Brother, My Brother
By Rose and Ankha

A/N: This story is the combined efforts of my friend and myself. You see, one day in dear Calculus class, we had become bored. Hard to believe, yes? Well we pulled out the ever useful dry erase boards and attempted to entertain ourselves. This is the result. It all began as one-liners. I'd write a line as one character (Harry and Albus) and she would write another as another character (Severus). I thought it turned out rather well and now am happy to present it for your enjoyment.

Important: Just so it is understood, this takes place during Harry's fifth year. I think that should be fairly obvious as we venture further however but I did not wish to confuse anyone early on.

Disclaimer: Only the idea for the situation in the story is ours, not the characters and so on.

Chapter 1- No Cause for Irritation

Our tale begins at the wonderful and magical school of Hogwarts, where everyone is happy. Well, except perhaps the fifth Gryffindors who were currently trapped for three solid hours in the dungeons with Professor Snape and his fellow snakes. Now this both pleased and irritated Professor Snape as hated being forced to teach such incompetent dunderheads who would sooner throw themselves in front of the Killing Curse than attempt to correctly brew a potion but he did indeed love tormenting them. Seeing them squirm in their seats and their pathetic attempts to glare at him brought smug satisfaction. Today it would be even easier to take points as he was about to review them over what they had learned in the past four years. Little of nothing in his opinion (except for the know-it-all Granger), but it had to be done. They needed to realize the importance of the coming OWL tests and would not take them seriously if he did not make them. Of course his main (and he had to admit to himself, favorite) target for this torture was Harry James Potter, The-Bloody-Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Die-And-Leave-Snape-In- Peace-But-Instead-Lived-To-Torment-Said-Potions-Master-In-Some-Arcane- Attempt-To-Drive-Him-Insane. Yes, Severus thought, that fit him perfectly.
"Well, Mr. Potter, celebrity status does not excuse you from this review. Tell me, what would you get if you added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Harry Potter, said celebrity, stared with somber green eyes at his Potions Master. He was too tired and worn to let the man stir his ire and he certainly was in no mood to rise to the bait. Over the last few weeks nightmares from the many Death Eater meetings had allowed him virtually no uninterrupted sleep and as such he'd had to find a way to fill the hours. Hermione would be proud; he'd done so by studying. He was therefore quite prepared for whatever Severus Snape threw his way, or at least he hoped.
"Should I even try?" Harry whispered half to himself before clearing his throat. "Draught of Living Death, Professor."
Severus could have been knocked over with a feather as he felt his eyebrow. How did the boy remember? That had been the very first question he'd asked him in his first year and he'd been looking forward to rubbing it in the boy's face that he'd missed the same question twice. But he couldn't, Potter was correct. It was almost inconceivable. Everyone knew that Potters were hopeless when it came to Potions, it was some sort of genetic defect. James had certainly been a failure; he'd blown up the potions lab nearly as much as Longbottom did in his day. So why the sudden turn around here? Severus's eyes narrowed slightly; something a bit harder perhaps.
"Very good, Mr. Potter," he hissed through clenched teeth before a smirk settled over his face. "But can you list the ingredients used in the Valusamente Elixir?" Severus was quite pleased with himself; there was no way in hell that Harry would be able to answer this one.
Harry saw the panicked look settle over Hermione's face as she glanced his way; it was a post-NEWTs potion and she was certain that he knew nothing about it. He drew in a breath; perhaps it was time to surprise both her and the professor.
"Wormwood, knotgrass, lacewings, moonstone, lemon juice, runespoor egg yolk, and flobberworm intestines," he said confidently. When Severus's smirk widened Harry knew he had screwed up and the professor was going to flaunt that in front of the entire class. Damn.
"Perhaps we should send you back to primary school, Mr. Potter, it is clear you lack the art of reading. Valusamente Elixir does not use moonstone, the book clearly states to use grinded unicorn horn. So, until you become a Potions Master, copy the ingredients on the board, start you potion, and try not to blow anything up!" Severus sent a glare around the classroom, even a warning one in the direction of his Slytherins that were not moving fast enough for his liking. "NOW!"
Students all around Harry leapt to their feet and rushed to the student cabinet for their supplies while others stayed behind to copy the instructions as the professor had commanded. Harry did neither because he was too busy berating himself for being an idiot. Of course, moonstone went with the Veritaserum, how could he possibly mix that up? Score one for the idiocy of The-Boy-Who-Lived.
"How could I forget that?" He wondered aloud, attracting the class's attention he noticed with a faint blush. Squaring his shoulders he looked up at their teacher. "Sorry, sir, I'll try harder!" Feeling the heat of Severus's evil glare he looked down at his shoes contritely, not noticing most of the Gryffindors staring at him in disbelief. What in the world was going on with Harry? When did he become so submissive?
Severus could not believe the boy, the audacity! "Mr. Potter, do not mock authority! That will cost you ten points!" Severus sat at his desk and pulled out papers that were in great need of grading.
Harry couldn't believe it! (Though some part of him was wondering why this was so strange.) He'd lost points for Gryffindor for behaving properly—he'd even apologized! "Here I was actually trying to be good and he takes points!" he let escape in exasperation, immediately clamping a hand over his mouth.
"Be quiet, Harry!" Hermione hissed, glancing in Snape's direction.
Still marking Severus said, "That's twenty points, now get to work." He finally looked up at the two students and gifted both with a glare.
Hermione immediately looked down and began working on her potion but Harry's common sense seemed to have abandoned him for he looked at Ron and said, "Do you think I could possibly get detention?"
Severus bit his tongue and counted to three before slowly looking up, furious glare firmly in place. It seemed the raven-haired Gryffindor suddenly realized what he'd done and hastily began working on his potion. "Do you think yourself above the rules, Mr. Potter, that a teacher's command may be ignored? To answer your question, you now have a months detention with me. Report here tonight at eight."
Harry had to fight hard to suppress a groan; great, just what he needed, another detention. "This is just not my day at all," He muttered to himself. Louder he continued. "I'm sorry, Professor, but I have detention with Professor Umbridge tonight." Sudden hope struck the Gryffindor. While the Potions Master was mean and degrading, he had never, ever hurt him. Detention with this man would be heaven next to Umbridge's hours of torture by quill. "Can I have detention with you instead, sir?"
It took all of Severus's willpower to suppress the eyebrow that threatened to rise in surprise. Why in the name of Merlin's beard would the boy want detention with him? Well, for whatever reason, he was not going to give it to him. "This just isn't you day, is it, Mr. Potter? You will report here as soon as you are finished with Professor Umbridge's detention." Severus was prevented from continuing further when the bell rang. "Put your potions in phials, label them, place them on my desk, and clean up your work area. Be quick about it."
Like the rest of his fellow classmates, Harry did not wish to anger the man any further (he'd done enough of that already). He ladled some of his less than perfect potion into the phial, labeled it and, after cleaning his area, sat it on the professor's desk. As he walked away he muttered to himself, "I hope he has something for a bleeding hand, I'm going to need it."
Severus glanced sharply at the boy, curiosity aroused by that comment despite himself. When Harry looked back the curiosity instantly changed to malice; Harry sighed and headed out of the room dejectedly.

End of Chapter 1

A/N: Short I know but I thought I'd try my hand at something short for once. Don't worry, there is plenty more where that came from and I'll get it to you when I can. Bye and please, REVIEW!