The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Riddikulus  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all his little buddies are owned by JK Rowling, the mighty and powerful

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all his little buddies are owned by JK Rowling, the mighty and powerful. Flame her if you don’t like it.

The staffroom, a long, panelled room full of old, mismatched chairs, was empty except for one teacher. Professor Snape was sitting in a low armchair, glaring at the wardrobe not far from him. He wanted the bloody thing destroyed, as well as what was hiding in it, but Dumbledore had decided that Lupin could use it for his classes.

A sneer crossed Snape’s face, but as much as he would have liked to hate the werewolf at the moment, his attention was focused entirely on the slightly shaking wardrobe still before him. The dark wood on the beaten closet was still polished enough to show Snape his own face, haunted and angry.

His hand reached unconsciously into his pocket and pulled out his wand. He twirled it absently, almost nervously, through his fingers as he stood. He could feel the boggart, even with the door closed. He could almost envision what it would become, as it did when he found one in his seventh year.

Snape closed his eyes as he allowed himself to remember.

A dark broom closet stood out in his mind. He’d known Potter and Evans were up to no good, as usual, and he’d had every intention of catching them in the act. With luck, they’d lose their Head Boy and Head Girl status to someone more deserving.

Luck wasn’t with him though. As he opened the door to the broom closet, he’d heard a brief
crack, and found himself staring at a werewolf—at Lupin.

Snape had backed away slowly, not taking his eyes off the feral beast. Something in his brain had been telling him that it couldn’t be Lupin, that it wasn’t a full moon, that it wasn’t even three in the afternoon yet. That part of his brain, however, was drowned out by the part telling him to run.

He did. He’d run as fast as he could, even though he’d known that a werewolf could chase him down easily.

As he’d turned a corner, he’d slipped and slid across the floor. He’d closed his eyes and waited for what had to have been coming, but nothing ever came. Finally, his mind had made the connection that the dark closet, the loud but brief
crack, and the wolf had all meant one thing: a boggart.

He’d groaned aloud and chastised himself for his own stupidity.
Of course the wolf wouldn’t be in the school. In the day, anyway, he’d thought. He’d crawled to the wall and leaned against it to catch his breath.

"What are you doing here?" he’d heard an insolent voice say. He’d opened one eye enough to find the sneering face of Sirius Black.

"What’s it look like, you idiot?" he’d snapped.

"Looks like you’ve just gone head to head with a Grim."

Snape had sneered at the Gryffindor. "For your information, there’s a boggart down there. It… startled me."

Black had grinned cockily. "Scared the hell out of you, more like."

Snape was shocked from his memories by the wardrobe rattling. Its very presence, he decided, was offensive. He backed away from the thing, deciding how to make the wolf appear humourous. He decided the most appropriate idea was to make it run away with its tail between its legs.

Snape raised his wand and aimed it at the door. Sparks shot out, opening it. With a sharp crack, the boggart appeared before him. But it wasn’t a wolf.

It had black, glittering eyes, and a constant sneer. On its revealed arm, a black skull stood against the pale skin. A wand was clenched in its hand, and the dark stain of blood was on its robes.

"Hello," it said. Somehow, it made that one innocent word sound more frightening than all the words of Lord Voldemort himself.

This wasn’t right, Snape thought. It was supposed to be a werewolf. It was supposed to be Lupin. It wasn’t supposed to be… him

Boggart Snape’s sneer transformed into a bloodthirsty grin. It raised its wand and leveled it at the real Snape. "You’ve gone weak. Fifteen years ago, I’d be gone by now."

"No," Snape whispered.

"You lived for the thrill of battle. You purified wizard blood for a new generation."

"Shut up…" Snape said, barely audible.

"You’re WEAK! You’re nothing! You’ve given up the power, the thrill, the strength of your true self!"

"NO!" Snape screamed. His wand flew out of his hand as he jumped at the boggart. The thought of the Riddikulus Spell left his head entirely and his fist impacted the boggart’s face. Another blow knocked the boggart back, and the third sent it into the wardrobe. The doors slammed as the force of the boggart’s arrival knocked the cabinet back.

Breathing hard, Snape collapsed into a low armchair. He pressed his palms against his eyes, as if hoping to pull the memory from his head.

"I hate boggarts," he said to himself. He crossed his arms and closed his eyes for a moment. He likely would have fallen asleep, if not for Lupin bringing in his third-year Gryffindor class .

As Professor Lupin came in and moved to close the door behind him, Snape said, "Leave it open, Lupin. I’d rather not witness this."

He rose and headed for the door when he caught sight of Neville Longbottom. He stopped at the door and added, "Possibly no one’s warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instructions in his ear." A boggart was often too much for a trained wizard, Snape knew, and with a failure of one it might be fatal.

"I was hoping that Neville would assist me with the first stage of the operation," Lupin said, "and I am sure he will perform it admirably." Snape didn’t miss the order in Lupin’s voice. Sod off, Snape.

Snape allowed his lip to curl and left, snapping the door shut. If Lupin wanted to get his class killed, so be it. Fewer Gryffindors to deal with.

Still, Snape listened at the door until he finally heard Neville’s cry of "Riddikulus!" He left then, with the thought of his boggart weighing heavily on his mind.

Fin

Second Disclaimer: If you care to look, there are bits of that are taken directly from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That novel was written by JK Rowling, and she is the better of the two of us.

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