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Chapter 14 : Snape the Ref
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Why was this so much harder with hundreds of people watching?
There was a gasp from the crowd and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Hufflepuff Something-or-Other (possibly Wanderer? Finder? Hitter? Bleeper?—All those names are so confusing) ram straight into one of the red players.
“Penalty!” I shouted, dodging a cannon ball that looked like it was in a bit of a hurry (the effort of which lost me my balance and almost slid me off my broom).
“On who?” called someone impetuously. I thought for a second. Really, I didn’t know which team to call it on. The team who had been attacked or the attacker? Was a penalty a good thing or a bad thing? I didn’t know that either. Ah well. Best guess it is, then, I thought. A Gryffindor had been hit…therefore…
“Penalty on Gryffindor!” All the Hufflepuffs cheered for reasons beyond my understanding. Perhaps they have a self-destructive nature.
The game continued on and I sacrificed paying attention to the game for the bare act of survival. Amazingly, I only endured two near-death experiences.
The first was when a little golden bird-like walnut flew up to me and alighted on my shoulder. That itself threw off my balance so severely that I yelled “Mayday!” and began to spiral dangerously towards the ground. I righted myself just in the nick of time, and lo and behold the little golden creature was still on my shoulder. It liked me, apparently.
I took it in my hand. “What are you?” I cooed.
Then the strangest thing happened.
One lightweight Hufflepuff (who seemed to have no job in the game besides wandering about) took a vicious dive at me. In my panic I lost my golden bird, and the lunatic nearly knocked me off my broom.
“Penalty!” I shrieked as I again death-spiraled towards the very solid-looking ground.
“On who?” they yelled.
I feared for a moment that those would be my last words, but a gracious gust of wind gave me the extra split second to come to a wobbly halt. I was now about three feet from the ground and nowhere near the action of the game. I wondered if that mattered, and found I really didn’t care. I pointed upwards and zoomed faster than I would have liked into the sky.
I could have sworn I heard Madam Pomfrey screech, “Work it, baby!” from the stands.
I focused on my precarious balance, which unfortunately involved my mouth hanging open in concentration. I was attempting a sort of turn-like motion when a huge scarlet thing went whizzing past me and whipped its robes straight into my open mouth. I nearly swallowed a bit of them in my shock.
It was Harry Potter. And his robes, his disgusting robes, had been in my mouth. I gagged and basically dive-bombed the ground. By some miracle I managed to land more or less on my feet.
I spat bitterly on the ground, that robe taste lingering persistently in my mouth.
People were cheering for some reason, and all the players had landed. I didn’t know or care why. Quidditch is beyond me.
“Professor Snape!” yelled a Gryffindor, Oliver Wood, “Aren’t you supposed to call the game?”
“THE GAME!” I called, and spat again, possibly even more bitterly. He just looked at me.
Dumbledore, who had been coddling and chatting with his favourite student, Mr. I-Place-My-Robes-In-Unsuspecting-Mouths-Potter, wandered over to where I was standing on the pitch. By that time I had conjured a toothbrush and was frantically brushing away.
“Excellently done, Severus!” Dumbledore warbled.
“Nhhever againhh,” I said through the toothbrush, glaring at him. “‘Fhhat was shuh hhworsht hour uff mhhy life.”
Dumbledore chuckled, “Why, Severus! That game couldn’t have lasted more than five minutes!”
I checked my watch, saw he was right, and consciously chose to deny it anyway. It was impossible that that torture had only lasted five minutes. Utterly impossible.
I considered throwing my toothbrush at him, but chose instead to ask with mild curiosity, “Who won the game?”
Dumbledore gave me a strange look, but said, “The Gryffindors, of course.”
I shrugged. I was quite frankly just happy to be alive.
In all the excitement, I almost forgot my very important post-game business. Luckily, I had written on my hand, “In the unlikely event of your survival, please proceed to the Forbidden Forest after the game to harass, intimidate, and shame Quirrel.”
When I saw that, I nearly squealed with glee. The time had come.
I made a quick stop to change into my Intimidation Robes, hexed Adrian Pucey as he approached me to critique a love letter, and then sprinted out the front door of the castle towards the forest.
Quirrel was waiting dutifully in “Lovers Pasture” just like the letter told him to. He had also donned a sort of pin-on flower and sprayed on some sort of cologne evidently made to attract trolls. I took one last gulp of breathable air and went in for the kill.
“Quirrel,” I said.
He jumped about a foot in the air. Stealthy approaches are my specialty.
“S—Severus!” He chirped, “If you d-d-don’t mind I’m a b-bit busy r-right now. You see, I’m m-meeting someone.”
“You are indeed. You are meeting me.”
He stared at me in repulsion, revulsion, and, best of all, terror.
“Well, you know I d-don’t feel that way about y-you,” he said (rather tactfully, to his credit).
At that moment there was an alarming crash above us, as if some fool on a broom had just collided full force into the towering beech tree above us. Quirrel and I were showered with leaves. I, however, would not be distracted.
Quirrel twitched at the noise and then continued, “S-so I d-don’t know why you wanted t-t-to meet here of all p-places, Severus…”
“Oh, I thought we’d keep this private,” I said icily, “Students aren’t supposed to know about the Philosopher’s Stone, after all.”
“You c-can’t win my heart th-through the Philosopher’s S-stone,” he mumbled, “I told you, I don’t feel that w—“
I interrupted him. He was clearly missing the point, and I had to get out of there before his cologne killed me.
“Have you found out how to get past that beast of Hagrid’s yet?”
His twitched again, his favourite activity.
“I-I don’t know what you—“
“You know perfectly well what I mean.”
An owl hooted loudly above us. I must have been imagining it, but it sounded like someone in the tree said “Whoa!”
Then, inexplicably, a handkerchief with the embroidered initials “HP” fell on Quirrel’s head. I couldn’t think whose it could be, and I had something very important to say, so I plucked the handkerchief off of him and said:
“I know what you’re after, Quirrel. But I can’t talk about this with that stench, so you’d better magick it off. Go on, do your little hocus-pocus. I’m waiting.” I sort of gasped for some lingering clean air.
Really, I couldn’t help it. That cologne was making me dizzy and lightheaded and quite possibly clogging my lungs.
“B-but I d-d-don’t—“
“Very well,” I said, choking a bit. I couldn’t really breathe anymore and I was worried about my health. I had to get away. “We’ll have another little chat soon, when you’ve had time to think things over…and decide where your loyal…ties…lie…”
I threw my cloak over my nose and ran.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far. After about ten feet I slumped against a tree in a dead faint. Cologne is a powerful thing.
A/N--I'd just like to recommend that you re-read or follow along with the book's version of these scenes, if time and resources permit. I made them coincide very exactly, with (I think) hilarious result. Thanks as usual for reading and being such supportive reviewers! I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did!
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