Severus Snape very rarely spent his free time not working
Disclaimer: JK Rowling is the
awesomest awesome to ever awesome. I am not. Enjoy.
Severus Snape very rarely spent his
free time not working. Not because he enjoyed it, though he did, but
because it gave him a convenient excuse to avoid people. Not that he
was anti-social per se, but he simply did not get on with society. It
was a bit like church and state. Either did well enough left alone,
but the combination of the two tended to result in trouble, chaos,
and, in extreme cases, fire being set to people.
This was rapidly approaching extreme.
“Severus, old chap!” said
Lockhart merrily as he strolled into Severus’ classroom. “You
weren’t at the party!”
Severus sneered without thinking.
Lockhart had that effect on him. “I am working,” he said,
in case Lockhart hadn’t noticed the large cauldron over which
Severus was watching. “It’s very important that I add the
final ingredient just before it starts to boil—”
“Pah, that can wait!”
interrupted Lockhart. He made a dismissive wave that knocked him off
balance. Severus realized that the man was drunk. “You’ve
got lots of time for work!”
“The difference between your time
and mine, Lockhart, is that mine is important. Yours is merely
Lockhart nodded, obviously not
listening. “Parties are important!” he insisted. “Come
Severus was about to respond nastily,
but stopped himself upon hearing the pleading in Lockhart’s
voice. He looked up from his potion and, for the first time since
Lockhart had entered Severus’ dungeon, regarded him with an
attentive eye. His cheeks were red, possibly from drink, and he
seemed to find his feet very interesting. If Severus didn’t
know better, he would swear that Lockhart…
inebriated. Go back to your own rooms and leave mine alone.”
Lockhart was apparently still sober
enough to look offended. “I am not ineb... inerbrirated...
iniabra... drunk! I'm as sober as I never was!”
“Indeed. So I won’t need to
lead you back. Good night, Lockhart. Go home.”
As Lockhart stumbled out, Severus’
potion began to boil over. “Damn you, Lockhart!”
Severus’ favorite breakfast
consisted of a cinnamon roll, bacon, and eggs, with the addition of,
or so his plate would suggest, owl feathers.
He looked up from his meal. He was
vaguely aware that Lockhart was chattering to the students about
Valentine’s Day, but Severus was focused on the owl in front of
him. It dropped a pink envelope into his eggs and waited for a snack.
When it became obvious that Severus wasn’t sharing, the owl
gave an offended hoot and flew off.
Severus stared at the valentine. That’s
what it had to be; nothing else could be so pink. It was more
than merely pink; it seemed to radiate some sort of internal pinkness
beyond its color. In fact, the shade didn't look too much unlike the
pink that decorated Lockhart.
Almost frightened, he opened it. It
smelled faintly of lavender, he noticed with disgust. It read,
I’ve been unable to tell you
aloud, but you’ve mastered more than potions. You are the
master of my heart. Perhaps one day I will have the courage to tell
you who I am, but in the meantime, please trust that my love is true
and my heart is pure.
Your Secret Admirer
The signature had more curves and curls
than a tangled Slinky. Indeed, it seemed that more effort had been
put into the signature than the letter itself.
So his instinct the previous night had
been correct. Lockhart... fancied him. This was very difficult
for Severus to even contemplate, not least for the fact that it
required him to use the word “fancy.” Severus did not use
words like “fancy.” He used words like, “ensnare”
and “bewitch” and “Lockhart, I will have your skull
as a salad bowl.”
This had to be dealt with.
Later that day, he was standing outside
Professor Dumbledore’s office, with a Jolly Rancher in his
mouth and a face that suggested that it was not helping him to feel
the least bit jolly.
“Dumbledore, the man fancies
me! Fire him!”
“Do calm down, Severus. Have a
piece of candy.”
Severus growled and snatched a
yellow piece of something from the bowl on Dumbledore’s desk.
“Now, Severus,” said the
Headmaster, “what gives you the idea that Gilderoy has feelings
“Last night. He came into my
classroom and asked me to come to that damned Valentine’s Day
party of his.” It was, Severus realized, probably not the most
effective argument he’d ever come up with.
“He asked all of us to the
party, Severus. He probably missed your R.S.V.P.” the
“Well, aside from that, he
sent me a valentine! Look!” He handed over the letter, which
still smelled of lavender.
“How can you tell it is from
him? It doesn’t give a name.”
Severus’ face tried to express
many different levels of frustration. “It just is! Can you
think of anyone else whose signature even closely resembles that?”
Dumbledore shrugged amiably.
“Perhaps a student?”
The conversation, which had gone
downhill from the beginning, became vertical. Eventually Severus had
to leave before he cursed something. Or punched something. Whichever
Very well. Dumbledore was not about to
do anything about Lockhart. It had been an outside chance anyway, as
there wasn't any rule that he knew of that strictly forbade teacher
This meant that he had to convince
Lockhart that he was not interested, and that he never would be.
Shouldn't be too hard. How stupid
could one man be?
I hate you. Die.
Severus S. Snape
Severus looked over
his response to Lockhart's valentine, and removed the word “Dear.”
Then he simply through the whole letter in the fire of the staffroom.
With his luck, Lockhart would think that Severus was simply playing
hard-to-get, while he was really trying to play
As he struggled
with the proper way to express his hatred towards the man, Lockhart,
in a flourish of pink. For that matter, Lockhart was a
flourish of pink; if Severus put out all the fires, he suspected,
Lockhart would probably still glow.
chap!” said Lockhart. Severus did not know why he was called an
old chap, but did not like it. “I hear someone got a valentine
Valentine's Day, Lockhart, I'm certain many people did. Now go away,
eh? I can help!” he said proudly, as if trying to impress.
“I've quite the hand with potions myself, you know.”
listening. “Why don't you let me take a look at that? I'll give
you a few tips!” Before Severus could move to stop him,
Lockhart snatched the paper on which Severus had been writing his new
draft of hatred. “'Lockhart,'” he read, “'There are
not yet words to describe the depth of my feelings for you, yet I
still feel compelled to press on...' Severus! I had no idea!”
“I was not
finished,” Severus insisted. “The next line was going to
be, 'I loathe you entirely,' but since you're here, I have a more
direct link. Lockhart, I loathe you entirely. I know you sent me that
bloody valentine, and I assure you, not only do I feel the exact
opposite, but I would have to like you more in order to hate you.
Burn. In. Hell.”
Lockhart smiled and
grinned in what he apparently thought was a roguish manner. “Oh,
Severus, don't give me that! I can see why you're shy, since I am the
five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award,
but really, there's no need.” He lowered his voice to a
whisper. “To be honest, Severus, I had a bit of a crush on your
myself. You're very smart, you know, I like that in a potential
Severus lost what
little patience he had. “YOU BLITHERING IMBECILE!” he
shouted. “I DO NOT LIKE YOU! I DO NOT LIKE MEN! I AM SEXUALLY
ATTRACTED TO WOMEN!” Professors Vector and Sinistra turned to
look at him. He snapped his head in their direction. “You heard
“Ah, still in
denial, Severus? When's the last time you were even with a woman?”
Severus opened his
mouth to retort, then found that he had no suitable response. Instead
he settled for, “None of your damn business.” He found
that his eye was twitching and he couldn't uncurl his fist. He
vaguely wondered how much trouble he'd get into for murdering the
Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Probably more than it was
Lockhart was trying to charm his way into Severus' bed, the rational
part of Severus' mind that had been largely unused in the past few
minutes spoke up. He can't accept that he was wrong, it said,
so if you tell him you're not inclined to like men, he won't
believe it. But what if there's another man?
further thought on the subject would only get him into trouble, he
hissed, “Lockhart, shut up and come with me. I don't want to
discuss this in front of them.” He motioned to the women, who
were still staring at him.
Severus,” said Lockhart with a wink. Severus resisted the urge
to punch him.
They quickly walked
out into the hallway, which was empty. Lockhart gave Severus an
expectant look. “What is it that you wanted to tell me away
from prying ears?” he asked in a voice that was apparently
supposed to be sexy, with a strong emphasis on supposed to.
Lock—Gilderoy,” said Severus, wanting to bite his own
tongue off, “I can lie to you no longer. You have seen through
my mask of blind, unrelenting hatred, into the soft... erm...
softness within.Though you have... have... bewitched my mind and
ensnared my senses, I fear that I cannot... act upon these feelings.”
Really sell it now, he thought. “My heart belongs to
another, and I must remain loyal to him.”
crestfallen, which was something to see in a man that was almost
entirely crest. Then he perked up. “Ah, well, nothing ventured,
eh? Can I at least ask the name of the man who beat me to your
cycled through a list of men he knew that were approximately his age
and had never been in the employ of the Dark Lord.
It was a short
toward the staffroom, trying to avoid thinking about recent events.
If he were completely honest with himself, he'd know that he was
teasing Severus about Lockhart. It was a welcome distraction, at any
As he turned the
corner, he saw the two professors talking about something. And
neither was bleeding. Perhaps they'd made friends. He continued
towards them, and Severus said, apparently responding to Lockhart,
“Erm... his name is Remus. Remus Lupin.”
thought Dumbledore, Remus Lupin. I haven't heard from him
in some time. I wonder how he's doing...