Just One of Those Days

Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Unfortunately, the perversity of the universe being what it is, you never get a warning when one of those days is going to happen.

It was a Thursday. Severus Snape generally did not like Thursdays, but then his students held the opinion that he didn't actually like anything or anyone.

Draco Malfoy summed it up one day quite well.

"He favours Slytherin," he said, "But he definitely doesn't like us!"

Snape's Thursday began messily.

He hadn't remembered dropping the tube of toothpaste the night before. He found it on the floor, or rather his foot found it.

His students would have been amused to watch him hover for a brief time in mid air after he stood on and burst the tube, his feet slipping from under him.

They definitely would have chuckled as he hit the ground hard.

And they would have been doubled up with hilarity at the sight of the expression on his face - outraged at being made to look a fool.

Fortunately for Snape however, students were not allowed in his private chambers and certainly not the bathroom. It was the one thing he could comfort himself with, as he gingerly picked himself up from the cold, hard floor.

Equally gingerly he had a shower, dried himself and dressed.

He exited his chambers and headed towards breakfast. This morning, he really needed breakfast. He only wished that the image he projected allowed him to indulge in a large mug of hot chocolate.

Unfortunately, being a sinister villain-like person, he had to stick with coffee or red wine. Both of which he disliked and so usually stuck to water.

He went into the hall and sat down, or tried to. It was a mistake. He immediately stood up again and Dumbledore noticed.

"Anything wrong, Severus," he asked.

"Er, I took a bit of a fall, Headmaster," said Snape.

Dumbledore looked down the table and called to Madame Pomfrey.

Snape found himself being dragged from the hall like one of the students, and then suffering the indignity of being examined by Pomfrey.

She handed him a small round ring. "You've not done any permanent damage," she said, "But you will find it more comfortable if you sit on this for the next week or so."

He looked at the small pillow incredulously. This day was not going well.

Arriving back at breakfast, he put the pillow on his chair and gingerly sat down, ignoring the twittering of laughter from the students. He'd get them.

He looked at his plate and froze. There were two howlers sitting there, simmering away.

Snape swallowed.

He gingerly picked up the first one and opened it praying that it was something innocuous.

All at once a woman's voice shrieked from the howler and Snape knew his morning was about to get worse.

"You ratbag! You utter Scum! You stood me up and then had the gall to say you didn't remember making the date! This is it. I'm through with you. If I ever see you again it will be too soon. Oh and forget about picking your stuff up. I've burned it. Bastard."

The howler dropped and Snape felt the eyes of the school on him. Ok. So his sex life was now definitely going to be zero. He could cope (couldn't he?)

He looked at the second howler. Surely nothing could be worse than the first one.

"Severus, this is your mother! I haven't heard from you. You never write; you never call! Is this what you call looking after your only mother? I just want a little of your precious time? But no. I'm obviously not good enough for you. AND I've just heard what you did to that nice girl - Sharon. You've ruined her now and she's understandably upset. You've disgraced the family name, Severus, and you are going to drive me into an early grave. I'm sending you some new underwear, and Auntie Clara says to give her favourite nephew a big hug and a kiss. But just you remember that I'm your mother, and mother knows best what's good for her boy. Wrap up warmly dear."

Snape wondered if there could be a trapdoor beneath his chair. If he was lucky the ground would open up and swallow him.

He snarled. The universe was a bastard and he was still here. He looked at the hall. Damn. Malfoy was snickering. Worse. The Weasleys were looking sympathetic.

He didn't know what was worse. Next thing he knew Potter would be offering him some advice.

Snape left the hall. He just knew it was going to be one of those days.

By lunchtime, he felt sure that somebody was out to get him and he was feeling more than a little paranoid about it. In fact, he hadn't felt this paranoid since he was at school and had been the target of James Potter and his crowd.

He reviewed what had happened: at 9am (his first class) a first year had been so frightened when one of her slugs moved that she had jumped on him and tried to climb up him. Unfortunately her foot had connected with some rather sensitive areas of his body and the resultant yell (and he would always maintain it was anger) had bought the nearby DADA class streaming in.

In the meantime, he had had his arms full of screaming 11 year old girl.

Not good.

Things quietened down somewhat after that until halfway through his next class.

It was unfortunate that the shelf had collapsed on top of him. It was equally unfortunate that the resultant mixing of powders and liquid had left him with orange streaks through his hair. Bright orange.

It had been equally unfortunate that the next DADA class had also witnessed it.

Both times, Lupin had been quietly concerned and had restored order in both classes.

Snape didn't know which was worse, the accidents or Professor Bloody Werewolf Lupin taking charge.

He managed to get to the staff room thinking that his image was now rather tattered and a cup of hot chocolate would be just the thing. He tucked his cushion under his arm and stalked off.

Of course, everybody said that Peeves must have done it. Filch would never have left that bucket of water there.

It was a pity Severus had tripped over it soaking him to the skin. He had to go and change and as a result he had missed morning tea completely which put him in a furious mood.

The rest of the morning seemed to go quietly, unless you counted Blaise Zabini trying to hit on him (but them Blaise hit on anybody if it was alive it was a target). Slytherin or not he always made a point of avoiding Zabini. Today he had no luck at all. It seemed that he would turn a corner and there was Zabini. With suggestive remarks, and more. In fact, Snape was feeling decidedly vulnerable.

Detention for the rest of the year looking after some of Hagrid's pets took care of the Blaise Zabini problem.

It dawned on him that unless he was being singled out by the universe, he was having a rather bad day, and remembered his thought that he had not felt this bad since he was at school.

He stopped. No, Lupin was an adult now. Surely he wouldn't stoop to childish lengths like that any more? Besides, none of the rest of his little gang of assassins were here.

He continued on to the great hall for lunch. On the way he managed to avoid tripping over Mrs Norris as she sunned herself, evade a group of students who had managed to smuggle in roller blades and were pelting round the school (more detentions there) but unfortunately when he came across Fred and George Weasley having a race on their broomsticks, he came to grief.

Everybody did, however, wince as Fred (or was it George?) cannoned into him, the momentum of the broomstick carrying them along for a few feet before the whole lot crashed, and he was left flat on his back with George (or was it Fred) sprawled suggestively on top of him.

Matters were made worse by Remus J. Lupin wandering through at that moment, and again sorting things out, his concern for his fellow teacher obvious.

It was at this point that the famous Snape temper started to move off simmer and onto a slow rolling boil.

He stalked into lunch and the entire student body looked at each other.

They pitied the Gryffindors and Slytherins who would be having double potions after lunch.

The Gryffindors and Slytherins destined to have that class looked as if they wished that Voldemort would launch a sudden attack on the school, causing the cancelling of all afternoon classes.

Now would be good. Any time. They were waiting. Please?

It would have been good for their spirits if they knew that Professor Snape was wishing much the same thing, and vaguely wondering if leaving Voldemort's service had been the right decision after all.

As Snape prepared for the class he practiced his sneer and kept his temper boiling. Then he stopped and remembered. Neville Longbottom was in this class.

He started to twitch.

Ever afterwards, everybody agreed that the class had started innocuously enough. Of course, the minor things like the vaselined blackboard, and the cobblers wax on the chair (who would have believed that Snape wore pink satin boxers?) were things that could have happened to anybody.

Everyone agreed the real trouble happened when the potions exploded. All of them. Even Hermione Granger's.

Neville Longbottom's had been particularly spectacular. Snape had teamed him that day with Goyle; and even Draco Malfoy had cringed at the thought of the disaster that partnership could spell.

Their entire cauldron had taken off, causing the class to duck beneath the desks, discovering why the desks in the Potions class were so sturdy - and realising that the scars on them were not (as they had thought) doodlings by previous students, but impact scars. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy (another of the unfortunate pairings that day) being totally in agreement for once in their lives that both Longbottom and Goyle were definitely a danger to life and limb.

It had been equally unfortunate that the flying cauldron had come to rest (as it were) against a particularly sensitive portion of their Professor's anatomy that had already been kicked once that day.

His yelp of pain had impressed many of the class. Honestly, the man never stopped amazing them. Who knew that he could hit that particular note - in fact Ron and Draco had a stand up fight about what note it was; Ron was sure it was a High C, but Draco (with years of culture behind him) just knew it was the A above C. The aim of all Operatic Soprano's to reach.

The matter had been settled by the explosion of the rest of the potions at that stage and they all agreed it had been again unfortunate the most of the gluggy mess seemed to land on Snape.

Between the orange streaks in his hair, the gunk adorning him and his whimpers of pain (or was it angst?) it was hardly surprising that the class also exploded.

The entire class agreed that the potion (finally) written on the blackboard called for 25 grains of sulphur, and 10 ounces of saltpetre. They had wondered, especially since it was supposed to be for a simple wart removal potion, but in their years had learned better than to question the Potions Master.

But Snape had risen (painfully) to the occasion and had told them what he had thought of them (albeit in a very squeaky voice) to misread a simple potion that needed 2.5 grains of sulphur and .01 ounces of saltpetre.

He was particularly scathing to Longbottom, seeming to ignore Goyle's participation in the incident, and Neville finally ran from the room screaming.

At this point, it must be said that Harry Potter was a very brave boy. He had done well to adjust to suddenly finding himself a wizard. He had done well to defeat Voldemort and still win the TriWizard cup. And he was certainly the best seeker the school had seen in years.

But one has to say that in some areas he was not too bright. In all his years at Hogwarts, he had never learned when to keep quiet in Snape's class.

His friends agreed that his constant arguments with Snape were a sign of a fairly serious character flaw, and one that could cause some problems some day.

Little were they to know that today was it.

As Snape continued to expound on Neville's looks, his intelligence, his lack of wizarding ability and then to cast aspersions (though later on Blaise Zabini always declared that it was nasturtiums that were being flung; the Potion Master's wand being waved around as he was holding forth) on his possible parentage, Harry stood up.

"It's not Neville's fault," he declared. "Goyle was working with him, and you've not said anything to him. And you are wrong. The ingredients you wrote on the blackboard were exactly what everybody used. Ask Malfoy," he finished defiantly.

"Don't ask Malfoy," said Draco Malfoy. "In fact, keep Malfoy out of this completely."

"Finished, Mr Potter?" asked that cold voice that the class knew well. The voice of doom.

Malfoy whipped out a small notebook and started crawling around the floor. He was taking bets at the length and type of detention Potter would get.

Ron declared that Harry wouldn't get detention, that Snape would haul him off to Dumbledore.

Most of the class thought this was far fetched. Snape would never miss the opportunity to give Harry some particularly nasty detention.

Harry simply stood up straighter. "No," he said defiantly. "It's not fair that you take your anger out on us just because of your own inadequacies." His jaw dropped. He couldn't believe he just said that. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Draco suddenly got very busy, the favourite in his book had now changed from one month cleaning the potions dungeon to the rest of Harry's natural life cleaning bedpans. Ron's bet was very far down the list; even expulsion was more popular.

Snape's nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed. This was more like a typical day. He could feel the stress retreating and his old self returning.

He looked Harry in the eye. "Once again, Mr Potter, you seem to have forgotten just who is student and who is Master here."

The words were silky, soft. The class shuddered. Even Draco's bookmaking ceased as they all tried to find somewhere to hide. When Snape got all quiet and silky on you, then you might as well just take poison then and there.

"I think that today's insolence has gone well beyond mere detention," he said (the members who had gone for expulsion looked hopeful), "and I feel that you are going to have to explain to the Headmaster the reason you seem to feel yourself better than those who are your betters." He put a hand heavily on Harry's shoulder. "Come with me, Mr Potter."

As Snape swept Harry from the room, Ron jumped up overcome.

"Yes, Yes, Yes!" he cried, "I've won. Pay up you Slytherin Scumbags."

"Detention, Weasley. One month. Bedpans," said Snape exiting.

Ron, however, was not noticeably downcast.

As he swept towards the Headmaster's study, Snape felt a feeling of calm coming over him. Finally Potter had overstepped the mark.

In the manner of these things, the entire school knew what had happened and those students who saw him and Potter approaching pressed themselves against the corridor walls to give them clear passage.

The few unlucky ones who Snape's eye fell on found themselves doing detentions merely for being there.

Everybody agreed that he had finally gone overboard and in their wake Malfoy was now taking bets on who would be leaving; Snape or Potter.

Snape had no idea he was still twitching slightly.

Harry was feeling more than a little apprehensive as they entered the Headmaster's study. He knew that he had gone overboard, he knew that he should not have spoken to Snape like that. But there seemed to be something about the man that really got his goat.

Dumbledore looked up at the two of them and invited them to sit down. He poured them both a cup of tea and picked up a jar.

"Ah, Severus. Custard cream?"

Snape glared at him, but took the proffered candy. "Changed your tastes, Albus?"

"Oh no. I was simply fortunate enough to come into possession of a rather large stock of these, and I thought I would share."

Harry choked. Those couldn't be...

With a popping sound, Snape turned into a large canary.

They were. Canary creams.

Harry tried to hide his laughter with coughing. He didn't want another detention.

Dumbledore quietly sipped his tea.

A few minutes later, when Snape returned with a pop to his normal form, Harry almost convulsed with laughter again. The man looked murderous...and for likely the first time in his life, he was speechless. His mouth worked, but no sound came out. Finally, he sat down in the other chair, gripped the arms enough to turn his knuckles white, and forced out, "What the bloody hell was that?"

"Now, Severus, watch your language in front of the students," Dumbledore chided gently. "My apologies, however. I seem to have given you a Weasleys' Canary Cream, rather than the expected custard cream. Such delightful boys, wouldn't you agree?"

"The Weasleys have always menaced this school, those two more than any."

"If you say so, Severus." Dumbledore's expression was blank, but Harry would bet anything that he was laughing just as hard inside as Harry had. "What was it you wanted to speak to me about?"

"I..." Snape trailed off, blinked. "Ah yes. Mr Potter here has apparently forgotten his place again..."

Dumbledore looked at Harry. "Whatever your reasons, Harry, you must show respect to your teachers. Please apologise to Professor Snape. And I am afraid that you will have to spend the next month mucking out Fawkes as a punishment," he said.

Harry swallowed. He was not sure he would be able to keep a straight face. "I am sorry, Professor Snape," he got out. "I should not have said you were inadequate."

Dumbledore's lips twitched. "Severus, you are looking a bit peaky. Why don't you go and have a nice walk outside for a while. The fresh air will do you good."

Snape looked at the Headmaster, furious. Once again that bloody Potter had escaped a well deserved expulsion.

He swept out of the study and decided he would take that walk.

If he was lucky, he'd find something he could hit.

As it turned out, the walk had not been a good idea.

He'd slipped on the path along the lake and fallen in. Fortunately one of the merpeople had rescued him; unfortunately it was a male, who had decided that it was ready to shag anything that it came across.

Snape decided that a lack of a sex life was probably a good thing and was glad he was wearing sturdy shoes. He also made a mental note to find out how woman dealt with sort of thing.

After he made it back to land, he'd decided that the sun would dry his clothing, so decided to continue his walk.

Dammed uncontrollable sexiness. He seemed to be approached by every damn male for miles around.

Was everything today fatally attracted to his groin? He wondered if there was some sort of protection he could get, and kicked away the goose that came sniffing around.

He certainly was not into men. Or animals. In fact, his preference for a good hard shag was definitely a woman.

However he was also seriously contemplating becoming a monk. The idea of a nice quiet monastery was rather appealing. He wondered idly how to become a Trappist Monk.

Anything was better than this bloody awful day.

The rest of his walk fared no better (he thought that damned Skrewt was dead!) and Professor Severus Snape staggered back into the school.

He was noticeably wet and rather singed. The wet was easy to explain. But he wasn't sure that he would like to have to explain that he had had to jump into the lake following being covered by a short sharp shower of shit, courtesy of a passing Hippogriff who just happened to fly over him.

He didn't want to have to explain how he had been singed by the Skrewt.

Nor did he want to have to explain why he was currently wearing only a shirt and pair of pink boxer shorts (courtesy partly of the Skrewt, but mostly of an over-affectionate pixy - male of course). He also made a mental note never to let his mother choose his underwear again.

All in all, Severus Snape decided that this was the worst day of his life. Especially when, desiring a hot bath, he discovered that there was no hot water to his bathroom and he had to commandeer the use of the Prefect's bathroom in Slytherin house, meaning his nice long hot soak had turned into a rather hasty bath in the company of several oversexed teenage males.

And Blaise Zabini had somehow managed to get into his bath. More detentions for Zabini.

Definitely a monastery.

At dinner that night, Remus J. Lupin looked down the table at Snape. He looked dreadful, paler than ever (if that was possible).

The custard flans that were dessert were brought out and Snape recoiled visibly. The students seemed to be watching him intently, they had all heard about the incident in Dumbledore's Office.

Severus Snape declined dessert.

After dinner, Lupin came up to him in a friendly way. "Bad day, Severus?" he asked in his mild way.

It was a measure of the stress he was under that Snape replied at all let alone in a friendly manner.

"The worst, Remus. I can't remember when I've had a worse day," he husked. Bed. He wanted his bed. Surely nothing could happen to him if he went to bed.

"Look," said Remus, "I was just going to pop down to Hogsmeade for a nice drop of something. Why don't you come too? Get away from school for an hour or so. Relax."

Snape grabbed at this like it was a lifeline. Away from the snickering of the students. "Yes."

Lupin guided Snape to the pub and bought him a drink. Snape didn't notice where he got the drink from. Nor did he notice the black dog as they went into the pub.

For his part, Lupin didn't want to know what or where Sirius had gotten the alcohol they plied Snape with.

It was bad enough that it had Snape giggling at anything, and his behaviour became so bad that Madame Rosmerta asked them to leave.

Lupin put his shoulder under Snape's and hauled him up. He staggered out and nearly fell over Black in his dog form. "You might at least help," he said, grabbing Snape's arm and swinging him around as Snape tried to get back into the pub.

In an instant, Sirius Black transformed, and grabbed Snape's other arm. "Beddie Byes for you, Severus old chum" he said, chuckling madly.

He had recognised the pure genius behind Remus' idea as soon as he had heard it. A whole day of Snape-baiting. It didn't hurt that some of what happened to the man was completely out of their control.

He almost pitied the man. When Remus had told him about the two howlers, Sirius had fallen off his chair laughing, and it had been some time before he could control himself.

The two men managed to get back to the castle, and down into Snape's chambers without encountering anybody other than Dumbledore, who looked at them gravely and asked them to be in his office first thing in the morning.

Once in Snape's chambers, Sirius conjured in the package he had gotten especially for this.

Remus had been unusually precise in his instructions, not allowing his friend any leeway to use his own imagination in the matter.

It had taken Sirius hours to find them. In the end he had bought them from a ladies boutique, and had been surprised at the sizes they went up to.

He opened the package and took out the pink mules, the feathers on them waving slightly as he put them carefully on the rug in front of the fire.

The sheer negligee he draped over the chest at the end of the bed.

Finally he and Remus turned their attention to Snape who was lying on the bed giggling to himself.

They struggled to get him undressed, until Snape suddenly started to help, giggling and obeying instructions as if it was some sort of party forfeit.

By the end, Remus and Sirius were laughing and blushing just a little. What sort of parties did Snape go to? And why weren't they invited? They were also very surprised at the physique of the man. Honestly, it was enough to make anybody hot!

They looked at the finished product. The shortie pyjamas were lilac cotton with a charming print of cherubs on them. The only thing that Remus had allowed Sirius license with had been the colour and print. He looked at his friend.

"Nice choice"

"I saw them and just couldn't resist. So much more him than floral," said Sirius, and both men collapsed again with laughter, Snape swaying slightly and starting to crawl up his bedcovers into bed.

They pulled back the covers and helped Severus Snape into bed. It was only when he twisted slightly that the two friends realised the disadvantages of shortie pyjamas when you were a man and both swallowed rather heavily.

"We don't have to go ahead with the last bit, Sirius."

"Oh yes we do."

At that, Remus took off his clothing and jumped into bed with Snape, pulling the covers up.

Sirius transformed into the huge black dog, and lay down on the other side, his muzzle resting on Snape's stomach.

Remus reached over and patted his friend's head before settling down, snuggling close to Snape.

"And he thought today was bad!" he murmured as he dropped off to sleep. "James would be proud."