By Clay
Chapter One: A Shot of Whiskey and a Goodnight Kiss
PAIRINGS: Mainly Harry/Draco and Ron/Hermione, but there are some other random pairings thrown in for fun
WARNING: slight spoilers for all books

"Fifty points from Griffindor!" Severus Snape snarled over the backdrop of snickering Slytherins. "And," he continued, voice low and deadly, "if I ever catching you helping Mr. Longbottom on another test, it will be detention for a week."

He paused, eyes dropping to where Neville sat trembling, his potion a ghastly bubbling pink.

"As for now… Mr. Longbottom will receive a zero for this test. Miss Granger, however," his eyes swung back to Hermione, a cruel smile on his lips, "you may save your grade by testing Mr. Longbottom's potion."

Hermione looked from her cauldron and the cooling white serenity potion and then back to Neville's before meeting Snape's gaze. He still wore a smile as he handed her a long handled silver spoon. Hermione could feel every eye on her; she ignored Ron's whispered pleas and, battling between good sense and academic standing, dipped the spoon into Neville's cauldron. As the liquid cooled, it changed from pink to a blood red, and with a silent prayer that no Hogwarts teacher would willingly harm a student, she lifted the spoon to her lips.

The potion was warm and sweet sliding down her throat, leaving in its wake a pleasant burning. She suddenly felt lightheaded, intoxicated and drowsy. Her arms and legs grew heavy and she was so very tried. Breathing a chuckle, Hermione leaned forward and captured Snape's lips in a chaste kiss before passing out.

"Hermione!" Ron surged forward, catching her as she began to slide off the table just as Harry bolted up beside him.

"What did you do to her?" Harry practically screamed, barely repressed anger finally breaking free.

Snape turned to him, all traces of humor gone. "Five more points from Griffindor. Now calm yourself, Mr. Potter.

Visibly seething, Harry forced himself to sit. He watched Ron and Neville fuss over the unconscious Hermione. Her cheeks were flushed, but at least her breathing seemed normal. Slightly more in control, Harry once again addressed Snape. "What did she drink? What was that potion?"

"Nothing dangerous. It should wear off by this evening unless aggravated."

"How is it aggravated?"

But Snape ignored him, turning his back on the class to sweep towards his desk. "Mr. Longbottom. If you wish to pass potions this year, I suggest you turn in an essay by next Monday detailing the correct way to brew a serenity potion, what you did wrong, and exactly what potion you did create. No less than thirty six inches. Time is up. Bottle your potions and leave them on my desk. Class dismissed."

Harry took it upon himself to bottle his two best friend's potions and clean up the desks while Ron and Neville escorted Hermione to the hospital wing. By the time his bag was packed, it was only he and Snape left in the room.


Snape was seated at his desk, swabbing his forehead with a pale green cloth and apparently lost in thought. Harry had to repeat himself twice before Snape glanced up, scowling. "What now, Mr. Potter?"

"I was just wondering if you could tell me what potion Hermione drank?"

Snape stared at him a moment, eyes glazed and unfocused before he shook his head and continued to wipe beads of sweat from his brow. "Obviously not. That is for Mr. Longbottom to discover… on his own."

"Yes, Professor." Harry grumbled and started out of the room. Just as his hand touched the knob, however, he turned back, curiosity getting the better of him. "Professor? Are you all right?"

Snape's eyes were downcast as he answered, "Fine, Potter, now leave."

Harry gave a mental shrug. If Snape didn't want his help, there was little he could do. Besides, if he became too sick to teach, it would be fine with him.

Hermione contemplated the white ceiling for over a minute before she realized she was in the infirmary. She felt slightly feverish, yet strangely refreshed. Part of her was extremely antsy, fighting the growing urge to get up and move, while her more rational side was attempting to piece together what exactly had happened. She had been in Potions and helping Neville against her better judgment. They had been caught, she drank the potion, and—

"Oh my God!" She bolted upright, "I'm missing Care of Magical Creatures!"

"Hermione!" Ron was immediately at her side, arms wrapped around her in a fierce hug. "We were so worried."

"But I'm missing Care of Magical Creatures!"

"It's already over." Harry smiled gently from his seat at the foot of the bed.

"But we took notes and everything!" Ron grinned triumphantly.

"And Hagrid says he hopes you feel better," Harry added.

"What is all this noise!" Madam Pomfrey had appeared wearing her most deadly scowl, which quickly changed to a smile as she caught sight of Hermione. "Ah! Miss Granger, you're awake. How do you feel?" She bustled forward, placing one motherly hand on Hermione's forehead.

"I feel fine."

"Well," Madam Pomfrey extricated her hand, "You're still a bit feverish, but nothing some good old fashioned bed rest won't take care of. You're free to go."

"But what about—"

Madam Pomfrey cut Ron off with a wave of her hand. "That potion you mentioned? Nothing more than a simple sleeping draught, I'm sure. Now get on with you; I have more patients to take care of."

The three were hurried out into the corridor, and Harry and Ron started off for the Great Hall.

"Thank Merlin you're all right, Hermione," Ron smiled, "We were really worried about you."

But Hermione didn't answer. The boys turned around to see that she hadn't moved; her eyes were locked on the floor, brow furrowed, deep in thought.

"Hermione?" Harry stepped forward cautiously.

Hermione looked up, first into his eyes and then Ron's. Her voice was somehow relaxed and urgent at the same time, "That was no sleeping draught."

"But Madam Pomfrey said—"

"Madam Pomfrey is wrong," Hermione insisted. "She didn't see it. The potion I took was pink; sleeping potions are clear."

"Maybe there's more than one kind?" Ron offered.

Hermione considered that for a moment before replying, "I'm sure that's true, but I still don't think I took a sleeping draught." She held up a hand, counting on her fingers as she continued, "I mean, I have a fever, my thoughts seem very muddled, and…" she frowned suddenly as a certain memory came rushing back, "and I kissed Snape."

Both Ron and Harry mirrored her look of disgust.

"True…." Harry replied.

But Ron broke into their thoughts with a desperate plea, "I'm sure they're just the aftereffects of a screwed up potion: too much chamomile or something. Come on guys, even if Snape is a horrid git, he'd never try and hurt us. He's still a teacher."

"Also true," Harry nodded.

"Besides," Ron begged, "I'm hungry and dinner's almost over."

"Maybe…." Hermione was still looking anxious.

Harry gave a weak grin, "Well then, let's continue this over dinner."

Hermione shook her head, "I think I'll go lie down, actually. You two go ahead."

Harry groaned and rolled his eyes, "All right, but I'm going with you. If we leave you alone, you'll end up in the library."

Hermione bit back a curse and mumbled her assent. "But," she added, "I want Ron to take me."

Harry considered arguing the point, wondering if Hermione thought it easier to ditch Ron than himself, but arguing would just take up time, and dinner was ending soon, and, he thought, slightly miffed, Hermione would just win anyway.

"Fine." And with that he spun on his heel and stalked off.

Ron groaned. "Let's make it quick. I'm starving."

Hermione couldn't help but grin as she started off for Griffindor tower. The strangest idea had just popped into her head….

Deep in the dungeon and hidden behind a pile of second year essays, Professor Snape moaned as his stomach gave a growl of protest. He was missing dinner, but it was a sacrifice he had to make. If only he could keep away from people – away from temptation – for the rest of the evening he'd be fine.

If only that brat, Granger, hadn't kissed him. It had already gotten so bad that he'd had to cancel his last class of the day. If he could remember how to concoct the antidote, this wouldn't be such a problem. After all these years, he could recognize nearly any potion by its look or smell. Unfortunately he hadn't come across this one in years. Students rarely had need of it, especially considering that it was much easier to down a mug or two of mulled ale.

The antidote was around here somewhere, Snape knew, throwing a bitter look at the wall of books that faced his desk, but his fuzzy brain wouldn't let him remember where. He's spent a good amount of time between classes searching through shelf after shelf to no avail. And now he was just too damned tired to continue. With a frustrated sigh, he opened the bottom left hand drawer of his desk where a shot glass and a half empty bottle of Ogden's Old Fire Whiskey sat in case of an emergency.

Halfway through pouring his first glass, Snape was startled by a knock on the door. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Snape knew that he should put the alcohol away. After all, he was still technically on duty until after hours, and even then he should remain sober. Mentally flipping that thought the bird, he swallowed the shot before croaking, "What?"

A slight hesitation and then the sickly sweet and somewhat nasal voice of Pansy Parkinson filtered through the heavy oak, "Professor?"

"Yeah?" Snape replied, leisurely pouring another glass.

"I'm here about the extra credit? May I come in?"

He was about to belt out the first nasty thing that came to mind when an evil thought took over his tongue. "Yes, of course." He knew it was the potion talking, but he didn't care. He knew that was due to the potion as well, but by the time the sixteen-year-old girl stepped into his office, all rational thought had disappeared.

Pansy wasn't the prettiest girl, but she was developing nicely. Snape eyed the curves evident through the thin material of her robes, and motioned for her to sit. She moved daintily, soft hair swinging lightly with each step.

"A drink?" He asked, pulling another shot glass from his desk and filling it with whiskey. Pansy eyed him suspiciously before boldly replying "Yes" and removing the glass from his outstretched fingers. She watched him a moment and then leaned back to down the shot, grimacing slightly as it burned her throat.

"Now then," Snape leaned forward, fingers steepled under his chin, "about that extra credit…."

When Ron didn't show up for dinner, Harry was concerned, and when Ron wasn't in the common room, he was downright worried. If Ron had missed dinner, then something was wrong. If he wasn't waiting in the common room to let Harry in on it, then maybe something was very wrong. His thoughts went immediately to Hermione, and he briefly considered checking the girls' dorm before remembering what had happened last time he and Ron had tried that. He was opening his mouth to ask Parvati to do it for him when a scream rang out from the sixth year boys' room.

Everyone in the common room went still and then Harry found himself in the middle of a unanimous mad dash up the stairs to where a very red Seamus was slowly backing away from the door.

"What? What is it, mate?" Dean had reached him first and was shaking Seamus slightly, hands firmly on his shoulders.

Seamus just pointed to the door, lips working soundlessly.

Harry brushed past them and froze. Hermione stood in the center of the room, hands on her hips and glaring angrily. A thin white sheet was wrapped securely around her, and after a cursory glance from her bare shoulders to her equally bare ankles it became all too apparent that it was all she wore. Harry's eyes drifted from her to where Ron half hid behind the thick crimson drapes of his bed, also painfully naked.

Hermione cleared her throat, drawing Harry's attention. In a voice filled with righteous indignation she demanded, "A little privacy, please?"

Twenty minutes later Hermione was safely back in her own dormitory, and the entire male population of Griffindor tower save a few clueless first years had crowded into the room, anxiously awaiting the fiercely blushing Ron's story. In Harry's opinion, this should be a private moment reserved for the sixth years' ears only, but he knew that there was no way he could clear the room. That was definitely a Hermione caliber feat.

"Well?" Dean pressed from his seat on Neville's bed, "Are we going to get details or do we have to threaten you with bodily harm first?"

Ron actually smiled a huge, self-satisfied grin and said, "Of course I'll tell you."

"Ron!" Harry hissed and was elbowed by the group of seventh and fifth years currently sharing his bed.

Ron shrugged, "Well why not? What do you think Hermione is doing right now?"

Words of encouragement bubbled up from every corner of the room and Ron straightened, motioning for quiet. He was obviously enjoying his moment in the spotlight.

"Well by now I'm sure you've all heard of the incident in potions this morning. You know how Hermione fainted?" He paused as murmurs of accent rose up, and Harry was reminded of how fast gossip traveled at Hogwarts.

"Well, I was escorting Hermione to her room just like any true gentleman would." At this Harry snorted and was promptly elbowed again. "When we arrived at the tower, she told me that she didn't want to be alone, and since I couldn't accompany her to the girls' dorm, I gallantly offered her the use of my bed." Harry rolled his eyes and promised to get the real story from Hermione tomorrow. "Well," and now Ron's voice lowered, a mischievous sparkle in his eyes, "I turned around to fish a couple of chocolate frogs from my trunk, and when I turned back, there she was, half naked and sprawled out on the bed like a goddess. I got worried. I mean, it's just so… so unlike her. But she pulled me down and kissed me and… and it just happened." As Ron finished up the story, his voice had become soft, almost wistful, and Harry was suddenly genuinely happy for his two best friends.

"You promised details!" Dennis Creevey reminded them all, but to Harry's immense relief, Ron was shaking his head, a slight smile on his lips.

"No, I really couldn't do that to Hermione. You'll have to use your imagination."

After a few more minutes of disgruntled pleas most of the boys gave up and left. Harry approached Ron just as he was tucking in.

"Do you want to talk about this?"

"Not tonight, Harry. I'm really tired."

With a deep sigh, Harry turned to go, wondering how he'd ever keep his mind on his homework now. He decided he'd try anyway, but just as he reached the door Ron called out again.

"Oh, and Seamus?"

A few steps ahead of Harry, Seamus turned and poked his head back inside. "Yeah?"

"Hermione said to tell you that since you saw her naked, she gets to see you."

To be continued…

Author's notes: There might be some "Whys" floating about in your head concerning certain people's actions, but just chalk it up to plot devices and forget about it. (But that doesn't mean I don't want constructive criticism!) I'm worried that some characters may be a bit OOC in coming chapters, but I'll try to keep in under control when I edit. Because of the nature of the story, some people aren't going to be quite themselves, but I think I've managed to keep personalities intact. Also, I know, no Harry/Draco in this chapter. :( But there is some in the next, so stay tuned.