AN: This is response to a challenge issued by Taran of hproundrobin: Write a story with Sev as out of character as you can possibly make him! I'd like the main focus to be Sev, but Harry included is good! The catch is, to find a unique way of explaining it. The other thing about this challenge is, I'd like the stories to be SHORT! No more than 3 chapters.

So, with not further ado and babbling, this here is my story, about Severus, who has been having a very bad day, and is acting a little…different

Disclaimer: I own nothing except the –hopefully - "unique" explanation.

Severus' Very. Bad. Day.

by juxtaposed

Severus Snape was in a very bad mood. And he tried his very best to take it out on everyone around him, his absolute favorite method of dealing with issues. As he stormed down to his chambers, his long, dark hair was pulled back, revealing a worn face, made handsome with rugged features and...a wide smile. He growled cheerful greetings to the amused -but nonetheless still terrified - students littering the hallways as he passed them, his long cloak billowing behind him, black as night, with a large yellow smiley-face on it. He left behind him scores of giggling students, as a loud buzzing spread throughout the corridors about him.

Finally, Severus thought to himself as he approached his doorway. Somewhere normal. He breathed a sigh of relief as he flung open his doors to his darkened rooms. "Illustro cubiculum!" It was immediately illuminated, and he practically threw himself into his favorite armchair, sinking himself into the rich material. "What in the bleeding hell is wrong with me?" he muttered angrily, one hand coming up to his face to massage the bridge of his nose in frustration.

Something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

He couldn't suppress the groan that slipped out of his throat as he looked back on the day. It had started as it usually did on all Monday mornings. He had got up, got ready and made his way to the Great Hall for breakfast, before having Double Potions with Slytherin and Gryffindor, something that usually filled him with dread, but he had had a good rest over the weekend, and wasn't deterred. His rest had also left him in a considerably better mood than usual, so he had thought nothing of when a tiny little Hufflepuff first year had ran into him, only to be dismissed with a cool smirk. I should have picked up that something was off. He chastised himself, marveling at his obvious oblivion.

It had only been during said Double Potions that he had first noticed that something was amiss. Namely, he was amiss. No matter how hard he tried, he just could not be himself. He was…nice. It had generated a small buzz of curiosity when he had looked at Hermione Granger's Melting Mélange, smiled, and told her it was a job well done, and twenty points to Gryffindor! It had sparked a great deal of alarm and confusion when he had grinned at Harry Potter and said the same.

Dear Merlin, what in Hades' name was I thinking?

Actually, he knew that one. He had thought, with no small amount of panic, what the fuck? Which had slowly progressed onto what the fuck is wrong with me? and then, simply, I'm fucked. And he was sure he was - he had been nice to Gryffindors, for Merlin's sake. Not only was it uncharacteristic, it was just unnatural. I, Severus Snape, am not nice to anyone, he thought furiously. Especially not to students from his rival house. Hell, he wasn't even nice to his own house students. He was biased, yes. Tolerant, yes. Obliging, yes. But he could count the amount of times he had been actually nice to anyone on one hand.

He groaned again as he recounted the day's events further. After handing out ridiculous amounts of points to all houses – and being completely unbiased, to add insult to injury – he had given them all a wide, cheesy smile, wished them a good day, and – Severus cringed as he thought about it – he had told them all not to bother with their homework since it was such a lovely day and they ought to be out in the sunshine, not stuck in the dungeons like their greasy old Potions Master. They had all laughed good-humoredly (although there were still some terrified-looking students) – including Severus himself.

I made a joke. About myself. And they laughed. And I laughed with them! He was mortified, to put it simply. Under normal circumstances, the only jokes he would have ever made would have been sarcastic, caustic remarks about the Gryffindors or Hufflepuffs. And he would never let students laugh in his class, especially at his expense. And he most definitely would not have laughed with them. I should have hexed them all. Taught them all a lesson. Not giggling like a bloody schoolgirl along with all the bloody brats. So why the hell didn't I?

He suddenly felt a throbbing headache, and a great need for alcohol in his veins. He waved his arm, and a bottle of Fire Whiskey appeared in front of him, along with a glass. He ignored the glass; instead he picked up the bottle and took a large swig from it, wincing as the burning liquid slid down his throat. Much better, he thought, a little more satisfied. But his thoughts returned to the events that had followed, and he couldn't help tilting his head back as he lifted the bottle to his lips, letting a considerable amount of the liquor to flow into his mouth. He swallowed hard, and felt the drink burn its way into his system.

That really should have been the worst of it, he thought fiercely. But no…no…it had to get worse… He groaned, the burning sensation of the alcohol meeting his throbbing headache in a spectacular explosion. It really had to get worse. As if it wasn't already a complete farce that he had been acting like a…a…Lupin, and had seemingly no control over his actions. He had hoped that at least it was restricted to his classes, because while that would be a pain in his arse, he would get a chance to seek retribution later.

But of course, that would have been asking for too much, wouldn't it? It would have been too much to ask not to make an even bigger arse of myself. It's a cruel, cruel joke by Mother Nature – completely screw with Severus Snape's mind. He continued to nurse the rapidly-emptying bottle of Fire Whiskey. I just had to be…sociable. 

After a disastrous day of teaching Potions to half-wits and incompetents, Severus had hoped to simply disappear to his chambers to pretend he hadn't indeed been nice to all his students. But apparently, Fate wasn't yet completely satisfied. Because after his last afternoon class, after he had cheerfully dismissed his students, he had made the mistake of walking through the overcrowded corridors of Hogwarts while he was still in his unusually affable state.

He had spotted a small group of young Ravenclaws, giggling as they strolled out to the grounds. And then he had come up behind them, threw an arm around one of the boys, and walked out with them, chatting amiably to the stunned group about the sunny weather they were having. Along the way, as they passed other equally shocked students, Severus had given them all wide grins and a few winks. He had even held up his hand to be slapped – a teenage behavior that he never understood, but had somehow felt the incomprehensible need to emulate.

Severus downed another shot of his drink. It really wouldn't be so distressing, he mused, if I were completely unaware of my rather drastic change of mannerisms. At least then I wouldn't know that my actions today were completely…insane. Yes, that was it. He couldn't think of a better word. He was, for all intents and purposes, utterly and completely insane. He debated checking himself into St Mungo's, finding himself thinking that he didn't care if he really was, or not – he would rather be insane than whatever had possessed him to act the way he had. Possession, he suddenly thought. Yes, yes, I've been possessed! That's it, for sure. Why else in hell would I have consciously acted against my wishes? For the one thing that truly frustrated him was that the whole time he was handing out points and laughing with the students was that he never actually wanted to. His mind had been screaming at him with a multitude of curses and swears and threats of hexes, but there was just…something that compelled him to continue what seemed to be a campaign for Friendliest Professor of The Year.

Severus tipped back the almost-empty bottle as he dwelled on this. He mentally scrolled through a list of possible spells, charms, and curses that he might possibly be under. The first thought was, obviously, the Imperius Curse, but he was fully aware of his actions, and he wasn't particularly in a blankly happy mood. He went through a few more, but it all led to the same conclusion – nowhere. None of the spells he knew would cause the effect it was having on him. Damn it. He was getting desperate to think of a reasonable explanation for his conduct the whole day. Surely there must be some kind of…potion!  He brightened slightly as he found a new list to go through, but his disposition sunk again as he realized that he couldn't possibly have been poisoned – he would have recognized a foreign brew in any of his drinks immediately. Damn it. Damn it all to hell. He finished off his bottle of liquor and frowned, but then waved his hand and a new bottle appeared. He uncorked it with a soft hiss and poured it into a glass this time. No need to drink that much. Things aren't all that bad

Several empty bottles of Fire Whiskey littering the floor later, Severus was practically dripping off his chair, and still no closer to finding a solution to his conundrum.

I'm fucked. I'm so fucking…fucked.


Meanwhile, off in a corner of the Gryffindor common room, four teenagers were huddled together, talking with low voices, but with a lot of excitement and animation. Harry Potter was the center of attention for the small group, but he didn't mind at all, and grinned mischievously as Hermione, Ron and Ginny laughed at his words.

"Poor guy, never knew what hit him…an extra powerful dose of coactu amicabiliter and facilis pixie dust, they only wear off after forty-eight hours…" He chuckled. "He's going to want to kill himself by the time tomorrow is over."

*Latin translations:

amicabiliter, facilis – (two variations of) pleasant

coactu – force, compel

cubiculum – chamber

illustro – illuminate, light up

AN: So, my story can either be ended here, or I can carry it on for another one or two chapters. Review and let me know, please? Oh, and I don't speak Latin, so there's a gigantic chance that I've mangled the wonderful language.