Childhood Living
Once more, a retarded and dumb HP fic
By Dommi-chan

Some part of me is really, deeply, mentally ill. That really is the only explanation. I swear I just don't even get it myself.

Same universe as Easier Said…. and Apassionata. Meaning thus: Hermione/Male!Blaise, Harry, as we found out last time, is "confused", Seamus is still a moron, Ron's sanity is questionable, and everyone who was arrested previously got released. Tampered evidence if you must know. This fic also deals with Perpetually Annoyed!Snape and Incompetent!Death Eaters. Good times, good times.

::holds up sign reading "DO NOT OWN ANY OF THEM! NONE! NADA!"::

If you see something 'written out like this', it means someone's thoughts.

You know eventually I'll do a fic that explains crap like Blaise liking Hermione, and just what the hell Ron and Neville were talking about in Appassionata…but you're gonna have to wait. Call it my Christmas special, if you like.

If you finish this fic, then I must warn you that you will die in seven days. Well not really but it sounds good….



"Motherless children have a hard time---
Motherless children have a, such a hard time---
Motherless children have such a really hard time,
A long way from home."
~Van Morrison, "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child"

There were five things in the world that Severus Snape hated.

The first was Voldemort. Really, any further explanation isn't necessary.

The second was the Marauders. Stupid gits getting away with murder all of the time. They kept stealing his boots and candy, too.

The third was Harry Potter and his two sidekicks, that Granger girl and the Weasley boy. The hatred of anyone with the last name of Potter was purely hereditary. The other two got it purely by association, although Granger did try his patience sometimes with her "Ooh! Ohh! Pick me! I'm wonderful and brainy and ever-so-smart!" attitude.

The fourth was leprechauns. Creepy little buggers with their hats and their pipes.

And the last, considering his profession, was rather ironic. Children. Severus Snape hated children. Children are unsanitary. Children disregard rules. Children colour on the walls and stick their fingers in their mouths and are weak. Children cry when they injure themselves and need naps and ask for lollipops and have to go to the bathroom at inopportune times.

It was an unseasonably warm March Wednesday as Severus Snape pondered these very five things while awaiting his Double Potions Gryffindor/Slytherin sixth years. 'Perhaps young Potter and his entourage should switch places with the Marauders, especially considering I won't have to deal with Lupin and his ilk again anytime soon.…'

The Potions Master was still pondering this when his students began to filter in. First as always was the Granger girl, head stuck in a book. Next came the young Malfoy from his own house, whom he afforded a quick greeting every class. Following closely were Blaise Zabini, who had
apparently been dating Granger for a while, Longbottom, who always took twice as long to get ready as the other students due to sheer incompetence, and Dean Thomas. (Not that he'd ever admit it publicly, but Thomas had an exceptional gift for Potions. There was a reason he never ripped the boy to shreds, after all.) Then came Pansy Parkinson and Millicent Bulstrode, and Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown from Gryffindor. (Eerily similar how those two pairs of girls were....) Weasley, Potter, and Finnigan were next, undoubtedly too caught up in Quidditch to care much for arriving at class early. And finally Crabbe and Goyle. (Privately Snape wondered how those two were even verbal, let alone how they could find his classroom.)

There were a few brief moments of idle chatter as the students all opened their kits and began heating their cauldrons. The pairs were always the same, class after class. Zabini and Granger. Weasley and Potter. Patil and Brown. Bulstrode and Parkinson. Finnigan and Longbottom. Thomas and Goyle. Malfoy and Crabbe. The last three were fail-safes to avoid cases of the blind leading the stupid.

Finally, it was time to begin. He stood up. "Nice of you all to decide to pay attention. We will be concocting the draught on page 812 of your text. That is page 812, Finnigan, not 821." Everyone turned and stared at Seamus as he looked thoroughly embarrassed. The last time he had mixed up the numbers of a page he had caused pandemonium throughout the school, and had even gotten himself and some others arrested. In fact, Justin Finch-Fletchley was still running at the sight of him. "You have twenty minutes to mix the proper ingredients before it must brew for the allotted time in order to be sampled before we end class for today. And Longbottom, don't mess this one up. It's so simplistic even you should be able to get it right." Snape went into his office to retrieve his notes for "More Potions for Dummies." They were all sixth years, they could handle a simple invisibility potion….

-------------------------

"Seamus...do we add the boomslang skin now or later? I forgot."

"In ten minutes, Neville. The other ingredients have to boil for a bit."

"Oh. Okay." Neville chewed his lip thoughtfully as he stirred the contents of the cauldron. "Seamus...what about the dragon marrow?"

"That gets added now."

"Oh. Okay." Dragon marrow added. "Seamus...what about the----"

"That gets added now, too."

"How do you know what I was going to ask?"

"Because everything gets added now except for the boomslang skin."

"Oh. Right. Everything now." Neville added the ingredients accordingly. The potion bubbled a bright chartreuse. "Seamus...is it supposed to look like that?"

Seamus looked in the cauldron. "Wow...yeah actually it is. Good job Neville!" Malfoy looked up from his cauldron.

"What's that? Longbottom actually did something right for once?" Suddenly everyone was crowded around Seamus and Neville.

"Good job, Neville! I knew you could do it!" Hermione beamed at him.

"Nicely done, Neville!" Blaise patted him on the back. Neville turned red, then grabbed the boomslang skin.

"That's brilliant Neville!" Ron thudded him really hard on the back...as he was getting ready to gingerly add the skin. The skin, the tray, and the scalpel all went flying into the cauldron. "Erm...whoops." The potion suddenly started bubbling violently and turned fuchsia. "Uh...whoops again?" Ron said as Seamus and Neville stared in horror as their perfect potion turned violent and wrong. Suddenly....

FWOOOOOOOOOSH!

"Uh...Professor? Professor Snape?"

Snape barely glanced up from his notes. "What is it, Miss Patil?"

"We er...we think you had better come over here. It's Neville's potion, sir...Ron patted him on the back and well...."

"Of course. Longbottom. Why am I not surprised?" Snape then finally looked at his classroom. Patil, Brown, Bulstrode, Crabbe, Goyle, Thomas, Finnigan, and Longbottom all were standing around looking stunned. There was a very lumpy pile of robes on the ground where, presumably, the rest of the students had been. And said students were nowhere to be presently found. For the first time in years, Severus Snape was shocked.

"I am so fired...."

-------------------------

"Erm...Professor Dumbledore...."

"Yes, Severus?"

"I think you and Professor McGonagall should get down to my classroom immediately. We have...a situation...."

"What is the matter, Severus? Is it really that urgent?"

"You...you just need to come see for yourself...."

-------------------------

Meanwhile, in a graveyard elsewhere, Peter Pettigrew, also known as Wormtail, was performing a summoning spell in order to gather the Death Eaters. His Master had just conceived of a brilliant plan to finally rid himself of that pesky Boy Who Lived and restore himself fully to power. It was clearly going to require some assistance. The Dark Mark appeared glowing verdantly above him and he smiled triumphantly. "Any moment, Oh Exalted Führer of Darkness, and your followers will be here to aid you."

Voldemort was pacing not too far from his father's grave. "Excellent. Everything is coming to fruition exactly as I want it to." He folded his hands together and looked evil. "Soon Potter, and my destiny, will be in my grasp. Nothing will be able to stop me...well there is that pesky pollen allergy, but with Potter's blood I will Escalate and will be immune to even that! AHAHAHAHAHAH!" Wormtail remained silent. "Well? Laugh!"

Wormtail laughed with his master, then stared as he noticed dark shapes apparating around him. "Master! They are here! Your loyal cronies and humble minions have arrived!"

Voldemort smiled. "Ahhhh my Death Eaters. I'm so pleased you all came to me so quickly. Time is of the essence for my latest venture into evil plans. This new plot requires strict discipline and timing is of the utmost importance. Now here is…yes? There's a question in the back?"

The Death Eater known as Avery lowered his hand. "Um…we were told that there was to be punch and pie." The other Death Eaters nodded.

The Dark Lord turned and stared at Pettigrew, who had the decency to look embarrassed. His eyes glowed red for a moment. "There is no punch or pie until AFTER I AM DONE EXPLAINING MY BRILLIANT PLANS! Any other interruptions?" The only sound made was that of crickets chirping. "Very good then. Here are the details. Pettigrew, as Wormtail, is going to sneak into Hogwarts. There, he will kidnap Potter, as well as several other students. He will bring them all here, and I will torture the other students until Potter surrenders to me. Once I have drained him of his blood, I will be at the door of my destiny and will continue my bid for complete global conquest. Any questions?"

All of the hooded figures shook their heads.

"Excellent. The reason as to why you are all here is that I may have to take some of your children. It's all a matter of who's closest to Potter at the time." Murmuring went through the crowd.

"But Lord…why would Potter risk his life for Slytherins? It's a well known fact that he doesn't get along with those of that house…." Avery spoke again.

"Because he is stupidly self-effacing that way. That and his approval rating will surely plummet if he lets other students die. Particularly if it becomes common knowledge that he could have prevented it." More murmuring, this time more favourable. "Now…should I have to torture your children a bit, it's fine for the greater evil of our cause? That is to say…there are no problems with me torturing your offspring?"

A quick chorus of "No, Lord, not at all."

"Fabulous! Pettigrew…bring out the punch and pie. We shall toast to my ruling the world before tea tomorrow. Now, who's up for roller skating?"

A loud cheer went through the camp as the first strains of "Dancing Queen" echoed through the air.

-------------------------

Shortly thereafter, Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore arrived in Snape's classroom. They were greeted by several interesting things of note. The first was that half the class was missing. The second was the pile of robes on the floor both belonging to Slytherins and Gryffindors. The third was that Severus Snape was nowhere to be found. The fourth was the mollified expression on the students' faces. The fifth was the screaming coming from the storage closet.

Wait a minute. Screaming?

"GET OFF OF THOSE SHELVES RIGHT NOW! YOU DO NOT BELONG UP THERE! GET DOWN! ZABINI! STOP GOING THROUGH THOSE BOXES! GRANGER PUT THAT JAR DOWN THIS INSTANT OR SO HELP ME I'll---!"

Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Ahem. Severus? What precisely did you call us down----" He broke off in mid-sentence. It may take a lot to shock Snape, but it took even more to shock Dumbledore.

A little girl about the age of five with dark blonde hair in ringlets and a little pug nose came out of the closet. She stared up at Dumbledore. "Hello! You look like Santy Claus! Are you Santy Claus?? If so then where are my presents??" She was wearing what seemed like a tent, but upon closer examination was a Slytherin-coded girls Hogwarts uniform. Suddenly a little tornado of red hair crashed into her. He warily looked up at Dumbledore, and was also wearing a tent-type ensemble but with Gryffindor colours. "Psst...it's Santy Claus!" the girl told the boy. The boy broke out into a grin.

"Hallo, Santa! Are you taking our lists for Christmas? If so I already know what I want and it shouldn't take too long...."

McGonagall looked nauseous. Dumbledore looked bemused. "Why hello there! What are such fine children as yourselves doing in here?" And at that moment Severus Snape emerged. Dumbledore would have laughed, if not for the sudden realization of where the children came from dawning on him.

Snape was flailing and struggling to walk. He had a little pale boy clutching his right leg and refusing to let it go. There was another pair of boys running in circles around him, one with black hair and glasses and the other with dark auburn hair. A bushy haired little girl was following him
out chattering a mile a minute.

"But we can't be sixteen we're five and what's wrong with me holding the jars I'm not clumsy and those weren't very nice words you called us I think I'm going to tell Mum on you and how come you wear all black you'd look better in pink and what are all of those big kids doing here they're staring at us and who's the old man and the lady looks like she's going to be sick?" The bushy haired girl apparently didn't need to breathe. She also had rather large front teeth.

McGonagall swallowed. "Miss...Miss Granger? Hermione?!" The little girl blinked.

"My Mum's told me never to talk to strangers how do you know my name who are you and who's the old man he can't be Santy Clause because Santy Claus isn't real...." At this the pale boy let go of Snape and started sniffling. The dark and auburn haired boys were still chasing each other around the room.

"Santy...Santy Claus isn't real?" Silver-grey eyes welled up with tears. "But...but he has to be! Who else brings me my gifts?" The boy was full-out crying now. The mini-Hermione rolled her eyes at him. McGonagall turned to the boy.

"Dr...Draco Malfoy?" He nodded through his tears. "Pansy...Parkinson?" The little girl with the ringlets from before nodded and smiled. "Ronald Weasley?" The red haired boy beamed. She looked to where two blurs in grey were running. "Harry Potter?" The blur in front with the darker hair stopped, grinned cheekily and waved. The lighter haired child crashed into him, and they fell down giggling. "Blaise Zabini?" A wave from the boy who was on top. McGonagall paled. "Oh, dear. Severus, how did...."

Snape looked up, wild-eyed and said "Weasley apparently caused an accident involving Longbottom's shrinking draught. These six were splashed by the result. Instead of shrinking, they were regressed into five year olds. According to my estimates they were covered in enough of it for it to last at least two days, no more than four." Snape was now finger combing his hair, as there was a wad of uneaten Bertie Bott's in it. "Disgusting. Which one of you did this?!" Ron started snickering, then made himself look solemn as Snape's eyes turned to him. "WEASLEY! Wait until I get my hands on you, you little...."

"Severus! That is enough! May I ask just how these students were regressed into children by such a grievous error while under your care?"

Snape froze. Then looked...sheepish? Then he actually fidgeted.

"I was...working on my new book. And I admit, I wasn't paying attention to what the students were doing. Miss Patil informed me that something had gone wrong and I saw these...toddlers buried under a pile of robes. The next thing I knew, they were running rampant." McGonagall, who had been trying to comfort the despondent Malfoy, made a clucking noise with her tongue as though she was holding in laughter. Dumbledore looked stern but had a twinkle in his eyes.

"Well, Severus, as you admit that this is your fault, then perhaps you should take responsibility for it."

"Come again?" Snape looked confused, and a bit scared.

"Well, you did say they'll be like this for a few days. And I'm afraid we simply cannot have six small children running around Hogwarts alone. I am placing you in charge of their personal well-being and care until they have all returned to their normal state."

Snape's jaw dropped so low it almost hit the floor. McGonagall couldn't help it any longer and burst out laughing. Dumbledore looked at her.

"You will assist him, Minerva, when you are not instructing your lessons or busy with your house." McGonagall's jaw was now in a similar state to Snape's. "Children do require both a mother and a father, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have as a mother figure to these children. You two will do well, I'm sure of it. Now if you'll both excuse me, I have to discuss the situation with Miss Weasley, as I am sure seeing her older brother as a small child will no doubt unnerve her." He smiled down at the little ones, all looking at him expectantly. "Good-bye children...I am sure I shall be seeing you all again very soon."

"Good-bye Santy Claus!" five voices called out. Hermione rolled her eyes again. Dumbledore chuckled and then walked out of the room.

'I think perhaps I should not wear red anymore.…'

-------------------------

Severus Snape no longer feared hell.

Why should he? Certainly he was already there.

It had only been an hour since Dumbledore (or as the children had christened him, Santy Claus) had left the little ones in his care, and he was already within an inch of throwing himself off a cliff.

His once perfectly organized classroom was now in shambles. While McGonagall had set about transfiguring the uniforms to fit properly, the children had decided to give her as difficult of a time as humanly possible. She had to pull Potter out of a cauldron twice and retie her shoes six times while dealing with Zabini. She was currently making sleeping and bathing arrangements for the children.

What Snape found curious about the whole situation was how different the students were as children. Draco being a complete crybaby for example; that was definitely unexpected. Although it certainly explained a lot of his present personality. And Pansy had been a quiet little girl, if a bit spoiled. Hermione was just as know-it-all as she had always been, but now the girl just would not stop talking. She was a boundless ball of energy, extremely curious about anything she saw and asking a dozen questions at once.

Potter was no revelation. He had the same exact disregard for the rules as he did as a teenager. The incredible hyperactivity was a bit of an eye-opener. Weasley was much quieter than he expected, given his propensity to voice what other people were thinking. He was also less trouble than Potter or Zabini.

Zabini. Now there was a shocker. He wouldn't have expected the young man to be so energetic. He was just as bad as Potter, climbing things and jumping around. Obviously, the boy had calmed down as he had gotten older.

The sound of glass shattering brought Snape out of his reverie. He turned around.

Potter and Zabini had just let a jar full of flesh-eating slugs loose. He sighed. "Potter. Zabini. What are you doing?"

"They looked bored! I don't like being bored, so I set them loose!" Potter looked incredibly proud of himself as Zabini pouted.

"No fair! I wanted to free them…."

Hermione looked up from where she was reading the pop-up version of "Hogwarts, A History. " "That's not a good idea my books say flesh eating slugs will eat what is closest to the ground but will mostly eat madrakey root and sir Malfoy's gone missing and it's not fair that the boys get to run around you said it was quiet time why can't I leave and I have to use the potty and sir I think Ron's chewing gum you said no gum was allowed…." Ron glared at her as he spit the gum into his hand and put it under one of the tables. Snape twitched.

"Silence! Miss Granger, no one likes a…did you say Malfoy's gone missing?"

Vigorous nods from both Hermione and Pansy.

"It's true he did. He went that away." Pansy pointed in the general direction of the Slytherin dorms.

"Oh for the love of…how long ago did he leave?" A blank stare was his only answer. "Oh. Right. Five year olds can't bloody well tell time can they? God forbid your feeble parents sodding educate you…"

Ron's ears perked up. "I didn't know we could swear! Bloody! Bloody hell bugger bleeding damn wanker sodding fu---"

He was cut off by Snape shoving a bar of soap into his mouth. "Do as I say, not as I do. No cursing."

"But that doesn't make any sense 'do as you say not as you do' and I'm hungry is it lunchtime yet and I still have to go potty why can't I go potty and when's naptime we're going to get cranky and I think Harry and Blaise are freeing more slugs---" The two boys stuck their tongues out at her. "They just made faces at me! And I think that I want cookies for dinner and lots of milk too and oh look there's Draco he's back and----" She was cut off by Snape's yelling.

"Malfoy! What did you think you were doing running wild around the castle?! And what is that?!?!" Draco blinked up at the Professor, then looked down at the silvery-green thing in his arms.

"It's Connor…I can't go anywhere without Connor." He then held up an obviously much-loved stuffed green and silver dragon. His eyes welled up with tears. "Please Unky Snapey, please don't be mad. I really can't do anything without him…."

If not for the crying and under normal circumstances, Snape would have yelled at the boy for the use of such an utterly pointless nickname. Instead he just gave an exasperated sigh. "Oh, all right. But I'm going to have to take five points from Slytherin when you're back to normal for insubordination." The tears instantly vanished and little Draco grinned.

"Yay!" He hugged Connor tightly and started over to the little Weasley. Where he promptly kicked Ron in the shins. Ron turned on him angrily, grabbed the still-moist gum from the table, and stuck it to Draco's nose. It quickly escalated into a full-scale war.

All right, so maybe the children hadn't changed all that much over the years.

-------------------------

Peter Pettigrew smiled as he Apparated from the graveyard to a few miles away from Hogsmeade. This was going to be easy.

-------------------------

The children were in awe of Hagrid. Pansy, Draco, and Ron were sitting on his shoulders and tugging on his beard. Blaise and Harry were hanging off his arms. Hermione kept trying to ask him questions.

"Well Professor, them slugs're all taken care of." Hagrid had been fumigating Snape's classroom for the past forty-five minutes or so. "But yeh can't let the li'l ones back in 'til tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? What the bloody hell am I supposed to do with them now?"

"Put 'em in your chambers I reckon. Might be better that way. Less stuff they can wreck."

"Sure there's less...but it's MINE! The school won't replace my personal affects!!"

Hagrid shrugged. The kids giggled as they moved up and down. "Just keep a tight leash on 'em, eh? They behave just fine ta me." He smiled down at Harry and Blaise who were now hugging his shins. Slowly they made their way to Snape's private quarters. He said his password ("Eye of Newt") and let them inside. The rooms were separated by an open doorway from his lounge
area to his bed and bath. There was a very large overstuffed couch and two chairs in the lounge. The bedroom had the standard four-poster bed that one expects from Hogwarts and a desk covered in papers and books. As Snape walked in, the lamps all lit themselves. The children were torn between wanting to explore and hugging Hagrid.

"Well, I best be on me way, Professor. The hippogriffs won't feed themselves, ya' know."

"Hagrid! Take us with you! We want to pet the aminals!" Ron was now on top of the half-giant's head.

"Oh yes! Please Unky Snapey can we go pet the animals with Hagrid? Please?" Pansy's eyes were huge. Hagrid snickered and looked at Snape.

"Unky Snapey?"

"Don't start with me, Rubeus."

"Wouldn't dream o'it." The held-in laughter told Snape another story. "Now, now, kids you gotta stay with Unky Snapey here, Dumbledore's orders. There's plenty for you to do in here."

"Wahoo! Unky Snapey's room! We can keep playing tag in here!"

"No! There will be no tag! No Red Rover! And no Dodge ball!"

Draco's eyes welled up again. "But...we like Dodge ball...."

"No. No, Mister Malfoy, it won't work this time." Draco's tears spilled over. "Stop that at once. Stop it." The sniffling had begun. "I said stop it!" There was hiccoughing. "Oh all right, ONE game of Dodge ball. The moment it gets out of hand however...." The tears and sniffling were gone, replaced only by a smirk. "I can't believe that I fell for that...again." Hagrid was engulfed by all of the children with a loud "oof."

Just then McGonagall arrived, followed by several house-elves carrying trays. "Severus, I've brought lunch for the children as well as yourself. And I also discussed things further with the Headmaster. He wishes for you to watch the children tonight and let them sleep in your chambers. When it is time for their baths I am to take care of Miss Granger and Miss Parkinson. We also have pajamas for them when bed time arrives."

Snape's scowl somehow became more severe. "Of course he wants me to keep the children. Of course he wants me to bathe them. Should I chew their food and regurgitate it into their mouths as well?" Hermione went "ewww" while the other kids blinked.

McGonagall blanched. "Really, Severus. The way you keep carrying on, you'd think he was asking us to fight He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named armed only with hummus."

Pansy poked Hermione. "What does...reg..reguligate..regigatrate...that word mean?"

Hermione still had a disgusted look on her face. "Regurgitate. It means throw up, like when you're sick."

The other children looked stricken. "EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW" they all said in unison. Hagrid snickered, then coughed when Snape glared at him. He then made his way out the door, mumbling about cute little tykes and their cross mean nanny. McGonagall signaled to the house-elves and they uncovered the trays. Piles of sandwiches, fruit, and jugs of pumpkin juice were ready for the little ones.

"Here is your lunch children. Enjoy." She placed a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a glass of juice in front of each child.

"Can I have a different sandwich? I don't like corned beef...."

"I want milk instead of juice!"

"I'm allergic to peanut butter."

"Can't I have a banana instead of an apple? I like bananas better…."

"Oooh I'll trade you! I don't like bananas!"

"Okay! Thanks!"

"Hey! If they get to trade, then I want milk."

"And I still can't eat the peanut butter. I'll get splotchy and won't be able to breathe."

"Here...this sandwich is corned beef. You can have it if I can have yours."

"Deal!"

"I STILL want milk. I don't like pumpkin juice! I got sick off of it once, and I'll just regugitrate it." McGonagall sighed.

The only child not complaining was Potter. He was eating everything he had been given in complete silence and as quickly as possible. Almost as if he was afraid if he did anything but wolf it down, that it would be taken away from him. Not that McGonagall and Snape hadn't heard about the Dursleys, but now they were wondering just what sort of childhood the boy had while
living with them. And neither was getting a very comfortable feeling about it. He had finished his sandwich, juice, and orange and was eyeing the trays.

And then Severus Snape did something he never thought he'd do in his life.

He showed Harry Potter some compassion.

"Mister Potter...if you would like seconds, feel free. There's plenty there for everyone to have more than one helping."

Harry turned in Snape's direction. His eyes widened and his glasses slipped down his nose a bit. "Do...do you mean it, Unky Snapey? I'm not really 'posed to have more than one helping...."

"Get seconds before I change my mind." Harry got a crooked smile on his face as he grabbed another sandwich and more juice. McGonagall looked at Snape with a twinkle in her eyes. "Say one word of that to Dumbledore and I'll deny it." She smiled.

"One would think, Severus, that you were starting to enjoy this."

"Never. You know my opinion on children. They should be locked away until they're of age to come here. And then they should be quiet, do their homework, and not break any rules. Ever."

A loud crash, followed by an "oops," and followed still by arguing over who's fault it was interrupted his train of thought. His bookcase had been knocked down and there were books and knick-knacks everywhere. More accurately, books and pieces of knick-knacks. He was given sheepish looks from all four of the boys. A plate lay wobbling on the ground, as though it had been recently used for a Frisbee.

"That's it! You're all grounded until you're fifty!"

-------------------------

"Uhm…you wanted to see me…Headmaster?"

"Ah yes, Virginia…."

"Ginny, please, sir. Everyone calls me Ginny."

"Ginny it is, then. I have some news concerning your brother, Ronald."

"He's not dead is he?"

"Well, no…."

"Injured? In a coma? Petrified? Oh don't tell me the Chamber got opened again and this time Ron's…."

"Ginny, please. If you don't mind letting me give the explanation…?"

"Oh…sorry, Professor."

"As I was saying, your brother Ronald met with an…unfortunate accident in Potions class today. He is unharmed, but he is not quite the same as he was before class today. In short, your brother has been regressed."

"Re…regressed?"

"Into a five year old, yes."

"……………."

"I know it is a bit shocking and rather a lot to handle but Professor Snape has assured me that he will be right again by Monday…Ginny? Are you quite all right?" Choked sounds were coming from Ginny's chair, only they weren't sobs.

"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!" Ginny was now banging on Dumbledore's desk, she was laughing so hard.

"…Not the reaction I was expecting, but I think it's much better than tears. Well…tears of sadness, at any rate."

-------------------------

"I honestly do not know why I am putting up with this."

Severus Snape was currently having his hair brushed and braided by Hermione and Pansy. There were pink bows involved.

Hermione paused in her ministrations to raise her hand. "Ooh! Ohh! I know! It's because you adore us and think we're cute and sweet?"

He glowered. "Guess again."

Blaise cocked his head from the corner he'd been sent to. "Is it because if you let us loose we'd bug the big kids far more than you, and then their mommies would send you Howlers?"

"More or less. Where's my bottle of anti-migraine potion?"

"Ron floated it in your bathtub." A raspberry was blown in Blaise's direction.

"Of course he did." Just then Harry and Draco came running over.

"Unky Snapey! Look at what I made!"

"Unky Snapey, Connor has a hole in him! Can you sew him up, please?"

Snape pulled out his wand and repaired the dragon. Harry stamped his foot.

"Unky Sevvie! Pay attention to what I made!" There was a long pool of red coming from the bathroom. The boy's hands and clothes were covered in red as well.

A deep sigh. "What did you make, Potter?"

"A BIG RED MESS!" Harry started giggling. Snape's left eye twitched.

"Go to the corner, Potter."

"Aw, but...."

"Go."

"*sniffle* Fine. It's better than a cupboard." Harry dejectedly walked to the corner opposite of Blaise. The two boys promptly started making faces at each other and snickering.

"Ha ha! Potty got sent to the corner! Ha ha!"

"Shut up, Malfoy!"

"Ha ha Potty got punished! Potty got punished!"

Ron shoved Draco. Draco shoved Ron.

"Shut up!"

"No, you shut up!"

"No you!"

"You!"

"YOU!"

"EVERYONE WILL SHUT UP! NOW!" All of the children stared at the very angry potions master, complete with pink bows and red face. "Now...it is four o'clock. Take a nap."

"But---"

"TAKE. A. NAP." Pansy gulped.

"Ye-yes, Unky Snapey." The children all scrambled to the cots that had been scattered about the room and climbed into them frantically.

"I don't want to hear a peep out of anyone for the next half an hour, is that clear?" Silence. "Excellent." Blessed silence, how wonderful you truly are. Snape gathered his notes for his new book and started working on it again in blissful peace and quiet.

It lasted all of five minutes.

"…Unky Snapey?"

"I thought I just said no talking."

"But I want a glass of water!" Pansy looked terribly upset and unused to being told she couldn't have something. Spoiled. Right.

"No water. You'll wet your bed."

"I will not I promise."

"Can I have one too?" Blaise was now sitting up on his bed.

"Unky Snapey! Potty took Connor from me!"

"Did not he fell on the floor! And his name isn't Connor. Connor's boring. His new name is…it's…STUFFINGTON FLUFFYPANTS!"

"That is the dumbest name ever."

"Connor's dumber!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"Unky Snapey can we get our water please it really is warm in here and I can't sleep without water and are you sure we're all allowed to sleep in the same room I didn't think boys and girls were allowed to do that and ewww Unky Snapey Ron just put gum in my hair----"

"Tattletale."

"Now he's calling me names!"

"Well, you are a tattletale. And bossy. And a know-it-all. And you talk and talk and…."

"Now he's being mean to me! Unky Snapey!" Hermione was now sobbing loudly. Ron had the decency to look somewhat ashamed. Harry and Draco were beating each other up. ("Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," indeed.) Blaise was now jumping up and down on his bed. And Pansy was huffy. Her eyes narrowed. And she opened her mouth.

"I WANT MY WATER! I WANT MY WATER NOW! NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!"

All of the other children stared at her in shock as Pansy Parkinson launched into the most impressive temper tantrum Snape had ever seen. There was stomping. There was pounding. There was screaming. There was head-shaking. A clear nine-point-five on the Richter Scale of tantrums.

Great Googly-Moogly, did she have a set of lungs on her.

Once the initial shock had worn off, and the pain of the shrillness had kicked in, Severus cursed violently. "That's it! I have reached the end of my rope! I am sick and tired of these shenanigans! The next one of you to do anything even remotely amiss will receive…A SPANKING."

As anyone who has ever been five could tell you, these are the two most frightening words a child can hear.

There were six gasps. Zabini and Granger looked horrified. Weasley was shaking on his cot. Parkinson had unshed tears in her eyes. Potter and Malfoy just looked shocked. They eventually sunk down under their covers and shortly all that could be heard was slow breathing.

And Severus Snape smirked. Perhaps being a father wasn't as difficult as people let on.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of liquid dripping onto the floor.

Blaise Zabini had just wet his bed.

-------------------------

Wormtail made his way through the various small tunnels inside the walls of Hogwarts. He had to find the Potter brat quickly to please his Master. He started to make his way towards the Gryffindor tower when a tantalizing aroma greeted his nose.

Cheese.

Well…Potter could wait until he had finished a light snack, couldn't he?

Wormtail scurried quickly over to where the irresistible aroma was leading him. Ah, one of Filch's old mousetraps. He quickly swiped the cheese off the trap without getting anything caught in it and ate greedily. Now, to Gryffindor tower….

-------------------------

Suppertime and bath time had both come and gone relatively without incident. Soon it was the hour in which little children go to bed. Well, in theory anyways. Then again, in theory communism works.

After their baths, the children had been put into footed pajamas (red for the Gryffindors, green for the Slytherins of course) and had been playing somewhat quietly until Snape announced it was time for bed. This of course was met with the usual opposition and caterwauling…until Snape lay down the Punishment card once more.

"Unky Snapey?" There was a tugging on the hem of his cloak. He looked down into the face of mini-Ron.

A sigh. "Yes, what is it now Weasley?"

"Can we have a bed time story? I can't sleep without a bed time story."

"Oh! Yes! A bedtime story would be great! I rather like books books are my friends and they teach us things just today I learned that if you add asphodel and wormwood it makes the Draught of Living Death which makes you go sleepy like it's naptime only it's not naptime and oh I want to learn so much more!" Hermione was bouncing up and down at the prospect of learning. The other children looked irritated at the prospect of learning right before bed. Snape looked irritated at having to read to them.

Contrary to what people may say about him, Severus Snape's heart is not made of steel. And when not one, but six children turn the puppy dog eyes and sniffles on him, it'd take more than one much tougher than he was to refuse. So he rolled his eyes, went to his bookcase, and looked through his personal library for something suitable for children.

"Let's see…"Potions for Dummies"? Not bloody likely after last time. "The Twelve Step Program to Ending the Thrall of the Dark Lord"? Too depressing. "1001 Uses for a Bezoar"? Too clinical. "When We Were Very Young"…that's Mother's book." He smiled for a minute as memories of his mother reading it to him came back. "By Jove, I think I've got it."

-------------------------

Wormtail was making his way to the dungeons now. He had overheard the Boy Who Murmurs in His Sleep's roommates chatting about how Potter and some others were down there, presumably for a detention. This was going to be far easier than he thought. Much like shooting fish in a barrell, whatever that meant. Why would fish be in a barrel? And why would you shoot them, instead of just grabbing one with your hands and yanking it out?

You see, that's why the Muggles should be lorded over and gradually exterminated. They just didn't make any bloody sense at times.

A low growling could be heard, followed by a mewling. Warning bells went off in Peter's head.

MRS. NORRIS!

It clearly was time to take the scenic route to the Dungeons. Clearly.

If anyone had beared witness to this, they would probably have remarked for years that they had never seen a rat capable of moving quite so fast.

-------------------------

"Where am I going? The high rooks call:
'It's awful fun to be born at all.'
Where am I going? The ring doves coo:
'We do have beautiful things to do'."

The professor yawned as he made his way through the poem. Running after a rambunctious group of toddlers will wear one out very quickly. He was sitting on his couch surrounded by the children, three on each side of him. Amazingly, they had sat still and in rapt attention during his narration.

"If you were a bird and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind as it took you away:
'THAT'S where I wanted to go today'!"

Slowly, the children all began drifting off to sleep one by one as Snape continued with his recitations. Blaise was passed out over the arm of the couch, Hermione on his shoulder. Draco had one hand under his head, the other protectively around Connor. Ron's head was against Snape's leg and he was sucking his thumb. Pansy was curled into a little ball like a cat. Potter just had his head down. The Potions Master yawned again.

"Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the (another yawn) wood where the blue-bells grow---
Anywhere…anywhere…I…don't…."

And then, Severus Snape was also asleep, beloved volume falling softly out of his hands and onto the floor. Little Harry awoke with a slight start; typically a noise like that meant he had to do something for Aunt Petunia. He blinked a few times as he took in his surroundings and the memories of why he was there came back to him.

He then noticed the other children and Snape sleeping. With a slight smile, he quietly got up and grabbed the large, thick quilt off the bed and dragged it over to the couch. He then tucked Snape into the blanket, put his glasses on the end table, sat in his spot, and went back to sleep.

Shortly thereafter, a rat made its way into the room. He noticed the figures on the sofa. Wormtail changed back into Peter Pettigrew and smirked. Potter, kids, AND the Traitor, all in one place. The Dark Lord will surely be pleased with him for this. He used some quick spells to make everyone touch the portkey and they were off into the night.

-------------------------

Voldemort sat on his throne pondering. He often would sit and just ponder things, such as why toast lands butter-side down, or why birds fly in that "v" formation when migrating. Most of all, he pondered when the time would come for Pettigrew to arrive and for his Escalation.

As if on cue, Pettigrew appeared in the Dark Lord's chambers, hostages in tow. And Voldemort smirked.

"Excellent, Wormtail. You have served me well, as al…." Voldemort was now circling his prey and examining them. He then noticed something rather odd. "…Pettigrew?"

"Yes, Oh Amazingly Cruel One?"

"Why have you brought me these children?"

"Sir, I had heard speak of Potter in the Dungeons with Snape and I saw him sleeping on the Deserter's sofa. I simply grabbed the boy and his…did you say children, Oh Negative and Evil one?"

Voldemort just pointed down at the pile. Sure enough, in the light, Peter could clearly see that these weren't 16 year olds and the Potions Master. These were five year olds and the Potions Master. And they were starting to wake up.

"Where are we? This isn't Unky Snapey's room." That was the little red-haired boy.

You-Know-Who looked at his servant and mouthed the words "Unky Snapey?" Peter just shrugged.

"It's cold in here! And it smells funny. And I want my blanket." A petulant little blonde girl.

"Wherever we are we don't belong here I'm sure of it and Dumbledore's going to yell at us oh we're all going to get into trouble I never get into trouble this is bad and I have to go potty again and oh look there are some men standing near us I wonder who they are…." The other little girl, this one with a rather unfortunate hairstyle.

"Connor! Thank goodness you're here!" A blonde boy who rather resembled a miniature Lucius Malfoy. The other two boys-one with black hair and glasses, one with dark auburn hair-just looked around confused.

The boy with black hair and glasses stood up and peered at Master and Servant, green eyes narrowed. There was a strange scar on his forehead.

Throw it into reverse for a moment. Scar? Glasses? Black hair? Voldemort grinned evilly.

At that moment, Snape roused himself. He took in his surroundings. And paled visibly. Slowly, he turned to meet the sanguinine eyes of the Dark Lord himself. He stood up quickly. "Lord Voldemort…to what do we owe this incredible honour?" His voice dripping with sarcasm, Snape folded his arms and stood protectively in front of the children. Blaise and Ron ran off whispering unseen.

Voldemort smiled. "Come now, Severus. Is that any way to greet the man who's made you what you are today?"

Snape snorted. "Cut to the proverbial chase, Voldemort. What do you want with these children?"

"I only really wanted Potter."

"Of course you did. Why?"

"He's…vital to a plan of mine. I needed him here and unharmed. And here he is, and quite frankly while he's much smaller than when last I saw him, I'm quite certain he's still suited to the…task I require of him."

"If you think you're going to take Potter, you bloody well have to go through…." There was a sudden sparking and the Dark Lord's throne burst into flames. Snape, Pettigrew, and Voldemort stared at the inferno.

"My…my throne…."

Blaise and Ron high-fived each other and snickered as they ran about the room. Draco was currently (unsuccessfully) trying to get Hermione to shut up. Pansy was sulking and Potter was still staring at them thoughtfully. Pettigrew skulked over to him, a broad smile plastered on his face.

"Hello, Harry. Why don't you come with me to meet your Uncky Voldie, hmmm? He has ice cream."

Harry's eyes widened. "Ice cream? Really?"

Peter nodded. "Ice cream just for you."

"Just for me?! Wow! Okay!" And little Harry took Peter's hand and started over to the Dark Lord. Voldemort got a superb "ha ha I won" look on his face and Snape became rather agitated.

"Harry! Go back to the other children! It's a----"

"Crucio." Voldemort looked bored as he placed Snape under the Cruciatus Curse. The children all became horrified. Harry dropped Wormtail's hand like a hot potato.

"YOU LEAVE UNKY SNAPEY ALONE!" He then kicked the balding man in the shins.

"Ow! Son of a----!"

"Don't come near me! You're both bad men! Leave Unky Snapey alone!" He ran away from Pettigrew and back to the other children. Pansy and Blaise cowered behind him. Snape was released from the curse, panting and slightly green for his troubles.

"Potter…good…Potter. Stay with…the others…and Malfoy wipe your nose. No, not on your sleeve." He slowly stood back up. He then faced his former master and raised an eyebrow. "I'm sure once you realized that Potter and his classmates had been regressed into toddlers, you rather thought this was easy. Let me assure that just because they are children, it does not make them fools. I've been taking care of them for the last twenty hours or so, and apparently they are quite loyal to me. I'd recommend not injuring me further if you wish them to cooperate."

Voldemort was quiet. While the man was an evil genius of uncommon proportions, he also knew when to quit while he was ahead. "All right, Severus. I won't really hurt you…yet. Pettigrew?"

"Yes, Oh Parliament of Funkadelic-ness?"

"Place Snape in the holding cell. I wish to deal with the children on their own." Snape snickered. Voldemort turned on him, eyes glowing threateningly. Snape couldn't help it any longer and started laughing. "Do you think something is funny, Severus?"

"Only the fact that I give it no more than an hour before you're begging me to take them back." The professor had a very smug look upon his face.

"We'll see how long that smile lasts while you're in my dungeon. Peter, escort him there and keep an eye on him. I do believe that it's playtime…."

-------------------------

Minerva McGonagall did not panic often. She ran even less frequently.

Imagine Albus Dumbledore's surprise when, in the middle of the night, his Deputy Headmistress came sprinting into his room looking stricken.

"Minerva? What's wrong?"

"Severus…the children…gone…no signs…struggle…can't locate…." She was panting heavily from her exertion. "I…think…You-Know-Who…Potter…."

Dumbledore blinked. "Good heavens…is it June already?"

Professor McGonagall was calmer now and had regained her breath. "Albus, this is important. I think You-Know-Who took the children. We have to find them. Even Snape can not face a legion of Death Eaters alone."

Dumbledore suddenly turned very grave. "Agreed. Notify the rest of the faculty at once. We must find them before Voldemort murders Harry in his more vulnerable state."

-------------------------

Fifty-five minutes and forty-three seconds after Snape was locked up….

A rather harried and mortified looking Dark Lord entered the dungeon and dismissed his servant with a wave.

"Severus…I demand an explanation."

Snape sighed. He had seen this coming. "Well, it began in my potions class yesterday morning. A most trying student of mine had…."

"Not that sort of explanation," Voldemort snapped.

Severus was confused. "Well, what is it you're after then?"

"I would sincerely like to know how it is possible that while in your charge these children became such Hellions. Not only did they light my throne on fire and kick Wormtail in the shins, they have also spilled all of my unicorn blood samples, turned my wand chartreuse and puce plaid, stuck gum in my hair three times, and that insufferable frizzy-haired witch has given me the first migraine I've had in years. What in the name of Merlin did you do to those children?"

"Would you believe they were like that the moment they were regressed?"

"…Surely you jest."

"No, I don't. And don't call me Shirley. They've been like that all day. There is very little one can do to calm them, short of bludgeoning them with a hammer. Perhaps the Imperius curse could work…I've certainly never attempted using it on a child before."

"I will not place them under any curse. I will not harm them. In fact, I'd frankly rather just give you a portkey back to that infernal school of yours and pretend this never happened."

Snape eyed him critically. "You're actually refusing the torture of such sweet and innocent children?"

There was a momentary silence before the two men burst into laughter.

"Oh, that was rich," Snape said as he wiped tears out of his eyes. "Seriously, you're actually going to let us all go?" Voldemort unlocked his cage.

"On the condition that this never gets mentioned to anyone and you memory charm the children, yes. I can not tolerate one more bout of that infernal "Song that Never Ends." Not even when it serves my bid for world domination." He then pulled out a matchbox. "This will get you back on the Hogwarts grounds and into Dumbledore's office. He'll no doubt have noticed that you and the children are missing by now and will be organizing a search party."

"Well, what should I tell him when I just magically appear in his office with the children?"

"Tell him that Wormtail tried to kidnap you, but you overpowered him. Just don't mention the throne incident. Trust me when I say I'll find out."

Snape looked thoughtful. He shrugged. "Eh. Works for me."

"Make no mistake, Severus, that this is a one-time bargain. Next time I see you, don't pretend that I will not strike you down for your treachery."

"Well, that certainly goes without saying. Just take me back up to the children and we'll be on our merry way."

-------------------------

Back up in the Grand Hall of the Dark Lord's lair, Snape could see why Voldemort was so quick to be rid of the children. The Hall now resembled his potions classroom, only more charred and broken items were to be found.

"UNKY SNAPEY!!!" He was soon tackled to the ground by six blurs.

"Unky Snapey! You're out! Yay!"

"We missed you so much, Unky Snapey!"

"That Dark Lord guy's no fun! He wouldn't let me brush his hair!"

"And he wouldn't let Ron and me go look at his grindylows and kappas! We just wanted to pet them!"

"Unky Snapey, can I have that ice cream now? I didn't let him hurt anyone even though he said he was going to Abra Kadabra us or something."

"Unky Snapey can we please go home now it's rather cold here and I don't like the way that manticore keeps staring at us I don't think he's been fed yet and it's dark in here we should be playing outside and there are no books I miss all of the books and I still have to potty----"

Snape was turning blue. "Breathing…breathing hard…brain cells…dying…." The kids promptly backed off. He coughed a few times. "Much better. All right children, we're going back to Hogwarts now. Everyone just make sure to touch this matchbox…yes, Pansy move in closer, that's a girl." As abrupt as their arrival, the children and their Unky vanished, leaving Voldemort and Wormtail alone.

"Oh Dark Lord and Master of the Universe, do you think that wise? They have now seen the inside of your innermost sanctum…."

"You question my judgment?" The minion was silent. "It is fine, Wormtail. They don't know where we're located."

"What about your plans for the Escalation?"

"In due time, Peter. I am a patient man and can wait a century if I have to. All in due time."

-------------------------

"All right, here is what needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon. I want each of you to search a different part of the school. Leave no stone unturned. Filius, I need you to work on a locator charm for Severus." Flitwick nodded. "Wherever he is, the children are not too far behind. Minerva, you will begin writing to…the….families…." Dumbledore was too stunned to finish his sentence.

Snape and the children had just appeared on his desk, the children clutching their guardian for dear life. Harry, Draco, and Pansy were grinning. Hermione was staring around the office, eyes shining with curiosity. Blaise looked relieved. Ron was a bit green.

"Oh wow! This place is neat!"

"Brilliant! Look at all of the people! Oh, hello Auntie Minnie! Hello Santa!"

"Look at the birdy! I want a pretty birdy like him!"

"Is this the Headmaster's office because if it is it's much better than I ever imagined and oh you even have the Sorting Hat I've read all about the Sorting Hat it tells people where they belong while they're here and how come all of the teachers are here they're staring at us---"

"Santa, NOW can I tell you what presents I want? Good. I want a new broom, and a pony a silver one, and some Galleons, and lots of Cauldron Cakes, and an Eagle owl---

Ron was still green. "My tummy's wrong. I think I'm going to…." He promptly vomited on the floor, leaving the other children to once more shout "EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW" in unison. Some of the teachers looked as though they were about to be ill themselves. Madame Pomfrey just made impatient clucking noises with her tongue and pulled the Ickle Ronniekins into a comforting embrace.

Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Well, clearly everything I just said is of no importance. The children are safe, as is Professor Snape. You may all go back to bed." The faculty slowly meandered out of the office, muttering about ingrateful brats and getting up for no reason. Only McGonagall remained.

"Severus…what happened? How did you manage to return?"

Snape sighed. Well, he had made a wonderful and lengthy career out of lying to people…why should he stop now? "Pettigrew. He tried to kidnap myself and the children. Something about it being easier to be rid of Potter in his state. Fortunately, the children distracted him long enough for me to steal his portkey and bring us all back here. I doubt he'll be so foolish as to attempt this again." Dumbledore and McGonagall nodded.

Pansy was petting Fawkes and cooing at the phoenix, who was rather enjoying the attention. Ron and Harry were playing monkey in the middle using Draco as the monkey and Connor as the ball. Blaise was hanging halfway out of a filing cabinet as he looked through it for something interesting. Hermione was asking one of the portraits questions. The teachers stared at each other.

"After all of this, I must say that perhaps children are…."

"Much more annoying than you previously thought?" McGonagall winced as Blaise crashed to the ground, taking the cabinet with him.

"And how."

There was another crash and the sounds of three little boys beating on each other. Pansy was still petting the phoenix and Hermione was still talking to the paintings. Dumbledore looked alarmed.

"So…what shall we do with these children until they are restored to normal?"

"Lock them in the dungeon, allowing them out only for mealtimes and to use the privy?"

Minerva rolled her eyes. "Really, Severus that's a new level of cruelty even for you."

"Thank you. We could also simply give them a sleeping draught and awaken them when they're back to normal." Another crash and the sound of Blaise joining the fight. "Er…as normal as they get, anyhow."

Dumbledore brightened. "Oh. I like that idea better. Let's just take them to the infirmary, shall we?"

"Right away, sir."

-------------------------

Sunday morning rolled around in a rather unspectacular fashion. The sun rose just like any other morning. The birds sang like any other morning. The sky was blue just like any other morning. Truly, your standard Hogwarts Sunday morning.

Unless your name happened to be Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, or Blaise Zabini that is.

The first thing Ron noticed when he was awakened was that he was in the hospital wing. The second was that he was in red pajamas with feet and the Gryffindor symbol on them. The third was that he felt like he hadn't been awake in days. And the fourth was that there were several other people in the infirmary with him who appeared to be in a similar state.

"Harry? How long have we been here?"

The Boy Who Had Morning Mouth shrugged, then put on his glasses. "Probably a few days…the last thing I remember was being in Snape's class and seeing some sort-of gook flying towards me." He looked down. "Why am I dressed like I belong in some sort of Muggle Christmas special?"

"We all are, Potter." Quoth the Parkinson. "That 'gook' must have gotten me as well. Honestly, they shouldn't allow us to be in the same classes as you klutzy Gryffindors. You people have no finesse at all." Hermione started to reply when something very odd happened.

Draco stirred. He looked confusedly at the thing in his arms. "Connor!" A very large hug was bestowed on the stuffed dragon. "I've been looking for you for months!" He then noticed the five other students staring at him. "Uh…to burn you, you rotten piece of garbage. Yes. Burning…fire good. When I became a man I set aside childish things and all that rot." He then murmured something about not meaning it and being sorry and proceeded to stare petulantly into space.

"I trust you all are well-rested." Professor Snape had just walked out of Madame Pomfrey's office, an odd look on his face.

Hermione bit her lip. "Professor what happened to us? The last thing we remember it was in your class…and now we're here and in these pajamas. What's going on?"

Snape smiled. The students all eyed each other warily. Snape's smile grew. Snape smiling only can mean one thing.

By the end of his story, they were all going to be mortified beyond belief.

-------------------------

Epilogue:

(We see a nursery. The carpet is bright pink and there is a window seat with a bay window and lots of pillows. There is one round table in the center with four chairs. There is also a little piano in the corner. Stuffed animals are scattered throughout, as well as crayons and drawings. We see five-year old versions of all of the sixth year Slytherins and Gryffindors. Suddenly a 50s-style piano and guitar song starts.)

CRABBE AND GOYLE: WA-OOOOH-OOOH-OOOH-OOH!

ALL: Hogwarts Babies, we make our dreams come true!
Hogwarts Babies we'll do the same for you!

(The kids are rocketing through space in a shuttle and dancing.)

HARRY: When your school is kinda weird and you wish that you weren't there---
PANSY: Just close your eyes and Apparate and you can be anywhere!

(The kids are now in an Indiana Jones-type setting. Harry is in a fedora and Draco has a whip. They're doing things like swinging from vines, avoiding giant boulders, and stealing things from the Natives.)

BLAISE: I like Arithmancy!
PANSY: I like romance!
DRACO: I love the blokes!
SEAMUS: I'm Seamus, I dance!

(The Slytherin kids are now driving Model-Ts and have bags with money in them, as though they just robbed a bank. The Gryffindors are chasing after them in police cars.)

HERMIONE: I've got my library!
NEVILLE: I float through the air!
HARRY: I play the hero!
RON: And I've got red hair ha!
DEAN: Me, I draw lots of things!
CRABBE AND GOYLE: We beat everyone up----!

(There is a break in the music and the imagined fantastic setting fades into the nursery. The kids stop dancing as suddenly, a figure we can only see from the waist down enters. The person is wearing all black except for his knee socks, which are green and black striped.)

SNAPE: Is everything all right in here?
ALL: Yes Snapey!

(The kids are now surfing in Hawaii and wearing Hawaiian shirts, leis, and grass skirts. Harry's normal glasses have been replaced by shades.)

ALL: Hogwarts babies, we make our dreams come true!
Hogwarts Babies, we'll do the same for you!

(They're back in the nursery now, and are doing a show-ending dance routine.)

BOYS: Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts….
GIRLS: Babies, babies, babies!
ALL: DREAMS CAN COME TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUE!

*~* This has concluded our fan fiction *~*

Pop-Culture Lesson Time!

The title of this fic comes from the first line of the Rolling Stones song, "Wild Horses." (The full line of the song being "Childhood living is easy to do: these things that you wanted, I bought them for you.") It's an odd song choice for this fic, but hey the phrase works well I think. The song is also strongly endorsed, as it is one of the greatest love songs ever in my humble opinion. In case your wondering, music listened to while writing this fic was a lot of Madonna's "Dear Jessie" (Pink elephants and lemonade!), the Muppet Babies theme, and songs from the Care Bears movies. I've never written little little kids before so I had to get myself in the right mindset. The ending is from the opening credits of the FABULOUS cartoon Muppet Babies. Obviously not-so-cleverly rewritten by yours truly. I hope you find this ending just as silly as the last two.

"Um…we were told that there was to be punch and pie." It's from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. The whole thing with Voldemort roller skating and "Dancing Queen" playing is a rather large inside joke my friends and I have about "Evil Villain Dance Party" night at Malfoy Manor. Cue the mental images…now. *snicker*

Draco's stuffed Dragon, Connor: I had to give him something, and I know the Draco with dragons thing is cliché as all hell, but really what is NOT cute about a five year-old Draco clutching a silvery-green dragon and sniffling? The name is an homage to my best friend's stuffed dog, Connor. When Harry renames it to "Stuffington Fluffypants," that is a wink to the beautiful but short lived cartoon "Road Rovers." Not only am I derivative and lame on occasion, but also disturbing and obscure.

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." The saying "The more things change, the more they stay the same" in its original French. Yes, that's right the Frenchies made that old adage up. Go figure. Snape strikes me as very much the intellectual, and therefore it seems more fitting to me that he'd use the expression in the language in which it originated. I may be insane, but there is a method to my madness.

The book Snape reads to the children from is "When We Were Very Young," by A.A. Milne. Specifically, the poem titled "Spring Morning." The last word is "know," but I'm sure you all got that.

To those who watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yes I did model Wormtail's excursions after the Buffy-rat in "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered." (I've seen it now, yay!) Did it work?

I apologize profusely for the use of the "And don't call me Shirley" joke. Okay, no I don't. It never gets old.

"When I became a man I set aside childish things and all that rot." It's a very mangled line from the Bible; 1 Corinthians 13.10 to be exact. The actual wording is "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

BTW, I know you're all thinking, "Escalation? WTF is that?" To quote Voldie, "In due time."