I Am Your Dentist
Disclaimer: Rowling owns it all. No profit is being made off of this, just a good laugh.
He sat there wondering why he had willingly ventured into this port of potential terror. Severus Snape clenched his teeth, trying to keep what little semblance of control and dignity he had left.
The Dark Lord could have taken a page out of the Muggle playbook of torture, he wryly thought to himself. Elevator Muzak, in all it's insipidly sweet strains poured into his ear like poisoned honey, eating away at his mind like acid being slowly dripped down his ear canal. Some long forgotten disco tune had been resurrected and reorchestrated to a Bosso Nova beat. Oh, the pain.
Behind the closed door down the hall came muffled sounds of garbled unpleasantness. Another torture victim he assumed. Glancing around the room to distract himself, Severus saw magazines with vapid smiling faces looking up at him. The pictures on the covers did not move, as they were Muggle periodicals.
A cursory look at the titles and dates told him that some of the issues were old enough to be worthy of archiving at Hogwarts as antique curiosities. He wondered if Albus had been alive when these were published.
Afraid to pick up the tattered periodicals, as they look like they had been chewed on by a bored and angry toddler, he looked to the shelves lining the wall opposite of him.
There sat grotesque figurines cast in clay, resin, and porcelain. Testaments to the pain he would soon endure. People writhing in agony under the hands of some serenely happy white coated figures who seemed oblivious to their patient's discomfiture.
A plump woman dressed in a colored frock coat that was apparently acceptable professional ware for Muggles stood up and peered over the counter. Her smock had pictures of kittens and dogs frolicking about, the antithesis of the grim situation facing Severus.
"Dr. Granger is now ready to see you," the dental aide announced.
'Sweet mother of Merlin, what have I gotten myself into?'
Standing with as much grace as he could, considering his knees had gone weak, he propelled himself forward and grasped the door handle, turning it with hesitation to what lay beyond.
He had promised Hermione he would do this.
Severus Snape loved Hermione Granger more than life itself, which was actually saying something. He had fallen in love with her since her return to Hogwarts as the new Charms professor, he had learned to appreciate life again, cherishing his own for the first time. She has taught him to live.
Despite working as a double agent for Dumbledore and facing a less than pleased Voldemort many times, he was never more afraid in his life. He had been subjected to the Cruciatus curse more times than he could count and tortured mercilessly at Lucius Malfoy's hands once he was found to be a traitor to the Dark Lord, but nothing could prepare him for what he was about to do.
Severus was going to meet Hermione's father for the first time.
Hermione had written to her parents that she had found a suitable companion and lover. She did not allude to the prospect of marriage and she clearly stated in her owl to them that she wanted to take her time and make sure that it was a long-term relationship. That had been two years ago. Now Severus was considering that marriage was a most distinct possibility, but first he had to meet his potential future in-laws.
At Hermione's urging, Severus made a dental appointment. They both figured it was the best way to break the ice and to meet her parents on their own turf, as she coined the phrase.
A last minute emergency at school prevented Hermione from accompanying him to his appointment.
'Perhaps it will be better this way,' Severus thought. 'If her father does not approve of me as a husband for his one and only child, best he do it without Hermione present.'
Walking down the narrow white corridor, the dental assistant ushered him into a sterile room gleaming in its sanitary bleakness.
He stood there as the assistant motioned for him to sit in the dental chair. Severus preferred to stand. If he were going to meet Dr. Lester Granger, he would prefer to do it standing up, not lying down in some vinyl lounge chair.
"Dr. Granger will be in shortly," she said before turning on her white trainer heel and mincing back to her desk at the front of the office.
Removing his outer robe, he hung it on a plastic hook positioned in the middle of the door and cast a sweeping glance around the room.
There was a poster of a young girl with a mouth full of water and glass in her hand. She had a dialog bubble over her head. "If you can't brush, swish and swallow."
The girl's eyes were bulging and he thought she looking like she was under some Imperius curse to drown herself with a glass of water.
A glance at the cabinet and counter along the far wall revealed a sink and a few Muggle photos. Approaching said counter, he looked at the pictures.
Obviously, one was of Hermione with her parents smiling with the Eiffel Tower looming in the background.
'Ah, from her trip to France,' he mused, remembering her story of her trip those many years ago.
She looked to be about twelve or thirteen, bearing only a slight resemblance to the confidant and sultry beauty he had the privilege to call his lover and best friend.
The other photo was one of Hermione when she was younger, eight perhaps. All buckteeth, innocence and bushy brown hair. The plastic frame had a phrase written clearly on the top in bold letters: "Daddy's Little Princess."
Just then, the door opened and Severus spun quickly to see a short man with a balding pate enter the room. He wore a white coat much like the ones in the maniacal little figurines he saw earlier.
The short Muggle forced a broad grin, well to Severus it looked forced.
'No one should show that many teeth when they smiled,' he thought.
It brought back memories of Lucius hovering over him, the insane glint in his eye before applying the latest round of torture to his broken body.
"Hi, you must be Severus. Hermione has told us so much about you," the man enthusiastically greeted him, hand extended sincerely.
"Yes, Dr. Granger," Severus politely and reservedly replied.
Lester almost bruised his hand in a bone-crushing grip.
"Call me Lester," he insisted.
Severus nodded curtly.
"So, you're the man that stole my little princess's heart."
He did all he could not to cringe at that sound of that. It made him appear to be some lecherous old man that came to snatch little girls away in the middle of the night. Far from it. Hermione was a grown woman, mature beyond her twenty-five years. He just happened to be forty-four years old, old enough to be her father.
It sounded like Severus was the reason why Hermione had little contact with her parents for the last decade, long before she even became a woman. Long before he had any interest in her at all.
"I assure you, sir, I have not stolen anything. She gave it to me freely."
It was the most dignified answer he could give while assuaging any fears that he had swooped down and carried Hermione off to his lair against her will, forcing her to love him.
"Here I am grilling you. Where are my manners? I didn't see Hermione, couldn't she come?"
Steeling himself against a disappointed father, he replied, "Unfortunately, no. There was an accident with one of her students that required her presence."
"Ah, that's my little princess. Responsible as ever," Lester chuckled. "Maybe next time."
Severus' heart stopped for a brief second. Surely this man wasn't suggesting that he come back again under these circumstances. Hopefully it was intended to imply another setting in which they could meet. Perhaps Lester would come to the dungeons and meet him in the Potions classroom. A room much more pleasant than that of his current surroundings.
"Please, let's have a seat and see what we've got," the dentist motioned to the dental chair.
Looking at the cheap vinyl, his eye was caught by a tray next to the chair, a tray that had escaped his lax attention to the room.
On it lay instruments of various sizes and shapes, gleaming in highly polished stainless steel. Severus swallowed hard viewing them as instruments to his own destruction. How often he had used similar devices made of rusted iron to extract information for the Dark Lord during his days as a faithful Death Eater.
'Ah, cruel irony and a twist of fate. What comes around goes around.'
Sitting in the chair, he reluctantly leaned back hearing and feeling the artificial leather squeal and squeak under his fine woolen clothes and the weight of his body.
After washing his hands fastidiously, Lester pulled out a blue bib and fastened it around Severus' neck.
'Wonderful, I feel like a helpless child about to drool, as I'm spoon fed,' he bitterly thought. 'Oh, the humility.'
Lester reached above his head and pulled down an odd shaped object that turned on with a flick of a switch. A bright light flooded Severus' field of vision and he could only barely make out the dark figure beyond the glaring light.
'And so the interrogation begins.'
His chair back began to recline and Severus found himself in a prone position. A prisoner in the modern Muggle torture chamber.
"Now, then," Lester said a bit more cheerfully than Severus liked, "let's open up and see what you've got."
Reluctantly, Severus opened his mouth.
A hand with short stubby fingers probed his mouth. It was with great disgust that Severus discovered just how hairy the man's knuckles were, as they kept brushing up against parts of him mouth, as he continued his examination.
"Ah," Lester said with great interest. "I take it this is your first visit to a dentist?"
The dentist's hands were still in the Potions Master's mouth. He wasn't in a position to nod, so he choked out an open mouth "Uh huh" from the back of his throat.
"Not many dentists in the wizarding world, are there?"
Severus noted with some annoyance that at least when he was torturing a victim, he at least stopped his ministrations long enough to allow his victim to make a coherent answer once they ceased screaming and could use their mouth fully.
Instead of a retort, he merely answered with another open mouth answer. "Nuh uh."
Lester pulled his hands out of Severus' mouth. "Well, let's get some X-rays and take it from there."
A large lead lined apron was draped across his lap and a very sinister looking device was brought closer to his head.
"Open," Lester commanded gently. Several waxy metallic pieces of paper were shoved in his mouth and his head positioned to just the right angle. It disturbed him that his head had been handled in such a perfunctory manner, but figured it was necessary to get the desired result.
A few buzzing noises later and a few more head adjustments and it was done. Severus licked his mouth as is he just drank a bad batch of Veristaserum. Little did he realize that this was the best his mouth would feel in a while.
With Lester's return from the X-ray development room, Severus' apprehension mounted. The Muggle settled himself on a chair and scooted close to Severus, the light brought back to blind the victim.
"Now just relax and open wide."
Severus held back a whimper. He used to use the same line many years ago in a dungeon somewhere.
The glint of a metal object flashed before Severus' eye. An iron hook. No, that wasn't right, a stainless steel hook, delicate yet sharp.
Closing his eyes to avoid betraying the fear building inside of him, he thought of Hermione. She was standing outside of the infirmary telling him to go without her. That he would be just fine and that he would probably get on famously with her father. As famously as Severus would ever allow with his forbidding and glacial exterior.
He could feel the pricking of sharp metal against his gums.
"You wizards should learn to floss more regularly, but then again, so could my regular patients," Lester said in an amused tone.
He remembered Lucius' feeble attempts at macabre humor during interrogations. After several more minutes of uncomfortable probing of his gums for gingivitis, his mouth was full of blood. Tangy, metallic blood that trickled to the back of his closed throat. Severus had swallowed enough of his own over the years to learn to ignore the repulsive taste of it.
"Here, let's get rid of some of that."
Instantly, Severus' eyes flew open as a plastic tube was shoved in his mouth sucking the blood from his oral cavity. He never did note if there was a drain in the floor to wash all the blood away.
Another metal hook crossed in front of his eyes and Lester instructed him to open wide once more.
"So, you met my daughter at Hogwarts?"
It was a loaded question. Did her father know that he was once her professor? Or did she just tell them that she was in love with a colleague? He cursed himself for not being better prepared.
His mouth open in a most vulnerable position, he responded with the back of the throat, "Uh huh."
That was when the torture began. He could feel the metal scraping at his teeth, rattling every nerve in his head. It felt like the instrument was trying to pry off a spec of bone from the inside of his skull. The scraping vibrations made his eyes roll up into the back of his head. It felt like the flesh around his teeth was flaking off with each movement of the hook.
"How long have you two been seeing each other?"
How the bloody well damn was he supposed to answer that with a sharp metal instrument in his mouth and a set of stubby fingers prying his mouth open?
This was most undignified. He listened as well as he could, trying to filter out the unbearable scraping sound of metal against bone out of his mind.
"Two years, I thought so. Do you intend on making an honest woman of my little princess? Whoa! Got a gusher there, Sev."
Severus felt the blood flooding his mouth as an alarming rate. Surely he would need a Sanguination Restorative potion when he returned to Hogwarts.
"You don't mind if I call you Sev, do you?"
The Potions Master would have preferred it if the man had called him Severus, Professor Snape, sir, anything but Sev. Considering that he was at the mercy of a man who could have taught Voldemort and his demented Death Eaters a few things about torture, he was in no position to argue.
Thankfully, the topic of marriage was dropped as Lester went on with his line of questioning.
"I hope you two love birds will be swinging by at Christmas time. After all, if you intend on continuing to see Hermione, you should at least meet the rest of the family."
'Joy of joys. Holidays with Muggles. Bleed me dry till I'm dead and be done with it, I no longer have the desire to go on living, thank you very much.'
Instead, he choked out "Herat." (Perhaps)
Just then Lester's stomach made a very loud protest over the fact he had skipped lunch, much to Severus' displeasure of hearing about it. His head was right next to the man's stomach, and he could hear the gastric juices churn and bubble, like some cauldron under protest of its contents.
"It's a pity Wanda couldn't be here; she's at a dental conference in Birmingham. I'm sure she would love to meet you."
At that moment, Severus weighed his options of the situation. Would it have been easier to meet both of Hermione's parents at once and get it over and done with, or was it more advantageous to him that he met them one at a time? Divide and conquer. Perhaps if he had to meet them both under the same circumstances, it would have been better if Dr. Wanda Granger was there too. No doubt, there wasn't enough room for her to stick her fingers in his mouth as well.
"So, that school of yours is up in Scotland somewhere. Do much fishing?"
Severus wanted the torture to end. The scraping of metal against bone, the bleeding, the pain, the growling stomach in his ear, the inane idyll conversation. If he had been asked to reveal the location of the Sorcerer's Stone, if it still existed, he would have gladly divulged it to end his suffering.
"Nuh uh," was all that he could muster.
As the scraping continued, Severus found that if he were paralyzed from the knees down, he could learn to walk with his bottom. He kept scooting down in his chair in a feeble attempt to escape the excruciating torment of Hermione's father.
Not soon enough, the scraping of his brain ended, but not before Lester tried to pry a part of his tooth out. He claimed it was a stubborn piece of tartar.
Another plastic tube was unceremoniously shoved in his mouth and chlorinated water filled his bleeding orifice.
"Rinse and spit, please."
Swishing the blood, saliva and water around in his mouth, he spat it out into a miniature toilet bowl while restraining a sneer.
A quick pass of a rotating device with a padded head swept over Severus' teeth, leaving him with the feeling that he had just licked a gravel path.
Severus let out an audible sigh when Lester left the room to fetch the X-rays. He tensed back up again when the short Muggle with the hairy knuckles returned.
'Gods, what other insufferable anguish must I suffer at the hands of this man?'
Shoving the X-rays up onto an opaque glass device, a flip of the switch revealed the condition of Severus' mouth.
"Hmm. A small occlusion on number five, something we'll have to watch."
'Merlin's teeth, no! I'm not coming back here if that's what you think.'
"Ah, it looks like we might have to do a root canal on your upper right bicuspid."
"Root canal?" The images that were conjured up in Severus' mind made him glad he was lying down.
'Canal: a tubular passage. Root: the part of the tooth that is anchored into my jawbone.'
"Oh, it's a simple procedure. Just numb you up, drill a little hole, drain any puss, kill the nerve and seal it up. All very common among Muggles, I assure you."
There was nothing reassuring about the description he was given. He never trusted Muggle potions to numb anything up.
'How would he be sure that they would properly numb me? And what was this about drilling holes in my head? Puss? What puss? And seal it up…what my mouth or the tooth? Gods, does he mean to open my tooth up? This is barbaric! Get me out of here!!!'
All that Severus could do was dumbly nod his head in agreement, hoping to get a better explaination from Hermione. If her version of the procedure still did not meet with his liking, he would just go to Poppy for a quick tooth charm to fix him up. It was only his deep love for Hermione that made him even remotely consider venturing back out into the land of Muggles and tolerate such tribulation.
"Well then," Lester said with another dazzling smile that made him look like a fat, balding and much less attractive version of Professor Lockhart as he removed the blood stained bib, "it was so nice to have the chance to get to know one another. Why don’t you swing by the receptionist desk on your way out and set up another appointment for that root canal. You should probably have Wanda do it. She's got the touch."
'The touch of what, pain and misery? I assure you, sir, you have more than enough to be an honorary Death Eater.'
"I'll do that, sir," he found himself saying, much to his despair.
"Please, call me Lester. And maybe if you play your cards right, you can call me dad."
Severus started a little at the comment. It was so crudely casual and so thinly veiled that he should stop banging his daughter out of wedlock and in wedlock instead.
He couldn't afford to open his mouth to invite further comments that shredded the last of his tattered dignity. Instead he nodded.
On the way out the door, he made an appointment to see the other Dr. Granger in two months. It would take him that long to recover from this visit, long enough to brew his own tooth numbing potion in case those Muggles still insisted on using needles to probe one's mouth to deliver the anesthetic.
A shudder ran through him at that thought. At least he never used needles; he was never that low and inhuman.
Once the appointment was set, he noticed a basket full of candy. Thinking it cruel that a dentist would find some way to ensure his patients kept coming back to fix cavities dispensed in a sweet candy form, he grabbed a handful, shoving the colorful cellophane wrapped treats into his pocket. If he were to return, he would at least get some pleasure out of their offer of free candy.
Walking out the door in great strides, his cloak billowing behind him, he thought, 'you owe me, Hermione. Perhaps tonight I can play the stern Headmaster and you can play the naughty schoolgirl who had forgotten to wear her knickers this time.'
A/N: The title of this fic comes from the song "I Am Your Dentist" from the musical "Little Shop of Horrors." Another note, I know dentists wear gloves when dealing with patients now, but when I had orthodontia in the 80's as a teen, my orthodontist did not wear them. He had hairy knuckles and his stomach always growled (A writer writes what he or she knows).