to ever guess. Even when I tell you his name you will still not be able to guess, it is so shockingly infuriating. Harry Potter. I gaped for only a second. I was going to start screaming, but McGonagall beat me to it, which was rather lucky as I’m quite sure what was about to come out of mouth was not exactly…child friendly.
The children stammered for a while (he was with his two little friends, a smarty pants and a ginger-nob. (I at that moment resolved to never learn their names, just to spite them). Finally the smarty-pants confessed that she went looking for the troll and the two boys came to save her. Potter’s ego almost hit the ceiling when she said that, but I think I was the only one who noticed. I could see it sort of growing and bulging until it suffocated everything around it, but when I mentioned that to McGonagall later she looked at me as if I was quite mad and then hurled a rock at me.
The worst part about it all, though, was that for most of smarty-pant’s confession, Potter, I am quite certain, was ogling my feet. McGonagall has been spreading rumors about them even to the children! I very pointedly whipped my robes in front of them and sneered at him. Having sexy feet is such a burden…Though, now that I think of it, it’s quite possible that Potter was only noticing the blood running down my leg…but I doubt it.
The end result was that Gryffindor was awarded five points. I’m pretty sure that McGonagall only did so few points so that I wouldn’t explode. She was sort of eyeing me nervously the entire time; I think I must have looked exceptionally sour. Then after the students left, I yelled:
“Last one out has to clean up the troll!” and McGonagall and I ran like rhinoceroses, pushing and shoving and grunting out the door while Quirrel blinked stupidly at us. I don’t know how he ever managed to get it out and I’m not bothering to ask. He might start to think I am actually interested in his life, which would be an irreversible tragedy.
I will finish with these closing words:
I hate Harry Potter.
A/N—Um, I committed a sort of sin this chapter. I mixed the movie and book worlds. I know that Harry doesn’t notice Snape’s leg until later on (in the book), but I couldn’t resist Snape thinking Harry was interested in his feet…Hope you’ll forgive me!