Chapter 1 : Revenge is a Dish Best Served Wet
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A work of fanfiction based on the world of JK Rowling
Summary: The repercussions of a long-ago prank played on Severus Snape. This fic is... er... Snape/Moaning Myrtle *looks sheepish*.
Author's note: I have way too much free time. Also, some lines are taken from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide." House points if you can tell me which ones.
Severus Snape found himself in a girl's lavatory for the second time in his life.
The first time, he had gotten rather more acquainted with the inside of a toilet than he would have preferred. The sound of giggling mixed with an occasional choked sob that echoed up through the pipes did little to enhance the experience.It had, at least, chased off Potter and Black before they managed to flush him entirely.
"Er, thanks," he called weakly, water dripping from every strand of his long, dark hair. Someone was bound to comment on how it had finally been washed, he thought sourly. And that someone was sure to be Black, and in the middle of the Great Hall if he could orchestrate it.
Severus sighed. He sat slumped against the door of the stall, contemplating his next move, preferably one that involved Potter, Black, and several very hungry kneazles.
Suddenly a high, girlish voice floated up from the toilet, reverberating off the walls of the large tiled room. "You think yooooou have it bad," it admonished him. "Yooooou have no idea!" There was a muffled sob.
Snape scowled at the toilet. Really, he was not in the mood for this. He briefly wondered what sort of mood one would have to be in to enjoy conversing with a toilet, and decided it would involve copious amounts of firewhiskey. Something he desperately wished he had at the moment. "Oh yes, things could be much worse," he snapped. "I could have never been born at all. Oh, wait. Never mind."
The toilet sighed. "At least you haven't DIED," it said.
"Who are you?" Snape demanded.
"M... Myrtle." She hiccuped.
"Why are you... down there?"
"I'm waiting for Olive Hornby to come back!"
"A horrid girl who teases me about my glasses! When she comes to use my toilet, you see, I'm going to..."
"I don't think she's at Hogwarts anymore," Snape put in quickly. He did not especially want to hear what fate the girl would meet at the hands of the toilet; it struck all too close to home at the moment.
Myrtle sighed gurgly. "I am doomed to haunt this toilet until I'm avenged."
"Tough break," said Snape. He had to admit, his existence was looking a little cheerier. Not much, but a little.
"It's not so bad, really..." her voice drifted off. "I see some rather interesting things." She giggled.
"So you spy on people in the toilet," Snape said drily. "How delightful. Why don't you show your face?"
"You'll make fun of my glasses!"
"I'm hardly in a position to make fun of anything."
"I... promise," Snape muttered through gritted teeth.
"OooooKAAAAAAY..." Her voice became louder as she spiralled up the pipe, finally emerging from the toilet in a crescendo of water.
Snape spat toilet water from his mouth for the second time in a span of fifteen minutes. He seemed to be having tremendous difficulty with his life-style. "You really know how to make an entrance," he remarked.
She giggled. "You're funny. And... handsome, too!" she squealed.
Why, Snape reflected, did the only girl to ever call him handsome have to be dead and hovering three inches above a toilet? Life, he sighed. Loathe it or ignore it, you can't possibly like it.
He glanced up at the spectre. She was short, a bit squat, with lank brown hair in pigtails and the aforementioned glasses, which were thick and smudgy-looking. He'd seen less appealing things come out of a toilet, but only after Death Eater Super Bowl parties. (The Death Eaters support the Raiders; are you really surprised?)
"Hello," he said with a little wave, deciding to play along with this latest cruel joke the cosmos had designed for him. He had nothing better to do, anyway.
"Hello yourself," Myrtle replied coquettishly.
"So how's life in the toilet?"
Myrtle sighed heavily, her form lowering so it now appeared to be sitting on the water. "Life," she moaned. "Don't talk to me about life."
"I hear you," Snape said.
Myrtle felt encouraged, and hardly recognised the feeling. She rarely, if ever, received any encouragement or sympathy, try as she might. "It's really awful," she went on enthusiastically. "As if life wasn't bad enough BEFORE I died! I must report, it's been all downhill since."
"I'll keep that in mind." Snape nodded. "Note to self: if at all possible, avoid death. It's bad."
Myrtle, who would suspect trickery from a baby, seemed immune to sarcasm. "Indeed! Death, it's the only thing worse than life..."
"You're a very good conversationalist," Snape said.
Myrtle perked up. "Am I... really? Th... thank you!" She looked like she wanted to hug him.
She appeared so grateful, in fact, that Snape somewhat regretted his cheek. "Uh.. yeah. It's a regular Round Table in here." He paused. He could joke all he liked, but the truth was, he sort of enjoyed talking to this girl. At least she wasn't like everyone else. At least, he thought heartily, she wasn't a Gryffindor.
"Usually people just come in here to throw things at me."
"I hate when that happens," Snape sympathised, having a pretty good idea who two of those people were. "But at least... well... you can't feel it."
Myrtle screamed. "YES, I CAN! I CAN FEEL EVERYTHING! JUST BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A BODY DOESN"T MEAN I DON'T FEEL THINGS!"
The walls shook. Water sloshed over the sides of the toilet, drenching the last remaining dry bit of Snape, his shoes. His dragon-hide shoes. He sighed. "Ah. Of course. My apologies."
"It's all right. I'm used to it. 'Oooh, let's chuck this soggy paper towel at Myrtle! Twenty points if it goes through her HEAD!'"
"That's dreadful," Snape said. He meant it, too.
"Ah, well..." she trailed off. "That's life." She stared off into a corner.
"Isn't there... I mean, is there something you can do? Where do ghosts go if they're not haunting things?"
"I wouldn't know." She managed to import all the pain and misfortune of the world into these three words. "They won't let me go there. It's all because of Olive Hornby, you see. I died with 'unfinished business,'" she said mockingly, her voice rising to a pitch that cracked one of the mirrors.
"So if something dreadful befalls this Olive person, you'll be free?"
"I... I think so." She sniffled.
"I see." Snape thought. "Well, Myrtle, I'm glad we could have this little chat." He rose to leave.
"Oh, yes..." she murmured. "Do come back and visit me. Whenever you like... I'll be here..." her voice faded as she sailed down the pipe.
Which brings us back to the present. Snape, now the feared Potions master at the very school that had ostracised him, stood outside the same stall. It hadn't changed at all. The only thing that had changed was the tall, pointy-faced witch, wearing a look that could kill a basilisk, who now stood beside Snape.
"When do I receive my award?" she demanded haughtily.
"Any minute now," Snape replied, with only the faintest trace of a smirk.When he squinted a bit, he could almost pretend she was Potter in a wig. This spurred him on. "Hello!" he called.
Olive flinched. "I don't understand why we're..." There was a tremendous splash. The door flew open with a rush of water. Myrtle floated above them, looking for all the world like an avenging angel.
"Olive Hornby," she intoned, her squeaky voice somehow managing to impart a sense of impending doom. "We meet at last!"
Olive was busy wiping the water from her eyes. She looked up, squinting, her face eventually settling into a look of incredulous contempt. "Myrtle? Myrtle Howard? But you're..."
"DEAD. Yes, I know. But that doesn't mean..." she giggled. "I can't have my revenge!"
This was Snape's cue. With no remorse whatsoever, he grabbed the witch by her shoulders and pushed her face first into the toilet. She gurgled and flailed madly. Snape noted with satisfaction the water that slopped over her dragon-hide pumps. Myrtle looked on in adoration, her hands clasped together like a melodrama heroine.
Snape pulled Olive out, facing her with a sneer. "Had enough yet?" he asked, echoing the very words that he had heard some seventeen years ago, from the other side of the toilet.
Olive sputtered. "I shall report you so fast..."
"I suppose you haven't, then," he said with mock regret, again plunging her into the murky depths. Myrtle squealed with glee. For a moment, one could forget she was ever called Moaning Myrtle at all.
Olive gasped for breath. Snape released his hold on her. She was old, after all, though Snape could tell the years had done nothing to soften her. He could always tell a bully. After all, he had become one himself.
She stood up to her full, imposing height, glaring through the water that stung her eyes. "Mark my words," she spat in a low, threatening whisper, "I will take this to the Ministry and you'll be out of a job so fast your head will spin!"
"No, I don't think you will," Snape said, twirling his wand casually, as an outlaw might twirl his gun. "You don't really want to test my limits, do you, Olive?"
She stared at the wand with obvious unease. She glanced up at the slowly fading form of Myrtle, who merely shrugged.
"Well... I suppose I'll let it go this time. But I'll remember this, Severus Snape, and if you ever..." She was cut off when Snape closed the door firmly in her face.
He looked up at Myrtle with something that might have been a smile. "We make a pretty good team, eh, Myrtle?"
She gazed down upon the black-robed man she had come to worship. "My hero," she murmured, her voice starting to fade.
Severus did something he had never done before: he blushed. He then reached for Myrtle's hand, careful to not let his fingers go through it, and kissed it. "My pleasure, my lady." He cleared his throat. "Well, then. I wish you luck in... wherever you're going."
"I'll miss you... Severus." She giggled. She was almost gone.
"I'll miss you too, Myrtle." The odd part was, he meant it.
She blew him a kiss, and faded from sight forever. Snape walked back to his dungeon office, whistling. So this is what happiness feels like, he thought. Really, it's not as wretched as I'd imagined. He closed the door, taking a moment to enjoy his private thoughts before his students piled in. For the first time in Snape's storied tenure, he took exactly zero points from Gryffindor. (He didn't give any either, but these things have to be taken one step at a time.)
The next morning, he woke up feeling cross. He had slept on his arm funny, and it hurt like a son of a bitch. Swearing, he prepared to face another day.
Author's note: Well, what can I say. Help control the silly fanfic population; have your plot bunnies spayed or neutered. Oh, and please review!