Welcome to chapter 1 of The Accidental De-Aging of Professor Snape! I hope you enjoy! Please leave a review and tell me what you think! :)
(Please note: the gheginjor root plant and the emouria plant were both created by me, as was the recipe for the health potion.)
(Another note: This is the second Harry Potter multi-chapter I've started this week. The other one is called Nargles Don't Wear Capes- please take a look at it!)
"Professor Dumbledore, sir," Harry stammered, jogging to keep up with the headmaster's long strides as they hurried down the Hogwarts corridor. "Please, I can do better in class. I promise."
"Harry," Dumbledore sighed, "you're failing Potions. That much is clear. Professor Snape can help you."
"The slimy git hates me!" Harry burst out.
Dumbledore shot him a look.
Groaning, Harry tried a different approach. "Hermione's good at Potions, sir. I can get help from her, or even Ron, if you want me to! Please don't make me take lessons with Snape."
"Professor Snape," Dumbledore corrected, not unkindly. "And I very much doubt Mr. Weasley would be able to help you with Potions, anyhow."
Harry felt his hope slip away. There was no changing Dumbledore's mind; he was going to be subjected to one hour of Potions tutoring with Snape every single day, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
When they reached the Potions classroom, Harry allowed Dumbledore to enter first, silently debating if he could get away with pulling a Stupefy on both the headmaster and on the Potions professor. Probably not, he decided, stepping into the classroom.
It was empty except for Snape, who was sitting at his desk idly leafing through a stack of papers.
When Dumbledore walked in, Snape gave him a respectful nod. "Albus."
The moment Snape's beady eyes caught sight of Harry, however, he scowled. "Potter."
"Snape," Harry shot back, matching his scowl.
"That's Professor Snape to you," replied the greasy-haired, ugly, son of a-
"Mr. Potter!" Dumbledore said loudly, clapping his hands once. "That's enough." He focused his attention on Snape. "Severus, it has come to my attention that Harry is failing your class."
"If he paid attention more often," Snape said coolly, "he would probably be a bit more successful."
"Well," Dumbledore continued, not the least bit deterred, "I've decided that you will tutor Harry for one hour each day until he excels at Potions."
Snape paled. "But that'll take months, Albus!"
Harry snorted at the thinly veiled insult.
"Severus," Dumbledore said, his voice quiet but firm, "it does not really matter to me how long it takes, as long as it gets done."
The professor deflated slightly, seeing he wasn't going to win the argument. "Of course. We'll get working right away."
Dumbledore beamed. "Wonderful," he said brightly, patting Harry on the back before leaving the classroom in a sweep of his robes.
"Wonderful," Harry remarked sarcastically, glaring at Snape. "Now teach me, already, so I can leave."
"You're just like your father," Snape sneered at him.
Harry's hands clenched into fists, but he said nothing.
"Fine," Snape conceded after a moment of tense silence. "Follow me."
Harry nodded and followed Snape to the other side of the classroom, where a cauldron was sitting in the corner.
"Look inside," Snape ordered.
Harry peered inside the cauldron, making a face. It was half-filled with some sort of thick, greenish-purple goop that occasionally bubbled and squelched.
"Can you tell me what that is?" Snape asked.
Harry wrinkled his nose. "Er… Hippogriff dung and crushed leaves of some sort?"
Snape scoffed. "Come on, Potter, you can do better than that."
Harry sighed in frustration. "No, I can't. I have absolutely no idea what you've got in that cauldron."
"Think," Snape responded calmly. "What have we been learning about in class for the past few days? Or have you been too engrossed in talking to your friends to notice?"
Harry grit his teeth. "We were… in class, we were talking about…" He exhaled through his nose, trying to think back to Snape's Potions lessons, but he couldn't remember a single detail- they were just too boring for him to bother with.
"Right," Snape sighed. "Of course you don't remember."
Harry opened his mouth to say something, but quickly closed it again. If he let the professor help him, his tutoring sessions would be over faster.
"Inside this cauldron is gheginjor root. Do you know what that is?"
Gheginjor root. The name sounded vaguely familiar…
He snapped his fingers. "Hermione was rambling on about that stuff the other day, in the Common Room!" he exclaimed. "It helps give you strength, right?"
"Correct, Mr. Potter," Snape said flatly. "Good to know Miss Granger has at least been trying to instill some knowledge into your thick skull. Anyway, yes; gheginjor root, when brewed with emouria nectar creates a drought that will rejuvenate people- the elderly, in particular- and make them feel healthier."
He paused, glancing at Harry as if to make sure he was paying attention. When he found the boy's eyes trained on him, he continued.
"Now, in this cauldron I have the crushed root, stirred with water. What do I need to complete the potion?"
"Emouria nectar," Harry replied promptly. "I was listening, Professor, despite what you may think."
"Astounding," Snape remarked dryly. "Mr. Potter was listening to me for once. Incredible. Perhaps we should record this event in history books, just to have some evidence of it."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Can we get on with it?"
Snape looked down at him distastefully. "For today's lesson, you will extract the nectar from the emouria plant and add it to the drought. Let's see if you can complete a task as simple as that, shall we?"
"Where's the plant?" Harry asked.
Snape made a vague motion to a small shelf in the opposite corner of the room, which was stacked with varying pots of all shapes and sizes. "Check the labels of the flowers over there. I restocked my emouria yesterday, so there should be plenty. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have papers to grade."
Snape whirled around and stalked back towards his desk, once again taking a seat, while Harry headed for the shelf.
He poked through the various clay pots, each labeled with a different word in Snape's scrawling handwriting: Baby Mandrake. Ginger. Sunflower Stem.
Finally, Harry found the pot marked 'Emouria.'
He pulled the small pot off the shelf. Cradling it carefully in his hands, he carried it over to the cauldron and set it down on the floor, kneeling in front of it.
The emouria flower was a harsh pink color, and its stem was a rather ugly shade of brown.
"Extract the nectar," Harry mumbled to himself. "Okay…"
He reached forward, grasping the stem with one hand and the flower's bud in another, and pulled it apart.
The flower popped off the stem in a flurry of tiny, fuzzy petals, and Harry stood, brushing off his robes. He leaned over the cauldron, squeezing the flowerhead in his palm, and smiled as a few drops of clear liquid dripped into the green goo.
The cauldron creaked and Harry peeked inside. The nectar had apparently done its job; the green sludge in the cauldron had brightened to a happy, healthy blue.
"I finished!" Harry called loudly across the classroom.
"Did you?" Snape asked, standing up and walking towards him. He peered into the cauldron. "Hm."
"Well?" Harry demanded impatiently. "Is it good? Does it work? Can I leave now?"
Snape reached into the pocket of his robes, pulling out a transparent glass vial, and stuck his arm into the cauldron, filling the vial with the blue potion.
He pulled the vial dripping out of the cauldron and studied it, holding it up and studying it.
Just then, without any warning, the vial exploded in Snape's hand.
A cloud of thick black smoke clogged the classroom and Harry broke out into coughs.
Alarmed, he squinted through the inky darkness. Where was Snape? What had he done?
After two long, pain-filled minutes of tense silence broken only by hacking coughs, the haze cleared.
And Harry saw no sign of Snape.
Terror tightened in his stomach. Sure, he had always hated the guy… but he didn't want to vaporize him!
"I've always been horrible at Potions," Harry moaned to himself. He just hadn't realized that his inability to complete a simple drought would lead to him accidentally exploding his teacher.
A sudden cry shattered the spinning, anxious thoughts in Harry's mind.
Slowly, dreading what he would see, Harry looked down.
And there, curled up in a black blanket amongst the shards of glass and droplets of blue potion on the floor was a wailing, dark-haired baby.