The Sugar Quill
Author: Starbuckx  Story: Hair of a Dog  Chapter: Default
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Shaving cream, check

Hair of a Dog

 

 

Cold against warm skin, the razor blade slid through the young man’s chiseled features, the sharp edge gliding through the shaving cream and leaving soft skin behind.  Brown eyes that sparkled with intelligence stared back in the mirror as strong hands worked carefully to make sure his face was devoid of any unnecessary facial hair.

 

At long last, he came to the moustache, and it was only then that he stopped, the eyes fixed on the offending patch of hair.

 

It looked positively awful, and of course, he was sure that was exactly what they’d planned. Day after day he would stand in front of the mirror, razor blade in hand as he tried to remove the disgusting thing from his face. It was as if some sort of diseased centipede had decided to take up permanent residence on his upper lip. But day after day he would find that his moustache had grown back by the time he’d reached the Great Hall.

 

Of course, there were some that liked it, like Andrea Cooper, the seventh-year Ravenclaw Sirius had dated for a while, who had not only asked him out on a date, but declared he looked manly now. And there was Marissa Bones, too, the fifth year Hufflepuff who kept smiling at him every time she saw him. And he could swear she hadn’t doing that before the… the… thing

 

There was no accounting for taste, really.

 

He’d used every method imaginable to get rid of it, from a charm to inhibit hair growth, to the desperate act of using Accio on every single hair. Predictably, that had been very painful, and of course …it hadn’t worked. In fact, nothing had worked. Which, of course, led to the conclusion that his friends were behind this …eh …unusual hair growth.

 

Sighing, he tried to think of what he could have done to deserve this kind of revenge, but his mind drew a blank. And that made it all the worse. If he hadn’t done anything to deserve it, then James or Sirius, or probably James and Sirius were just bored and looking for a worthy adversary.

 

His eyes focused on the mirror, and sure enough, there was the mustache again. He’d been hoping against hope that maybe they would think that making him go around like this for a week was enough. But, no such luck. His mustache was still in place, and James and Sirius were asleep in their beds, looking like perfect angels.

 

They would pay for this.

 

First, he had to find a way to get Severus to help him. Shaving daily didn’t seem to be working, and the only other possible solution he hadn’t already tried was a potion. And if all his research was correct, it was a very difficult potion indeed.

 

James and Sirius must have known he wouldn’t be able to concoct a potion as complicated as the one he’d found could help him get rid of the unwanted hair, especially considering he hated Potions and was only average, at best, at potion-making. But his friends had apparently forgotten which one of them was the best planner.

 

He would make sure they would never forget again.

 

 

~**~

 

Potions was never as fun as when you had a plan. Today Remus Lupin had a plan, even if it didn’t involve listening to Professor Tilbelt carefully as many of the other plans had. It did involve careful calculation, however, so even if he would have preferred to sit alongside Peter today, he had to sit with Sirius as he always did, lest they suspect something.

 

But he also had to find a way to make his words reach to ears of one Ms. Margaret Prewett, a tall blonde located in the other side of the room. It was widely known that this Margaret had a mischievous streak that often left her Ravenclaw housemates shaking their heads, and coupled that with the fact that she had a crush on Remus, unknown to everyone else, well ….she might be willing to help.

 

As any great strategist knows, the first rule of the trade is to always be flexible, so when Professor Tilbelt suggested Sirius sit in the front where he could keep an eye on him, meaning Remus had to move as well, he merely smiled as he gathered his things. Thankfully for his plans, Professor Tilbelt’s strong baritone voice broke the silence before he could follow Sirius.

 

“No, you stay there Lupin. I’d like Black to be paired up with someone who can be a moderating influence on him, at least for today, and we all know that’s not you.” He gave Remus an understanding smile before indicating to one of the girls in the corner. “Ms. McMillan, could you please accompany Mr. Black? And you, Prewett, sit with Lupin for today.”

 

And, just like that, everything fell into place. All he had to do was set things in motion.

 

“…and, honestly, I can’t stand another day with this silly mustache!” he was saying to James in a whiny voice, as she sat down and he turned to smile at her before continuing. “If I find out one of you is behind this …”

 

He never did finish, because James felt the need to reassure Remus of his innocence, a sure sign that he was guilty. “Of course not, mate. We’d never do something like that you.”

 

He nodded and turned to the lesson again, inwardly smiling. Oh, they were just so very easy.

 

One.

 

Two.

 

Three.

 

“Remus?” Margaret’s timid voice whispered as she scooted closer to him, presumably so that no one could hear her. “I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation with James …” He smiled inwardly again. “And …I was wondering if there was something I could to do help you.”

 

He tried to look serious and affronted as she scooted even closer to him. “Short of convincing Severus Snape into making me the potion to get rid of this, no. There’s no way anyone else can brew that potion, it’s very complicated.”

 

She went still, and seemed to consider it for a moment before asking softly, “Would you happen to have a copy of the potion?”

 

“Yes, of course,” he said as he handed her the one he’d written out with the with Sirius’s enchanted quill so that Severus couldn’t recognize his writing, as he fought against the little voice inside his head that insisted he was taking advantage of her. Because he wasn’t, he was just …maximizing the possibilities for success.

 

“Thank you,” she said and she didn’t say anything for the rest of the class, but even having to put up with having her dangerously close to him for that amount of time was a small inconvenience considering what he had achieved.

 

Oh, his friends were in for a big surprise. And that annoying little voice could go to hell, for now. He had revenge to plan.

 

 

~**~

 

“Severus?” a mellow voice he couldn’t recognize asked and he looked up from his book to stare into the green eyes of Margaret Prewett.

 

“Margaret …” he acknowledged shakily.

 

“You seemed awfully concentrated on your book,” she started as she sat down on the soft grass beside him. “And I thought it would be good to sit down with you for a while, and make you look up. It’s a beautiful afternoon, and the lake looks lovely from up close, don’t you think?”

 

He swallowed nervously and turned around sharply to watch the lake. A great amount of water, nothing special, he thought. “Oh, yes …lovely,” he answered her trying to school his features into a pleasant expression.

 

“Oh, don’t just look, Severus …” She pouted, both hands coming to rest on his cheeks as she turned his head towards the lake once more.

 

He didn’t see anything different, just too much water for his taste, and a few couples prancing around. Disgusting. And still, the touch of her soft hands against his skin was doing strange things to his heart. Was it his imagination or was it beating wildly?

 

“I’ve heard you’re the best potion brewer in the whole school.” She came a little closer to say this, almost as if she were revealing a big secret no one else was privy to, instead of acknowledging something everyone knew but no one wanted to admit.

 

“I’m good at Potions,” was all he could answer, because he wasn’t used to compliments. What was he supposed to say to this girl, this fairy creature who had soft hands and smelled of roses?

 

“I was actually working on a project for Potions, but I think I’m going to give up. The potion is just too complicated for me.”

 

He knew what she wanted, knew now why she’d come to sit with him in the first place, and yet he could do nothing to stop the next words from leaving his mouth.

 

“Do you need help?”

 

“Only if you don’t mind,” she answered, looking down to the ground and he did mind; he had better things to do than help a Ravenclaw who should know better with a project for Potions that would probably prove incredibly simple to him.

 

Still, he went.

 

~**~

 

 

“You just put three drops of this in your drink, and the mustache won’t grow back again,” Margaret Prewett’s dulcet tones pronounced as she presented Remus with a vial filled with a clear liquid. “Your friends really pulled a nasty prank on you, the Potion was rather complicated to make …”

 

“Yes, I reckoned.” He smiled as he stared at the vial. “Thank you for this, Margaret. I promise not to mention your involvement to anyone. I wouldn’t want your good girl image to go down the drain.”

 

She giggled, one of those silly noises girls made that Remus had never been able to understand. “Good girl image? Seriously, Remus Lupin, one would think you don’t know me at all. I’ve never been anything but a bad girl.” And she closed the distance between them until she was standing dangerously close to him again.

 

The little voice inside his head, his conscience, he supposed, screamed in outrage. Here he was, taking advantage of the girl just because he knew she had a crush on him. It was low and disgusting.

 

“Margaret, thank you,” he managed to get out as he tried to put some distance between them again. “It was very …nice of you to do this,” He stammered as she closed the distance between them again. “And I …I ..”

 

Soft lips met his, and before he could really comprehend what was happening, he was kissing her back, lips locked as they explored each other leisurely.  It was warm, and altogether nice, and when he ended the kiss, she could see he was smiling brightly.

 

“I think that’s payment enough, Remus Lupin. I do believe I’m the first girl to get what she wants in regards to you …” she said shamelessly as she winked at him and proceeded to skip away.

 

He looked at her retreating figure for a moment, before throwing his head back and laughing. The girl would never change. And somewhere inside him his conscience shut up as he other side of him, the one his friends got to see more often than not, said in a very loud voice, HA!

 

And still laughing, he made the way to Gryffindor Tower, revenge on his mind.

 

 

~**~

 

It was not often than James Potter and Sirius Black, pranksters extraordinaire, were outsmarted, so when the whole of Gryffindor Tower awoke on the cold Friday morning to realize that the schools most renowned pranksters had indeed been outsmarted, outclassed, and outmaneuvered, the gossip spread like wildfire, and before they had even reached the Great Hall there was already a poll being conducted as to who the culprit could be.

 

For both Sirius Black, who everyone knew was very proud of his hair, and James Potter, the only person in school who thought his messy hair was actually appealing, were now sporting what could only be called the Severus Snape hairstyle.

 

Greasy black hair clung to both their heads, and they looked around resignedly as they descended the stairs and stepped into the common room. The two boys, and their two usual companions, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin were not what one would call unfriendly, by any means, but they weren’t very forthcoming with information, either, so when the four of them descended the stairs there were many stares, and whispers, but no one dared to raise questions out loud.

 

It was only later, when a certain Ravenclaw girl noticed the absence of the mustache on Remus Lupin’s face, that the boys’ amusing hairstyle, and their unaccustomed silence was explained. For everyone had seen Lupin sporting that awful mustache for a week, and a lot of people had heard him complain about how horrible it looked. Now, it was gone, and on the same day his friends’ hairstyle had taken a turn for the worse.

 

Oh, they’d been outwitted, outplayed, and outmaneuvered. And, by the quiet one, of all people.

 

Let the games begin.

 

 

The End

 

 

 

A/N: This is actually my first Marauders fic. As much as my Remus muse likes me, I’ve never been comfortable with my portrayal of young Sirius, not the mention James and Peter in general. But this is just something Anne suggested after the awful pictures of Remus in PoA were released, and I had to try it. It’s therapy, you see. A big hug goes to Kat-chan, for the title, and to Margot, because I know she hated the picture as much as I did.

 

This is for whoever ends up sitting next to me for PoA. *giggles*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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