Disclaimer: Guess what: They're all JKR's! I didn't invent anyone! I don't own anyone (except Susan and if you want her take her it's OK)!

A/N - This is getting a lot longer than I originally thought it would be so I'm doing it in chapters. It also gives me the chance to ask for some opinions: Do you think I ought to turn Severus back or would you prefer me to leave him as he is? Please R/R and tell me. (I'm not going to count votes or something but good arguments might help me make up my mind.)
I've read a story where something similar happened to Draco (Redemption by Al), but that's not where I got the idea. I thought it would be nice to read a story where Draco and Severus meet as equals and suddenly this jumped into my head and demanded to be written!
Sorry, I don't know anything about US(? UK?) rating systems. There is the word 'damn' in here (once). Does that mean my rating's wrong? I hope not.

My Name's Severus!

Chapter 1: An accident in potions class has consequences

Neville Longbottom was staring at the spiderlegs on his desk. When was he to put spiderlegs into this potion? How many spiderlegs was he to put into this potion? Was he to put spiderlegs into this potion, at all?

He couldn't remember. Neville always tended to forget the most important things and when he was scared it only got worse.

And right now Neville wasn't only scared he was terrified. He always was in potions class. He was terrified of making a mistake and failing potions. He was terrified of what might happen to him if another one of his potions blew up (last time he had been knocked into the next desk and had almost broken his arm.). He was terrified of the Slytherins in class. (This year it was even worse than it had been in the last four years: Now the Gryffindors even had transfigurations with the Slytherins!) But most of all Neville was terrified of professor Snape.

Oh what to do if Snape caught him making another mistake! What horrible things might Snape do or say? Neville was trembling all over at the thought.

Spiderlegs now, later or not at all? Well, since they were on his desk they had to be ingredients for his potion, he decided.

So, now or later? Well, he had to put them in sometime. Might as well now! It probably didn't matter at all when.

But how many to use? He decided to simply use them all. His potion wouldn't work anyway. None of his potions ever did.

'God, please don't let it blow up!' he thought as he mustered all his courage and threw the spiderlegs into the bubbling green liquid in his cauldron.

There! Had that been right? Or should he probably have cut them first?!

Neville stared at his cauldron as if trying to hypnotise his potion. 'Please, please, don't blow up! Do anything, but don't blow up!'

Neville's potion obliged. It slowly turned white and clear as water.

Was that supposed to happen? Neville cast a quick glance through the room. Everyone else's potions were green! Oh no! And Snape was heading his way eyes gleaming.

Neville's knees felt weak, his legs were shaking uncontrollably. He grabbed the desk for support.

"Why, Longbottom!" sneered Snape "Whatever is that colour?"

'Please somebody, save me!' screamed Neville's thoughts as professor Snape reached his desk. Again the potion obliged!

A small white whirl appeared inside the cauldron growing and growing.

Neville hastily stumbled back as Snape closed in staring at the potion.

"Whatever did you do, Longbottom? I have never seen a healing potion do anything like this before!"

"I..I..I d...d..don't k..k..know s...s..sir." managed Neville in an almost inaudible whisper.

Everyone was staring at the potion. The whirl now filled the entire cauldron turning the potion a milky white. Loud bubbling and hissing could be heard.

Several of the other pupils began to withdraw, suspecting another explosion a la Neville to follow shortly.

Snape probably harbouring similar doubts extinguished the fire under the cauldron with a wave of his wand.

Too late! With a resounding boom Neville's cauldron shattered into a thousand little pieces dousing Snape with the mysterious potion.

Snape screamed in pain as the potion burned into his skin.

Neville whimpered in fear. Oh no! His potion had hurt the most unpleasant person in Hogwarts! Neville thought he was as good as dead!

The other pupils stared on in horror: the Slytherins fearing for Snape's, the Gryffindors for Neville's health. Some of the more courageous slowly edged closer to help.

Snape still in obvious pain caught himself at that sight. "No, don't touch that! I don't know what it does, but it definitely does something. Clean up the room and this mess, but mind you don't touch the potion! Then take the rest of the lesson off to study. No homework!" With this he turned and walked out of the classroom.

The fifth year Gryffindors and Slytherins stared after him.

"No homework?" repeated Harry Potter, not believing his ears.

"No homework." answered Draco Malfoy staring incredulously at his rival, forgetting in his surprise how much he disliked Harry.

Giving no homework was so unusual for Snape that it took them almost five minutes to simply accept the fact that it had happened.

"He must be hurt bad to just rush out like that." remarked Hermione when they finally began to clean up as Snape had told them to.

"Maybe we ought to go up to the hospital wing and check if he's alright?" suggested Harry.

"Check if he's alright!" echoed Ron horrified. "Harry, that's Snape we're talking about! Who gives a damn if he's alright? I sure hope it kills him!"

"I don't think it will." mused Hermione. "The potion was still hot from the fire. It probably just burned him very badly."

"But he said that it was doing something!" sobbed Neville still fearing Snape's revenge.

"Aw Neville, he'll be alright." answered Harry "As soon as the potion wears off he'll have nothing more than a bad sunburn."

"What if it doesn't wear off?" squeaked Neville trembling once more.

"Of course it will!" declared Ron "All potions do! Don't they, Hermione?"

"Actually no! The healing potions we were making for example would be absolutely useless if they did. It is therefore quite possible that Neville's potion, whatever it is, requires an antidote."

Neville began to cry at this, while Ron jumped up thrusting a fist into the air and screamed.: "Yes! We could be without a potions teacher for almost a month if they take their time finding an antidote!" But the rest of the Gryffindors did not share his enthusiasm. They were far too busy trying to calm down Neville.

The Slytherins on the other side of the room had come to similar conclusions, but unlike the Gryffindors they were rather worried by them. Snape was head of Slytherin, after all. What would happen to their house if he didn't recover quickly?

Therefore as soon as the potions dungeon had been cleaned up and the Gryffindors had happily run off (except possibly for Hermione definitely not to study) the Slytherins headed up to the hospital wing to find out what had happened to their teacher.

They didn't get far however. Madame Pomfrey wouldn't let them in! Not all of them! No, not even one of them! No she was not gonna tell them what was wrong with Snape! No she didn't think he would be teaching tomorrow!

And then she simply shut the door on them. They kept knocking for a while, but she ignored them.

She simply didn't know what to tell them and she had a more pressing problem on her hands right now. Neville Longbottom, it seemed, had accidentally invented a youth potion. Severus Snape was getting younger and younger and she had so far been unable to do anything about it. She had tried charms, potions and combinations of both, but nothing had had any effect.

Madame Pomfrey was seriously worried that the process might kill Snape and even if it didn't it still seemed to be quite painful. Severus wasn't complaining though. He was going over her store of potion ingredients, trying to come up with some concoction they hadn't tried jet.

Suddenly he turned, grabbed a book from it's shelve and came over to where she was still standing near the door.

"Here" he said surprisingly calm under the circumstances. "I think this might work."

She stared at the recipe in the book. He was right. It might work, but there wasn't much time left to do it and if it didn't work ...

Several hours later Madame Pomfrey was sitting in the headmaster's office, where an emergency staff meeting had been called on her insistence.

As she tried to explain what had happened to Severus Snape she definitely wished she were somewhere, anywhere, else. She felt like she had failed them! All of them, not just Severus, but most of all Dumbledore! She knew that the headmaster regarded Severus as a close friend, though how anyone could actually like the potions teacher was normally beyond her. Right now she would probably have hugged him, if by some miracle he had walked into the room save and sound.

"But you say you were able to stop the process, Poppy?" inquired Dumbledore his normally happily twinkling eyes showing nothing but worry.

"Yes Albus, but I have absolutely no idea how it might be reversed!" Oh how she hated to disappoint everybody!

"Are you absolutely sure it has stopped? He is in no danger?"

"There has been no more change in him since he took that last potion we made and it has been over three hours. Either the medicine was effective or that potion just wore off on its own, I can't tell. But I don't know - I have absolutely no idea how to turn him back!" she was nearly crying now.

Dumbledore however seemed to be feeling a little more hopeful. "Now, now , Poppy!" he said soothingly, "If he is in no more danger we have enough time to come up with a solution. You did manage to save his life and I dare say that was no small feat considering you had no idea whatever that potion was. I suggest we start right there in our search for the antidote. Let's call Mr. Longbottom up here and ask him just how he made that potion."

"I'll go and get him!" offered professor Sprout. "He ought to be in the greenhouse right now. - He just loves to help me tend to the plants." she added at everybody's surprised glances.

"But Albus, it might take weeks to find that antidote!" squeaked professor Flitwick. "Who's to teach potions and watch the Slytherins in the meantime?"

"Well," said Dumbledore, twinkle already back in his eyes. "it appears I shall have to take that upon myself."

Madame Pomfrey remembered well the time when Dumbledore had been head of Gryffindor and how much he had enjoyed his duties, but ...

"Albus," she said tentatively "you are aware that the Slytherins aren't the Gryffindors, are you? They are much more difficult to handle, so much more volatile, distrustful and aggressive. And most of them do not exactly like you, you know. They still see you as a Gryffindor and therefore an enemy."

"Don't worry, Poppy! I'll be able to handle them for a little while. It can't be that difficult! Severus always had them well in hand and he isn't exactly good with people, is he?"

Madame Pomfrey had to agree with that, but still there was that annoying little voice in her head that reminded her how different Dumbledore was from Snape and if not they had sometimes underestimated the potion master's skill at handling the most difficult of houses.

"Speaking of Severus," interjected professor McGonnegall, "What are we going to do with him? We can't just leave him locked up in the hospital wing for who knows how long!"

"Well," Dumbledore hesitated for a moment. "Just how old is he right now, Poppy?"

"How old? That potion didn't give any dates! How should I know?"

"A rough estimate will suffice, Poppy." said Dumbledore gently.

"Hm, he looks about twelve or thirteen, but remembering how small he was as a boy I'd say more likely fourteen to fifteen. Does that help you in any way?"

"In that case we'll just put him with the fifth year's Slytherins." decided Dumbledore, "He'll fit right in with them. I bet he'll be having a lot of fun reliving his childhood!"

"Albus!" shrieked professor McGonnegall to everyone's surprise. "You can't mean to have him attend classes!"

"Why of course I do! A little brush up course can't harm him. Let's just see how much he has forgotten over the years!" Dumbledore giggled.

"But Albus!" insisted McGonnegall "Don't you remember what fifteen-year-old Severus was like! Him in one class with Harry, Hermione, the Malfoy boy and Neville Longbottom! It will be like teaching in a mad-house! Albus, don't do that to me! I beg you!"

"Minerva, calm down. He wasn't all that bad. He won't be the same boy he was then. Harry isn't James and Sirius Black isn't around. And if I remember correctly transfiguration was his weakest subject anyhow. Just keep him busy with difficult tasks and he won't be any trouble at all."

"Well, I might actually teach him some basic transfigurations, after all." mused professor McGonnegal "I had completely given up any hope of that ever happening, you know."

"But what about flying lessons?" asked Madame Hootch "Do you remember all the damages he caused in flying lessons? We are already short on brooms thanks to Neville! I don't need another Neville in my class!"

"I have to admit, that might get expensive." sighed Dumbledore. "Very well, he will be excused from flying lessons. After all the quitddich players are, too."

"If he was so bad at school" asked Flitwick surprised "How come he got to be a teacher at all?"

"Oh he may have been terrible at transfigurations and flying, but he was always way ahead of his class in all other subjects. He was worse than Hermione at times, you know." smiled Dumbledore obviously lost in memories.

At that moment professor Sprout returned, a very frightened Neville in tow. Upon hearing exactly what his potion had done to professor Snape Neville began to cry and plead that it had all been an accident. They had to calm him down before he could tell them anything and then what he had to say wasn't very productive. It seemed he couldn't really remember what ingredients he had put into the potion let alone in what order and quantities.

In the end it was decided to ask for help from the potions teachers at Beaubattons and Durmstrang.

Severus was to stay in the hospital wing for two days until his burns were healed and then to move into the Slytherin fifth-years boy's dormitory where another bed would be added for him.

Neville fled from the headmaster's office with a tale to tell his friends that soon spread like wildfire through all of Hogwarts.

"Do you realise this means we got a teacher in our dorm?" growled Blaise Zabini as they were walking back towards their common room after their last lesson on Friday.

"It won't be for all that long, Blaise!" Draco tried to calm him down, trying to get him out of his bad mood. Zabini was a nuisance most of the time, but Draco rarely found anyone else to talk to. At least nobody who actually understood what he was thinking or feeling. Not that Blaise understood much about feelings. He was just more intelligent than Crabbe and Goyle which made him Draco's confident by default. 'I wish I had a real friend!' he thought. 'Someone whom I can tell what's really on my mind, someone who understands.'

"We're gonna have to behave 24-7!" complained Blaise. "Bet he'll tell on us when we stay up after ten at night! Or copy homework!"

"Yeah, we wont even be able to pick fights, till he's gone!" added Vincent Crabbe glumly.

"Maybe we ought to beat him up!" suggested Greggory Goyle.

Fighting and beating people up was Vincent and Gregory's favourite hobby. Actually Draco didn't know of any other hobbies either of the two had. Well, that was why he kept them around, after all. They did make great bodyguards, even if they weren't all that stimulating intellectuality wise.

"I think we'd better just behave and wait till he leaves." he explained. "He'd just tell Dumbledore if we harmed him in any way. Then we'd be in real trouble."

That prospect shut up Vincent and Gregory, but Blaise was still looking for some way to vent his anger.

"Let's at least demonstrate that he isn't welcome!" he said. "You know, just be unfriendly and sort! You're good at that, Draco! You can show him!"

"Yeah, maybe!" Draco always had a way with insults and usually enjoyed such things greatly, but somehow this time he wasn't looking forward to a chance to display his talent. He had to think of all the times Snape had let him off the hook after picking fights with Potter and his consorts, forgetting to do homework or simply arriving late for class.

Snape favoured Draco more even than he did the rest of the Slytherins. The entire school knew it, but Snape never seemed to care what they thought. Draco had heard them whisper behind his back, saying that Snape did it to suck up to his father or that Lucius somehow blackmailed him into doing it.

Draco never commented on those rumours. Nobody knew better than him how untrue they were. Lucius Malfoy hated Snape with a passion, though Draco didn't exactly know why, and wished nothing more of Snape than to stay as far as possible away from his only son.

No, Draco had no idea why Snape seemed to like him so much, but he did find it somewhat endearing. What! Was he actually beginning to like a teacher? No way! What was he thinking?

"I wonder if he's already up there." he said as they entered the common room and began to climb up the stairs towards their dorm. 'Wonder, too, what he looks like.' he thought.

Indeed a small boy was curled up on the fifth bed that had been put into the room, much to Vincent and Greggory's annoyance, who used to use the spare room for their frequent wrestling matches. ('Training' they called it.) He must have been reading, for he had a large book in his hands, but stopped and sat up as they entered.

The four Slytherins stood in the door sizing him up for a moment. He was small! Very small in fact! Maybe even smaller than Draco, who along with Harry Potter was the smallest kid in their year.

Seeing that, Gregory, by far the largest boy in class, got bold and walked into the room stopping just in front of the boy arms folded. He grinned and borrowing a page from Draco's book asked mockingly: "So, what do we call you? Minni Prof?"

The others broke into laughter.

The boy however did not even flinch. He stared up at Gregory face set and determined, black eyes cold as ice.

Goyle had to keep himself from stepping backwards in surprise. This kid had that very same look down as Draco! And he had always thought that it was the gray eyes that made Draco's stare so cold!

"My name's Severus, in case you've forgotten."

Even his voice was cold as ice! Entirely calm and composed, just like he was in the classroom. He didn't seem the slightest little bit intimidated by Gregory towering over him.

Vincent moved closer to help his friend out if need be.

"Just you stay out of our way!" growled Gregory in his most threatening tone. "We don't want anything to do with a little nothing like you, but if you annoy us, Vince and me'll just have to tear you to bits."

Draco must have blinked at that moment, for he never saw Severus move. The boy was still sitting on his bed, the hint of a cruel smile on his lips while Gregory was clutching his nose with both hands blood dripping from between his fingers.

"Don't threaten me!" Severus explained in that same cold tone he had used before. "I'm much more dangerous than any and all of you together!"

Vincent grabbed him by the collar and slammed his back against the wall, with all his strength. Draco heard a soft gasp as the wind was knocked out of Severus, but that hint of a smile never wavered.

Severus kicked out and hit Vincent in the shin causing the bigger boy to let go of him and stumble back half a step. He dove past Crabbe stepping into the center of the room and right between his four enemies.

"You guys want to fight? Okay, come on!" he said levelling his icy stare straight at Blaise.

Draco shot a look from Gregory, who was still clutching his bleeding nose unsuccessfully fighting tears of pain, to Vincent. Crabbe was rubbing his leg with one hand eying Severus with a touch of caution in his eyes. Beside him he could feel Blaise, who had unconsciously stepped away from the look in those cold black eyes and was now touching his arm with his back, slightly tremble.

'Yeah, we wont even be able to pick fights, till he's gone!' echoed Vincent's earlier words in his thoughts. 'Won' be able to pick fights? Damn, he's already picking fights with us!' And he was so incredibly calm about it, too! Like he knew exactly that there was no way he might possibly lose!

His eyes fixed on the clock on the wall opposite from the bed like a lifeline. As if the clock could help him out of his confusion! But wait! The clock could help him! The clock did help him!

"We got no time to fight." he declared hoping he was sounding just as calm as Severus did. "Dinner's in five minutes! Let's go!"

He threw his bag onto his bed and was relieved to see Vincent and Blaise follow suite. Severus shrugged and began to straighten out his ruffled robes, while Gregory just dropped his stuff right where he was standing and stumbled from the room gurgling something about "....Pomfrey.....nose....broken...."

Severus though nobody had invited him tagged along as the three disgruntled boys made their way towards the great hall. He didn't seem to notice the sudden silence that fell as he entered, nor the stares that followed him as he walked to the Slytherin table and plopped into Gregory Goyles usual chair right next to Draco.

Draco watched him carefully out of the corner of his eyes wondering what would happen when Gregory returned from the hospital wing and found his seat taken. Severus either was not aware whose place he had taken over, or, more likely as Draco thought, just didn't care. He seemed quite satisfied with himself for having antagonised his dorm mates and was giving everybody else at the table his cold stare whenever he caught them looking at him.

The Slytherin table was unusually quiet. For some time nobody dared to be the first to address the cold stranger. They probably felt the hostility emanating from Severus over at the Gryffindor table on the other side of the great hall, thought Draco. He wondered idly if per chance the other pupils were as convinced as he and his gang had been, that Severus would tell on them if they broke any rules.

Draco no longer feared the teacher in Severus Snape. The boy, he decided, was much more difficult to handle.

Dinner however did pass better than he had feared. Severus managed to insult everyone who dared talk to him, but none of them attempted to retaliate in any physical way. Attempts to hit back verbally proved quite futile, but who in their right mind would seriously expect to be able to out-sarcasm Snape!

The expected confrontation between Severus and Gregory was easily avoided due to the fact that Goyle didn't even show up for dinner. Maybe Severus had known that he wouldn't be back from the hospital wing in time. He had been the one who smashed Gregory's nose, after all. He probably knew exactly how much damage he had done.

As soon as he was done eating Draco dashed back to his dorm grabbed his quitddich robes and headed out for practise. By the time he reached the quitddich field he was finally able to relax. No Blaise, no Vincent, no Gregory and, best of all, no Severus! He might actually get some peace and quiet while chasing the snitch and dodging bludgers! At least it would seem like peace and quiet compared to what was most likely going on in his dorm right now.

Draco returned to the common room ten minutes before bedtime. He wished he could have stayed away until everybody was asleep, but he didn't want to risk detention for being caught out of bed.

As he slipped through the secret door, he expected to hear loud voices of many people chatting, or probably even an argument. He stopped dead in his tracks as he was met by utter silence. That was very unusual! Normally most Slytherins would stay up until they either were drop dead tired or somebody made them go to bed. (That somebody, of course, usually was Snape.)

On first glance the room appeared to be empty! A second look revealed Severus happily curled up in the best chair right by the fire, that was usually unattainable except for seventh years. He seemed to have been writing something, but was now looking at Draco a smug grin on his face. Well, at least he wasn't giving him that cold stare!

"Hey, where is everybody?" Draco asked confused.

"Gone to bed it seems. Either they're afraid Dumbledore will be checking up on bedtime, or they didn't like the company. Most likely the later! I guess you'll be going, too?"

Severus sounded rather amused, not as cold as he had before. If Draco hadn't seen him fighting with Gregory and Vincent or insulting everybody during dinner, he might have actually thought he was a nice kid. Maybe he ought to sit down and try to talk to him?

He remembered just in time what his friends would likely say if he tried to befriend their teacher and settled for giving Severus a queer look and running of towards his dorm. He found the room dark and everybody in it obviously asleep! How boring! Well, at least they weren't bothering him in any way. He might actually get to do some drawing or finish the song he had been writing! But to do that he needed a table. Which meant he'd have to do it downstairs in the common room. Which in turn meant Severus would see what he was doing!

No, that was out of the question! No way would he let anyone, least of all Severus find out about either of these two hobbies of his!

Nothing to do but go to sleep like everybody else.

Draco was startled out of his dreams by a loud clattering sound and a shriek. He sat up in bed.

"What the ...?"

Albus Dumbledore was standing under the door in a puddle of water. He was soaking wet and there was a bucket over his head.

"Huh?" and "Who?" were the comments of his equally confused friends.

Severus however was rolling with laughter in his bed on the other side of the room.

Dumbledore slowly and deliberately took the bucket of off his head. He looked around the room, fixing each of the boys in turn with a very stern look.

"Oh, I never thought you would actually fall for that old trick!" giggled Severus when it was his turn.

"Whose bright idea was that?" Dumbledore asked at long last.

Severus again dissolved into fits of laughter, while the others just stared at Dumbledore blankly. Whatever was going on?

"You five will report to my office for detention right after breakfast tomorrow morning!" the headmaster announced as he headed out of the room, bucket in hand and still dripping, and closed the door behind him.

"Whatever just happened?" gasped Blaise.

A nasty suspicion crept into Draco's mind.

"Severus, what did you do?" he asked tonelessly.

"Put a bucket of water on the half closed door. What else?" came the matter-of-factly answer.

"You got all of us detention, you little rat!" screamed Blaise.

"Yes, I believe I did." still very matter-of-factly.

"Go after him and tell him it was only you! We had nothing to do with it! It's not fair if we have to do detention as well!" ordered Vincent.

"Your own fault for being so slow!" smiled Severus. "You didn't catch on in time! Now suffer the consequences!"

Blaise and Vincent protested screaming and shouting threats at Severus, who had simply rolled over and was pretending to sleep. Draco however was staring at Gregory who sat uncharacteristically subdued on his bed fingering his nose. No, Gregory couldn't possibly be afraid of cute little Severus, could he?

Breakfast was a disaster.

Severus was the first of the Slytherin fifth years to arrive and again set in Gregory's chair. Gregory came shortly after and found his seat taken. His protests and threats met with Severus' usual icy reaction. Vincent fearing his friend might suffer a broken nose once again hurried to back him up, which prompted Severus to climb onto his chair and empty a can of milk over Gregory's head.

The ensuing food-fight was quickly joined by the rest of the house and prompted professor McGonnegal to have a staring match with Severus (which he won!) and threaten them with jet another detention.

Gregory finally resolved to bully the fourth year who was sitting next to Blaise and opposite from Vincent out of her chair. Draco who sat between Vincent and Severus began to wonder whether he might soon be required to play the part of peacekeeper. That was one role he had absolutely no experience with and didn't really feel inclined to learn. In his opinion even the best of peacekeepers would most likely have given up at the sight of the glares passing between Severus and Gregory anyhow.

Dumbledore did not show up for breakfast. The rumour went that he had caught a bad cold and had decided to stay in bed. Somehow Draco found himself reminded of wet robes and the icy temperature in the dungeon hallways. It was the middle of January and even the Slytherin dorms were at times unpleasantly cold.

Right after breakfast the five boys went over to the headmaster's office. (Severus of course knew the password that let them in.)

Contrary to the rumour Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk, but he did have a very red nose indicating that at least part of the story was true after all.

"Ah, yes, I believe you are here for your detention." he smiled.

Draco did definitely not like that smile!

"I have talked to Mr. Filch about it and we think that we have come up with the perfect job for you five to do. Since it seems that you like water so much you will have the unique chance to spend the morning scrubbing the floor in the entry hall! Without magic of course!"

Oh no! The floor in the entry hall was almost entirely brown from the molten snow and mud that were carried in on the pupils boots. They'd be scrubbing for hours!

"But we didn't do anything!" howled Blaise some traces of porridge still in his hair from the food fight. "It was all just Severus!"

"Yes, come on Severus, tell him the truth!" urged Draco scratching away at a marmalade stain on his right sleeve.

"What truth?" asked Severus innocently giving Dumbledore his cutest smile. Even Draco had to admit he looked like an angle despite being all covered in cornflakes and orange juice. "You're all just picking on me cause I'm the new kid!" this was accompanied by an equally cute little pout.

Dumbledore gave Draco an accusing look and sent them off to grab some brushes and buckets ("You know where they are!") and get to work.

Cleaning the entry hall turned out to be even more difficult than Draco had feared. A snowball fight had broken out between the Huffelpuff third years and the Gryffindor second years right in front of the door and errant snowballs kept falling inside. Several of the participants were racing in and out squealing with delight and dragging in large clumps of snow and dirt.

One of them a particularly annoying Gryffindor slipped on Severus brush, which he had enchanted to work instead of him, crashed into Vincent's bucket and accidentally spilled the filthy water all over Draco. Dripping wet his hands covered in mud-gray soap bubbles from scrubbing Draco got up, grabbed the enchanted brush, which was just as dirty as his hands and thrust it at Severus.

"That's it!" he screamed. "You're supposed to do this without magic! So get scrubbing now! This is, after all, ALL YOUR FAULT!"

"No! Don't want to look like you do, blondie." cold Severus was back.

"What do you mean? What do I look like?" asked Draco shocked.

"Like something the cat dragged in! Straight out of a river, mind you!"

Mrs. Norris got up from her perch on the third step of the main stairs, which she had chosen because it was absolutely dry and reasonably far away from the snowball fight to be expected to stay so, gave the boys an haughty sniff and went off to find Filch. As if she would ever bother with anything as wet as Draco currently was!

Draco lounged himself at Severus brandishing his bucket of water. "I'll show you what it feels like to get all wet!"

Gregory and Blaise immediately grabbed their own buckets and followed him into battle. Vincent hesitated a moment staring at his upended bucket, then simply took Severus' and joined in.

By the time Filch arrived to break up the fight all five were thoroughly wet and Severus for once was loosing the fight. Four opponents, three of whom were much bigger than himself, were to much even for him. Nevertheless all four had suffered several nasty kicks and bites.

Filch stared at them for a moment. Never since the days of the marauders had he seen a simple detention result in such chaos! He confiscated the boy's wands, told a grinning Severus of for using magic on his brush and sent them back to their dorm to get changed and have lunch before restarting on cleaning the floor, which now looked considerably worse than it had in the morning when they had started cleaning.

Then he went to report the incident to Dumbledore.

They arrived at lunch early and in a bad mood, which didn't bode well for the other pupils. Draco no longer felt the slightest urge to act as peacekeeper. 'More likely' he thought 'I'm gonna be the one who starts the war.'

He restrained himself from attacking Severus however since professor McGonnagal for some reason unknown to him had taken post near the Slytherin table and was almost constantly eying the fifth years, leaving the Gryffindors nearly completely unsupervised.

Susan, a shy third year Slytherin, cautiously approached Severus.

"Ahm, professor Snape, sir?" she asked, voice trembling slightly.

Severus turned on her. "My name's Severus!" he snapped.

Susan shrank back and nearly bolted away, but then swallowed hard and asked: "I was just wondering if you might help me with my potions homework. I don't think I quite understand this text in my book, sir ... I mean Severus!"

"Why should I help you? What's in it for me?" asked cold Severus.

Susan by now white as a sheet and visibly shaking managed an almost inaudible: "What do you want?"

"Hm... I know! I'll do your homework for you, if you put this into Neville Longbottom's soup!" smiled Severus handing her a Filibuster fire-cracker.

"Hey, where did you get that?" gasped Draco surprised.

"Found it in Blaise's trunk!" Severus' matter-of-factly voice this time.

"What, you went through our trunks!" shrieked Crabbe outraged.

"No, only Blaise's! Didn't have enough time to search the rest of you ... yet!"

At that point professor McGonnegal had to step in to prevent another major fight.

Susan seeing her opportunity and gathering all her courage used her moment of distraction to dash through the room and expertly throw the fire-cracker into Neville's plate. BOOM! This time it was the Gryffindors who were all covered in food!

Poor, shy, little Susan however didn't get far. Hagrid caught her by the shoulder and dragged her off to face Dumbledore.

"Professor Snape promised to help me with my homework, if I did it!" she sobbed by way of explanation.

"Twenty points off Slytherin!" Dumbledore croaked through his sore throat and blew his runny nose. Then he buried his face in his hands. Whatever had gotten into Severus? He really was behaving as he had when he really was a child! 'I just hope he's only trying to get revenge on Neville! The Slytherins probably really were picking on him. God help us if he goes back to picking fights with everybody and disturbing classes! And if he starts to ...! No, no he definitely wouldn't do that anymore! No way!'

Draco grinned and stuck out his tongue as Harry and his friends walked out of the great hall covered in soup, noodles in their hair. Harry glared back at him and suddenly Draco got a nasty suspicion who would suffer the Gryffindor's retaliation.

Of course! He realised with a start: Who would ever expect professor Severus Snape to play such dirty tricks! They'd never suspect him and blame it all on the rest of the Slytherins instead!

Without his wand Severus was forced to actually participate in scrubbing the floor. He did it without much enthusiasm while the other four were working furiously. If they didn't finish it today, they'd probably have to do it tomorrow when everybody else would be going to Hogsmede! No way did they want to be left behind!

Severus slowly began to draw dirty patterns on the floor with his brush: up and down, a wave, a circle, a cross, a square ... a tree, another, a lake and clouds overhead, a dog running by the lake ...

Draco stood open-mouthed staring at the picture. What was Severus doing? One could actually draw pictures with dirt! There ought to be a dragon there not a dog! But it was a rather cute dog! Maybe the dragon ought to chase the dog? Maybe Severus couldn't draw dragons very well! Maybe Draco ought to help him? Do the dragon for him?

"SEVERUS!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! WE GOTTA GET THIS ROOM CLEANED!" That was Blaise! For a moment Draco didn't know what he was shouting about. Then he remembered the trip to Hogsmede.

"Why? Don't you like my picture?" asked Severus innocently.

"NO!" screamed four angry boys back at him.

"Do you want me to draw something else for you?"


Up on the first floor, unseen by the boys Albus Dumbledore walked away shaking his head worrying. What was Severus gonna do to his school until they found a way to turn him back? More to the point: What wasn't he gonna do?

A/N - So, did you like it? Do you think Severus should stay a boy or not?

Still to come: Dumbledore has to punish Severus! (But for what?), something disappears, a singing dragon, a green hedgehog, Severus wears Dumbledore's socks, and what happens when you loose more points than your house has got!