A/N: This was done for the Mugglenet Fanfiction Forum's challenge. It was sort of like awrite your own adventure series. You had to pick a character, and you were giving an obstacle - ten in all - and had to write your way through them before you could proceed to the next one. I broke down the chapters into the number of tasks, with an epilogue.
This takes place during the summer between Harry's third and fourth years.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of it's characters. All rights belong to J. K. Rowling and the W.B.
All Albus' Fault
How did I get myself into this?
It's bad enough, is it not, that I'm to subject myself to the stupidity of the so-called "next generation of witches and wizards" every day? For the past thirteen years? Pact with Dumbledore be damned. I should have taken Azkaban. No, I take that back... I should have just done the Avada Kedavra on myself and been done with it.
How is it that I find myself in this predicament? Two words: Albus Dumbledore. As if I don't already do enough for that infernal man. He must do these things on purpose. Like those bloody passwords of his. I swear to Merlin he picks the most obtuse things just to drive me insane. Earlier during the term, for instance, when he changed it to Snicker doodles, for crying out loud! What the hell? And if he offers me another one of those damn lemon drops at the next start of term staff meeting...
If I ever make it to the next start of term staff meeting.
This is all Albus' fault.
What a brilliant idea, sending me to Romania. Romania! Oh, no, not out of my way at all! I suppose, really, I should be blaming myself. I just can't say no to the man! It's infuriating! What I wouldn't give to go back to not giving a damn about honor. Well done, Severus. Out of service from one master, right into the service of another.
This is all Albus' fault.
I should have known what was in store when he showed up on my doorstep a week after term had ended. I never should have told him where I stay during the holidays. Of course, it probably wouldn't have mattered if I didn't, because he's Albus, and would have somehow found out anyway.
"I have a job for you, Severus," he had said, cheerfully.
I proceeded to quirk my eyebrow. "Oh? Odd. I had rather thought my 'job' ended in June, and I was free of my idiot infested prison until September."
He popped a lemon drop and twinkled his eyes at me.
The "job" was brewing a potion. How extraordinary. It's not like I don't do that everyday. However, this potion consisted of specific instructions. Like traveling to Romania. And being in the company of one Charlie Weasley. Merlin! As if I don't get enough dosage of Weasley at school! Five at one time. Five. All in the same day! How I would love to kill their parents for their uncontrollable reproductive urges.
"It's just for a few weeks, Severus," Albus had said, completely unsympathetic.
"One hour would be too much," I sneered, as per usual.
Albus informed me that the beginning stages of bringing the TriWizard Tournament to Hogwarts were in effect. Bloody hell. One more thing to look forward to next year. Apparently, one of the tasks was going to include dragons. My heart sank upon hearing they were putting an age limit on the Tournament. Unfortunately, Potter would not be able to be mauled. What a shame. They would be bringing in dragons from the reserve in Romania, and that every dragon would have to be inoculated with an immunity potion for Dragon Pox. And, apparently, I was the only one in the entire wizarding world who would be able to do brew said immunity potion.
Albus then further informed me that due to an outbreak of Doxy Flu, the handlers at the Dragomirna Preserve were very short staffed, and that I would probably also be called in for help in creating the increasing number of Doxy antidotes. Do these people not have healers? Or immune systems?
"The dragon handlers spread very thin, only two instead of four," Albus had explained.
"How horrid," I said as sarcastically as possible. But then the looming dread became apparent. "And who, may I ask, is Charlie Weasley's partner?"
Albus' eyes twinkled merrily. "You."
Ah, yes, of course. I, who know absolutely nothing about dragons or how to handle one, except that their blood and scales are very useful in potion making. I'm undoubtedly the perfect man for the job. Albus informed me that I would be responsible for creating the potion, and then I was to trek along with Weasley Offspring Number Two to help him administer it to the overgrown lizards, as his partner had fallen ill, and there was no one else with my expertise at potion making available. I was expected the following day.
Will my nightmare of a life never end?
So, I arrived at the Dragomirna Preserve, spent the next week doing nothing but brewing Doxy Flu remedies and Dragon Pox vaccines, and doing my damndest to avoid that insufferably cheerful Charlie Weasley. I have no idea what he and Albus have to smile about all the time. Thankfully, things were going very smoothly, and I received nothing but the utmost cooperation from the Dragomirna Handlers.
That was until tonight.
You know, for all his annoying smiling, I had rather thought Charlie Weasley to be one of the more intelligent of the bunch. Why he had decided to go on with the immunization without me is beyond my comprehension. I had given him the very simple instruction of "Wait for me" while I went back to the compound to retrieve more doses. Apparently, that was just too hard of a concept. No sooner had I landed back at my tent when my wand started to vibrate and turn a brilliant shade of red, which was the warning spell the handlers used to indicate someone was in danger. Or being ripped to pieces.
If this had been anyone else, I would have called for help and gone to the rescue with a slew of wizards at my command, only to arrive too late to have anything be done. However, this was Charlie Weasley; a son of a very old pure-blood family, a family that Albus was very fond of, and a family of which half of it's members were in my Potions classes. And I knew that if Charlie Weasley died, supposedly in my care, not only would Albus never forgive me, but Fred, George, Ronald, and Ginevra Weasley would never let me forget it.
This is all Albus' fault.
Against my better judgment, I grabbed the extra doses, straddled the old Cleansweep that had been administered to me, and set off to save that blasted dunderhead.