Title: The Project
Universes: Harry Potter and Angel: The Series
Disclaimers: JKR owns HP, The great and glorious Joss owns A:tS
Timeline: Season 3 of AtS, generic post series time for HP
Rating: mild snarkage
Notes: For Echo, a Holiday Wishlist fic! I hope you enjoy.
~~~ The Project ~~~
“Who sacrificed the wrong goat to the Fashion Police? You are so going to be my new project.”
Those were the words that ended Severus Snape’s life. They undid him as thoroughly as any Death Eater’s curse, any well intentioned meddle by Dumbledore, and any foolhardy prank by that damnable Potter.
Just because they came from the mouth of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen didn’t change a thing.
So Snape had gathered his entirely prickly wit and drew himself up to his imposing-if-a-bit-grim height and hissed back, “I am no one’s project, Madam.”
She narrowed caramel-colored eyes, planted distressingly aggressive hands on her shapely hips and said just as stridently as any Quidditch referee on game day, “Oh, yes, you are, Mister. You got dumped on us by the Powers That Be. I get that. We live but to serve and all that crap, but you are not walking around here like death warmed over.”
She jerked a thumb towards the leader of this merrily demented band and said, “He’s the resident Broodmeister, and unless you’ve got two hundred years of nun-eating atonement to work through, you get a makeover.”
The leader in question, a Vampire of all things, with the cosmically bizarre name of Angel, just stifled a smirk that let Snape know that this Broodmeister- what an appalling Americanism- was more than pleased to have a new target for his seer’s energies. Angel gave a Gallic shrug of his shoulders, handed that dreadful woman a piece of brightly colored plastic, and chuckled.
“Have fun, Cordelia. Just remember, he’s human, so don’t break him.”
Snape opened his mouth to protest- unsure of whether he was protesting his upcoming treatment or if he wanted to be lumped into the category of ‘human’ along with these miscreants- but was stifled by a firm palm on his lips.
“Shut it, Scarecrow. I will work with you. I will listen to your snarky English ass bitch about all and sundry, like a good wizard, but I will not do it while you’re wearing…” She waved at him desultorily, “…that.”
“What’s wrong with my robes? Black is perfectly serviceable, and perennially in style.”
In style? When did he care if he was in style or not? This was ridiculous, this was not happening, this…
…Was being dragged out into the nauseatingly bright California sunshine by a firm hand on his elbow.
“I beg your pardon! This is most inappropriate!”
“No kidding. Black flowing wool, here, now? Where were you raised, Halloween-land?”
She turned a flashing white smile his way. He blinked, from the white of the smile or the sunshine he had no idea, and tried to talk again.
But she was off and running once more.
“You know, I think they’re having a sale at Macy’s but I called ahead and Fernando can get you in this afternoon. I had to promise to go to his comedy routine, so you had better behave. He’s a wonder, and I know he can fix your hair issue.”
Hair issue? What was wrong with his hair?
Apparently, everything. First came Fernando, then Alicia and her pots of facial cream, then a long, depressing list of people that measured, poked, prodded, pinched, clipped, tutted, sighed, and grumbled.
That was just the beginning. Cordelia had begun her campaign of terror, and was winning. Pronouncing that if he was going to work in the City of Angels, he’d better dress like he belonged there. It simply wouldn’t do for him to scare off the customers- the paying
customers, she’d emphasized- with his creepy aura. He was helpless- unable to curse her, unable to flee.
He was trapped.
She was persistent.
Three months later, Snape looked around and wondered who the man in the mirror was. Then he glanced over his shoulder to the woman standing at his side. “You’re a horrible wretch, you know that. A harlot like you would have been burned at the stake not that long ago.”
She just glared at him, hands across her chest, unrepentant.
He looked back at his reflection, and decided it wasn’t all bad. He still looked like Severus Snape, bane of Potions students, but there was something different. He didn’t think it was the hair- carefully washed in a concoction that should never be legal- or the better-fitting clothes. He was still tall, thin, and hooked- nosed. He was still dour and grouchy and a right ass.
But the difference was standing behind him, a slow smile starting at the corners of her lips.
Ah yes, the difference. Bane of his existence. Someone who cared enough about him to make him care about himself. What a novelty. What a companion. What a new life she’d, they’d
, given him: a chance to start over.
So he thought about it for a bit and came to a rather startling conclusion: what’s a little haircut for the one you love?
~~~ The End ~~~