Chapter Fourteen

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~

The bright Monday morning found Hogwarts potions professor in a foul mood. Well fouler than normal anyway. He had spent most of his weekend sealed away in his chambers keeping himself distracted from a growing sense of dread over what was to come by immersing himself in work. While normally this would involve brewing complicated potions this weekend found him absorbed in various texts. Trying to figure out where how he went wrong with the spells he used on Potter and Malfoy.

Madam Pomphrey had visited him shortly after he had left his two students in her care, telling him that they would be all right. He had been immensely relieved but he wondered where that left things. He was also quite disconcerted by the look the school nurse had given him. Snape suspected she didn't believe his flimsy account of what had happened and was coming to her own conclusions. And she was no fool; he supposed it was only a matter before she figured it out.

Yet another thing to worry about.

And that left facing Potter and Malfoy. What were their reactions going to be? They had been too shell shocked that night to do much of anything but now they had had a couple of days to contemplate their revenge.

Yes, he did expect some sort of retaliation over what he had done. Be it losing his job or having to humiliate himself in front of Hogwarts entire populace.

Those thoughts had hung heavily over Snape and had fueled his need for answers. He supposed the effort was in vain anyway. The damage had been done. And though the boys had been repaired he still would be held accountable for what had transpired.

And his searching had been fruitless. He couldn't figure out what he had done wrong. He didn't know whether he cast the spells wrong or whether he tried to lift them incorrectly.

The weekend had been unproductive on many fronts. He still had no idea what to do about the missing Cockatrices or how the trolls had been defeated. And since he wanted to keep any interaction between himself and the boys to a minimum he supposed he would never really know.

So having spent the weekend under incredible strain and with no sleep Snape was a formidable sight. As he stalked to his office whatever students who lingered in the halls fearfully darted out of his way, not wanting to risk being on the receiving end of his wrath.

When he reached his destination he threw the door open with a bang, startling the two who had been lurking in his office.

Snape narrowed his eyes dangerously but said nothing.

Malfoy regained his cool quickly, smirking at him from behind Snape's desk. The boy was leaning back in Snape's impressive chair, his feet resting on the desk's immaculate surface. The boy looked extremely pleased with himself. Snape wanted to punch the smug grin off of his face. He just glared instead, causing the boy's smirk to grow to Cheshire cat proportions.

Potter was flittering around the room somewhat nervously, like he didn't want to be here. Well, Snape could relate, he didn't want to be here either. When the boy ceased his nervous pacing he met Snape's eye with such a look of disdain and defiance the teacher wanted to curse him on the spot.

"Good morning Professor," Malfoy chimed. His voice just dripping with insolence. "You're looking horrible. Rough weekend?"

Again Malfoy was rewarded with a glare that could flash freeze lava. But the boy only laughed.

"What are you two doing here?" Snape ground out, even though he knew the answer.

"To collect what we're owed." Potter spoke this time, arms crossed over his chest, expression serious.

"Exactly!" Malfoy added with excess cheerfulness. "I seem to remember making a certain deal. One that involved you giving us whatever we want in exchange for our silence over some... Unfortunate recent events that will remain nameless."

So that was how it was going to be. Snape didn't know whether he was relieved or not. He guessed it could of all ended a lot worse. So counting his lucky stars and swallowing his pride he asked. "What do you want of me?" Trying to keep the hostility to a minimum.

Potter looked thoughtful while Malfoy silently gloated, obviously enjoying himself way too much.

"Hmm, good question." Malfoy said almost casually. "What do you think we should ask for Harry?"

Again Snape found himself struck by the familiarity, the almost friendliness between the two. Wouldn't it be ironic if, despite all the mayhem it caused, his punishment was successful and the two boys learned to get along after all?

"I believe he owes us a song." Potter said with mock innocence.

Snape repressed a sigh. He'd hoped they'd forgotten about that at the very least.

"Oh yes. A lament for forgiveness before the entire school if I remember correctly." Malfoy crowed.

Potter nodded his agreement enthusiastically. "It'll probably be the most shocking thing to happen at Hogwarts, ever. And that's saying a lot." The grin dancing across his boyish face made Snape's skin crawl. Reminding him too much of James and why he'd disliked him so much.

Trying to remain what was left of his shattered dignity Snape put on a brave face. "Very well. But I do ask for some time to prepare." He was delaying the inevitable really, but he did need time to think. If only to find out if he actually had a singing voice any more.

Malfoy was standing now and heading towards the office door. "I don't think so." The boy said, sickly sweet. "We've been waiting all weekend and I, for one, have been looking forward to seeing you humble yourself."

"I agree with you there, Draco." Potter piped up, joining the other boy at the door. "Besides, the sooner you get this over with, the sooner you can start giving the rest of what you owe."

Snape sighed audibly this time, expressing his defeat. As two boys shared a victorious smile Snape swore that some time in the future he'd get back at them. Some time, some how.

He left his office behind the boys. His head held high even though he felt like a man condemned, walking to his own execution.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~

The atmosphere in the Hogwarts dining hall was subdued. Everyone still recovering from their weekends, the constant grey of November pulling down spirits.

The week never seemed longer then on a Monday morning. While some looked forward to the week ahead, others wished the weekend could have been longer. It was a perfectly normal occurrence. But the normalcy was about to be disturbed.

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley kept casting glances towards the large doors to the hall, wondering when their friend Harry would show up. He had been acting most odd all weekend. Never once mentioning a word about the detention he had served. A detention that had kept him away all Friday night. Even odder was the fact that their friend had not said one unfriendly word about a certain Malfoy with whom he had spent said detention. Hermione and Ron had been expecting nothing but full details over what Harry had endured after an evening with Draco Malfoy, but they had only received a strange silence. How weird.

Across the room at the Slytherin table Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle were casting similar looks in between bites. They felt a bit lost without Draco there. It was rare that he didn't join them for breakfast. Was he sick? He certainly hadn't been acting himself for a couple of days. Goyle was pretty sure he'd heard Draco mention something about meeting with Harry Potter. That couldn't have been right, he must have heard wrong. He was always doing that. But still, where was Draco? A quick glance towards the Gryffindor table showed that Potter was nowhere to be seen as well. But Goyle couldn't even begin to deduce what this all meant. Not with so much food around. Shrugging his shoulders he dug back into his breakfast.

Not soon after the doors to the hall finally burst open with more noise then necessary. In entered Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. Together. Smiling. Not fighting or giving each other death glares. They actually looked almost friendly towards each other. With a parting wave the two went to their tables and sat down. Ignoring the questioning looks from their housemates. In fact they seemed to be expecting something, heads turned expectantly towards the doors they just came through.

Minutes later Professor Snape entered. He seemed to be in a worse mood than usual. Everyone in the hall (save two) was a bit surprised. Usually the potions professor entered more discreetly through the staff entrance.

Every eye in the hall followed the professor as he made his way to the front. Though the man held his head high each step he took seemed forced, like he was walking to his doom.

Instead of taking his usual seat Professor Snape just stood at the front of the hall, earning curious (and somewhat fearful) stares.

It was obvious to the students that even the staff knew not what was going on. Even Headmaster Dumbledore, having just returned from his weekend away, looked uncharacteristically perplexed.

Snape seemed to steel himself, cleared his throat and opened his mouth as if to make some sort of important proclamation.

It would be remembered for a long time, the strange scene that unfolded next. Many doubted their sanity when Hogwarts dreaded potions professor's actually quite melodious singing voice broke the silence.

Nearly everyone in the room was completely dumbstruck save two who spared a moment to meet each others eyes.

Harry smiled at Draco and Draco smiled back. Both thoroughly enjoying the first taste of their revenge. And though revenge was sweet, even sweeter was the tentative friendship they established.

And it was only the beginning.
The End

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~ A/N: Yes! It's finally finished! With a nice happy ending (my favourite kind). My first, fully complete bit of fan fiction. It's been good practice and a lot of fun. Reading back I can see a bit how my writing style evolved and changed.

Now the important part, lol. I want to thank everyone who read and more importantly those who left reviews and feedback. That was all the motivation I needed.

To the reviewers of chapter thirteen: S. Wing; Cypress The Faithfulness; Aarra; Aenea; mystic-flower and simmysim! Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement! You guys are awesome.

So what's next for Moondancer. I've got a couple ideas kicking around we'll see if any of them take root. There may even be a sequel to this story, only time will tell.