March 5th, 2005 - The Bane of my Life


Dear Journal,

I do not know what I did, recently, to deserve such pain as befell on me today. No, Albus has not again forced me to accompany him to Honeydukes, nor has Potter the Moron-who-would-not-leave-me-in-peace-since-he-is-again-here-for-a-week played any jokes on me so far, nor has Minerva been shedding on my fine clothes again.  Nothing as fancy and pleasant as all that. No! Because the Gods have decided to bestow their wrath on me for I now have to suffer the insufferable presence of my young 15 year old cousin, Francesca. Yes, you heard me, my most "dearest" little cousin is in town. Dearest pain in the neck!

Why? It is reading week in Canada where my aunt, Irisia, wiser than I, long fled the stupidity of our dear British Ministry of Magic to marry off a wizard of good standing over there. And for the second time ever, she self-invited her daughter to my home so she could "fraternize" with her cousin or in other words, because she could not support the nitwit anymore. Who else to ship her to but me! Indeed! Maybe she has some hidden hopes of my being able to tame her, though up to now, I assure you dear Journal that she is quite a hopeless cause. I said this is the second time, for my aunt shipped her once when she was about 10, but to my great consternation it occurred while I was away on a mission... Did I say I was consternated? Sorry, slip of the quill, I meant relieved beyond reason! Thankfully, it fell upon Albus' shoulders to take care of the little pest then, though of course he would scold me for saying so, until she removed to Canada once again.  He was all sweets and candies while she was there, so of course she kept a good memory of the place and wanted to come back. If only she had been put in the care of Filch! But no, it had to be Albus.  My aunt often sent me owls which I left unanswered or threaten to be unkind to her daughter each time she talked of sending her little darling over for a vacation. Thus, I had been able to put off this family babysitting job... until now... Seems my last threat of making sure her descendants all suffered from compulsory leprosy did not drive the point home. Alas! And having observed the girl all day, I can understand why her parents thought spending their free time with her at home was more frightening than the threats of an ex-Death Eater nephew. It was bound to happen anyhow, but I still kept the faintest hope that my aunt would suffer some form of memory loss at one point in time before that happened. Again, no, that was wishful thinking on my part.

It is eleven at night. Here she is, I can see her as I write to you from my study, listening to that toe-curling teenage obscenity she dares call music.  She is dressed in her night shirt (shorter than decency should ever allow in someone so young) of the ugliest pink shade I have had the displeasure of seeing in my entire life.  Not to mention the most atrocious underpants she wears under her pyjamas (not that I checked, mind you, rather because she most deliberately paraded with it in front of me while shamelessly walking out of the bathroom this evening). When I told her to cover herself, she only looked taken aback and amused I should be such a prude. This is not about being prudish, it's about decency and decorum. All do it back home she told me. I had my doubts Canada had been much influenced by the United States up to now, but I can securely let go of them now. Let's hope it does not catch on in Great Britain.). Worst even, her underwear looks like a gross version of some male muggle's underwear with large bands on the sides (which are totally unfeminine and mismatched; orange and blue!). Of all things, it is written "Bite me" on her buttocks.  The intense urge I felt at that precise moment of making a run to Hagrid's monster zoo and grad the first sharp-teethed creature in dire need of biting is almost impossible to describe. It was just as strong as the pull of the Dark Mark!  If only Albus had not giving me that "knowing look", which silently forbade me from doing anything harsh to her, when they were both at my door this morning, I would have done it without any regrets.  But life is so unfair. She came in with a letter from my aunt which specifically entailed that I should not send her back before two days were up at the very least or else, she would find a way to make my life even more miserable, by sending her off with her boyfriend next time for example. It was either getting this out of the way now or suffer the consequences later. Being the intelligent man I am, I chose the former of course. Still, life is unfair.  On the other hand, Albus never forbid me from swearing or insulting the little tart if she'd prove too daft... and so belittling began in no less than 10minutes. That was generous of me, I know. Most unusually patient I was.

Fortunately, after walking out of her room, she had finally covered her disturbing underpants with some matching pink pajama pants (Is it me or are they too short? They only come up to her mid-calf...). Until then, she remained seated on my leather sofa in the living room, painting her nails and eating pop-corn with her incessant satanic music to entertain her. I pray for her that she knows the spell to clean her mess or else, she'll have painted her nails for her own funeral; a funeral sponsored by her cousin to be more precise.  

Oh no! She has that look. She is going to talk to me, I can just feel it. She always does have that blasted smile on her face when she wants to. [...] Yes, she did. Here is an approximate of our "conversation":

"Hey, Uncle Sev..." Gosh! I cringe each time she says that! The little tart knows it all too well!  I barked back.

"Do you have a short-attention deficiency or did I not warn you to never call me by that shameful nickname again?"

"Yeah, yeah! If you say so." She has the most careless manners in the whole world, I am certain of that much! So I just stared at her while she shot me her best innocent smile again. She will never know she almost died at that precise moment! Still, she went on as if nothing happened of all the nerves.

"Wanna go for a walk or something?"


"Come on! It's gonna be cool! The weather's nice t'night and you're always sitting there doing nothing."

I'd had my doubts until that moment, but from then on I knew she was suicidal!

"What I do is none of your business! Not that a silly girl like you who has been pampered all of her life could understand how real adults have important duties to attend to rather than take stupid little night strolls just for the fun of it! I'm busy!"

She dared wear that darn sneer-like smile upon her face again.

"Yeah, of course! No wonder you're so pale and brooding all the time, you never get some fresh air! That's what the other teachers said. If you'd take a walk it would be good for you."

"What has paleness have anything to do with a NIGHT stroll?! That's nonsense and totally out of context! But if you want to go outside, please be my guest I won't retain you here any further so you can bother the hell out of me. "

"If you say so! Well, I'm already in pyjamas anyway, and my nail polish has to dry, so I'd better not go. Much better staying here, isn't it!"

The little tease!  Says she'll go out, then when your hopes are at their highest, she won't just to piss you off.  At least she went back to her silent mode again leaving me to write these lines in peace.

It is a shame she did not come by while the Dark Lord was still alive, because if she had, I would have had the happy ingenious idea of using her as the most perfect and cruel weapon in the whole wide world against this psycho-maniac. Oh yes! He would have begged for mercy!

"Night, Severus!"

"Yes, do that! Good night and let's not see each other until the morrow. Breakfast will be available to you as soon as you get up, so no need to wait for me" She smiled again. Argh!

She is finally retiring for the night, thank goodness for small things! Still, I have had such a horrible day. First, she was dropped on me for two days at 8 this morning (time at which I was still sleeping peacefully of course), then she invaded my personal space as if she were my own daughter, and I mean, even my own daughter would never have been allowed to strut about my rooms like that.  I asked her why of all the places on Earth her parents had to leave her with me, but she just answered playfully and casually that she was the one who had wanted to spend some days far from home.  And since she was told that I was, and I quote,"as pleasant as my father. So I thought it couldn't be that bad, especially since you're a war hero and you live in such a big place." Merlin help me! Proves that blondes, for she is taking after her mother, are either simply stupid or just have incredibly lazy brains!

I tried to lay down the ground rules, but she kept staring at me, blankly.  If I reckoned well, she did not catch a single word of what I said.  Indeed, she proved me right five minutes later by laying her dirty careless hands on my precious books. At least I believe she was so surprised of my immediate reaction it would explain why she had to repaint her nails because the last polish must have recoiled from the shock!  

Then, I tried flooing Albus so I could drop my "problem" into his hands. But of course the old man was not there though he was the one who let her in. Albus, you just watch for your hides next time you see me!  Believe me, the twinkle in your eyes will be run for cover.

From that moment, I knew there would be no point in sending her back to my aunt, I knew from experience that she would find a way to make it worst each time I tried to avoid it. So I sighed heavily and accepted my fate for the next two days after which I would finally be free of any hormonal pinky giggly teenager girl.  

While I was still looking for a way to escape my predicament, I heard a shriek. The most blood freezing shriek ever: a girl's giddy shriek of joy of finding my precious little companion cat, Corvus.

"Oh!!! He's so cute, Uncle Sev!! Oh my God!  Never saw such a cutie little kitty in the world!"

"Don't ever call me that again! ... And my cat is not cute! He's distinguished, but NOT cute!"

"Oh come on! Look at him!  He's the most gorgeous cuddly-wuddly little furry thing alive! Oh and look! (pointing to Corvus' white fur on his throat) He's just like you with your white collar 'round the neck!"

"Are you out of your mind?! Drop that cat! ... Now!"

"Whoa!  Calm down! Don't have a cow!"  I was infuriated. How dare she order me in my own house!!

"I will have a bloody cow if I ever wish to. Just make sure to keep clear from my cat and any of those sickingly cute adjectives you just used on him! Giddiness is not becoming in a young lady!" 

At which moment, Corvus jumped back on her laps.

"Corvus, you traitor! Get out of the room!"

"But he loves me, see!"  She was cuddling MY cat like some stuffed animal of hers. That wouldn't do.  I was frantic and gesturing like a mad man at my feline companion.

"Corvus, get the bloody hell out of here before I decide to use you as potions ingredients! Is that clear?"

I was furious, but even more out of my mind to think how cruelly my cat had just betrayed me. After all I did for him, he would jump on her like any old friend would. No one does that to my cat. No one! I'll teach her, I thought.

"Now, unpack your luggage and prepare for lunch."

"What is there to prepare?"

She was dressed in what I suspect, though I may never be sure, to have been a red beaten dead rat fur overcoat with a black shirt overcrowded with silly little gems as if she had walked out of an accident with the Fairy Godmother and written 'Princess' on top. She was also wearing some tight matching red leather pants that squeaked each time she moved along with what looked like three feet high heel men's boots.

"Do not tell me that you had the intention of sitting down for lunch clad in this manner? You look nothing like a witch,  and you look nothing short of a clown!"

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have problems with Muggle clothing, but I still believe in a modicum of elegance and good taste wizards should observe and I would be damned if this sorry excuse for a girl would eat in front of me in such tasteless clothes. Or else, I would surely be sick.

"Why not?! I've always done so at home! It's just lunch, not a fancy diner! And unless you have not looked at your Headmaster lately, he deserves the title of clown much more than I when it comes to fashion tastes!"

You may insult anyone all you want, but only I can insult Albus!

"This is not your home, you ignorant girl unless you are too silly to have noticed by now! And the wizard you are talking about happens to be the most powerful in the world so he may dress just as he likes for no one will dare duel him out of his tastes. When you have such power, which I doubt you'll ever grasp because you will surely never learn anything beyond what a third year will, you will be allowed to dress as you want anywhere you want to. And even though everyone does it these days or not is not a proper argument. Quidditch players spit like mad llamas all the time but that doesn't make it less undignified. 'I am appalled your mother never taught you good fashion and table manners to begin with.  A Snape should always be fashionable even in the most mundane of situations so it's lucky for you to have inherited your father's name.  Still, these atrocities you call clothes are NOT fashionable for a witch of your standing. Now get out of my sight, transfigure yourself some proper clothes and come join me for lunch in half an hour. I will ask the House Elves to have something delivered down here. "  Useless to say I was out of breath and happy she did not retaliate more.

"Why not go upstairs in the Great Hall with the othe..."

"So they can witness your total lack of manners? I don't think so! We will be a whole lot better eating here where nobody can ask questions nor laugh at me.  But if you prove to have passable manners while eating here with me, you may just have a chance to be allowed out of these rooms. Do I make myself clear?"

She nodded, walked up to her room, and closed the door, but not without sneering at me with her 'innocent' pathetic face. If I could just wipe out that smile off her face, I swear, I would never take off points from Gryffindors ever again. Unfortunately, it looks as though she is immune to my "evil professor" persona. I have to thank my aunt for raising her like that and accepting such appalling behaviour for no one should be allowed to survive the evil Snape glare. Maybe that's why my own mother never cared much about her sister, too liberal for her tight manners surely.

Corvus took that opportunity to bride me into forgiving him by cuddling my ankles. Slytherin to the core! But am I, so I told him to bugger off! Traitor! He'll come back tonight in the privacy of my room, I will not mind forgiving him then.

I called lunch.  Francesca came out, though I had to shout for her to come... she was listening to music again and had Oh Surprise lost notion of time! Astonishingly however, and I must say I almost fainted from shock, she did dress properly for lunch. Said her mother had made sure she had enough appropriate clothes while visiting me. Ah! So maybe the fault is her father after all. Oh! I can imagine him, sugar-daddy worshiping the ground on which his little princess walks upon.  And then 'poof', you end up with a darn little cheeky drama queen at 15.  My only joy right now is knowing her parents have to endure the consequences of raising their child as such all year round.

I ate in silence while she babbled about whatnot of her teenager life. Just like a good Slytherin, I stayed there and listened until she had nothing more to say.  The "act dead" technique once again prevailed though it did not shield me from that awful headache that had been building up ever since she'd crossed the door sill! The headache had self-proclaimed itself king of my poor brain.  I had to fetch a strong potion to expropriate it.

In the afternoon, I dropped the new bane of my life at Lupin's in the hopes that our new found 'friendship' would be enough for him to accept to do me this favour.  Of course, they were bound to like each other, she acts like she owns the world and she's so giddy she could only remind him of the Marauders, and that is exactly the reason why I did it. Let him deal with that! Ha! The foolish werewolf even thanked me for such a nice visitor. Better you than me I thought with my eyebrow raised high. I'm no fool though, I know he'll expect something out of this. If I am right, before I went back to the heavenly quietness of my dungeons, he said after she'd leave we'd have to take a cup of tea together in town. There goes my part of the deal, I could swear on it.

It was after supper time and I'd forgotten the little bugger until she knocked on my door. I left my Potions journal on the couch and answered the door. When I expect no one, I am not silly enough to open my door to anyone knocking of course. Not that it's much trouble all through the year anyway since I barely get any visitors. The first thing that met my eyes was her horrible little teenage smile. I believe my eyes rolled while I asked myself: "Why me?" Touch luck, Lupin did not take her for a long stroll alone around the Forbidden Forest. Alas!   Even more depressing, she started to fill me in on the details of her day which, ironically, she had yet to understand that the precise reason why I had dumped her in the first place was that I wished to hear nothing at all! She seemed oblivious to that to my utmost misery.

"Hey! We had so much fun! You should have been there, really! Remus is so cool and its so cute his being a werewolf and all!"

At that point, I thought my ears were deceiving me.

"Cute that he is a werewolf?! For Circe' sake! The man has to undergo the most horrible transformation each month that could be lethal to all of us and you think it's cute?!"

"Well, yeah! It's exciting 'cause it's different! Bet you're jealous of the attention he gets!"  The scariest in that scene was how she seemed clueless or careless of the danger and drama of it all.

"I've heard it all!"  She went on without caring for my comments though.

"Then we visited his office with all those cool Dark Arts artifacts and skulls. One looked just like you by the way, all scolding and uptight. Even put one on my head while he wasn't looking. Ha ha! He got quite a surprise when he turned around." Yes, dear Journal, she dared! I couldn't believe my ears (once again) but to my most extreme mortification, that was not all the information she regurgitated upon me. " And then we stopped by the staff room where lots of teachers were having 'tea'. Duh! You British are so conventional, there wasn't even anything else for me to drink! Never heard of pops they said. Butterbeer is ok but it's so old fashioned! "

"Of course, you stupid girl! It's the staff room, not the Three-Broomsticks or some bar! Of all the idiotic things to do, why did Lupin go there?!  What are they going to think about me now they've seen you!  I do hope you retained a modicum of good manners while up there in front of all my colleagues. Because if you haven't, it won't stop me that you are not a student of this school for me to give you a detention. You may never have heard of them in Canada, but if you once in a while heard an unpleasant torturous human moan all the way back there, well believe me, it was one of my students serving detention with me!"

"Funny you should mention it, they all asked me if I had been put on detention yet. (Giggle) Next time I meet one, I'll have to inform them I was threatened at the very least! Anyway, they were nice but they're all so old and ancient! Remus' this only one worth noticing. Reckon that if he'd cut his moustache he'd be such a hunk! All the others wanted was to talk about was my education and Canada. Dull! But some of them  did say we had some things in common...

"And what pray did they tell you?" (so I can hex their bottoms off for even mentioning that you and I share part of our blood together?)

"Talked about my manners..."  

That was it, the wine I had just been drinking then traveled up my nose and out while I choked on it! Of all the insults I've received in all of my life, that was the summum bodum!  

"Your good manners?!" I said incredulously still not believing my ears. " Was there some psychotic hallucinogens in their tea that they imagined for even a fraction of a second that you had good manners?!  Not only that, but MY good manners and upbringing!?"

"Well you said yourself after lunch that it was fine for me to go out and..."

"For your information, I only accepted to let you visit the castle with someone else because you showed passable table manners during lunch and you had acceptable clothes on. However, that never was meant as a compliment to your ungraceful or lacking manners in everything else, especially not enough to be compared to me of all people! I can't begin to fathom that you are acting differently in public than when we are here."

"Why yes I do," she blathered out as if I were the dunderhead, "quite obviously! I'm not stupid enough to act like a tart or a deranged teenager when out of the house!"

"So you're telling me that out of your home, you do act like a reasonable and well-bred young lady?"

"Why of course! It wouldn't bring me anything to annoy strangers!"

"So you are telling me that you annoy people you know on purpose?!  That is the most ridiculous behaviour I have ever heard of!"

"I annoy people when they annoy me, that's all"

"Have your insipid little brain never even considered that if people annoyed you it was merely because you weren't acting up to their expectations to begin with?"


"Well then for future references, I advise that orphan and lonely cell brain of yours to register that: if you annoy people on purpose, then you're sure to get what's coming to you ten fold. And the only way out is by stopping to annoy people in the first place and be responsible of your actions and thoughts..."

"All right, all right! I have enough of my parents moralizing me all the time, I don't need you to say it!  I know that stuff, I just don't feel like it that's all"

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...  Mental mantras are wonderful when you close your eyes, but the second I reopened them, I lost my temper again and I told her to give me a break and stop addressing me for a while.  She addressed me only while on the sofa painting her nails. Gosh I was exhausted and angered. I'll need a Calming Draught tonight if I ever want to sleep for the adrenaline levels in my body must be so high it could kill me!  I'm going to sleep now in case she'd want to reapparate again tonight.

Good night to you, dear Journal, thank you for being there, I do not know what I would have done without you tonight.



Morning. She's gone!  Gone for good!  And who saved me?  Remus!  Oh I could have kissed him!! He came by at 9 to check on us. He knows I always wake up at 9 when on weekends or vacation.  Francesca was giddy and oh so happy to see him there.  I bet she was because she was still clad in her tight pink pyjamas and making sure her breasts were prominent.  She would have been sorted in Gryffindor for being so obvious surely.  Remus didn't seem to mind or notice, he played nicely with the girl and was all niceties.  Said he'd received an owl from Bloody-Potter and he was going to visit the boy (still can't bring myself to call him a man) all day, and if she wanted to come along, she was welcomed. Miss Too-Sexy-For-My-Age-And-Giddy-As-A-Dog jumped and rejoiced so much, I knew I had just been saved.  Oh my!  That will cost me more than a cup of tea I'm afraid, but who cares!  I'm free! Her mother gave her a portkey to be used to come back after the two days were up, and since Potter would bring them to his Quidditch match in the evening, all was planned to let her sleep over there instead.  Now I can really say I received all of my rewards for having endured such a life as mine for all these years. Merlin has not deserted me!  And yes, even though I have to thank the Potter-Boy, secretly of course, I couldn't care less whom my savior was!  Ah!! Sweet freedom!  And next time this happens, I'll have another portkey and a galleon pouch prepared to send the little lady on a trip in any European country of her choice instead.  A Slytherin is not to be caught twice unprepared! Oh no!  I can promise you that.

Have a good day, may it be as wonderful as mine is shaping up to be.