It started off innocently enough. The portrait of Dumbledore in the Headmaster’s office complained of boredom. He’d tried everything they could think of to amuse Dumbledore - painting books and crayons into his portrait, paying George Weasley to come show him the new WWW merchandise, hell, he’d even learned to tie… balloon animals. But the former Headmaster would not be placated.
Dumbledore had finally demanded a television set. Which, of course, would not work within the walls of Hogwarts. But given the high altitude of the Headmaster’s office and Snape’s abilities to… think outside the box, they’d managed to get a DVD player and TV to work—no cable, but at least it was something.
Snape enlisted the help of his Muggle-born students, who brought back from home copies of DVDs they thought would amuse Dumbledore.
Which was fine until Dumbledore’s obsession with Steve Carell began.
It started out all right enough—“Dan In Real Life” was… tolerable. Dumbledore’s enjoyment of “Bruce Almighty” was downright ironic, and even “Anchorman” had its moments of humor, though Snape would never admit it.
It was when the latest Creevey spawn had brought back all ten seasons of the US “The Office” that Snape’s life officially had become a living hell. Not even the months of physical therapy after Nagini’s bite had been this torturous.
Dumbledore had become a portrait Michael Scott. One that didn’t have to take time off to sleep or eat.
One without a soul.
Snape used the portraits as his own brand of therapy. Whenever the students got to be too much, whenever the house-elves made pot roast for the tenth time in one month, or whenever his insufferable know-it-all Potions mistress insisted upon dental health lectures to all first years, he would come to the portraits and rant. And most of them knew the drill: let him pace about and rant, let him sink into his chair and sigh, and then and only then offer him positive advice.
Dumbledore seemed to have forgotten the drill.
Interrupting Snape mid-rant was not the drill.
“And then today, she had the gall to correct me in my lab. ‘Didn’t you mean to add a counter-clockwise stir, Headmaster? I’ll add in the stir to your potion, if you’d like.’ Why in bloody hel—”
Dumbledore coughed. “Thatswhatshesaid.”
Snape blinked. “What did you say?”
It wouldn’t be the first time.
“And Minerva completely unsettled me today, going on and on about how much she enjoyed lapping up the cream I left out for her!”
“SHUT UP, OLD MAN!”
It became a nasty habit.
“And then, the old dingbat said she’d tell me my fortune if I would just let her stroke my head!”
Dumbledore just couldn’t stand it. “That’s! What! She! Said!!” He began wheezing he was laughing so hard.
Snape had been through a lot that semester. He’d lived through Andy’s embarrassment in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and empathized with Frank in “Little Miss Sunshine.”
But implying that Trelawney’s claws had been anywhere near his… bits. That was just too much.
And with a lazy flick of his wand towards Dumbledore, he murmured, “Turpentinus.”
The Headmaster’s portrait melted with a satisfying squelch.
He may not have been pleased to kill Dumbledore the first time; but the second time was a joy.
AN: : This takes place in an AU after DH Shrieking Shack where Snape is a reinstated Headmaster. And yes, I grant that the US “The Office” is sacrilege to many in the UK, but unfortunately this story wouldn’t work otherwise. This story was the bastard child of a prompt written by debjunk (“Severus, cauldron, rose petals... or as Maggie suggested: your mom.”) and a conversation with twilexis in the chat regarding the hilarity/awfulness of “That’s what she said” jokes. So I guess this story is dedicated to twilexis. Thanks to ladyinthecloak for her awesome Saturday Night admin skills!