Usual disclaimers apply. Making no money, but having lots of fun. Many thanks to my eagle-eyed beta, Jynx67!
Minerva opened the door to the Headmistress’ study and automatically ducked as a book went sailing over her head to crash into the wall. There it joined a heap of identical volumes, each battered, torn, mauled and abused. It was, of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
“Severus,” she sighed with exasperation, “you’ve simply got to stop doing that!”
“A doe!? A damn, whimpering, namby-pamby DOE?!” The now defunct Potions master was pacing back and forth within his frame on the wall. The other past headmasters had wisely taken themselves off to sulk in a painting of a pub that hung near the Prefects’ bathroom. No one wanted to be anywhere near Snape in his current mood.
“Listen, Severus, you’re not the only one who’s unhappy with the book. You should hear Moody on the subject. His eye is absolutely spinning in his head.” The new Headmistress of Hogwarts sunk exhausted into her chair and spun around to address Snape. As tradition demanded, the last headmaster always hung in the place of prominence behind the desk. “Tonks and Remus are talking about bringing legal action, and I wouldn’t want to be in that Rowling woman’s pointy little shoes if Molly Weasley gets her hands on her.”
Almost in tears, Snape replied, “What was she thinking? Me --- the most frightening, evil, sexy, sonuvabitch to ever grace these halls, and she makes my Patronus a doe? You know as well as I do that my Patronus is a bat. A big bat. A big, powerful bat with a 14-inch extra-rigid wand!”
“I thought you changed your Patronus to match Lily’s because you loved her so much.”
“That’s another thing. Sure, I was very fond of Lily. But cut me a break! That was a childhood crush. I’m a big boy now. It’s not like I haven’t had many, many, many, many, many, many, many other relationships with women. As you should ruddy well know, Minerva.” He stopped pacing long enough to leer down at Minerva, who blushed, but then quickly returned to her no-nonsense self.
“But, Severus, your motives, your angst, your life of despair --- it all centers around your anguish at having been the cause of Lily’s death!” Minerva stood up and approached the painting with a shocked look on her face.
“Oh Hell’s bells, woman, I wasn’t even in England when the whole thing happened. I was at a potions conference in New Orleans when Voldy heard about the prophecy and the Potter’s copped it.”
Stunned, Minerva dropped back into her chair. “But…what… I mean, then who…?”
Snape threw up his hands and groaned. “Rowling dreamed up the whole story and then played us like puppets. Just about the only thing she got right was that Dumbledore was not the twinkly, little old fart he liked you to think he was.” And here Snape shot a dagger glance at the painting that should have held Dumbledore. When the publication of the last Harry Potter book had revealed Dumbledore’s self-serving machinations, the previous headmaster decided that a nice long vacation in the Lesser Antilles would be advisable.
Snape went back to his pacing, his long legs taking him in and out of the frame at a dizzying rate. “And she kills me off. Kills ME! Not in battle. No. Not in a duel against a dozen Death Eaters. I don’t even get to shoot one miserable little hex at that effete fop, Lucius. She drops a freaking snake on my head!”
He was quickly working himself up into an artery-bursting rage. “I could have turned Nagini into a set of matched luggage with a First Year spell, but did she give me half a damn second to pull my wand out? No, she did not. Cruciatus is too good for her!” The background of his painting was beginning to throb an ominous red.
Severus stopped dead in his tracks, scowled down at Minerva and said, “Here, I’ll show you exactly where that Rowling woman went wrong. Let me get another copy of that mendacious, meandering, Machiavellian manuscript. Don’t move. I’ll be right back!” He stepped out of his frame for a moment. But by the time he had swirled back into it, book in hand, Minerva had fled.
Sibyll Trelawney patted Minerva’s hand distractedly as she poured her another cup of tea, slopping a good deal of it into the saucer. Minerva had come to the over-heated, over-stuffed divination classroom for a bit of sympathy and a cuppa. Reaching into the folds of her robe, Minerva drew out a flask of Ogden’s Finest and added a generous slug of Firewhisky to both cups.
“I’m telling you, Sibyll, the man is driving me distracted. I can’t get a damn thing done in my office with Snape peering down my neck and bursting in rants and raves every other minute.” She raised her cup to her lips with a shaking hand.
“Oh, dear,” Sibyll remarked vaguely. “I, myself, haven’t made it past the first chapter yet, but I have to say that I did predict that Severus would come to no good end. If you remember…”
“Yes, Sibyll,” Minerva interrupted with some asperity, “you predicted that we would all meet horrible deaths. I mean, it’s not as if Severus is the only one who has a bone to pick with that Rowling woman. Poor Fred Weasley! He keeps saying over and over again, ‘But I though she liked me!’”
“Can’t you put a curtain over Snape’s painting?”
“Tried. It went up in flames. And he called me a highly inappropriate name.”
“Well, I don’t think it takes an inner eye to see that the poor man’s feelings are hurt. There he is, the entire pivot of the story, and he’s given a completely ignominious end.” Sibyll poked at the fire, sending up another wave of heat into the stuffy room.
Minerva protested. “He does get to have all those scenes at the end, when Harry goes through the Pensieve.”
Sibyll shook her head. “But those scenes certainly don’t show him at his best. Harry Potter gets to be The-Boy-Who-Defeated-the-Dark-Lord and poor Severus will be remembered as The-One-Who-Got-Dumped. No wonder he’s a tad cranky.”
“Hmph! You’re right there. Severus does pride himself of his ---how shall I say? --- prowess amongst the ladies. The book pretty much rubs his face in the fact that James Potter bested him where Lily was concerned. Yes, I can see where that would rankle with the poor boy.” Minerva suddenly sat upright. “Sibyll, I think you’ve divined it. He needs reassuring that he’s still the Big Bad Boy of Magic Land. Yes… yes… I think that would do it!” She stepped briskly to the door. “Excuse me, my dear. I have to go find a painter.”
“Go ahead, Severus. Merlin’s sake, it’s not going to bite you!” Oops! Minerva suddenly realized that these were not, perhaps, the best choice of words to use with Snape, as Nagini’s wounds were still on his neck. But Snape merely stared at the object with a marked scowl of distrust.
She had managed to coax the Potions master into the new painting, which was now hanging beside his. It was just like his current one, but now included a desk and a computer, whose screen was already glowing. “It’s Muggle magic. It’s called the Interneb or something. You get ‘in-line’. The manual there explains it. For heaven’s sake, Muggle children use it!”
“Then I’m sure it will not be of any interest to me.” Snape was sitting at the desk, but he distained to even so much as lay a finger on the keypad.
Minerva’s eyes narrowed. “Now look here, damn it! I’ve gone to considerable trouble to help you get over your damn hissy fit and you WILL use that computer!”
“Oh yes you will, Severus!” She stepped closer to the painting and whispered, “Remember the time we went away to Llandudno for a naughty weekend? You promised me a bit of the old In and Out and Uppy Downy? But you couldn’t get it uppy, could you? Limp as a wet noodle. Flabby as a dead fish.” She paused ominously. “How would you like that to get out, hmmmm?”
Severus gasped. “You wouldn’t! You promised never to mention that! It was a complete fluke. Never happened to me before or since, I swear!”
“Face the computer or I tell.”
“Minerva, you are a manipulative, evil, old bitch.”
“Thank you, Severus, I admire you, too. Now get cracking.”
Snape turned to the computer with a sigh and glared at the screen. On the screen was a black header with “Occlumency: A Severus Snape Archive ” written across it. Minerva could see that it had caught his attention. He fumbled a bit at the keys and managed, by a stroke of luck, to scroll down the page. By the time Minerva turned away, he had picked up the manual and was reading the pages she had marked.
The next day, she opened her office door and ducked. But there was no answering crash. Severus appeared to be glued to his desk, completely enraptured with his new toy. Minerva had to call his name twice before he answered.
“Merlin’s Codpiece, Minerva! These women… there are thousands of them… they adore me! They want me! They don’t even care that I’m dead! Have you read some of these stories? I liked to think that I was an experienced wizard of the world in the sack, but they’ve got me doing stuff I’ve never even heard of! It’s… it’s… fantastic! Every story has a new woman in it! I get to do it with witches and Muggles, students and Defense teachers, and somebody called Mary Sue, who keeps popping up. And wait, there’s even a couple in here about you and me! Here, I’ll print them out for you…”
With a contented sigh, Minerva sat down at her desk, ready to address herself to the piles of papers, reports, schedules and minutia that made up most of a headmaster’s day. With Snape now fully occupied she could finally get some work done. And when the pages he printed out fluttered down on her desk, she glanced at them, blushed scarlet to the roots of her hair and carefully put them in her desk drawer for later perusal.
She was confident that there would be stories enough to keep Snape --- and her --- busy for years to come.