A series of low moans and guttural growls could be heard coming from Snape’s rooms, as distinctive as they were surprising. Rather more alarming was the fact that they were now being interspersed with the breathless, stilted murmurings of a decidedly female voice heatedly groaning, ‘Severus!'
The steely grey-haired Transfiguration Mistress couldn't quite catch it all but the odd word continued to ring out at her confused eardrums.
She clearly heard an 'Oh Yes!’, hurriedly followed by something like, ‘Ah, such a good service ...’ and the word 'love' seemed to be being brandished about all too frequently and casually.
Knowing that she should be walking rapidly in the opposite direction, Professor McGonagall inwardly chided herself for staying put. She felt even more guilt as her ears positively strained to pick up on any further audible signs that her younger male colleague was indulging in extra-curricular activities.
‘He could have at least had the decency to have cast a silencing spell,’ the embarrassed Head of Gryffindor muttered under her breath, knowing that really her interest had been piqued almost to the point of shameless wilful intrustion, bordering on the audio equivalent of voyeurism.
Minutes of near-silence passed clumsily before the sounds of unleashed passion started up again, more fervent than ever this time.
Minerva couldn’t help but wonder who the lucky (though, she guessed, some might consider unlucky) lady might be.
She didn’t have long to wait for her answer, as the door in question suddenly opened, barely giving her enough time to cast a concealing spell to render her entire form invisible.
Unseen to others as she may be, it didn’t stop her seeing them and she instantly found her jaw violently plunge downwards at the sight before her.
Professor Severus Snape was furtively ushering out a rather dishevelled looking Madam Pince!
'Same time next week then, Severus?’ the aged and rather staid School Librarian suggested.
‘Of course,’ came the Potions master’s reply. ‘We need all the practice we can get before the tournament, I reckon.’
As Snape turned to return back to his rooms, and Madam Pince’s retreating footsteps could be heard bouncing off the solidly silent dungeon walls, McGonagall, still magically hidden, caught sight of something tucked under his arm.
Just before the door closed on the tall, dark wizard, she could see it was a white box with the words 'Nintendo Wii’ on, and that in his outstretched hand he held a smaller box bearing the title ‘Tennis Champions’.
As the pieces of reality gently slotted into place in her bemused consciousness, the quivering Deputy Headmistress wasn’t sure what she felt.
Realising that the two ‘deviants’ had obviously been innocently playing a virtual tennis game on a Muggle games console, and that the declarations of ‘love’ had in fact been a mere sporting score (or rather lack of one), left her face more heated than ever.
She was undecided as to which was worse: Her embarrassment at the thoughts of her long-standing colleague indulging in an illicit affair – and with Irma Pince of all people – or the fact that she considered that the dour, sarcastic, and at times, downright scary, Potions master could even have a love life!
She smiled to herself at the latter thought, knowing that it was tinged with more than a hint of jealousy. If she were to be honest with herself, it had been the green-eyed monster of envy that had been rearing its ugly head more than anything else when she’d first jumped to conclusions of what Snape had been doing.
Why would Severus – her Severus as she liked to think of him – have the need for anyone else? Surely she was more than enough for him?
Chuckling to herself now, as she transfigured out of her invisible state, she realised she’d have to have a word or two with that wayward Head of Slytherin over dinner that night, and accompany it with plentiful teasing on his penchant for older women.
She grinned cheerily at her thoughts and quickened her light, almost girlish, steps as she rounded the corner.
She now had plenty of plans to show Severus later that ‘love’ really was more than just a tennis term for nil ... and, in her terms at least, she definitely felt she had scored.