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A Christmas Cackle by mouse [Reviews - 28]

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This story was written before the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". That doesn't really matter to the plot at all, but since Half-Blood Prince changed everything I knew about Snape, I thought it best to mention the fact.

This story exists simply to provide Snape with yet another reason to hate Harry Potter.

If the story sounds familiar to you, that's because it started life as a round-robin on the Snakehips site (http://p084.ezboard.com/bseverussnapefanclub), became a two-author story (which I was never particularly happy with - sorry S.F.!) posted on Ashwinder, and finally became this. What you read here is my own work; I've purged the other authors' story elements, not because they weren't awesome ideas, but simply because they weren't mine. So what remains is J. K. Rowling's creation, dressed up in my sick sense of humour. Ooh, JKR would be so horrified with me - hee, hee, hee!

And yes, it's a Christmas story, submitted in the middle of springtime. Hey, I send my siblings their Christmas presents late too. Consider yourself part of the family now.

PG-13 for potty-mouth.

A Christmas Cackle

Snape wakes up in the darkness, and wonders why.

Suddenly he hears it: an ominous clanking noise. He looks up, and a startled hiss escapes from between his teeth. An eldritch figure is drifting eerily toward him from out of the shadows of his bedroom. The creature's hair is pasted flat to its head under a layer of slime, and its ragged clothing drips filth onto the flagstones. Snape hears the unearthly clanking noise again, and then a soft whispering...

"Myrtle! Help me get this u-bend pipe off my foot. It's stuck."

"No. You do it! It's all smelly."

Snape frowns in confusion. Neither the clanking nor the voices are actually coming from the hideous figure that now hovers above his bed; they're coming from a different corner of the room entirely. Snape wrinkles his nose in disgust as a foul smell rolls over him.

"Severus Snape," says the looming figure, "I am the ghost of Christmas Past."

"No you're not," says Snape. "You're bloody James Potter, back from the dead. I can see your glasses. Sod off, James. It's five o'clock in the morning. And what are you covered in? You stink!"

"Sewage," says Moaning Myrtle brightly. Snape looks up and sees her hovering near the door. "I took James and Sirius on a tour of the castle's pipes," says Myrtle, "but they haven't thanked me for it yet." She aims a kick at the ghost of Sirius Black, who is hopping around gracelessly, trying to pull a bit of plumbing off of his foot. Sirius makes a rude gesture at her, and continues wrestling with the pipe.

"Severus Snape, I have come to show you the error of your ways!" thunders the ghost of James Potter. "You have forgotten the spirit of Christmas!"

"Oops, sorry," says Snape sarcastically. "There's always someone, isn't there? I shall have to send his Christmas card late, then."

"I have come to show you a vision of Christmas Past!" says James.

Snape perks up a bit. "Really?" he says. "I thought ghosts couldn't do magic."

"We get special dispensation on Christmas Eve."

"Do you now?"

"Yeah, it's in the Collective Agreement," says James. "We're also allowed to touch things, although -" He flicks one of his hands, and Snape hears something wet splatter onto the floor. "- I'm not actually feeling too happy about that, right now." James reaches down and grabs Snape's arm. "Get out of bed, Severus!" he says. "We have to finish this by dawn, and Myrtle's stupid "tour" took more time than we thought it would."

"Ew! Not on the linens!" says Snape. "Let go of my nightshirt! You're dripping sewage everywhere, Potter! Merlin's tits, but that's disgusting!"

"It's not my fault!" says James, dragging Snape out of bed. "Myrtle has one seriously disturbing scat kink, let me tell you. I'm glad she's dead."

"Hey! I heard that!"

"Oh, stow it Myrtle," says James. "If I wasn't covered in all this yuck, we could have found a better ghost than you to be our third! Now shut up until it's your turn!" James turns back to Snape. "Behold, Severus!" says James grandly. "A vision from Christmas Past!"

James snaps his fingers and suddenly the back half of Snape's bedroom is transformed into a merrily decorated living room. A tall dark tree dominates one corner of the room, haloed in silver decorations. Stacks of shiny presents are gleaming underneath it.

"Hmm," says Snape.

"You're supposed to get nostalgic, you wrinkly-hearted bastard," says Sirius, who has finally got the u-bend pipe off his foot. He throws it through Myrtle's head. She turns around and kicks him again, so Sirius grabs her by the back of the robes and gives her a brutal wedgie. Myrtle starts wailing.

"Do you recognise this place, Severus?" says James, gesturing to the vision.

"Well, it's my parent's house," says Snape. "Circa 1967, approximately. This is supposed to make me nostalgic? Do you want me to fondly remember the whippings, or the soul-destroying sarcasm? I can't decide."

"Ooh! Whippings!" says Myrtle avidly.

"Shut up, Myrtle," say James and Sirius in unison.

"So anyway," says James, gesturing toward a small dark haired boy who is now walking sedately into the living room wearing Spiderman pajamas, "Here comes your younger self; oochy-cootchy, what a bright-eyed innocent. Do you remember what it was like to be that way, Severus?"

"Not really," says Snape, leaning forward and frowning a little. "Crapping hell; was my nose ever that small? What did they feed me, to make it all go so wrong?"

The younger Severus is now inspecting the parcels under the tree with a serious, dispassionate stare.

"Why aren't you widdling yourself with excitement?" asks Sirius curiously. "I was never this calm on Christmas morning. This is creepy."

"Physical age, seven," says Snape. "Mental age, about forty-seven. I'm trying to decide which one of the presents my parents want me to act the most deliriously happy about receiving. You could usually tell by the wrapping paper, and if you acted happier about a different present, they were annoyed for the rest of the day."

"Um...so anyway, we have got a time limit here, people," says James. "Right. So you get all weepy about how beautiful Christmas Past was, Severus, and then you remember how you used to have the Christmas spirit. Got it? All right then; have a go."

"I'm not likely to get weepy over this," says Snape derisively. "Oh look, my parents are peeking around the corner now. Sniffle, sniffle, sob. Well at least they don't know I'm here. As I recall, the younger me always wished that they didn't know he was there. Being their only child stank; there was no one else around to distract them. I was the only target."

James Potter looks at Snape over the top of his glasses for a long moment, and then snaps his fingers. The scene from Snape's past disappears.

"Right," says James in a brittle tone. "So that was a complete waste of my time. Sirius - it's your turn."

"Excellent!" says Sirius, standing up straighter and looking excited. He clears his throat and attempts to look menacing. "Snivellus Snape, I am the ghost of Christmas Presents!"

"Present!" hisses James.



"I wasn't taking roll call, James."

"No, you said "presents", with an "ess", not "present". It's singular, not plural. And don't call him Snivellus; you have to do this by the book."

"By the book," mutters Sirius in disgust. "You didn't read the book either. Who reads Dickens anymore, anyway? Right then. I'm the ghost of Christmas Presen-t, and I'm here to show you another vision. Check this out."

Sirius snaps his fingers and again the back of the bedroom transforms. Snape blinks, and frowns at it.

"Oi, Sirius; you've got it up-side-down," says James.

"Somebody thump the telly!" says Myrtle merrily.

Sirius blushes silver, and snaps his fingers again. The vision flips over. Now it can be seen to be the inside of the Weasley living room. A lovely tree stands by the fireplace covered in hand-made decorations. Piles of presents sit under the tree, and the entire Weasley clan is just in the process of rumbling down the stairs, giggling and yelling as they thunder into the living room. Harry Potter is in with the crowd, and looks every bit as excited as the others. Ginny and the twins immediately scramble under the tree and start handing out packages to the correct owners. The noise is unbelievable. Shredded paper and yanked-off ribbons start flying through the air like shrapnel.

Snape walks over to vision-Harry and stares thoughtfully at the boy for a moment. He attempts to kick him a few times, but his foot just goes straight through.

"Hey! Hey!" says Sirius. "That's my godson! Quit it, you greasy git!"

"Oh shut up. He obviously can't feel anything. So - this is supposed to invoke some predetermined emotion in me too, isn't it?"

"Right!" says Sirius. "Isn't it wonderful? Can't you feel the love in this household? Don't you feel the joy? Don't you feel a little left out, watching this, but not being able to participate in it?"

"Yes. If I were really here, I'd be able to kick him. Pity."

"No! Come on, Snape; work with me here! Isn't this a happy Christmas?"

"This is bedlam."

"Yes! They're happy! This is a happy home! Full of love!"

"Full of noise," says Snape. "And I don't doubt that Ma and Pa Weasley are full of "love". They had seven kids. It's either that, or they don't understand the concept of birth control. What is your point, Sirius?"

"My point is -" says Sirius with exasperation, but James interrupts him.

"Time, people. Myrtle, you're up."

"Oh come on!" says Sirius.

"Your time is up," says James pointedly.

"But I'm not done yet! He didn't get it!"

"The sun is gonna come up on us!" says James in exasperation. "We have to hurry; we're out of here by dawn! Who got his foot caught in a pipe and slowed us down anyway? Huh? His ghost foot? I mean really, Sirius, you're not supposed to be able to do that."

"Excuse me? Which ghost in this room is currently covered in sewage? Hmm? Don't talk to me about pipes."

"If you wouldn't mind?" says Myrtle primly, gesturing to the Weasley vision. Sirius snaps his fingers to erase the vison, and then stomps off into a corner to pout.

"Hem, hem!" says Myrtle. "I am the ghost of Christmas Future!" She turns and grins at James. "This is fun!"

Snape rolls his eyes. James mutters to himself, "More fun than the septic tank was, yeah."

"I am here to show you what will happen if you continue on the path you are on now, ignoring the spirit of Christmas!" says Myrtle, her face and voice purposefully severe. She puts one hand on her hip and shakes her finger at Snape, who just stares at her. Myrtle waits. Snape waits.

"Move it, Myrtle!" explodes James. "Enough theatrics; just get on with the vision! Seven minutes to sunrise!"

"Oh! Right." Myrtle snaps her fingers, and the back of bedroom becomes a cold and rainy cemetery. Two men stand beside a new grave. The headstone reads "Severus Ebeneezer Snape".

"Oh great!" wails Snape. "They put it right on the bloody headstone! I hate my middle name!"

"You are dead in this vision, Severus Snape," says Myrtle in her creepiest voice. "Dead, and sooooon to be forgotten, because you did not open your heart to the Christmas spirit! You did not let love into your life! And here you lie. And no one mourns you!"

"Well, I'm dead. What would I care?" says Snape peevishly. Myrtle looks confused. "I mean," continues Snape in a more pedantic tone, "it's not going to bother me, if I'm dead, so what do I care if no one mourns me? I'm not going to stick around like you pathetic slobs when I die, hanging about inside the plumbing and annoying everyone. I'm going to see if I can find that Valhalla place. Food, mead, and lovely Valkries with pleasing meso-soprano voices. I may have to put up with a bunch of dumb warriors, but it can't be any worse than putting up with Hagrid. Besides - if no one is supposed to be mourning me, then why are these two blokes here?"

Snape gestures to the two men standing beside his grave, and then walks over to get a better look at them. James and Sirius immediately start giggling and nudging one another with their elbows.

Snape stops, and stares at the two men in shock. It's an aged and overweight Harry Potter, and a prematurely bald Ronald Weasley.

"Bloody hell," mutters Snape guiltily. "I'm sorry I was trying to kick you, Harry. I can't believe that you two would be the ones to come and pay your last respects to me."

"Maybe you should be a bit nicer to Harry, huh, Snape?" says Sirius, grinning broadly.

"Maybe my son's not such a little wanker after all, eh, Snape?" says James, grinning even more broadly.

Myrtle picks at a spot on her chin, and looks bored.

"Huh," says Snape, actually feeling just a little bit touched.

"Still want to do it?" says vision-Harry to vision-Ron suddenly.

"What the fuck. Yeah," says Ron.

The two men hitch up their robes and begin urinating on Snape's grave.

"Hey!" squawks Snape, "Hey! Stop it! Stop it, you little Gryffindor shits!" Snape starts desperately and unsuccessfully trying to kick Harry again, but he only manages to knock himself over in his rage and frustration.

"Ooooooh! Pee!" says Myrtle avidly, scooting forward to get a better view.

"OKAY, MYRTLE!" yells James, grabbing her robes and yanking her back. "END OF THE VISION! WE'RE OUT OF TIME! NOW, MYRTLE! END IT NOW!"

"Heh! It - it - it's not what it looks like, Snape!" says Sirius, zipping between Snape and the vision and attempting to shield the scene from Snape with his translucent body. "They're actually very sweet kids!"

"NO THEY'RE NOT!" screams Snape, "They're peeing on my grave! Vengeance! I SHALL HAVE VENGEANCE!!!"

"Oh, this is sooooo not going the way it was supposed to," moans James as Myrtle sulkily snaps her fingers and erases the vision.


"You can't punish them for that, Severus! They haven't done it yet!" says James desperately. "It's the whole time-travel paradox thing, right? If you're nice to them, then maybe they'll never feel the need to do that! You have to be kinder to Harry and Ron, Severus, not meaner!"


"It's dawn, James," says Sirius, and suddenly the two ghosts vanish. A weak ray of sunlight falls on the bed through one of the few windows into Snape's dungeon room.

"Oops! I think I'm supposed to disappear too," says Myrtle and also fades out. Then she fades back in again, waggles her finger at Snape and says, "Now I hope you learned your lesson!"

She disappears properly, and stays gone. Snape staggers to his feet, rage practically hissing out of his pores.

"Oh, I've learned my lesson," he growls. "Forewarned is forearmed! Pee on my grave, will they? Well, they're going to pay for that! Oh my yes...they'll pay!"

A Christmas Cackle by mouse [Reviews - 28]

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