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Serpentine February 12th, 2004 8:18 pm

Greetings from Down Under
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize from the Harry Potter books is the property of J.K. Rowling. No profit, just fun.

Greetings from Down Under

Professor Minerva McGonagall was on her way to Professor Snape's office, a book under her arm, when she passed the door of the Potions classroom and found it open.

'Now that's odd... It's most unusual for him not to lock his doors', she thought, looked in - and flinched in shock. The room was covered in shattered flasks and vials, their contents forming dangerously sizzling puddles of all colours and sizes. Several tables and empty cauldrons had been broken or knocked over, and in the middle of it all stood Severus Snape, trying to clean up the mess.

The Transfiguration teacher stepped into the room and Vanished a large acid-green puddle in front of her. "Thanks, Minerva", came the dry comment from the other side of the room. "Together we'll get this mess fixed quicker."

Minerva worked her way into the room while her colleague did the same. "What has happened, Severus?" she asked. "Was it a prank of the students, or...?" She didn't dare to finish the thought what a visit of Death Eaters would mean for the Order, the safety of the students, and for her Slytherin colleague.

"No", he replied curtly, levitating a table out of the way. "Bobbles has escaped." Minerva gave him a confused look, and he explained: "When I entered my rooms I found the cage door kicked apart and a landscape of destruction around. The creature even broke my talking bathroom mirror, but at least the chorus of its shards could tell me where it had gone, and what had happened in the first place. Apparently Peeves scared it popping a balloon next to the cage, and the dratted animal lost its mind. As soon as I get to see the Bloody Baron I'll ask him to give the poltergeist what he deserves."

"Excuse me", Minerva said cautiously, "but I still don't understand. Who, or what, is Bobbles?"

Severus groaned. "A bouncing nightmare. Do you remember that giant parcel I got last Christmas, with the huge flock of owls? That was Bobbles, a gift from my aunt in Australia. She was already quite eccentric before she left Britain, but by now she must have completely lost her marbles. Evanesco!" He snorted and crossed a space that had been a veritable lake of purple just seconds ago. "As you can see, when it comes to wreaking havoc her gift can easily compete with Peeves. At least the beast isn't magical, I don't want to imagine what else it could have done."

Minerva's eyes widened in shocked realization. "Oh dear. Think what could happen if any of the students meet it!"

"Exactly." Her colleague nodded grimly. "As soon as my classroom is free of immediate hazards, I'll catch the furry pest. Would you mind to help me?"

"Of course I wouldn't mind, Severus", Minerva huffed and Vanished another smoking puddle. "You know that you can always count on me. Oh, by the way - I brought your 'Macbeth' back", she added, handing him the book with a chuckle. "Thank you so much for lending it to me. The three witches and their fancy potion are absolutely hilarious."


Harry was on the second floor, sneaking back from the kitchen under his Invisibility Cloak, when he heard a strange noise from the Charms corridor.


He followed the sound. What could be the origin of that thumping noise? Whatever it was, it seemed to have gone into the Charms classroom. Cautiously he peered along the corridor, but nobody was in sight, so he slipped in.

The classroom was so dark Harry could see nothing. "Lumos!" he muttered, and his wand lighted up. Still nothing.

But was there a steam engine behind him? He felt warmth and heard a puffing sound, the vapour felt like Snape breathing down his neck in a Potions lesson. Was it someone breathing? Was it...

Harry turned around, the glowing wand in his hand - and screamed. Dropping his Cloak he bolted out of the classroom and along the corridor. There was the thumping noise again, following hard on his heels, and it spurred him to a speed he hadn't known he was able to reach.

He ran along another corridor, round a corner - and into a solid mass of black cloth. Two hands gripped and steadied him, and a pair of dark eyes bored into his. "Well, well, well. If this isn't Mr. Potter again, sneaking around after curfew", he heard a silky voice say. Snape.

Harry took a deep breath. He knew the Potions Master wouldn't believe him, he hardly believed it himself. But he had to try. "I'm sorry, Professor Snape", he began, "I really am. But... there's a kangaroo in the Charms corridor. A vampire kangaroo, I've seen its fangs."

Snape raised his eyebrows in obvious disbelief. "Your excuses have never been brilliant, but this one is the worst I've ever heard. A vampire kangaroo? Do you really expect me to believe such a nonsense?"

"I know it sounds crazy, sir", Harry said desperatedly, "but you have to believe me. Honestly, it's the plain truth! Look, it's been following ..." He turned around to show his teacher, but the corridor behind him was empty.

"Nice try, Potter", Snape said with a horrible smile. "Twenty points from Gryffindor for running around after curfew, and another twenty for telling me fairy tales. You'd better get back to bed at once, before I find another reason to take points from Gryffindor." Harry looked mutinous, but finally left towards the stairs to Gryffindor Tower.

As soon as the student had disappeared, Snape took out a pocket mirror. "Minerva McGonagall, Hogwarts", he whispered, and the face of his colleague replaced his own reflection. Still smirking, he told her: "I guess we've found Bobbles."


From the clicking sound of her heels Minerva was already on her way to the Charms corridor. Severus could already see the kangaroo around the corner, and directed her to take the other staircase to get it from behind. "Actually it was Potter who found it", he informed her. "Of course I sent him back where he belongs at this time of night. As far as I can judge it he was unharmed, though I cannot guarantee for his mental health." He chuckled at Minerva's raised eyebrow. "Either Potter has gone mad, or Bobbles has found my carnival costume."

"Whatever", she sighed. "Severus, I can see it now." Her colleague looked up and saw an emerald spot on the far end of the corridor, behind the unknowing animal. "On the count of three", he whispered. "One, two, three... STUPEFY!"

His cry was echoed by Minerva's voice. Two beams of red light from different angles hit the kangaroo and froze it before it could bounce to safety. The two teachers approached the animal, and Minerva gave her colleague a curious look. "Fake fangs, Severus?"

Severus took the offensive item off the kangaroo and, after a muttered "Scourgify", pocketed it. "It must have found them in my bathroom", he said, shrugging. "Most students mistake me for a vampire anyway, so why not encourage them? It helps to maintain classroom discipline, and with a bit of blood-red ointment the fangs are the perfect carnival costume. Mobilicorpus!" The animal rose from the ground. "But I'll be cursed if I keep this pest any longer", he growled. "Next thing you know I'll skin it for a rug, or turn it into kangaroo soup."

Minerva tsked, a smile tugging at her lips. "Maybe Hagrid could help you out there", she offered. "It's not exactly a dragon or hippogriff, but from the devastation in your classroom I'd say it's definitely a dangerous creature."

Severus considered this for a moment, then nodded, and a wave of his wand made the Stunned kangaroo float towards the staircase. "Fine for me", he said, "as long as he doesn't cross-breed it with something that breathes fire."


A/N: This demented story fell into my head really late one night. Thanks to Barbara Kennedy for the fake fangs, and to Sineed for the reasons behind them, in the "Snape's POV" thread.

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