Setting: the dungeons; Snape's office
Summary: Slytherins cook up fiendish plots when they are desperate.
Pansy tore through her room, desperate to find something - anything - which would persuade Snape to lessen the punishment on Ginny. After all, there was to be a meeting of all the professors (Snape had informed all in his house) to decide on her fate, and he had also told them, with a sneer, precisely what he had in mind to say at that meeting. If only there were some way to prevent him from going to it...
But already she was late to her appointment. She had said she'd meet him at six o' clock, and the professors' council began at seven, so if she didn't get to his office soon, he would be further disappointed in her for missing an appointment; therefore the only option she had would be to continue to think furiously all the way to his office. She would think of something on the way. She was a Slytherin. There must be something she could do.
She shuddered. That little incident during the Hallowe'en Ball mustn't be public, at all costs...damn that Fred Weasley.
As she exited the common room, a ghostly figure came rushing out of nowhere from around the corner and Pansy saw stars. Rubbing her head dazedly, she saw Loony Lovegood extricating herself from the stone floor.
"Watch I don't dock points, Loony," snarled Pansy. "And what're you doing down here anyway? Prying into business that's not your own?"
"Oh, no, of course not," said Luna placidly, straightening her tie, which persisted in looking rumpled, as it always did. "There was a recent sighting of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack in the dungeons of Neuschwanstein, did you know? There's a good chance they might like the lower atmosphere, I thought I might go see if there were any here in Hogwarts."
"Would I care?" sniffed Pansy.
"I thought you might, they're very attracted to pure blood, you know, it's very tasteful to them," offered Luna. Then she frowned. "Oh dear! I don't think anyone else knows that they might be here..." Without further comment, she ran off.
Pansy shot her retreating form a withering glare. Then she spied a copy of the Quibbler lying nearby, where Luna had fallen. "What a load of rubbish," muttered Pansy, fully intending to leave it where it was.
Then she noticed the cover.
HOGWARTS TEACHERS SPOTTED TOGETHER ON MYSTERY BREAK!!! screamed the headline. A photo of Professors Snape and Trelawney was smattered across the front as well.
Pansy stared at it a moment in contempt, wondering what sort of idiot had cooked this up. Then, a slow smile spread over her face. She snatched up the magazine and dashed off to Snape's office.
Snape sat mulling over a cup of tea, head bent, eyes lowered. This was war, as it always was, and like any other battle, he had his strategies planned out.
With enough support, Dumbledore would have no choice but to accede to his requests, and he was going to drag that support out where it wasn’t freely given.
He smirked to himself, taking another sip of tea. If all worked out, this year the house cup would be back where it belonged.
He was lost in daydreams of lording it over Minerva when a rapping at his door brought him back to the present.
"Professor?" came a voice.
He strode over to the doorway, opening it with a swish of his hand.
"Oh!" squealed Pansy as she fell into the room (for she had been purposefully leaning against the door with all her might). She caught herself on the desk. Papers flew everywhere.
"I'm so sorry, Professor - really, really - " said Pansy, attempting to clean up the mess which had once been a neatly stacked pile of parchment on Professor Snape's desk.
"Mer—" Snape cut himself short, and smiled curtly at her.
She continued to pick up parchment hurriedly. The gaudy cover of the Quibbler stood out from all the rest of the strewn papers, and she pretended she did not see it lying there.
Snape cleared his throat, and bent down to help her. And stopped, staring at his own face beaming right back up at him.
Picking it up, he stood up slowly, skimming through the article.
"Professor?" Pansy said curiously, peering (or attempting to peer, he was much taller than her) over his shoulder. "What's...oh no," she said, injecting some horror into her voice. "I just confiscated that from a Ravenclaw - but you - you couldn't possibly have - what will the school think when they find out?"
"The school..." His lip curling into a sneer, Snape's face was slowly changing colour. "Sibyll... I need to talk to Sibyll."
Snape spun around, narrowly missing knocking Pansy over. Striding off towards the door, he called over his shoulder, "Five points to Slytherin, Miss Parkinson, for your prudence."
Pansy smirked. "I'll lock your door for you, Professor," she called after him, placing the heap of parchment back on the desk. Oh, this was working out better than she had planned. He was going to go directly to Professor Trelawney. He certainly wouldn't be back in time for the meeting. Pansy was free. Free. Free. And no longer in the debt of Fred Weasley.
Also, Slytherin was looking good in house points.