Of Sight and Sound

By Moondancer

Disclaimer: In the next chapter..

FYI: This is still a work in progress. It's now being beta read! Special thanks to my wonderful, magnificent, awesome betas Lori and Liz (VeelaSong)! They did a great job fixing my mistakes :o)

Chapter one (beta read by Lori)

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"Take that back Potter!" Screamed an enraged Draco Malfoy, wand aimed and ready. "Or I'll make you wish Voldemort had managed to kill you!"

He didn't care that there was a classroom full of people (including the potions teacher, Professor Snape himself) witnessing him threaten another student. All his attention was on the person standing in front of him, wand also aimed. Harry Potter's face mirroring Draco's fury.

Potions had started off badly that Friday afternoon. Both were in a foul mood when Prof. Snape paired them off together, much to Draco's chagrin. He couldn't help but wonder what had gotten into his favorite teacher and Head of House who usually treated him like a son. But lately Snape had seemed cooler towards Draco, leaving him to wonder what he had done to warrant such treatment.

All through the lesson the tension between the two adversaries grew. The other students cast wary glances their way, as though they were a bomb about to explode. Which they finally did with only five minutes left in the class.

One of them had finally said too much to push the other over the edge (Draco couldn't remember who said what). All he knew is he wanted to curse Potter into oblivion and finally be rid of the presence that had caused him so much grief these past six years. But Potter looked willing to do the same to him, his green eyes blazing with anger.

Draco's last verbal jab seemed to push Potter over the edge. He leveled his wand and threw a curse towards Draco, who had uttered a curse of his own a millisecond later.

They both missed their intended targets. Both hitting Prof. Snape instead who had thrown himself in between the two combatants at the worst possible moment.

Snape stood shock still for a moment as the curses took affect, the boys voices still echoing in the now silent dungeon classroom. Draco watched in horror as his teacher's normally sallow skin started to turn a vibrant shade of pumpkin orange, a colour he had intended for Potter. Even as his skin changed colour Snape broke into a fairly intricate Irish jig, which Draco would have been doing had the Professor not gotten in the way.

The students around them couldn't contain their laughter while Draco and Potter could only look on in dismay. Snape was never more dangerous then when his pride had been injured.

"Potter! Malfoy!" He yelled breathlessly, legs kicking and flailing uncontrollably. "Detention!" Another tirade was interrupted as their now colourful potions master jigged and twirled his way into his private office.

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'Figures Snape would make us serve detention outside on the coldest night of the year!' Harry thought as he trudged behind a now normal coloured Snape, who didn't look too worse for wear other than the occasional twirl or skip in his step. Beside Harry walked an equally miserable looking Malfoy, both their wands confiscated before they set out into the chilly night. They were both shivering despite the weight of their cloaks. The late November moon serving as their only light.

The rest of that day Harry's fellow sixth year Gryffindors had been in hysterics at the remembered image of their dreaded potions professor bright orange and jigging (with a surprising amount of skill) all over the place. But Harry was too apprehensive over his imminent detention to join in.

'What on earth could Snape possibly have in store for them tonight?' Harry wondered as he struggled to keep up with his professor's rapid, long legged strides, which he noticed were taking them to Hagrid's cabin. Great, Hagrid always had some sort of potentially dangerous creature that needed tending.

With a quick sweep of his hand (which Harry realized was still pumpkin orange) Snape led them behind Hargid's home. A half dozen creatures lay sleeping in a large, high fenced pen. They were apparently new acquisitions of Hagrid's; they were about six feet tall and appeared to be a mixture of rooster, dragon and snake. Uglier than Blast-Ended Skrewts was the only way Harry could think to describe them. Things certainly didn't bode well.

Without any preamble Snape began. "Tonight you two will be cleaning up the Cockatrice pen. Hagrid assures me that the creatures are perfectly harmless as long as they are asleep. All you need to do is clean up any food remnants and droppings."

Harry surveyed the creature's pen. It didn't look too messy. As long as he and Malfoy kept quiet and stayed out of each other's way they would be done within the hour. Malfoy appeared to have come to the same conclusion, regaining some of his swagger.

Harry was about to breath a tentative sigh of relief. Other than the smell and having to spend a Friday evening with Malfoy he figured he was getting off easy.

He should have known better.

"Now, before you think you're getting off easy," Snape continued, with an evil glint in his eyes that made Harry's stomach sink. "You both should know that, while cockatrice's are very heavy sleepers they are extremely irritable and violent when their sleep is interrupted. If one wakes up unexpectedly it will wake the others and they will all attack whoever or whatever is in their territory that doesn't belong there."

That didn't sound good.

"So use extreme caution."

As long as Malfoy stayed out of his way Harry figured he would be okay. He was prepared to enter the pen and start his task when Snape starting to speak again.

"I must say I am quite tired of both of your bickering and insults. I placed you two together in class today to force you to find a way to co- operate, if only for an hour. Obviously I overestimated both of you. While I've come to expect such behavior from you Mr. Potter," Harry met Snape's glare defiantly before the man turned his gaze to the other student. "I am very disappointed that you couldn't control yourself Mr. Malfoy."

Harry had to use all his willpower not to smirk at the sight of Malfoy flushing under the teacher's piercing gaze.

"Now, to ensure that you two work together to complete this task I've given to you tonight I will place you both under a spell. This will force you to co-operate or risk having your arms ripped off by a sleep deprived cockatrice."

Snape was grinning malevolently now and Harry felt himself pale. A quick glance at Malfoy confirmed that the other looked equally worried.

If he hadn't been so petrified Harry would have laughed as Malfoy frantically backed away from Snape as the man advanced on him with his wand. With a muttered spell a shot of purple light shot from Snape's wand towards Malfoy's eyes. Malfoy covered his face in surprise. When he lowered his hands he started swing his head back and forth frantically.

"I can't see! Why can't I see?!" His voice was high pitched with horror. A horror Harry matched. Even from where he stood he could tell Malfoy's normally pale grey eyes seemed to be pitch black, obviously a result of the spell.

"Relax Draco, it's only temporary." Snape said calmly. This did little to ease the boy's terror, his sightless eyes wide.

Harry had to resist the urge to run when Snape leveled his wand towards him. He was practically blind without his glasses anyway, he reasoned, he could adjust to total blindness.

He closed his eyes when Snape muttered another spell.

When he opened them he was relieved that he was still able to see. Snape must have done the spell wrong. Then he realized something was wrong. He could see his Professor's mouth moving but there was no sound. In fact the whole world was silent. He was deaf.

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Professor Snape stood the now disabled boys side by side and continued his instructions. He cast a simple spell to make his words spell out in the air for Potter's benefit.

"Now, a few more things you should know. When a cockatrice is about to awake it will make a low mewing sound. That will serve as your warning to leave the pen immediately. Mr. Malfoy, you will serve as the alarm. It'll be up to you to alert Potter to the danger. Once alerted, it will be up to you Potter to lead you both to safety. But hopefully it won't come to that."

Snape had to smile at that aspect of his plan. The teenagers would now think their co-operation would be essential to their survival. Even though he had exaggerated the ferocity of sleep-deprived cockatrices, his two students didn't know that.

"Detention will be over once you've found a way to work together and complete the task set for you. Once the pen is fully cleaned, I will lift the spells and restore your sight and sound."

He led his two very distressed students, Malfoy clinging to his arm as he stumbled, into the pen. He stepped out and secured the gate behind him.

Still grinning, Snape headed back to the castle and the familiar dank of his dungeon. He knew he would get into a lot of trouble when (and if) the headmaster or his fellow teachers ever caught wind of the stunt he just pulled. Using magic as punishment on unruly students was forbidden. But he didn't care. Potter and Malfoy's constant bickering and scraps had been getting on his nerves for years. And now being the latest unsuspecting victim was the last straw. Those two had to learn.

He knew it would seem out of character for he, Snape - Head of Slytherin House, to be so harsh on a student in his house, and on one of his favorites no less. But young Malfoy, with his cocky swagger and sneering attitude reminded Snape way too much of the boy's father, Lucius. It wouldn't hurt the boy to be taken down a notch, in his opinion.

He could almost hear the howler he was sure to get once the elder Malfoy heard of the injustice his precious son had been subjected to. But Snape had gotten into water hotter then this before. He could handle it.

It wasn't as if the boys were in any real danger. Unless they did something incredibly stupid there would be no permanent damage and a great lesson would be learned. Putting aside differences to work together for one. Never mess with your potions professor for another. The latter being the most important in Snape's opinion.

Now, he hoped, they would both think twice before throwing around annoying curses, especially when he was in the room.

Snape caught sight of his still orange hand. With a growl of frustration he headed towards his personal stores. As he mixed the potion needed to fully return his skin to it's normal colour the two he had left outside were temporarily forgotten.

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