The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Styling Nightmare  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: See, some author and authorettes might say here, “Though the works of JK Rowling are used here without permission, I don't want you to do the same to any original character that comes along.” Pah. You know what? You can have any of these people you want. In fact, if you catch me on a good day, I'll make you more.

They're like cookies, everyone can have some. Only not as tasty.

The idea from this story came from my twisted mind like so: if first and second years aren't permitted to go to Hogsmeade, how do they get their haircut and such?

Severus Snape did not make a habit of setting his head on fire. He made a habit of wishing that others might take the liberty of setting fire to their own heads, but his, he felt, should be left well enough alone.

It was all Potter's fault. Severus wasn't sure how, yet, but if experience had taught him anything, it was that he could blame Harry Potter for anything that went wrong in his life.

It had begun like any other day. He had a medical potion brewing for Poppy Pomfrey. Not, one should note, at the request of the nurse in order to administer to the student body, but at the request of the nurse in order to administer to the nurse. Apparently she had a problem whose potion exceeded her skill, and made it hard to sit as well.

At any rate, this potion's fumes tended to be flammable, so Severus was brewing it by the glow of a ball of light he'd conjured for that purpose. However, he'd had to leave briefly in order to obtain the final ingredient, which would make the potion fire-safe and effective for its purpose. Unfortunately, a house elf chose the moment that he was out of the room to come in, and noting the lack of light, had snapped his fingers to light the torches.

The house elf, Herbie, had been all right, though he did spend some time afterward vaguely wanting to be a dentist, and singing songs to that effect. But as for Severus...


People told things to their hairstylists that they wouldn't tell to a priest. No one knows why. Perhaps it's because people are disinclined to believe that a hairdresser is much of a threat, which only goes to show that they'd never been to Le Beau Institute of Magical Hair Design.

The horror. The horror.

Since people are so loose-lipped in the barber's chair, Louis du Lapindamour knew things about Hogwarts that even the house elves weren't sure about. Among other things, he knew the favorite color of every last professor in Hogwarts, the favorite foods of many of the students, and something which was a secret that he guarded with his life: who in the school wasn't wearing their natural hair color.

He also knew of many secret entrances and exits, but as he never felt the need to be secretive about leaving or returning, he didn't devote too much of his attention to that part of his mind.

Louis du Lapindamour was a graduate of Beauxbatons, and then Le Beau Institute, and can best be described as such: a connoisseur of Muggle culture, but approximately one decade behind. Thus, he had a mullet. Most people found it difficult to describe him past the existence of the mullet, much in the same way that people can't remember what color the Elephant Man's eyes were.

Louis made a show of straightening up his equipment as Professor Snape entered his salon by way of one of said secret entrances. He was wearing smoked glasses and what Louis could only assume to be the only hat that the professor owned. For no other reason could Louis imagine anyone electing to wear a hat with a vulture on.

“'ullo, Professor!” said Louis. “'ow may I 'elp you today?”

Professor Snape was silent for a moment as he, from Louis' point of view, admired the stylist's hair. Then, shaking his head and blinking, he said, “I need my hair restored to its previous condition. Not,” he emphasized, “made to resemble yours in the slightest.”

“You know, you would be surprised 'ow often I get that.” Louis motioned to the seat and Severus sat in it, taking the hat off his head slowly, as if afraid that someone was hiding around the corner with a camera.

“Oh my, oh my, oh my,” said Louis. “There is much work I must do, no?”

“No. Just fix it. Make it grow then chop off the bits that don't look necessary.” Professor Snape, Louis felt, was probably not the most patient person ever to visit his chair.

“It is not that simple. To make the 'air grow naturally from the 'ead, I must first know from where it grew originally. It may take as long as an 'our.”

There was a quiet groan from Snape's direction that went completely unnoticed by the Frenchman.


When Severus had entered the salon, the first thought in his head had been, “Mullet! Mullet! Look at the mullet!” And since Severus couldn't quite remember the name of the man, “Mullet” had remained as a temporary name.

An hour? he thought mournfully when Mullet had told him. Curse you, Elf.

“So, Professor Snape, 'ow's potion mastering treating you?”

Severus would have growled had he been the type of person inclined to growl. Instead, he sneered, and felt slightly better for it. “I did not come here to make small talk. I came to have my scalp repaired so that I do not look like a fool while I am seeking revenge on a house elf.” He knew that there was something slightly off about what he had just said, but chose not to dwell on it.

“'ouse elf, eh? That sounds like an interesting story, I think,” said Mullet, obviously not listening.

“No. It is not. A house elf whose name I cannot recall set my head on fire. Thus, I am here.”

“Ah, I was wondering 'ow you lost your 'air, but I did not want to pry. It may 'ave been male pattern baldness. Voilà Cheveux!” The last part was said at Severus' singed 'ead—head, presumably a charm to show where hair should have been.

“What kind of male pattern baldness results in first degree burns?”

“You would be surprised. The 'air is gone, the sunburn starts. Incidentally, if you don't mind my asking, 'ow is it that your eyebrows are intact but your 'air is not?”

“I do mind your asking, thank you.” Admittedly, Severus did not take the best care of his hair. And, on occasion, he elected to run a comb through his hair and place maybe a bit too much Sleekeazy's Stay-Put Hair Gel in, but still. He wouldn't have thought it would burn that easily. He'd have to send them a curse, as soon as he found an envelope big enough to put it in.

“Fair enough.” He'd started to rub some sort of lotion into Severus' scalp, and already he could feel the tingle of hair growing faster than it really should. It vaguely itched. “Now, you'll have to try to stay still for about fifteen minutes, if you want it back the way it was. Of course,” he mused, “I could give your 'air a more contemporary look.”

Mullet, mullet, mullet, Severus' brain warned. “No. You will restore my hair and I will leave. Any attempts to change my hairstyle will result in violence, bloodshed, and property damage.”

“Okay, okay, just an idea,” said Mullet. “So what was this potion that so torched your scalp?”

“Some feminine thing for a member of the staff who values her privacy.”

“Ah, Madam Pomfrey, yes. She mentioned that she would probably 'ave to ask for some 'elp.”

Severus didn't reply, but reached up and tentatively touched his hair. It was at the awkward point between short and long where gravity only took hold when it would be preferred if it didn't. Probably a few more minutes then. Perhaps the hairstylist would remain silent indefinitely.

“You know, black is such a drab color. I could make your 'air any other color you like, and it would look so natural that no one would remember that it wasn't.”

Or not.

“My hair will remain black. It will return to being long and fairly obedient. And you will stop suggesting how it should be changed.”

“All done!” said Mullet, still not listening. “Red, per'aps?”

Severus placed five Galleons on his chair and left, abandoning his vulture hat. “Is that a no?” Mullet called after him.


Louis knew more about most people than was healthy for him. This was why the First Law of Le Beau Institute of Magical Hair Design was “The trust of the barber is sacred, and the tongue of the trusted must be well controlled.” The second was, “Don't skimp on the shampoo.”

But Louis respected the Law, and one day, in the far future, when offered a chance to write a book based on the knowledge he accumulated in his years at Hogwarts, he would decline.

Which was just as well, because in the universe in which Louis had decided to publish such a book, he'd met with a mysterious and violent end. A bookend, as a matter of fact. It had been charmed to attack him in retribution for revealing Professor Flitwick's natural hair color.

It was Louis' own fault, though. Everyone knew that Filius had a short temper.


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