Author's Note: I'm actually updating again, yea! Sorry for any mistakes.
Disclaimer: JKR can defy the laws of physics, I on the other hand, have to take a test on physics.
Harry stormed into the potions classroom, door slamming behind him. He went to the shelves at the back of the room. Just as he was about to start hurling vials, Snape walked into the room in his body.
"What are you doing," said Severus in an angry voice.
"We were supposed to switch back! I'd been counting on switching back. I need to be me again. I can't do it anymore! I can't grade homework, oversee detentions, go staff meetings, attend Deatheater meetings, attend all meals, keep Promfrey and Voldemort supplied with all the potions they need, half of which I can't even make in one attempt and I never get more than three hours of sleep anymore," cried Harry in a slightly hysterical voice.
"Calm down, Potter. We'll figure out how to fix this. Trust me, I'm sick of being you. I'm tired of your friends going on and on about how they were so surprised that you didn't switch places with anyone."
"They think you're me. They honestly believe that I've been me all semester."
"Apparently, and they think that I've been the one teaching my classes, which after today's performance isn't too hard to believe. You were out of line today."
"Really Professor, because I was no worse than you are on a bad day."
"I understand that Mr. Potter, but that is no excuse."
"Well, if you understand that you acting like that is wrong, then why do you continue to belittle and harass the Gryffindors every potions class? You let the Slytherins get away with murder and you never come down on them like you do to all the other houses!"
"And isn't McGonagall the same way towards all the Gryffindors? I know she is, and tell me, isn't it also true that in general everyone treats the Slytherins the worse. Is that fair? No, it is not. So yes, I favor my Slytherins, because no one else ever cuts them a break."
"Well maybe if they didn't all attack like such pompous gits."
"Shame on you Mr. Potter, have you learned nothing. Are you so petty as to ignore what lays beyond the harsh facades? Don't tell me that you don't understand them. You have watched them, you have taught them. No one else cares, so it is my job to care, to make their difficult lives a bit easier."
"At the expense of everyone else."
"If that happens to be the cost, then yes, even at that price, yes I will favor them."
"They bring a lot of the scorn on themselves."
"They don't know any better. They weren't taught any better, half of them have never even been exposed to what it is like to feel loved."
"Well now they have. Dumbledore's stupid project gave them all the chance of a lifetime, and all it got us was stuck. I want to see my friends, I want to talk to them, I'm so tired of having all these burdens to bear on my own."
"And yet, when you had your friends by your side, all you did was push them away."
"I was wrong, ok, I was stupid. I need them and I want them by my side no matter what happens. Yeah, it is going to be dangerous, but everything is dangerous these days, and it's not worth being lonely and penting up all my anger. I was a monster today. I'm sorry," said Harry dropping his head.
"It is understandable and perhaps forgivable as well."
"Really," said Harry looking up hopefully. "I'm sorry I was such an idiot, I just can't do this much longer."
"I think that perhaps I know a potion that can help us rectify this wretched situation."
"I'm willing to try anything!"
"Are you willing to help?"
"If you don't think I'll make it explode I'm more than happy to assist you."
"Then let us waste no more time."
It did not take them long to gather the necessary ingredients. However, the potion was complicated and any small error could be disastrous. Harry offered to help prepare the ingredients, but insisted that Severus be the one to add them.
As Snape observed Harry silently, he grudgingly noted that his technique had improved greatly. He had finally grasped the subtle difference between cutting and slicing. He not only used the tools properly, but wielded them well.
Feeling his professor's gaze on his neck, Harry met his eyes nervously. "Am I chopping the gurdy roots correctly, sir?"
"Yes, your technique has improved," Severus all but whispered. Harry did not respond, so Severus assumed that Harry had not heard him. But when the Professor's head was once again bent over the smoothly boiling potion, Harry allowed himself a small smile. It was the first compliment he had ever received from Snape regarding his potion making abilities.
They worked diligently through the night. They heard the castle begin to stir, excitement for the Hogsmeade weekend spread through the castle. But still they worked, heads bent over the potion. Sometime around noon they stopped to have a few sandwiches. Severus continued to observe the potion, stirring it clockwise and then counter clockwise as indicated in the instructions. At last Severus stopped his ministrations and sat down to wait for the potion to cool.
He looked around and spotted Potter, asleep with his head resting on the potions bench, looking very tired and stressed even as he slept. He studied his own faced and wondered if he had the same weary look on his face as Potter wore now. The boy was tired, and Severus could not fault him. From the sound of things, Potter had been getting even less rest than Severus himself usually managed.
Years of acting as a double agent and teaching had accustomed Severus to the demanding schedule. But Potter's lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the Potion Master's duties had complicated things. As he surveyed his private lab, he noticed that a series of potions sat in a variety of unfinished states. All had the necessary stasis charms on them to keep them fresh and Severus could not help but find himself surprised once again.
'Potter has not shirked any of my duties. He's driven himself to near exhaustion trying to accomplish everything. He is still a foolish.' But an unwelcome voice chided him. 'You would have done the same had you been in his position. Always trying to impress, always determined to do everything by yourself, no matter what the personal cost.'
Severus decided to work on some of the other potions. He was only mildly tired, having slept more in the last few weeks than he had in the last several years, or so it seemed. A few hours later Potter began to stir.
"How long have I been asleep," asked Potter groggily, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"Seven hours or so."
"That long," he asked stretching. "That felt so good, I feel so much better."
"Is the potion done yet?"
"It's still cooling," said Severus without looking up from the purple concoction bubbling merrily in front of him.
"Sorry, I was going to finish that potion. I got sidetracked with grading essays the other night and I fell asleep doing that."
"Better doing that, than brewing. You really should sleep more,"
"I know, there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day anymore. How do you do it."
"Years of practice, I am accustomed to such things, you are not."
"I don't know how you do it. No one gives you any credit for all the work you do."
"I don't want any."
"Everyone wants some sort of glory. Everybody wants to be appreciated."
"I'm not that shallow Potter."
"But isn't that part of the reason you joined Voldemort, because he appreciated your skills. He offered you glory and respect and all those other things that seem so important."
"What do you know about such things Potter?"
"I'm you, I know all sorts of things about you that I'm not supposed to."
"Well tell me then, if you such things, then why do you ask about them?"
"Because sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between what I think about things and what you think about them. And also, what would we have to talk about if we weren't discussing things the other already knows?"
"Your logic is sound, but such a logical conclusion seems surprising coming from you."
"I'm not stupid, even if I do stupid things sometimes. I am capable of being intelligent. And maybe you is beginning to rub off on me."
"Let's hope not Mr. Potter, for the sake of Hogwarts I think it is best if there is only one of me in existence at a time.
Harry smiled. "The potion should be cool by now." Harry got up and excitedly rushed towards the potion. Snape admonished him for running in the laboratory, but he too seemed eager to check the potion. It was cool enough, so Snape ladled an equal amount for each of them into two beakers.
"Only if this works."
They both raised their beakers to their mouths and drank. At first nothing happened, and then a blinding white light exploded and Harry felt as though he was forcefully being pulled from his body. With a bang he found himself on the floor. His eyes were tightly scrunched shut. With shaking hands, he felt his face, his hand collided with something metal. 'My glasses.' Harry let out a whoop and opened his eyes. Snape had managed to stay on his feet and looked equally relieved.
"Cheers indeed, Mr. Potter."
"Thank Merlin. Why didn't you mention the potion sooner? We could have switched back weeks ago!"
"I only just thought of it. After all, one could hardly call it a common potion."
"I'm just happy to be me, I don't care about anything else at the moment. Thank you sir, I don't know what we would have done if it hadn't been for you brewing the potion."
"I'm certain you would have mastered it after a few botched attempts." Harry look put out, prompting Snape to add, "It is a difficult potion, that was not an insult to your potion making abilities, though they still have a long way to go."
"But I'm getting better," Harry pressed.
"Yes, all the time." Harry smiled.
"Good night, Professor."
"Is it evening already? Good night, Mr. Potter." Harry walked out of the Potion Master's private lab with a hop in his step.
A/N: I know have the Beatles stuck in my head. Getting better all the time/ Better, Better, Betttter… Sorry for any mistakes. Hopefully I'll update again soon, I don't plan on too many more chapters, so this story should be finished rather soon!