Caught in a Web
Fandom: Harry Potter
Archive: Ask first.
Feedback: Yes, please. Thanks in advance.
Pairing: Now, I'm not going to reveal that just yet, am I?
Spoilers: This fictional story takes place on the Trio's Seventh Year. References to all previous adventures as described in PS, CoS, PoA, GoF and OotP are used here.
Disclaimers: Harry Potter and his world belong to the magnificent J.K. Rowling. If they were mine, I'd be RICH! No infringement on any copyright is intended and no profit is being made.
When Harry drinks a love potion in Snape's class by mistake, he has his world turned upside down. A little bit of love and a little bit of dark arts make up for one of Harry's craziest weeks.
A/N: I've taking a bit of poetic license by including two things that will probably not be part of the future canon:
So, here it is folks! Hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1 - The Potion
Monday, October the 27th
It was an unusually sunny and breezy day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although Harry hardly remembered this as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. It was his last class of the day, but it was the only one that he truly detested. Potions was, after all, taught by Severus Snape, a tall, pale man with greasy shoulder-length hair, crooked nose, and a personality that made his physique worthy of Mr. Universe.
"Potter, the potion is supposed to look orange… not nauseous green," Snape sneered as he inspected the contents of Harry's cauldron. Harry mumbled "Yes, sir" and lowered his head even closer to the parchment he had been writing on, hoping that Snape wouldn't see the "drop dead" glare Harry was sending his way and take points from Gryffindor House.
"Mr. Weasley, I suggest you wipe that smirk off your face. Yours isn't any better," Snape said to the red haired man sitting next to Harry, his voice full of bitterness. It was Ron Weasley, one of Harry's best friends since they took the Hogwarts Express together a little more than six years ago.
"Yes, sir" Ron replied to Snape, lowering his eyes. As soon as Snape turned around and decided to torture Neville instead, Ron leaned in against Harry and said, "I wasn't smirking, mate. I was wincing. This thing smells worse than Buckbeak's dung."
"Agreed. This heat is not helping either," Harry said off-handedly as he tried to smooth the back of his hair which, due to the high humidity, was sticking up worse than ever. Between the fact that the Potions classroom was located in one of Hogwarts deepest dungeons, that it had no windows, and that they had to share the classroom with the Slytherins, and the strong smell coming from their cauldrons, Harry was feeling slightly claustrophobic.
"You okay, Harry? You look a little pale," Ron whispered as he added the essence of belladonna to his potion and continued stirring. "Yeah," Harry added, sounding unconvinced even in his own ears.
"Is Harry Potter feeling ill?" a squeaky voice said in a whisper from behind Ron. They both quickly turned around to watch a short house-elf with green eyes the size of tennis balls looking at Harry with worry.
"Dobby, are you mad? What are you doing here?" Ron whispered, looking over his shoulder at Snape, who was still ranting at Neville for not waiting 15 minutes before adding the lily powder. "Dobby's been here the whole class, Wheezy sir. Dobby is in charge of cleaning this classroom after Harry and his Wheezy leave."
"What do you want, Dobby?" Harry whispered quickly. "I heard Harry Potter was ill, sir." Dobby whispered anxiously. Seamus Finnegan, who was sitting with Dean Thomas in the desk next to Harry's, looked over this shoulder and almost spilled his essence of belladonna over his shit.
Harry looked over his shoulder worriedly; Snape was bound to see Dobby sooner or later. He feared what might happen to Dobby is Snape caught the house-elf interrupting his class.
"I'm just a little warm. That's all. Now go!" Harry whispered in one breath. The worry vanished from Dobby's face, replaced by a caring smile. "Would Harry Potter like some cold pumpkin juice?" he asked excitedly. Before Harry could answer, Dobby waved his arm and a tall glass of cold pumpkin juice appeared in his desk.
Ron quickly hid the glass behind his cauldron. Caring more about what might happen to Dobby than what Snape might do to him if he caught him with juice on his desk, Harry whispered, "Fine. Thanks. Now go!"
With another wave of his hand, Dobby vanished from the room.
"Is there something interesting about the wall, Mr. Potter?" Snape's cold voice boomed. Harry looked back; Snape was standing in front of his desk, his pale arms crossed over his chest, a not-so-amused expression in his face.
"Nothing, sir," Harry said as he tried to busy himself with adding the moonstone powder. As soon as Snape turned around to walk behind his desk, Harry reached in front of Ron's cauldron and, without even looking, took a bit gulp of pumpkin juice, emptying half of the glass, the cold liquid spreading a refreshing sensation throughout his body.
"I needed that," Harry whispered as he put the glass back down in the desk, hiding it behind Ron's cauldron, since his own work area was still cluttered with the remains of his potion's ingredients.
"Professor Snape, sir?" a cold, drawling voice said from the front of the class. Harry didn't have to look up to know that the voice belonged to Draco Malfoy, the white-haired, pointy-faced boy with the perpetual sneer on his lips. Maybe Harry couldn't stand Snape, but Malfoy was Harry's least favorite person in Hogwarts.
"What is it, Mr. Malfoy?" Snape answered, his voice more gentle than usual. It was the voice that he reserved only for his fellow teachers and students from his own house. "I was wondering. This potion… it seems like a waste of time, doesn't it? Why would we need to learn a love potion anyway?" Malfoy asked as he looked down at his cauldron, obviously disgusted by the smell that came out of it.
If it were a student from any other house, Snape would have taken points from them for daring to question his curriculum. But, since Malfoy was a pureblood Slytherin, Snape merely replied, "I couldn't agree more with you, Mr. Malfoy. However, the Ministry of Magic has decided that this is one of the potions that come at the N.E.W.T. examination, so I am forced to waste my time teaching it to you." "Then by all means, don't," Ron whispered next to Harry as he added the last of the ingredients to his potion.
When only five minutes remained before the end of the class, Snape, still seating on the chair behind his desk, announced, "Alright. The Love Potion No. 9 should be ready. Please, prepare a sample for evaluation." The sounds of the students looking for vials to store their offending potions echoed in the classroom.
"That's a queer name. Why is it called Love Potion No. 9?" Millicent Bullstrode's annoying voice carried across the room. Not surprisingly, the person who answered the question wasn't Snape, but the delicate Gryffindor girl standing next to Neville. It was Harry's other best friend and constant companion, Hermione Granger.
"It was originally called the Philtrum Casses Amator potion, but the name was changed during the 1960's because of a popular song written by a muggle who was temporarily under the potion's control. The wizarding community thought it was so amusing that they adopted the name until the Ministry was forced to recognize it as the official name," Hermione said matter-of-factly as she secured the cork to her vial.
"Miss Granger is correct," Snape sneered, his voice contorted in an expression that could only be interpreted as physically ill for paying Hermione a compliment. As an afterthought, he added, "Five points from Gryffindor for speaking without raising your hand."
Harry, who was used to Snape putting Hermione down at any opportunity he had, crushed the eucalyptus leaves in his hand. "Bastard," Ron muttered angrily as he went back to finish his potion.
"If you take five points from Gryffindor, then you must take five points from Slytherin house too, because Millicent also spoke without raising her hand," Dean Thomas said out loud, his voice defiant. Snape hit his desk hard with the palm of his hand, fixing his eyes on Dean. His glare was so full of concealed anger that, if looks could kill, Harry was sure Dean wouldn't leave the classroom alive.
"Twenty points from Gryffindor! Miss Hermione is not a damsel in distress and does not need you to come to her aid!" Snape hissed, his teeth clenched so hard Harry was sure they would break. The anger rose so rapidly inside of Harry that he was already on his feet before Ron grabbed him by the shoulder and tried pulling him back to his seat.
Snape had noticed this too, and he answered Harry's action with a very twisted smile. "Do you have a problem with what I just said, Mr. Potter?" he asked threateningly. Harry stole a glance at Hermione. Her eyes were wide with alarm while she mouthed, "No! No!"
"No, sir," Harry said, his voice shaking with anger as he forced himself to sit down. Hermione smiled gratefully at him, and he forced himself to smile back. Harry picked up his vial from the wooden table and started filling it. When he next looked toward the front of the classroom, Hermione was already handing her sample, followed close by Parvati and Seamus. Neville, as usual, was trying hard to make his potion at least the right color.
Harry ached to get out of the classroom as soon as was possible, so he sealed his vial and walked toward Snape's desk. He stood in front of the desk, anger boiling inside him at the close sight of Snape's leering face.
"Potter, is there something you need?" Snape hissed at him. Harry felt that if he didn't let go of the vial in his hand soon, he would crush it. So he swallowed his pride and left his sample on the desk next to the others with an icy, "No, sir."
Harry ignored Malfoy's triumphant face as he turned around and walked back to his desk. By the time he had arrived, Ron was already filling his own vial and was now gathering his books from the floor. "I swear that man leaves a bitter taste in my mouth," Harry said as Malfoy made a whipping sound at him, handing in his sample, Crabbe and Goyle closely behind.
Harry glanced at the door that will soon be his exit out of this hellhole, his anger disappearing as he remembered that he won't see Snape until the end of the week. He could see Hermione speaking with Dean on the hallway beyond the doorframe. As usual, Hermione was waiting for Ron and him before walking together to the common room.
Harry took the glass that was hidden behind Ron's cauldron and took another big gulp until the glass was empty. The now warm and bitter liquid was still falling down his throat when he felt a great tug inside his stomach. He could feel the heat rising in his cheeks as he watched Dean leaning close to Hermione and whispering something in her ear. Hermione put her hand over her mouth to stop the laughter.
Without knowing why, Harry suddenly felt irritated. His stomach gave another violent tug when he saw Dean put his hand on Hermione's shoulder.
"HARRY!" Ron suddenly screamed, his voice high with panic. "What?" Harry asks off-handedly as he continued to stare at Hermione, who was now waving goodbye to Dean. It wasn't until Ron grabbed his arm forcefully and shook him that Harry tore his eyes away from her.
"What?" Harry asked Ron moodily. "Harry, look…" Ron showed him the object he had on his hand. It was the pumpkin juice glass that Dobby had summoned from the kitchens. But how could it be? It was still half-full. He could have sworn he had just finished it. Had Dobby appeared again and refilled his glass?
Seeing the confusion in Harry's face, Ron added, "Now, look at your hand!" Harry looked down. In his hand, where Harry had assumed was the empty glass of pumpkin juice, was Ron's potions vial.
And it was now empty.
Harry's eyes immediately went back to the door, looking for Hermione. She was still standing in front of the doorway. She smiled tiredly when she caught him looking at her and waved her hand, beckoning for Ron and Harry to join her.
Ron looked over his shoulder, trying to pinpoint what had caught Harry's attention. He went pale when he noticed Hermione was standing on the hallway.
"Harry?" he whispered ominously, pulling on Harry's sleeve like a child fighting for his parents' attention. "WHAT?" Harry screamed. "Did you look at Hermione while you were drinking my potion?" Ron asked him seriously.
"Yes. So?" he replied, once again forcing himself to look from Hermione to Ron. "So? SO? This is Potion No. 9! A love potion, Harry! Whoever drinks it falls in love with the first person they see!" Ron explained, his voice higher with every word he uttered.
"Potter! Weasley! What in blazes are you doing?" Snape screamed from his desk. "Nothing, sir. Just preparing to submit my work," Ron muttered as he took the glass from Harry's hand and filled it with the liquid in his cauldron.
"Don't be ridiculous, Ron. I am not under the potion's spell!" Harry whispered angrily as Ron walked past him toward Snape's desk. Harry then looked back out the door.
And his stomach dropped when he noticed Hermione wasn't there.
It wasn't until he felt Ron's hand on his shoulder that he stopped looking at the spot where Hermione had been moments ago. "Mate, you are in big trouble," Ron said with a mixture of concern and amusement.
"Shut it, Ron," were the only words Harry could articulate as he hastily grabbed his schoolbag and walked to the door, Ron walking behind him.
No sooner had he crossed the doorframe that he searched the hallway for a sign of Hermione. "Now you believe me?" Ron said, noticing what Harry had just done.
"Let's go. I'm hungry," Harry said hastily. But dinner was the last thing on Harry's mind as a single thought consumed him.
What if Ron was right?
"Philtrum Casses Amator" roughly translates as "Potion of the Snared Lover."
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