the final straw

Short Snupin: Orchestrated chaos on Valentine's Day.

"This is the final straw," Severus snarled to himself as yet another Valentine's Day card wriggled under his door and began creeping across the floor towards him. An enormous pink splash in the centre of the room (and up to the knees of his robes) reminded him not to try stomping the thing. Instead, he stealthily approached it from behind with the fire tongs, grabbed it by one edge, and smoothly swung it into the fire. The flames roared up in a delicate lavender, and silvery bubbles appeared in the smoke. Each bubble bore a tiny, helpless-looking baby cupid. Severus snarled, grabbed the invisibility cloak he'd had the good luck to confiscate from Potter, and stalked out in a rage. He'd find the source of this torment–and make him pay.

Someone was crying behind the tapestry of Bodraig the Wall-Eyed. Severus eaves-dropped shamelessly as a Prefect from his own House wailed her heartbreak into her friend's shoulder. There was a Valentine on the floor. Severus picked it up:

Roses are red, violets are blue,

If you were the only girl in the school, I'd date a screwt.

The handwriting was unfamiliar, but Severus was slightly mollified that at least this was a fine Slytherin romance. He drifted up the staircase, following the sounds of mayhem. He passed a tentacled blob that was still shouting, "But you asked me to!" and proceeded to the pandemonium on the staircase.

"Look what your chocolates did to my robes!" shrieked the witch in the tartan Merry Widow, and Severus fought the urge to burn his eyes. A peach was humping her knees: upon closer inspection it appeared to be Filius in Lockheartian robes.

"How could I not love you when your card sings my favourite song when I say your name?" Flitwick thrust something red between McGonagall's heaving bosoms. "Minerva! Minerva!" he squeaked, and a dreadfully familiar disembodied voice began to sing.

Will nature make a man of me yet?

Confirming Severus' suspicions, Hagrid burst through the doors with singed hair, wild eyes, and his trousers hanging in shreds. As he limped heavily up to the infirmary, muttering about Valentine's, Severus slipped off to tickle the pear.

He walked carefully around towering platters of phallic eclairs dipped in white chocolate, chocolate-coated strawberries and bananas, and rosy meringues tipped with currant nipples. He thought that house-elves could see through the cloak, but they were in a dither of excitement, steaming huge quantities of asparagus and carrots and setting raw oysters on the half-shell atop suggestively shaved mounds of ice.

He found Lupin in the very back, near the pantry. He was slouched halfway into a disused fireplace and surrounded by dozens of empty butterbeer bottles.

"It's hopeless," Lupin said, raising his bottle to drink and then setting it down in surprise when he realised it was empty. "Won't say a civil word to me. Hates me."

"Men," Winky said, and handed him a new bottle. They toasted each other solemnly. She pulled a gaudy Valentine from a huge basket and set it on the table before her. She read it carefully, lips moving.

"Is it for me?" Lupin asked hopefully.

"Marcus Flint."


Winky wrote that down painstakingly with her Auto-Correct quill. "Bugger who?"

Lupin frowned. "Not a clue–who would?"

Severus peered over Winky's shoulder. Under her quill, the name 'Katie' disappeared, replaced by 'Oliver', and the verse now read Roses are red, violets are blue, Oliver Wood would bugger you.

Winky snapped her fingers and a small pig-like creature appeared. She put the Valentine in its mouth, and it bounded off.

"I should just tell him how I feel," Lupin said. "Be–you know–honest."

"He'll squish Professor like a bug," Winky said. "Squishity squish-squish." She squished a large padded leopard-print thong into an envelope and sent it off with another creature. "Winky should send him another Valentine?"

"What's the use?" Lupin said.

"Winky knew it was hopeless from the start. Winky thinks Professor should try someone easier. Dumbledore is easy."

"Gods no. Too–cheerful. Too–sweet."


"Too strappingly healthy. And too female."

Winky glared at him over her spectacles. "Professor wants gloomy, bitter, morbid man?"

"The stuff that dreams are made of," Lupin intoned, and burped.

Winky shook her head and took out another card. "Winky needs another dirty limerick–boy to girl, mentioning 'sword'."

Lupin sighed. "When you feel the thrust of my sword, I'll soon have you screaming for more. It's hard and it's long, how could it be wrong? So come and get it, you whore."

"Winky worries that she is jading Professor. Winky believes in romance, she does. Just maybe not for us. Winky is comic relief."

"Some people like a person with a sense of humour."

"Winky's sense of humour does not get her laid, Professor."

Lupin handed her another bottle. "Doesn't work for me either."

Winky turned her head and looked directly at Severus. "Professor might be wrong," she said. When Severus shook his head, she poked him in the arse with her quill. "Maybe there is someone come looking for Professor." Severus took the quill, grabbed an envelope, and scrawled a message across the back. He handed it to Winky and turned on his heel, but he still heard Winky's high-pitched squeal as he left: "Oooh, look, Professor, I found your Valentine!"

Severus ordered Dobby to wait on a dinner for two in Lupin's rooms, and paced impatiently in his chambers, listening for Lupin to arrive. When the man did turn up, ten minutes late and looking the worst side of a sobering charm, he pleaded House disaster. Apparently someone had written the word whore across Harry Potter's face in red, heart-shaped pustules.

"Feeling guilty?" Severus asked, and Lupin gave him a level, knowing look that sent all Severus' blood to his groin.

"Not at all. It's a learning experience," he said, and pulled Severus in for a passionate kiss that concluded fifteen minutes later with clothing strewn across the room, furniture tipped over, and all the sofa cushions piled up in front of the fire. "Don't mean to be forward, but–your room or mine?" he asked, looking dishevelled and wickedly edible.

"Your room is being used by horny house elves for kinky sex right now," Severus said, and Lupin pulled him to his feet and propelled him back to the bedroom.

"At least my sheets will be clean in the morning," Lupin said, and shut the door, grinning.

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