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

The day was not looking good for Severus Snape.

He attempted to stretch out, to no avail. The pain in his neck and shoulders flared up, aggravating the horrible pounding in his head. It also didn't help the burning prickle that consumed his right arm. Or the haze that enveloped his vision, stirring up a rush of dizziness. Or the wave of nausea that followed.

Oh, fuck.

Somehow, he managed to stand up, although he swayed heavily on his feet, then stumbled over to his bathroom, catching himself on the edge of the sink as his legs threatened to give out on him. Turning on the tap at full force, he hastily splashed his face with his good arm, grimacing at the icy-cold water. When his head cleared a little, he glanced into the mirror and started.

I look like death warmed over. Like I'd been Avada'ed and risen from the dead. What the fuck happened to me?

Suddenly, in a rush, it all came back to him, and he groaned deeply, both from the sudden flood of memories, and the knowledge that the memories brought.

Oh, of all the fucking things…he groused to himself. He shook his head in disgust, immediately regretting doing so as he felt the urge to be violently sick. Suppressing the rise of bile in his throat, he stripped down and clambered into his shower, turning the water as hot as it could go. He let out a hiss of relief as the near-scalding water beat down on his knotted muscles, and spent a good fifteen minutes just standing under the showerhead, allowing the water to work out all the numerous kinks in his body. After that, he shampooed and scrubbed himself clean, then toweled off, feeling considerably better.

However, that all went down the drain as he stepped out of the bathroom and caught a glimpse of his clock. He blinked at it in disbelief, rubbing his eyes. No, he hadn't read it wrong. He had overslept.

Severus never overslept.

He growled, rather annoyed at himself. Although, he reasoned, there was a bloody damn good excuse for it. But he realized, with a sigh, that he had missed breakfast, and would have to ask the House-Elves to bring him some. Snapping his fingers, he didn't have to wait long before a House-Elf appeared in his chambers.

"Yes, how is Master Snape be needing Flippy's help?" she asked him politely.

"I'd like some plain toast, please, and some tea, thank you." He requested his food in a remarkably upbeat tone, which left him frowning as the House-Elf nodded, curtsied, then disappeared. She reappeared a minute later with a tray of his aforementioned food and set it in front of him, and looked at him with – he was delighted to note – a gleam of fear in her eyes. Good to know he still had that effect.

Or not.

"Why, thank you so much. I must say, you House-Elves do remarkable work. Have I ever told you that?" He beamed at her, and she looked utterly scandalized by his words, as tears welled up in her eyes.

"Oh, Master Snape is being too kind, Sir. Flippy is not being worthy of Sir's words, please do not be saying things that are being untrue, Sir." With that, she threw herself down at Snape's feet, banging her head on the floor as a loud sob issued from the Elf.

"But I really did mean it – you all truly do – " Severus paused as – Flippy, did she call herself? – wept uncontrollably. Why the bleeding hell is she crying like the world is ending? Just because I paid her a compliment – oh, that's right, damn things can't stand it. Have no self-worth whatsoever. He cleared his throat. "Uh, that's alright then, you can go."

Still howling miserably, Flippy disappeared, leaving the very exasperated Potions Professor to sink into his chair, and ponder about the event that had just transpired. He absently picked up a piece of toast and munched on it, taking slight comfort in the fact that he only had two classes in the afternoon that day, and didn't need to deal with too many of those ruddy brats while nursing a bloody hangover.

Especially, he thought darkly, since it appears that I'm still…nice.

He swallowed his toast and sipped his tea. He had ordered bland food so as not to provoke his over-acute senses. After all, it wouldn't do for the students to witness their professor suffering from what had to be the World's Worst Hangover. As he stared down intently at his cup, he made up his mind.

Fuck that.

I need another drink.

It was a very inebriated Potions Master that stumbled into class that day.

That night, Severus Snape was back in his chambers, slightly more sober, and once again reflecting on the horrible day he had just lived.

If he had thought that the day before had been his worst day ever, he had been sorely, sorely, sorely mistaken.

I'll never live it down.

Not only had he been completely thrashed when he was teaching, causing him to slur his words, and nearly cause an accident of Longbottom proportion, but it seemed that drunkenness combined with his false goodwill was a very undesirable combination. He had found himself telling incredibly lame jokes, then laughing stupidly after. And he had also made several very inappropriate comments.

Of course, the most inappropriate comment by far that he had made that day had to be to who else, but one Harry Potter.

Severus cringed.

I didn't even have a class with the damn brat today! he thought furiously. Why did I have to venture out to the damn Quidditch pitch? He knew very well why, of course – he had again decided to "hang out" with some unfortunate students. Serves me right, he scowled. Because of his inability to squash his impulse, he had found himself watching the Gryffindor Quidditch team's practice.

And had subsequently found himself watching Harry Potter.

Under normal circumstances, he knew that in any encounter with the Potter brat, despite it raising his blood pressure, he at least always had the upper hand of being a Professor, and one who was greatly feared, at that. But today had hardly been normal. Today, he had been a very drunk professor who had no control over his actions.

Which was why, when Potter had passed him on his way back into the castle, he had not made an about face and simply ignored the boy, but had instead given him a wide grin.

Which was why, when Potter had greeted him politely, but stiffly, he had not sneered or made a single snide comment about the Gryffindor brat, but had instead returned the greeting with much exuberance.

Which was why, when Potter had had the audacity to smirk at Severus' uncharacteristic behavior, he had not told him off and threatened to take points away from Gryffindor, but had instead leaned in close to the boy and murmured into his ear in a ridiculously suggestive manner.

"You can ride my broomstick any day, Harry."

Severus was feeling rather faint as he recalled that particular snippet of conversation.

His life, as he knew it, was really, and truly, over.


AN: Yes, I'm aware the ending kind of hangs, but it's for three reasons. One, part of the challenge was to keep it short; two, I'm planning a sequel to this; and three, I decided to keep the focus of this solely on the OOC-ness, since that was the challenge.

AN: Thanks to J Black, ShrineMaiden, MysticStampede, Mystic Dragonsfire and SofiaDragon for your kind, kind words! Hope this lived up to your expectations!