Twins’ Tall Tales: My Professor Is a Vampire!
Bright yellow sunlight streamed into the sitting room of the Burrow, seemingly setting the vivid red hair of the four youngest Weasleys ablaze. Ron and Ginny were eagerly watching as Fred and George took inventory of their purchases at Diagon Alley that morning. They’d spent considerable time showing each item off, all as Ginny peppered them with questions.
“Ooh! What’s that at the bottom of your bag?” she asked.
“Patience, Ginny, we were just about to show you!” Fred grinned at his sister.
Fred, with a dramatic flourish, scooped a handful of garlic bulbs from his bag and let them spill all over the floor. Ron picked up a bulb near his knee, eyeing it cautiously. “Er… why did you buy so much garlic?”
Fred and George turned to each other, incredulous. “You don’t know?” Fred asked faintly.
“Garlic’s the one thing every Hogwarts student simply must have!” George shook his head at Ron in disbelief.
“Why?” Ginny asked. “Ooh! Is it a potions ingredient? Bill and Charlie and Percy never had to buy it, though. But maybe the Potions master wanted everyone to buy it this year -“
Fred held up a hand. “Yes, Gin, it is important to Potions in a sense…” He exchanged dark looks with George.
“… but it’s not something the Potions master would want around.” George finished. Then he shook his head. “I shouldn’t say any more. I’ll only frighten you both.”
“Frightened? I’m not frightened of anything!” Ron drew himself up in defiance. “I’m a Gryffindor!”
“You’re not in Gryffindor yet, Ron.” George waved a dismissive hand. “You could be a Hufflepuff, for all you know.” Ron lapsed into silence.
“But why do we need garlic?” Ginny pleaded. “You must tell us now you’ve brought it up, or I’m just going to keep asking and -“
“Oh, all right… if you must know…” George leaned in close, staring seriously into their eyes, “one of the Hogwarts professors… is a vampire.”
The light in the room seemed to dim, then vanish altogether, casting them in shadow. Fred had drawn the curtains, blocking out the afternoon sun.
“If we’re to tell the story, George, it must be in the proper atmosphere.”
“Right you are, Fred.” George turned back to his siblings, his voice dropping to a whisper.
“You see, no one really knows where the potions master, Severus Snape, came from. He just appeared one day, and Dumbledore let him teach.” George nodded gravely at them.
Fred picked up the story. “His skin is deathly pale, his hair lank and dark. And his eyes… black as bottomless pits.
“He teaches all day in the dungeons. In the dungeons, he’s protected -“
“Wait!” Ginny interjected. “How can you know so much about him?”
“Yeah, you haven’t been to Hogwarts yet!” Ron added.
Fred drew himself up importantly. “Bill told me.”
Ron and Ginny gasped as one; Bill’s word was unquestionable. Fred gave them a smug smile and continued his tale.
“By day, he cannot roam the castle, for the sunlight would fry him like an egg. But at night, he roams the forest, in search of beasts to drain. It’s part of his contract with Dumbledore, see. He must avoid harming the students. But sometimes… he can’t help himself.
“If you keep your trusty garlic with you…” – here, Fred lovingly patted the pile of garlic at his knees – “… you’ll be protected. But if you don’t…
“You’ll be walking down a dark corridor at night. Every shadow on the wall could be him, following you. You’ll feel a prickling on the back of your neck, like someone breathing on it, but you’ll turn around… and there will be no one there.
“You’ll hear the tapping of footsteps behind you, and you’ll turn down the wrong corridor to avoid them. It’ll be perfectly silent, perfectly dark, not even moonlight to show you where you are. And that’s where he –
George, while Fred was talking, had snuck around and grabbed Ron’s stomach from behind. Ginny had screamed too but now joined her brothers in rolling on the floor, hysterical with laughter at the expression on Ron’s face. Suddenly –
“BOYS!” Everyone froze in terror as Mrs. Weasley’s figure appeared at the doorway.
“What on earth is going on here? And who nicked all my garlic?”
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