Turnabout is fair play
Author’s Note: This is the direct sequel to Luna Lovegood and the Dark Portrait. Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon do. Thanks very much to my Beta Letomo, but all mistakes are still mine. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# Chapter 24 Turnaround is fair Play
Remus Lupin gritted his teeth as he tried to ignore the whispers and stares from all four House Tables. Snape gave him a smug grin that looked almost possessive.
Minerva looked as if she didn't know if she should rage or laugh. Albus kept twinkling at them, while Remus had the horrible notion he would give them his blessing in front of the entire student body.
Remus leaned over to Snape. “You're a complete bastard and I hate you, you know that, don't you Severus?” He told the other man quite conversationally.
“Flattery will get you no reprieve, Lupin. You're still mine for another night,” Snape gave him an intense look. “And I hope you noticed that when you leaned towards me the entire Hall pricked up their ears. They probably think you're whispering sweet nothings into my ear.”
This time Minerva really did laugh.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Office of Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore smiled at the potions master who was striding through his office. He himself was comfortably seated in his large desk chair. Fawkes was sleeping on his perch.
Finally Snape turned towards him. “You wanted to see me. And I’ve got enough to do that merely sitting around your office isn’t very attractive. So unless you tell me why you wanted to see me, I’ll be leaving.”
Albus’ smile widened. “Oh, no particular reason. I was just wondering why you do not mind the gossip about you and Remus.”
Snape snorted. “As I made sure those rumours were started in the first place, I can live with them.”
“I see. And the purpose of the rumours, Severus?” the twinkle in Dumbledore’s eyes could have set fire to a forest of pine trees.
Snape shrugged. “Misdirection.”
Albus snorted. “Severus, most of the children believe you have sex with bats - or Dementors. If you have any at all. Though there is that persistent rumour in Ravenclaw that you’ve found a way to make The Grey Lady obey your every command, which is why she hates you. And the Slytherins believe you developed a spell to enter the painting of the Lady Most Bare.”
Snape raised an eyebrow. “The Grey Lady would have my guts for garters if she heard that one.”
Dumbledore laughed. “Why Severus, I never knew you were a lingerie man,” he laughed again at Snape’s eye roll.
“The Hufflepuffs think you’ve got your eye on Aurora Sinistra or Septima,” he continued. “All of which you know. Sooo… why did you feel the need to start a rumour that you were homosexual, or at least interested in men?”
“I don’t care what they think of me, Albus. But if you must know, it serves a purpose,” Snape answered curtly. He made to leave but the door slammed shut in front of him.
Albus sat back in his chair. “The first purpose, of course, is to make it known that parents needn’t try and send their daughters to try and seduce you. Or at least sow sufficient confusion that you needn’t be too bothered about it.”
Snape just glared, while Albus smiled beatifically. “The second purpose is to embarrass poor Remus. Get back at him for Mr Longbottom’s Boggart, I presume. And many things in the past.”
Once again Snape merely glared. Albus pursed his lips. “But Slytherins always have threefold plans… Hmmm…”
He started to chuckle after a minute or so. “Ah, Severus. You never cease to amaze me.”
“Glad I’m keeping you entertained,” Snape replied acidly. “Now you’d better open this door or people are going to wonder.”
Albus smiled a trifle sadly. “Really Severus. You’re not my type.”
Snape glared. “Neither blond nor Dark enough?”
Dumbledore froze, his eyes widening in shock.
Snape merely nodded. “I’ve know for a while, Albus. We all make mistakes.”
The old wizard relaxed slightly. “In my case, more like a monumental cock up.”
“I wasn’t aware the two of you got that far,” Snape deadpanned.”
Albus sniggered. “Ah, Severus. You do lighten my day.”
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS
Luna Lovegood was skipping towards Charms while thinking about the problem set to her by Professor Snape. *A creature that makes wizards involuntary emit magic and then feed upon it? Hmmm, maybe I should have asked some of those nice people who came to visit. Some of them looked quite knowledgeable,*
she brightened. *And... he didn't forbid me to ask other teachers for help!*
She skipped into Defence, looking at the clock. People tended to make fun of her for skipping. But it was excellent exercise and, if properly executed, allowed her to move faster than walking and yet avoid punishment for running. And most pupils just got out of the way, rather than trying to block her, as they might have when she was walking.
There was plenty of time to ask Professor Lupin if he knew anything to help her. And she could go and visit professor Kettleburn later, he knew about creatures, and then there was her own Head of House. She would be happy to know if such a being existed or not. If it didn't she needed to find another way to make up the lost points.
“Professor? Do you know any creature that emits involuntary-” she began.
Lupin started to cough, as did several of her classmates.
Lupin glared at her. “Sit down, Miss Lovegood!”
Luna nodded meekly. “Yes sir, but Professor Snape-”
“SIT. DOWN! FIVE POINTS FROM RAVENCLAW!” Lupin thundered, his face very red. The class tittered and Luna fled to her seat. *He still must be suffering from his last change, poor man,*
Luna commiserated. *I shall need to work harder on the Wolf's balm.*
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS
Silvanus Kettleburn kept regular office hours that could be used by students to ask for advice on a variety of subjects. And as a known expert on the breeding habits of many species, he was occasionally consulted by outsiders as well.
So when Luna knocked and was bade enter, she wasn't all that surprised to see Lady Malfoy, who was after all a noted Kneazle breeder.
“Good afternoon Professor, Lady Malfoy. Professor, I realise I don't follow your class yet, but may I ask you a question?”
“You just did, Miss Lovegood,” Kettleburn answered gravely.
Narcissa rolled her eyes minutely and muttered. “Ravenclaws.”
Kettleburn grinned at her. “Now what’s the problem, lass?”
“Professor Snape told me that if I could write a report about a creature that involuntarily emits-”
Kettleburn coughed and Narcissa's ears pinked.
“Your Highness! Really!” she uttered in shock.
Kettleburn glared at the girl in disapproval
“B-but it's worth two hundred points for Ravenclaw! A-and I'll lose them if I don't. And I know it's not usual to ask for help from a teacher on special studies, but he didn't forbid it and I’m sure he'd think it very Slytherin!” Luna rushed out.
“Quite. And that he set you this task in the first place is quite Slytherin as well,” Kettleburn smiled grimly. “But highly inappropriate. Certainly at your age.”
Luna rolled her eyes. “I'm not some sensitive flower, sir. I know quite well that if something ate a magic user’s magic that person would die. That does not mean that I can't research them.”
Narcissa gave the girl an incredulous look. “Magic?”
“Yes, Ma'am. Professor Snape told me that if I could bring him proof of the existence of a being that forces others to emit their magic, earth it, and then feeds upon it, he’d ask the Headmaster give me two hundred points,” Luna explained.
Kettleburn grinned awkwardly. “Ah, yes. Quite. Emit magic.”
Luna nodded. “Yes sir,” Then she frowned. “You thought I wanted to know about something else?”
Narcissa coughed and hurried towards the door. “I-I'll just be going.”
Kettleburn smiled and waved at the chair that Narcissa vacated. Luna sat “You do that. Well... what sort of creatures were you thinking about?”
Luna frowned. “Well, I thought about creatures that feed on emotions. Puffskeins do so without harming people and Boggarts scare their victims to make them more intense, as do Dementors, sort of. So two of those are dangerous if not lethal and one is benign. Most things that feed upon something do it harm. That would mean it's more likely that a creature such as I'm looking for would be dangerous.”
Kettleburn nodded approvingly. “Quite right, Miss Lovegood. Now let’s see...”
He rose and removed a few books which he stacked on his desk. “We shall go to some of these and see where we get, shall we?”
Luna nodded eagerly. “Yes Professor.”
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Hogwarts Potions laboratory, January 26th
“You know Severus, I’m sure that when they invented Hell, they had in mind that one day you would come along,” Remus Lupin coughed as he dribbled the crushed Lasombra weed into the base of the potion. “This smells vile!”
“Yes, well, I didn’t invent the thing,” Snape pointed out from behind the safety of his desk. “You want to spread that more evenly. It slightly improves the taste.”
“You mean it could be worse than what you brew for me?” Lupin asked, aghast.
“Bastard,” Lupin muttered.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Hogwarts, January 29th
One of the changes that had been immediately implemented was the opening of several old classrooms to house study groups. By directive of the Headmaster and the Heads of House, each group had to consist of members of at least two houses, and no one could be refused if they asked politely and behaved.
Prefects patrolled and Headmaster Dumbledore had stated that teachers would monitor the situation as well.
And so it was that Luna Lovegood was tutoring Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe, while a group of First years was listening and scratching notes. Several tables of Ravenclaws were surreptitiously listening. Hermione wasn’t even pretending not to listen.
“The Empire of Magic is actually older by five hundred years or so than the reign of the D’Albane family,” Luna explained. “After the fall of the Magical Roman Empire, it was founded by a number of Wizards who wanted to safeguard both the Normal and the Wizarding world. They made treaties with various magical beings, such as Goblins and Centaurs, to stop the incessant warfare between the groups.”
“So who was in charge?” Crabbe asked, not looking up from his paper.
“Well, at first it was rule by committee, but then they divided the area up, with each one in charge of a particular area. Except the Wizards kept getting killed off, and they weren’t supposed to have heirs inherit, so it was all a bit of a mess,” Luna replied cheerfully. “Personally, I think that they were all infested with Wrackspurts. Which shows that even the mightiest wizards and witches should be careful.”
Hermione sighed. “I see. And how did the D’Albanes come to power?”
“Oh, that’s easy. There was a young witch, Selardi D’Albane. She was very powerful and very beautiful. She gathered a group of soldiers and nobles and conquered ever increasing areas in quite a ruthless fashion. She married three times, lived quite long, and made sure she inherited the lands and power of each of her husbands,” Luna made a cutting motion across her neck. “And she made sure she did so quickly.”
Goyle and Crabbe gulped and Draco let out an amazed whistle. “I never heard it told that way.”
Luna shrugged. “I see no reason to lie about it. She wasn’t especially nice, but she was a lot better than most of the then-rulers. It might have been good propaganda to say she was chosen by Merlin to rule, but I doubt they ever even met. And even then, why is Merlin supposed to be a basis for rule anyway?”
Hermione giggled. “Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.”
Draco frowned. “What?”
Harry laughed. He’d hidden behind the couch one night while his aunt watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complaining the whole time she didn’t get it.
“It’s a Normal thing. We’ll show it to you later,” Harry smirked.
“Is this like that music you made me listen to?” Draco asked suspiciously.
“Nothing like it at all,” Hermione assured him.
Crabbe cleared his throat. “Errr… Longbottom?”
Neville looked up from his History of Magic essay. (How many Goblins could fit into the Hog’s Head, and what does this say about the Goblin leadership. Discuss). “Yeah?”
“Your great grandfather… That’s Professor Kettleburn, right?” Crabbe asked laboriously.
“Yeah?” Neville replied, guardedly.
Crabbe reached into his robes and took out a crumpled piece of parchment. “My Granda wrote me, that he does that around this time every year. Do ya know if Professor Kettleburn was at the Battle over Bastogne?”
Neville nodded. “Yeah. He lost his left leg there.”
Crabbe nodded and consulted the parchment. “Was he in command of the Regiment of the Royal Wiltshire Bombardiers?”
“Yeah. Professor Flitwick was in command of the Old Buff Dragons. Why?” Neville was no longer suspicious, just curious.
Crabbe scratched his head. “Cor, Granda don’t half have rotten handwriting!”
He glared at the parchment as if it was to blame. Draco sighed and with a look and a grateful nod from Crabbe, took the parchment.
Draco scanned the writing. Then he smirked. “Seems to me that Lord Crabbe wants to extend an invitation to your Great-Grandfather, Longbottom. To drink some good wine and discuss the possible marriage of his Granddaughter Arsenia with you.”
Neville had just taken a sip of Pumpkin juice and promptly spewed it out over his essay. “WHAT?”
Crabbe grabbed the letter back. “It’s a bit young. Arsenia is only five,” he growled. “What’ve you been up to, Longbottom?”
“Nothing! I didn’t even know you had a sister!” Neville groaned.
There was a laugh from near the door. “I’m sure that your great-grandfather will manage to keep you single for a while yet, Mr. Longbottom. Now get back to studying, the lot of you.”
Professor Sprout smiled around the room and left. She coughed loudly in front of a tapestry of Strobolus the Indigent and walked on. A minute or so later, Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater, their faces as red as his hair, emerged from the alcove behind it and slunk back to take up their places in the classrooms they were supposed to be monitoring again.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Meanwhile, in the Prefects’ Bathroom
Sirius Black was in serious trouble. Having taken a walk on the familiar grounds of Hogwarts, he was now cornered by a ferocious enemy. Fang trying to sniff his arse was bad enough, but this, this was almost worse than Dementors.
Four Hufflepuff Firsties had found him, alone and unaccompanied by Harry. And they chased him squealing gleefully, hair ribbons in hand, until in a frantic panic he had run into the school itself. Right into a group consisting of all the Fifth Year Prefects.
And now he was in the place of his dreams: the girls section of the Hogwarts Prefects bathroom. And he was in the tub. With four gorgeous, if definitely underage, girls surrounding him.
There was also shampoo (Apple blossom), Conditioner (Strawberries, for long, silky locks), hairbrushes (Charmed to create that amazing texture), Hair curlers (Horrible flashbacks of once having landed in a middle aged muggle woman’s bedroom while being chased by Death Eaters), ribbons (Pink), toothpowder (Minty fresh), combs (Fine toothed), delousing spells (The humiliation), and nail polish (Pink again).
He was washed, shampooed, primped and gussied up and cooed over. And he could do nothing about it because the door to the Prefects’ Bathroom opened only for Prefects or teachers.
Finally, they were finished. They cooed over him some more and took pictures and the oldest girl transfigured two ribbons into a pink collar, with rhinestones, and a lead of the same materials. And they put the hideous thing on him! And then more pictures. *If I hadn’t been in Azkaban, I’d have considered this the worst thing ever to happen to me,*
Sirius thought morosely, whimpering as they dragged him from the bathroom and into the halls of Hogwarts.
“Why hello, Miss Cumberbatch,” a far too familiar voice spoke.
Sirius cringed. Which was lucky since most dogs did that in the presence of Werewolves, no matter what shape they had at the time.
“Hello Professor Lupin,” Melinda Cumberbatch replied with a giggle.
“That’s a big dog you have there,” Lupin continued.
“Isn’t he just darling, Professor? He’s Harry Potter’s, but Harry lets everybody who wants to pet him. Hagrid says it does him good to socialize too,” Sophia Prentiss petted the huge black head.
Remus thought for a second that the dog looked up at him in desperation before the head drooped again. *If I didn’t know better I’d say this was Sirius. But he wants to kill Harry. And he’d never let himself be humiliated like this. Also he smells of apple blossom, strawberries and mint. Sirius would kill himself before he allowed that.*
Remus reached out and patted the big dog. “Well, be sure to get him back outside before curfew starts, hmm?”
“Yes Professor,” Melinda lightly tugged the leash. “C’mon Blackie!”
“Blackie?” Remus asked, amused as the dog slunk away, tail between his legs, pink-varnished nails clicking on the stone floor.
Sophia shrugged. “Potter may be brave, but originality isn’t his strong suit.”
Remus laughed. “Quite. Have a good evening.”
The girls and the dog walked away. Remus pulled his robes around him. They were too light for Scotland in winter, really, but Filius had put an incredible warming charm on them for Christmas. With a sigh Remus headed down to the Dungeons. Severus Snape wanted his pound of flesh.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS
“I’m telling you that Snape was doing stuff to Lupin that I wouldn’t want to tell my Mum about!” Fred insisted. “I’m not pranking you. I’m telling you not to bend over any desks in Potions, is all!”
Seaumus Finnigan looked unsure. “Professor Dumbledore would never allow that, would he?”
George nodded sagely. “You’d think that, Seamus. But we heard Snape tell Lupin that he was all in favour of it,”
He leaned forward and whispered. “He likes us wearing school uniforms. He made Lupin wear one…”
Seamus paled, drawing his robes closed over the rest of his uniform. Then he ran.
Fred chuckled. “Well. That was fun.”
George shivered. “Would be more fun if it wasn’t actually true. I mean, I get the fidgets every time Snape looks at me now!”
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Potions Classroom
“Hello Weasley 4a,” Snape purred.
George almost yelped at the voice so near his ear. Snape was their one teacher who always, unerringly knew who they were. He was also the only one who used the terms Weasley 4a and 4b for him and his brother.
“P-professor?” George stammered.
“You’re too far from your cauldron to properly smell the ingredients, Weasley 4a,” Snape’s voice was like silk on steel. “Bend over and take a deep… sniff.”
Beside him George could feel Fred stiffen.
“Is there a problem, Weasley 4b? Perhaps you would like to bend over the desk as well?” Snape’s voice never wavered, and he was still gazing intently at the cauldron over George’s shoulder.
Closing his eyes, George bent forward.
“Very good, Weasley 4a. Remember that position, you will be taking it… often,” Snape stepped away from the Weasley twins and looked around the room where everybody was looking at him with frightened, loathing curiosity.
Snape sniffed. “Ten points from Slytherin and Gryffindor both for being distracted from your brewing by extraneous circumstances.”
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS Later, Hogwarts Main Hall, the Gryffindor table
“I’m telling you, Perce, he was coming on to us!” George was in a near panic. “He wants to bend us over his desk!”
“Really? I wonder if he can keep you apart that way,” Percy sitting opposite of the Twins remarked dryly, sipping his soup from the side of his spoon.
“Percy!” Fred hissed.
“Maybe the freckle patterns there are different,” Percy mused, as the entire Gryffindor table gaped at him. “I wonder if I have a better chance at gaining the potions’ apprenticeship I’ve been hearing about if you’re his catamites.”
“PERCY!” this time George and Fred echoed the name in utter disbelief.
“It was quite common in earlier times. And of course he’s the heir of Lord Vicari, as well as being Lord Prince in his own right. Yes, yes, I’m sure the correct way is to approach him and to ask him his intentions. And owl Mum and Dad. They should know there’s a serious suitor for your, ah, hands.”
Percy pushed his glasses up his nose and looked at his younger brothers with a slight frown. “I need not tell you not to do anything that might compromise the situation? I’m sure Professor Snape will be more than happy to wait until you come of age, so there’s no reason to try and rush into things.”
“Percy! We’re not interested in m-m-marrying Snape! Or anything else!” Fred was leaning over the table ready to attack Percy.
“I see that you know the position as well as your brother does, Weasley 4b. That is most interesting to know,” Snape’s voice, warm like velvet made a cold shiver of fear run up the Twins’ backs.
“P-Professor Snape!” Fred sat down, very quickly. There was a loud farting noise. Snape wrinkled his nose. “Really Weasley 4b. 5 points from Gryffindor for farting in my general direction. I’ll be watching you, gentlemen. And I’d advise you to stay away from the beans.”
He stalked away, leaving the Gryffindor tables in shambles. Hermione and Harry were giggling desperately while Dean Thomas and a few other Muggleborns were looking stunned.
The Ravenclaw Table
Penelope was trying desperately to suppress a smile. She could see the glint in Percy’s eyes almost from here. Percy had always been more into wordplay, intellectual jokes, puns, and elaborate riddles than physical pranks. Whatever he was doing to his younger brothers was amusing him greatly. She couldn’t wait to hear all about it.
When Snape walked away, first there was silence, and then the Gryffindors descended into pandemonium.
The High Table
Minerva was sputtering with indignation. “Albus! You can’t let him get away with that!”
Remus, much to her surprise was laughing. “He planned this! Merlin, the sullen codger actually planned this!”
Snape strode up to the dais and mounted the steps as he passed behind Lupin’s chair to go to his own he leaned forward slightly and spoke just loud enough for the others at the table to hear him as well. “Of course I planned this… Bitch.”
To everyone’s surprise, it was Sybill who let out a roar of laughter first.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS January 30th 1996, Vinland Station
Xenophilius Lovegood hated long-distance Portkeys. He shivered as he drank the hot cocoa and the hot cross buns supplied by Molly Weasley and took a small sip of the Ogden’s Finest that Narcissa had presented to him in a glass and silver flask. He sighed. His magic needed to recover before he could make the next jump towards his target. An Owl to Miss Summers had gained him the information that Dr. Carter worked in Colorado Springs, in a place called NORAD, and that was all she knew. He just wished he could remember why the name sounded so familiar… End Note: Do not worry, Remus will have his vengeance yet, it will soon be his night to howl. Also, I will be away this weekend and have been writing the next stories of: Weird Sisters, A house in order, That the Autumn leaves were turning and A Beautiful morning. As well as sporadically on other things… So I fear there will be no Lonely Souls update this Saturday…