Disclaimer: It all belongs to JK Rowling. We all
know that. I'm only playing with it, because I can't help myself. I certainly
make no money off this. My empty wallet attests to that.
A/N: I wrote this story as a birthday gift for Zsenya. She said she wanted to see Snape
wash his hair. So voila! There's really no reason to post this, other
than to hope that someone else might get a laugh out of it.
This is set sometime during Chamber of Secrets.
ACTS OF NECESSITY
do it for sure! He’s gone too far this time!”
Snape stood, with his arms crossed, ankle deep in the
puddle of water that was rapidly forming in his private bathroom. He’d managed
to stop the water from spilling over into his sleeping quarters and his office
with a Blocking Charm, but there was nothing he could do about the leak itself
unless he wanted to get involved in repairing whatever damage Peeves had
caused. And the last thing he wanted to do was stay here and listen
to Filch rant on about the poltergeist, even if he happened, for once, to agree
with the old caretaker’s opinion.
“Wreaking havoc with Professors’ things! He’s done it
this time! And that he did it to yours, Professor -”
the only bathroom affected?” Snape interrupted
curtly. He was in no mood to hear Filch’s
ingratiating praise. The caretaker treated all the professors with respect, but
with Snape that respect bordered annoyingly on
adoration. Snape was certain that Filch regarded him
as something of a comrade in arms in his perpetual war against the students. No, not a comrade in arms. A superior.
The old caretaker often commented admiringly on Snape’s
ability to terrify the students, without ever once having to threaten the use
of manacles and racks. Snape found the man’s manner
Professor, all of the professors’ quarters are -”
“Very well. Then fix them, Filch.”
Professor, of course, but I need to report this to the Headmaster.”
you do, Filch, do it quickly,” he ordered, letting the irritation show in his
voice. Then he turned and sloshed through the water, scowling, and stepped out
of the wet bathroom and onto the dry stone floor of his personal quarters. It
was bad enough that the dungeons accumulated dampness as it was, so that he had
to maintain several Drying Charms on his rooms. The last thing he needed was
overflowing piping. Irritation aside, it posed a serious threat to the potions
he had brewing in his office. At times like these, he did truly have to agree
with Filch’s opinion about Peeves. The poltergeist
had best hope he didn’t cross Snape’s path today.
made the situation all the more irritating was that Severus
was actually in dire want of a shower.
He had just
come from his last lesson of the day, with those impudent Gryffindors. Impudent and incompetent. If it was the last thing he did, Snape swore he’d find a way to make Longbottom
understand what it meant to brew potions. And if it took exploding that blasted
toad the way Longbottom exploded cauldrons, then
sooner or later toad guts would decorate the dungeon walls. He’d see to it.
irritated swipe of his hand, he brushed at some remaining slime on the sleeve
of his robes, succeeding only in smearing it further. He could take out his
wand and clear it, but more than anything he just wanted to clean his whole
body. Normally the feel of steam clinging to him didn’t disturb him; he spent
hours over brewing potions, after all. But Longbottom
had been attempting to brew a Shriveling Potion, and the last thing Snape needed was for the effects of it to start to sink
into his skin. Even wiping it away with magic did nothing to wipe away the
residual irritation. He just wanted to shower. For once.
he heard a whooshing sound from his fireplace, and turned to see Minerva
McGonagall’s head floating in the flames.
“Severus,” she said in a clipped voice. “I take it you’ve
discovered our little problem.”
thoroughly,” Snape replied coolly. “I’m hoping a
Drought Charm on the castle will not be necessary.”
grimaced slightly. “No, no need for extremes. I’ve already told the elves to
help Filch take care of the matter.”
Snape said sourly.
thought you might like to know,” her tone made it very clear that she truly
doubted he wanted to know, “that Poppy has opened the Hospital Wing facilities
for our use, until the problem is fixed.”
Snape frowned. The thought of showering in the Hospital
Wing, where any ill student might be lurking, was hardly an enticing one. But
neither was sitting about in a damp room, reeking of ruined potions and
listening to Filch directing an army of elves in repairing the plumbing.
you,” he said distractedly toward the fireplace, gaze already elsewhere.
the sound of a rather irritated sigh, and then a whoosh as McGonagall’s head
Snape stood in the center of his room, still frowning, for
a few moments more before coming to a decision. He’d speak with Pomfrey, and if the Hospital Wing was empty, then he would
later, he was standing in the blissfully empty shower room of the Hospital Wing
with a black towel and a bottle of Mrs Skower’s Might As Well Scalp Yourself Heavy Duty Hair Wash,
and hating circumstances that could make him feel like he was a student again
in a dormitory bathroom. Truly, passionately hating them.
out of his ruined robes, thinking again, with relish, of toad guts, and turned
the taps to hot water.
There was something about the
almost painful feel of scalding hot water on skin that he… needed. He stood
like stone for a long while, letting the water roll down his body like trails
of liquid fire.
much time as he did over simmering cauldrons, he was used to heat. He was used
to the way it slicked his skin, and settled in his hair, and set the air to
shimmering. He was used to it, and he had learned to love it, and everything
that came with it. Solitude. His
work. And the added side-effect of looking highly unpleasant enough to
terrify the students was only an extra bonus. He was used to all of it, so it
wasn’t often he felt the need to scour himself clean with the heat of water
lifted his hands, and saw a gloopy mess he recognized
instinctively as eye of newt smashed under his fingernail, and thought that
this was definitely one of those times.
of Mrs Skower’s Might As
Well Scalp Yourself Heavy Duty Hair Wash
was not a pleasant one, but it didn’t bother him. He’d certainly smelled far
worse in his time, and so long as it was effective, that was all that mattered
quickly now, remembering suddenly that he was in the Hospital Wing and not his
own quarters, Severus scrubbed the green Hair Wash
potion vigorously through his hair. It made a quiet sizzling sound, and stung
fiercely, but he ignored it and continued scrubbing.
single minded determination he applied to all unpleasant tasks, he finished
washing his hair and stood directly under the scalding stream of water to rinse
the potion suds away. He lowered his hands, feeling the heat of the water
trailing down his arms, and paused, watching the faint sheen of it coursing
along the skin of his inner forearm. His left arm.
hot water trailed from the ends of his hair and down his face, streaming over
his eyelashes and partially obscuring his vision… but he didn’t need clear
vision to see what wasn’t even there. What was there, even if sight
would not reveal it.
over his inner forearm was unblemished. Pale, flushed
slightly now with the heat of the water. Unmarked.
But it was there - inside his skin. The Dark Mark. Waiting.
matter how long he stood here, no matter how much scalding water, boiling water
even, he poured over his flesh, nothing would ever
remove that Mark. It may lie hidden now, waiting for a chance to burn again…
but it was there. He could wash grime away, but he couldn’t wash away his past.
Some things could not be cleansed. Not even scalded away.
banging sound echoed suddenly through the room.
Snape stiffened, and barely restrained himself from leaping
out of the stall on instinct to reach for his wand.
later, he wished he hadn’t restrained the urge.
sound, clearly of a door opening, was followed by a very cheerful sort of
humming, and a voice… a very hated voice…
nothing quite so bedaaaazzzling….” the voice spiraled
up alarmingly, “as Maaagical Me!”
Snape gritted his teeth against the violent urges which
shot through him at the sound of that voice. He was very glad for the thick
cloud of steam billowing around his stall, and hoped it would be enough to keep
him from having to see the man.
goodness, looks like there’s someone enjoying the hot water, doesn’t it?”
Snape pushed his wet hair back, fingers clenched against
his scalp as tightly as his jaw. He should have gone for his wand. Iced a bit of the floor. An accident.
Could have happened to anyone. Everyone would thank
him for it.
his silence was not enough to deter Gilderoy Lockhart
and his boundless self-enthusiasm.
“Is this a
fellow beleaguered professor lost in all this steam?” Lockhart asked
cheerfully, and Snape could hear his footsteps
advancing across the smooth floor. They sounded despicably light. No doubt the
idiot was veritably prancing.
silence was not going to work. And he was done here anyway. There was no need
to torment himself by staying and listening to Lockhart’s prattle. Too long,
and he would have to resort to violence.
Snape shut off the taps and stepped out of the stall,
dripping, scowling, and completely unembarrassed. The steam wafted aside, and
there, in mid prance, was Lockhart. He had a sparkly, lilac colored towel flung
over his shoulder, and was wearing matching sandals. He carried a huge, pastel
colored bottle in one hand, and stood now with it dangling from nearly limp
fingers as he moved his jaw soundlessly for a moment, clearly a bit stunned by Snape’s sudden appearance.
voice?” Snape curled his lips into an unpleasant
smile. “What a tragedy.”
Lockhart floundered for a bit, then quickly pasted a
broad smile on his face, showing all his teeth. “I say! Not much for modesty
there, are you Sev – Se- Professor Snape.”
Snape kept his scowl
perfectly intact as he replied. “I’m sure you recognize the symptoms.”
Lockhart prattled on, as though he hadn’t heard. “Seems we’re in quite a situation,
aren’t we? Poltergeists are always quite the troublesome things. You know, they
should just let me have a bit of a crack at it. I could have it out of the
castle in no time! I’ve dealt with many a poltergeist in my day!”
Snape decided that saying anything further would just be
tempting Lockhart to continue the conversation. So he turned his back, reaching
for his towel, then changed his mind and reached for his wand instead. He heard
Lockhart choke suddenly on further words of self-adoration, and he smirked,
sorely tempted to turn around, wand pointed. To see just how fast the man could
He cast a
quick Drying Charm on himself, unwilling to stay long enough to use the towel.
By the time he pulled his robes back on and turned around, Lockhart had
composed himself again, and was tossing his sparkling lilac towel jauntily onto
a hook outside one of the showers.
hope none of the ladies decide to come on down, eh?” Lockhart grinned. “Wouldn’t want to dazzle them too badly.”
Snape curled his hands over his wand. Tightly.
“At least in the hospital wing they may be cured of the trauma,” he said
coolly, then turned and strode toward the door before Lockhart could say
another word. One more word, and his control would
snap. In the absence of toad guts, other things would do.
had the door to the hospital showers close behind him than he heard Lockhart’s
voice raised in song again.
you’re needing bewitching, oh desperateleeeeeeey….
you can always call on Maaagical Me!”
back in a sneer, Snape continued down the Hospital
Wing, relieved to hear the sounds of Lockhart’s voice receding… and then he
couldn’t simply walk away and allow that abomination to continue.
melted into a smirk, and he turned back, walking silently back to the shower
room door. Stealth was always something which had come naturally to him, and he
pushed the door open with soundless ease.
he was hit by a powerful wave of scent. It smelled like someone had set fire to
one of Professor Sprout’s more flowery greenhouses, and it looked that way,
too. The room was full of bubbles, hundreds of them, floating out of one of the
shower stalls and whirling around the room in a frenzy of pastel colors. Pink. Lilac. Blue.
was still singing, and as he sang, the bubbles changed hue, shifting from lilac
to deep purple, and then back to soft pink.
Snape walked in, waving the bubbles aside to clear a path.
Unbelievable. The man – no, not a man.
Lockhart’s voice suddenly shot
upward. “Flawless and FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
The bubbles turned a sour green,
and dozens of them instantly popped.
stood still, just outside the stall, and waited for the inevitable.
A few mere seconds passed, and then
Lockhart began the song all over again.
Under cover of his screeching, Snape reached out and took the sparkly lilac towel off its
hook. Then he lifted his wand, and thought of the creatures lurking in the Forbidden
Forest. And of the stories the
students were telling about some of Lockhart’s classes.
With a flick of his wand, Snape conjured an electric blue Pixie. It hovered right in
front of him for one befuddled moment, and he grabbed the tiny creature with a
quick, silent movement, gripping it hard enough to prevent it from breathing or
biting. The Pixie glared up balefully at him, and he just smirked back.
Then he carefully stuffed the Pixie into the
folds of Lockhart’s towel, wrapped it up securely, and set it on the floor
beneath the hook.
“When not just any wizard will doooooooo….”
left the room, closing the door behind him, and this time he didn’t turn back.
Lockhart would be screeching in quite a different manner very shortly. He
didn’t need to be there to hear it. He knew. But perhaps he could find some
students to punish, and send them up to the Hospital Wing for immediate
detention. There ought to be some witnesses. Rumors had a way of spreading.
tucked his wand back into his robes, and absently pushed a hand back through
his clean and dry hair, pushing the unusually silky strands away from his face.
It had been
a good shower, in the end.