Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to J. K. Rowling. All XXXHOLiC characters belong to CLAMP.
Severus Snape and the Quest for the Bishounen's Eye
When Severus arrived at Grimmauld Place, he already was in a bad mood. Dumbledore had called him, and that meant that he was going to have to do some nasty work. In any case, it wasn't going to make his holidays any better.
He entered the kitchen and found the Headmaster waiting for him along with Fletcher. A little apart, Molly Weasley was cooking.
"Good morning, Severus," Dumbledore greeted him. Fletcher merely grunted.
Severus nodded and went straight to business.
"What is it that you need?"
"I thought you might be able to help us with a little problem we have," said Dumbledore. "Lucius Malfoy is giving a party at the end of this month and we need to send Mundungus undercover."
"If it is Polyjuice that you want to use, that is not a problem," Severus replied. "I have plenty of reserves."
"Ah, but the matter is a little more complicated than that, I'm afraid," the Headmaster said. "An hour is too short a time, and it will look suspicious if he drinks something different than everybody else. Besides, we would have to make sure that the person he looks like does not attend the party. What we need is a way for Mundungus to look unrecognizable, but without impersonating someone else."
"Do you have something in mind?"
"He wants to make me handsome," said Fletcher, rolling his eyes. Severus sneered.
"That would certainly take all of my abilities."
"Oh, I think a Beautifying Potion would do," Dumbledore said. "I am sure that you are more than capable of brewing it."
"I am," Severus replied, "but I don't have all the necessary ingredients. In fact, one of the key ones is missing- the Bishounen's Eye."
"The what?" Fletcher asked, looking puzzled.
"Bishounen," Severus repeated, annoyed at the other man's ignorance. "It means 'good looking man' in Japanese."
"And why don't you say it in English, then?"
"Because a Japanese wizard discovered its properties, and that is how it's referred to in every Potions book," he said. "But the point is not its name. The point is that I don't have it."
"You will find one, Severus," Dumbledore assured him.
"Well," Severus began to say, "if a member of the Order decided to do something useful and make a small sacrifice for the greater good…"
"You will stay away from my Bill!" Molly shouted from next to the sink, where she was peeling some potatoes for lunch. Severus stared at her.
"In fact," he said, "I was thinking of Black."
"Everybody is going to keep their eyes on," Dumbledore intervened. "I know of a place where you can get this ingredient."
"Knockturn Alley?" asked Fletcher.
"Japan?" Severus repeated in disbelief. "I am sure that there are handsome men nearer to us, Headmaster."
"Of course, of course," he said. "But I can point you to someone who will give you what you need without asking any questions."
"And are you sure that this… acquaintance of yours has it?"
"I can assure you that she will have either a Bishounen's Eye or the means to get one."
"All right," Severus sighed, resigned. "Who should I look for, then?"
"You must have heard," Dumbledore said, "about the Witch of Dimension."
o O o
A couple of days and dozens of Portkeys later, Severus stood at the door of a strange looking house. It was considerably smaller than the buildings that surrounded it, and it seemed much older than them. He was wondering if he should announce his arrival or something of the like when the gate opened and two sickeningly cheerful little girls jumped on him.
"You are Mistress's guest!" they repeated, again and again, in their high-pitched voices. He tried to shoo them away, but each of them grabbed a side of his cloak and they pulled him into the house with surprising strength.
When they let him go, he was standing in front of a couch where a curvy and barely dressed woman lay. She was smoking, and on her lap sat a small creature that looked like a black, long-eared puffskein.
"What a look," she said, with no introduction whatsoever. "What do you find so suspicious?"
Severus crossed his arms over his chest and tried to look as intimidating as possible.
"How come everyone here speaks English?"
The woman laughed heartily.
"That's not English! It's Mokona!" she answered, patting the puffskein-looking creature. "He makes us understand each other."
"Mokona is very helpful!" it exclaimed cheerfully. Severus glared at it, but it didn't as much as flinch.
"I assume," he said at last, "that you are the Witch of Dimension."
"Just Yuuko," she replied. "And you are Severus Snape."
"Are you trying to impress me?" he asked, still glaring. Yuuko grinned.
"You should work on your sense of humour," she said. "Now, what do you want?"
"Albus Dumbledore said you could give me a Bishounen's Eye."
"I can," the witch answered, serious again, "for a price."
"What?" Severus snapped. "It was Dumbledore who sent me here! How come I get to pay?"
"It's not my problem if your boss has tricked you," Yuuko said matter-of-factly. "You're here, you pay."
"Fine," he muttered through gritted teeth. "Do you take Galleons here in Japan?"
The witch laughed even harder than the first time.
"I don't want money!" she exclaimed.
"Then what?" Severus asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Well, you're a Potions Master, aren't you?" she said. "I've heard there's a brew that does wonders for hangovers. I want you to make it for me."
Now, that was an insult. It was even worse than the Wolfsbane thing. Wasting his talent on that witch, just so she could get drunk at her pleasure?
"I'd rather use my own eyeball," he drawled.
"Oh, but that wouldn't work," said Yuuko. "You see, 'bishounen' means good-"
"I know what it means!" he snapped. Rubbing his temples, he made a decision- the only possible one. "Do you at least have a cauldron here?"
"I have everything you need," she assured him. "Maru! Moro! Please bring all the ingredients."
The two little girls disappeared for a while and returned with all the instruments and ingredients he had to use. Severus wondered why this woman didn't make the potion herself, if she had everything; "sheer laziness" seemed to be the most probable answer.
He had just started to brew it when he heard panting and rushed steps behind him.
"Sorry I'm late!" a boy's voice said. "I had to do something at school…"
Severus turned around and did a double-take, as he found himself face to face with Potter. Or Potter's Asian doppelganger, at the very least. The boy seemed confused at being stared at, but he managed to mumble a polite greeting.
"You're right on time, Watanuki," said Yuuko. "Have you ever seen someone brew a Potion?"
The boy's eyes became wide.
"Eh? Are you a wizard, sir?"
Severus turned to Yuuko in horror.
"You tell Muggles about these things?"
"Non-magical people," she translated, seeing Watanuki's blank face. "But he's not a Muggle."
"Oh. A Squib, then?"
The boy's face looked, if possible, even blanker. Severus tried hard not to think of Potter, and failed miserably.
"It's more complicated than that," the witch replied, then changed the subject. "So, are you done with that yet?"
"Where's my part of the deal?" Severus demanded. Yuuko turned to the boy.
"Watanuki, I need you to get something from the treasure room," she said. "It's a small square box. Maru and Moro will recognize it."
He left along with the girls. By the time he returned, Severus had finished the potion and filled up a flask.
"Here," said Watanuki, handing him the tiny box. Severus opened it to inspect its contents; everything was in order- except for the boy, who had just turned green.
"AN EYEBALL???" he screamed at Yuuko. "You poked someone's eyeball out?"
"It wasn't quite like that," she replied, waving her hand dismissively, and turned to Severus. "Give me that flask, now."
"There," he said, doing as she asked. "Now, if you have nothing more to say, I'm leaving. It's a long way to England."
"Yes," Yuuko said in between smokes, "it must be tiring, having to set up all those Portkeys…"
Severus narrowed his eyes.
"What are you trying to say?"
"I could send you home much faster, you know."
"Oh, no!" he burst. "I'm not listening to your little mind games! All I want is to get out of here and never see you again!"
"As you wish," she said with a dangerous grin. Severus let out such a long string of swearwords that it made the boy blush and the puffskein-thing cover its ears.
"What do you want now?" he asked through gritted teeth.
For the first time, Yuuko sat up. She looked at him with a smile that was downright evil.
"Tell me," she said, "about Harry Potter."
"I'll walk," Severus answered. The witch laughed heartily at him.
"Oh no, no refunds!" she exclaimed. "Come on, a few words aren't going to kill you, are they? How's he doing?"
Severus took a deep breath and decided to make things quick.
"As well as he can with an evil overlord after his blood," he answered. "He has miraculously survived to see his fifteenth birthday and, for some unfathomable reason, he has friends. Happy?"
"That will do," Yuuko said. "Now, I'll take you to my portal…"
Severus followed her, cursing under his breath. Dumbledore better give him at least a pay rise for this.
o O o
"What a strange man," Kimihiro muttered to himself once the foreign wizard had stepped through the portal.
"But he is excellent at potions!" Yuuko exclaimed, hugging the flask as if it was a doll. "If this lives up to its reputation, I won't have to spend money on vitamin drink again!"
"That is not healthy," he sighed. "And who is that unlucky Harry Potter person, with the evil overlord after him? A relative?"
"Not mine. Clow's." She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. "You look like him, you know."
Kimihiro tilted his head, confused.
"Harry or Clow?"
Yuuko just grinned.
o O o
I'm not sure if black Mokona has the same translating ability as his brother, but Yuuko did say he was "for communication", so...
The anti-hangover brew idea is not mine- it comes from Asterix and the Laurel Wreath. And, apparently, it was the cause of the decadence of Rome.