For Pyro (guest)—thank you so much for the fun idea! I had a ton of fun writing this. I also used some of SilverStarWars's ideas that she reviewed about. Thanks so much for the ideas, people—and wow, you guys have some great ideas.
Summary: In which snarky Steven Strange meets the even snarkier, sullen portrait of Severus Snape.
Set probably about a month after the last one.
Strange almost fell out of his chair when Potter burst through the doors to the Sanctuary, quickly rising to his feet, scroll still in his hands.
"This is going to sound absolutely crazy, but have you seen a two-dimensional man with stringy black hair, hooked nose, and severe black robes around?" Potter all but yelled, panting.
Strange ran that sentence through his mind again. "…no, I can't say that I have." He definitely would have noticed a two-dimensional man. How would that even look? "Let me return this to the library," he continued, holding up the scroll, "and explain this phenomenon to me on the way."
So that was how Strange found himself striding quickly through the Sanctuary's halls, Potter at his side and gesticulating wildly about some 'blasted painter'. "Painters," Potter panted, the shorter man almost having to skip to keep up with Strange's long legs, "are practically revered in the Wizarding World. Other people commemorate their dead with overcompensating tombs and fantastic sculptures, we practically bring them back to life in painted form. They are masters of the brush and often travel to the subject when he or she is still alive to understand their personality, and then imbue the painting with their observations and magic."
All Strange could think was, that's…somewhere along the border of insanity and absolutely fascinating.
"The problem is—paintings are just as crafty and manipulative as they were in life," Potter said. "There's an entire language in another art form that we call Ancient Runes, dedicated to keeping paintings on their designated paper and painted on the edges of the actual painting and inscribed onto the frame. Well, Severus Snape was a genius. He's dead now, almost eighteen years ago, but he had a painting done of himself to grace the world with his presence practically forevermore." Potter rolled his eyes. "Merlin, I respect the man, but he could drive a pacifist to murder within three minutes of him opening his mouth."
Strange laughed, returning the scroll to a slightly distracted Wong, who was eyeing the wizard warily.
"Well, this blasted painter screwed up on the Runes by a millimeter and Snape got out, so he's currently somewhere in reality," Potter spat.
"That's helpful in narrowing down a location," Strange said dryly.
"Well, Snape's painting was originally in Scotland, I tracked him down to a small village just outside of London, then he was spotted in the heart of London by one of my colleagues, and then I get a call from the American Ministry of Magic telling me, 'uh, hey, you have an escaped painting over here in New York, could you come get him?'"
His imitation of the American accent was atrocious, Strange noted.
"Well, I would be glad to!" Potter continued, throwing up his arms in exasperation. "But I don't think that wizards have set foot in New York in the last three hundred years, because New York is a bloody big city and they didn't even give me a blasted, buggering street address to start with!"
"So…why did you come get me? I'm virtually no use," Strange said.
"Because," Potter growled, "unlike the rest of the world, in the Wizarding World, like calls to like. The last time something like this happened, it was a painting of a British redcoat that went from the Ministry for Magic straight to the London Sanctuary. Of course, no one knew what it was before, this was thirty years ago, but I recognized the picture they took of the Sanctuary. Paintings apparently really like your relics."
As if on cue, there was a crash upstairs. They bolted for the source of the noise.
"Snape!" Potter yelled.
Strange took the stairs four at a time, almost flying up the staircase. "Severus Snape, please refrain from touching the relics any more than you absolutely have to!"
"I would love to meet the imbecile who believed that enchanting a cloak with a protective personality was a good idea," a dark voice growled back. "In fact, I would be honored to introduce him to my platinum potion's knife, and lay out why you don't set inanimate objects with personalities. Preferably on his skin."
Strange skidded to a stop and had to stifle a laugh.
"Cloak!" he called. The red cloth immediately disengaged from the painting.
"Mr. Potter," the man said, straightening his robes with a dire snarl. "Explain to me why you have yet to track down the imbecile that calls himself a painter and instead went running all over the island."
"Please step away from the relics, Mr. Snape," Strange said warily.
"My deepest and most…sincere apologies," the man sneered, obviously not sincere. "Potter, as usual, has declined to introduce us. My name is Professor Severus Snape."
Strange hummed, unimpressed. "Being an arrogant bastard is all well and good, Mister Snape—any sensible society should not be giving titles to their dead—but I certainly hope that you were not so obvious in your lifetime. Unless you would prefer me to call you Former Professor Severus Snape? It's a bit of a mouthful, but doable. My name is Doctor Steven Strange; I am a sorcerer and a former neurosurgeon, and it is my genuine pleasure to meet such an individual."
Strange sneaked a glance at Potter—his wizarding friend was looking torn between being utterly alarmed at the prospect of the two sniping at each other, stunned at Strange's sudden showing of his rather barbed tongue, and helpless laughter.
"He was," Potter managed.
Strange looked at him questioningly.
"Obvious," Potter said. "He was that obvious in his lifetime."
"Interesting," Strange said, coming closer to the painting. "How is it that you were not fired? Any school teacher could not have possibly been as grouchy of a bastard as you are so obviously for more than a class period—"
Potter cleared his throat. Strange stopped and looked at him.
"May I remind you: wizards. And that conversation that we had about rubber ducks."
Strange blinked, and then groaned.
Also, this was actually dreamed…thank you, pain medication. XD This has been edited several times, mostly because…well, pain medication. That should tell you all about it. XD Sorry this took so long to get out (only six months, what's your problem? XD), but I didn't realize that this had a good stopping place right where it was, and I didn't really want to force it.
These seem to be steadily getting shorter (first was 2.2K, second was 1.5K, this is 1K), but keep sending ideas! I have another half-planned oneshot after this, detailing my version of magical theory and how it ties into the MCU and our dear Dr. Strange.
This series seems to have pretty much blown up in my face; I'm absolutely astounded at the response that it's gotten. Thank you all so much!
(And again...I kind of gave up on separating Sherlock from Strange...sorry...)