“Harry didn’t know whether he was imagining it or not, but he seemed to keep running into Snape wherever he went.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone
I didn’t know if I was imaging it or not, but I seemed to keep running into Harry Potter wherever I went—in the classroom, in the hall, by the Lake, on the Quidditch field, in the Quidditch stands, under the Quidditch stands, in the bathroom, in the staff bathroom, once even in the girls bathroom (an innocent mistake on my part, don’t ask), in Dumbledore’s office, in my office, in an entirely empty office, in the greenhouses, behind the greenhouses, behind the man-eating stump behind the pile of manure behind the greenhouses, in Hagrid’s hut, under Hagrid’s porch, under a particularly large pile of snow nearby Hagrid’s hut, behind Hagrid’s hut, behind Hagrid, in the Great Hall, in the kitchens, on the Astronomy Tower, in Flitwick’s class, in the large cabinet in Flitwick’s class, and, most sickeningly, once, in my dreams.
At first, it was easy to be horrible to him. It was simple to say, “Potter…what an unpleasant surprise,” or, “My pet troll’s grandma could improve upon that potion,” or, “Is it difficult to see with your nose so high up in the air?” or “The Boy Who Lived, it seems, lives…and does very little else. [insert sneer here].”
They just sort of came to me.
But even Masters of Wit such as myself need a break every now and then to gather their thoughts. With so many constant meetings with Potter, my hilarious and biting remarks began to run thin. It was very difficult. Especially since “your mum” jokes would have been a violation of my very heart, soul, and being (and those, unfortunately, are my very particular specialty).
At first it wasn’t so bad. I resorted to saying things like:
“Comb your hair.”
“I hope your fat head will fit through the door.”
And “Bite me.”
But eventually I lost all inspiration. I was, to be frank, an embarrassment to Sebastian “Snappy” Snape’s illustrious name. I began saying things like:
“You have glasses. That’s funny.”
“I was friends with your mum.”
These really are the times that try men’s souls.
And it didn’t help that I was more or less attempting the impossible at the time…
“For the last time, Severus! You can’t ride a broomstick and cover your eyes at the same time! You need your hands for steering, for Dung’s Sake, and your eyes for—for seeing! I don’t know how Dumbledore expects you to referee the game in this state—You’ve got no more’n two weeks to get it right!”
Madam Hooch liked to hear herself talk. She had no real other reason for speaking. No one was interested. I hadn’t even asked her to teach me how to ride a broomstick, she just sort of appeared every time I gave it a go.
I wonder if that is how annoying I am while the students try to brew potions. I do hope so.
Anyway, she simply would not leave me be, and—aside for the two times when she saved my life—she made trying to ride a broom a very vexing experience.
(On a side note, I also think her alarmingly yellow eyes can shoot fire.)
Really, it’s not my fault a cleaning item is a shoddy and insufficient means of transport (I tell my broom as much every day—it makes me feel better). After all, the thing weighs about as much as my left arm (that’s the weaker one—the right one is in all likelihood much heavier, and rather impressively muscular, if I do say so myself).
I don’t know what Hooch was whining about anyway. After two weeks of intense training, I could hover about ten feet in the air on my broom, and sort of drift slowly about. It was mostly the wind pushing me, but still. I thought it was an accomplishment. Now if I could only learn to yell “Penalty!” and drift at the same time, I would be a natural referee. I don’t know what Hooch expected—to make a professional out of me, possibly.
She also had this strange habit of hexing me every time I referred to her as “Hoochie-Mama.”
Truly mind boggling.
Tragically, Dumbledore began getting on my case about those poems I was supposedly meant to write for him—to release my inner anger or some such poppycock. See, at the time I had thought he was joking a very sick, sick joke. He, on the other other hand, had thought he was serious.
He even threatened to dock my pay:
“I will dock your pay,” he said.
“Poetry-writing was not in my contract,” I retorted smugly.
He smiled his most frightening of smiles at me and said, “Actually…”
He began to rummage in his desk drawer.
I was flummoxed and baffled. Woebegone and flabbergasted. Befuddled and perplexed. Who knew that the fine print in my teaching contract had read: “The employee will produce any literature, for publication, school use, or otherwise, at the discretion of the Headmaster”? I certainly hadn’t. If I had known, for example, I would have instead become a toilet cleaner.
As I stormed back to my office, I cornered Flitwick and pinned him against the wall.
“Has Dumbledore ever made you write poetry to relieve anger?” I demanded.
“No,” said Flitwick, “Though he did once make me write a reflective novella using only the second-person with nature symbolism to relieve heartache. And an operetta to relieve back pain.”
I nodded and set the man back down.
If Dumbledore wanted poetry, he would get poetry, but first, I had some pressing matters to attend to. Quirrel, you see, had stood me up on our date, where I had intended to threaten him and scare him turbanless. He had ignored the angry, intimidating note, so it was time to take a different tact:
I cannot hold it in any more. We are twin souls, burning together in the dark, destined to be together, and I love you—madly, passionately, with all my feeble heart. Please meet me in the Forbidden Forest in Lover’s Pasture under the beech tree after the Quidditch game next week—even if you are not yet ready to open your heart and kindle the bright, burning flame of love.
Love and everything else I own,
Your Secret Admirer
I know it may not seem like it now, but in my youth I was a big proponent and avid writer of the Love Letter. And anyway, that would at least ensure his arrival. I sealed the envelope with a kiss and sent it. I hope to all heavens you did not believe I was serious about the kiss thing. Anyone who would believe that is a filthy, unhealthy, imbalanced person.
I drew forth another piece of blank parchment. Really, how hard could poetry be?
One hour (and eight limericks that started with the words “There once was a man from Nantucket…”) later, I was at wit’s end.
But I knew what I needed to do. It was time—time to access my deep emotions—time to delve into the inner Severus and bleed my heart onto unfeeling paper. Time to let go.
First, in rhyme:
On a midsummer’s morning, your hand held my own,
But the very next day, I felt so alone,
That the world seemed to chill me with bitter ice cold,
But I swore to myself that before we were old,
I would come unto you with my heart on my sleeve,
And you’d take me back and we never should grieve,
But alas, oh alas, it never could be,
Because you had to go and marry James Potter.
Excellent. Then, in haiku:
The Boy Who Lived stinks
Which reminds me a lot of
Al Dumbledore’s face
And lastly, in limerick:
There once was a man from Hogwarts-School-of-Witchcraft-and-Wizardry,
Who liked Potions and Charms and sometimes-even-Lizardry,
But he got in with the Dark Lord
And things got kind of awkward
And now all he does is wallow-in-his-own-misery.
What can I say? I’m a natural.
A/N – Certain choice insults in this chapter generously donated by Sweet Ignorance, gryffindorseeker, and PotterWritter, and then lovingly adapted by me! Thanks guys.
And on a separate note, it’s time to get excited because the Quidditch game is NEXT!