A Potions Accident
Severus Snape stood at the front of his classroom, looking over his sixth year students. Only five of the students present had received a high enough score on their OWLs to pass his heightened standards. But Dumbledore, in his infinite wisdom, had ordered Snape to give all the students a two-week probationary period. If they were able to prove themselves, then they should be allowed into the class. No matter how much the Potions Master fought against it, he was stuck; the headmaster wouldn't relent. Now I have to suffer for their stupidity. A flick of his wand sent instructions to the board. Instantly, the class got to work.
He stalked up and down the rows of desks, watching like a hawk. One slip up, some simple mistake, could prove to be disastrous—fatal. Sixth-year potions were no joke. And other faculty had the gall to say he was too strict. He'd like to see one of them control a classroom filled with rivalSlytherins and Gryffindors, knives in hand as they prepared ingredients. Not to mention this class was blessed with none other than Neville Longbottom. A disaster all to himself, how did they expect the boy to survive the two weeks?
Today, they were preparing a simple sleeping draught. Not that any of the students would categorize it as simple. He tried to make it easy for them. The instructions were clear. He even measured the exact amount of powdered Augurey Wings. Well, that was more for his benefit than the student's. Too much of it would create a plume of smoke—he didn't want to think about that. So, he made things simple; no one could possibly mess this up.
And then he heard it—the two most deadly words in a potions classroom, uttered out of Longbottom's mouth no less. "Uh oh."
Instantly, Snape had his wand raised, but he was too far away, practically on the opposite side of the room. He rushed over, but the world seemed to slow.
"Oh, that's okay," Seamus responded. "Here, you can have the rest of mine." He handed over a small vial of white powder.
Some left over? Snape thought critically. The instructions say one vial. One vial of Powdered Augurey Wings. How in the world can you have some left?
"Thanks," Neville replied, uncorking the vial and holding it precariously over his cauldron.
"Longbottom stop," Snape shouted.
Startled, the boy dropped the glass and all it's contents into the bubbling potion. Stupid boy. The results were instantaneous. Snape barely had enough time to spell the room's ventilation system into action. It would not be fast enough—he knew that.
Clapping the sleeve of his robe over his mouth, he dropped to the floor and held his breath. No, no, no… this is not happening. After a while, his lungs burned, begging him to take a breath. He rolled over to his back and glanced upwards, checking for any lingering puff of smoke. Satisfied, he took a tentative breath through the cloth of his sleeve. Now to survey the damage…
He stood up and examined his silent classroom. At first, it looked empty. If only that could be the case. A startled cry filled the room. Oh Merlin, kill me now. And then, the crying spread, like an infection. He could see them now, struggling to stand in their now overly sized clothes.
Toddlers. They were all toddlers.
He stood there dumfounded for a moment—not a usual occurrence for the ever-calm Potions Master. A little blonde boy walked over to him, tripping over his shirt. All he could do was stare at his godson. What have I done?
"Up," Draco commanded as he held out his little arms. Immediately, Snape obeyed. The little boy laid his head down on the man's shoulder. Snape knew Draco was scared and confused. It was obvious the boy had no recollection of his former self. He was two, now.
"Oh, Merlin," the Potions Master groaned.
Suddenly, Snape was snapped back into reality. He shot into action. He ran over to the floo, tossed in the powder and said the password. The connection had been set up for situations just like this. If ever there was a serious accident, the floo would open up to the Hospital Wing. Snape had never needed it before, but now he was thankful it was there.
"Pomfrey!" he shouted as he leaned through with his godson.
Thankfully, the witch didn't waste any time scolding him for his rude behavior. She walked over to her Floo and took the baby from Snape's outstretched arms. The boy tried to stay with Snape and cried once it was obvious his efforts were futile.
"Oh, my," was all Pomfrey managed to say.
"There's more," Snape replied before he returned to his classroom.
The scene he was faced with would most likely haunt his dreams for the rest of his life. Some of the students were still crying. But most had gotten over their shock and were now a bit curious—so many strange things to see. A few got tired of being hindered by the overly large robes and stripped.
One such student—red hair, unmistakably Ronald Weasley—found his new position quite liberating. He climbed his way to the top of Snape's desk and was now dancing around. Seamus was soon to follow.
Worse than that, a pump toddler—probably Crabbe, or maybe Goyle—was now taste testing the minced newt eyes. Merlin, how did they ever make it into sixth-year potions?
And then Snape did the only thing he could think of. "Immobulus," he shouted. Again silence filled the room, as each student was frozen into his or her position. Quickly, Snape grabbed students two at a time. He all but tossed them through the Floo and went back to get more.
"How many do you have?" Snape asked when he figured he had got them all.
After a moment of counting, Madame Pomfrey replied, "Thirteen."
Snape groaned; that meant there were two that remained. Now where did they go?
Returning to his classroom, he surveyed the room. "Finite," he said and waited for some movement. And then he saw it, a bit of bushy hair bobbing up and down behind one of the desks. He rounded the desk to find a little girl.
"Stranger," she said pointing up at the man.
Definitely Hermione Granger. Snape scooped up the little girl and passed her through the Floo.
One left. Now where is it? He looked over the room. Wherever it was, it wasn't moving. "Where are you?" Snape asked. For a moment, he actually thought he might get a response. There was none, and now he was getting concerned. What if the child had a bad reaction? This thought drove the man to his hands and knees. He crawled around, looking under the desks for the final child.
And then he found it—or him, rather. Huge green eyes stared back at him, unblinking. Snape faltered under the toddler's gaze. The boy's look was so intense, boring into his soul. For a moment, Snape thought that Potter was still under the immobulus, he was so still. But then, finally, he blinked.
Without further thought, Snape grabbed the final toddler and stepped through the Floo. He was met with utter chaos.
As it turned out, the Medical Wing was just about as interesting as the potions classroom. Several students, lead by the still naked Ron, were running around screaming in a dreadfully shrill tone. Others stood there bawling their eyes out. Meanwhile, Madame Pomfrey was busy trying to capture a boy, who was currently using an injured sixth-year as a trampoline.
Depositing Harry on the ground, Snape slowly made his way through the toddlers. In the shock of the moment, he forgot about the Floo, and looked to the door for escape. Spotting Neville, he awarded the boy a vicious glare, causing the toddler to wet himself. With a snort, Snape continued his retreat; I've done my part… time to go. He nearly made it to the door before Madame Pomfrey stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Severus Snape!" the woman shouted. He couldn't help but feel like a schoolboy. Turning around, Snape faced the livid mediwitch. "Don't you dare leave me with these children. I need your help."
Snape eyed the children warily. What in Merlin's name do you want me to do?
Again, his godson found him. Holding up his little arms, Draco commanded, "Up."
"I'll take this one," Snape replied, as his scooped up the boy. He walked to the door, but was thwarted once more by the entrance of Headmaster Dumbledore. Snape opened his mouth to speak, but only garbled sounds came out. Even his cheeks became flushed, a rare occurrence for the Potions Master. I have stood before the most feared wizard of our time and yet I quake before Dumbledore? And I no longer a boy!
"Hello, my boy," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling over his half moon spectacles. "So, there's been an accident in Potions?"
"Yes," Snape through a clinched jaw. Did he need to restate the obvious? I've done my part, dropped off the brats…Now it's time to go. The Headmaster stared back at him—he looked… amused. Snape twisted his face into his deadliest scowl, but it had no affect.
Dumbledore stepped into the room and upon seeing the chaos, he smiled—a cunning and calculating smile This irritated Snape even further. He contemplated slipping out of the room quietly.
"How long will the effects last?" Dumbledore asked.
"No longer than twelve hours," Snape replied in a dignified voice. "No need for me to linger. I have a classroom to clean."
The younger professor turned to leave, but was held back by a mere hand gesture. "Poppy," Dumbledore called. The mediwitch, looking flushed, stepped over to join them. "How are the students?"
"They seem healthy," she reported, "but I don't know how long that will last, with the children running around like this."
"How to care for the children?" Dumbledore mused. "Any suggestions?"
"Send them home," Snape supplied.
"By the time we contact all the parents, the potion will have worn off," Dumbledore replied.
"The children need to be clothed, fed, and put to bed," said Poppy.
Snape tuned the two wizards out as they discussed exactly how to care for fifteen toddlers. Occasionally, he would interject his own suggestions. "A Calming Draught?" "Immobulous?" "Hand them off to seventh years?" But each one was met by Poppy's stern glare, and eventually Snape kept his mouth shut.
Twenty minutes later, Snape had no idea how he had ended up with a rather squirmy Theodore Nott. Losing his patience, he tried to carefully stuff the stray arm back into the sleeve, before the other one escaped.
By now, most of the kids had calmed down, sitting around "Papa Albus" as they listened intently to his exciting stories. Draco never left Snape's side, clinging to the Potions Master's leg like it was a lifeline.
McGonagall had showed up, instantly noticing Draco attached to the glowering man's leg. Her face lit up with a chipper, all too grandmotherly look. This further irritated Snape as he struggled to button up Nott's robe.
Draco wasn't the only clingy boy. Neville, with red puffy eyes, had a death grip around Madame Pomfrey's neck. She was stuck now, unlikely to be able to put the boy down. Death by Neville, Snape inwardly laughed.
Done with Nott, Snape let the boy escape and looked around for another Slytherin. He was satisfied to notice all the students were cared for, and was ready to make his own escape. That was until he noticed Potter. The idiot boy was still sitting near the Floo, where Snape had deposited him earlier.
Muttering to himself about spoiled brats and arrogant Potters, he made his way over to the boy—all the while Draco trailed with a firm grip on his robes. Snape resentfully snatched the boy up off the floor and brought him back over to the hospital bed turned changing table.
Without removing the boy's oversized shirt, Snape slipped on one of the training nappies. He had no desire to see more than necessary, although it would be rather embarrassing for the boy. Next he took off the huge shirt and reached for another toddler-sized robe.
Stopping dead in his tracks, Snape barely held back his instinct to gasp. The boy's ribs were clearly visible. The structure of the collarbones way too pronounced. He poked at the toddler's tummy, is he sick?
"Pomfrey," Snape called. "You have to look at this."
She quickly made her way over, depositing Neville with McGonagall on her way over—the boy seemed reluctant to be anywhere near Snape.
"Something's wrong with the boy," Snape said when the woman got close enough.
Pomfrey didn't emotionally react to the boy's condition; instead she took out her wand and started to examine him. Cold, Harry started to shiver and wrapped his skinny arms around his small body. But otherwise he stayed quite still and he didn't whine or complain.
"He's malnourished," Pomfrey announced.
"Pardon?" Snape asked. Snape heard the nurse perfectly well; it was just too hard to believe—there had to be something wrong with the boy.
"He's starved, Severus," Pomfrey snapped. "There's no other explanation for his condition. Can you give him a Nutrient Potion? I need to talk to Albus."
Snape felt a bit sorry for the Headmaster; he could only imagine the lecture he was receiving now. He looked down at the skinny boy before him; he couldn't stand the sight of protruding bones any longer. With great care, Snape dressed Harry in the robe; worried he might break something.
"Stay," he commanded, leaving the boy to retrieve the Nutrient Potion. Not really expecting the boy to stay, he figured he could catch him again later—after all, they were all trapped in the Hospital Wing. He left, fumbling around in one of the potion cabinets, frustrated by the woman's lack of organization. Returning minutes later, he was surprised to find Harry now sitting exactly where he left him.
"Here," he handed Harry the cup. The boy took it, but stared at him blankly. "Drink," Snape prompted. Still Harry didn't move. Insufferable, insolent Potter. Not the most eloquent of caregivers, Snape snapped, "Drink it boy, or I'll shove it down your throat." Quickly Harry obeyed, leaving Snape feeling a bit guilty—not that he'd admit it.
Picking the toddler up, Snape put him back on the floor and said, "Shoo." For a moment, he wondered if the miniature Gryffindor could even walk. But suddenly the little feet started moving, taking the boy exactly ten paces away, where he sat back down. Lazy little…
"Up," Draco commanded. With a sigh, Snape complied.
On several occasions, Snape attempted to slip out of the hospital wing unnoticed. However, McGonagall, Pomfrey, and Dumbledore were all watching him like hawks, swooping in and asking for favors, until the hour drew threateningly close to dinnertime. It was at about this hour that Snape found himself begging for a summons unlike he ever had before. He didn't enjoy killing, not anymore, but at this moment…
In the middle of the room, after carefully clearing it of children, a table popped into view. It was an exact toddler sized replica of a table from the Great Hall, complete with two long benches. Fifteen places were set, with cups, plates and silverware. Ron was the first to sit down and had a fork in hand instantly thereafter. At lease he knows what a table is for. Several other students followed, while others used the distraction as a time to explore.
After placing his Godson down at the table, Snape quickly grabbed Pansy Parkinson out of a supply cupboard. She didn't come out without a little souvenir, clasping tightly to the bedpan as if it were the most prized of possessions. Snape tried to take it away gently, but the girl held tight.
"Mine!" she shouted.
"No!" Snape yelled back.
Pansy wouldn't be frightened. Instead she screamed louder, "MINE!"
Feeling pleased with himself, Snape managed to pry the bedpan out of the girl's fingers. He took one step before the wailing began. Pansy threw her body back and cried. Flailing her arms and kicking her legs, she continued to bawl.
"Here," McGonagall said holding out her arms, "Let me help you." The girl quickly flung herself into the woman's arms, leaving a dumb struck Snape behind. "There, there," she soothed, patting the girl on the back. "What happened?"
Mumbling incoherently into McGonagall's ear, Pansy raised an accusing finger in Snape's direction. Looking up from the child, the Deputy Headmistress sent him the most strict of glares. After an involuntary step backwards, Snape remembered he was no longer a student.
"She… she," Snape didn't know how to defend himself, or even why he felt the need. "She's a Slytherin!"
"Up," Draco commanded. Again the little boy had made his way to his godfather.
Picking the toddler up, he carried him back to the table. "Draco, it's time for dinner. You need to sit down and wait." The gray eyes looked back at him, full of confusion, but he stayed at the table.
The adults continued bringing children to the table. Twenty minutes later—it was a difficult task, the kids kept getting up and wandering away—four exhausted wizards looked down with satisfaction at the filled benches. Er, with one missing…where did it go. Snape looked around, leaving the others to stand guard at the table—if another child gets up so help me…
Under a bed, Snape finally spotted the missing child. Potter, again. Crouching down, Snape reached out to pick him up. He was too far away. "Come, Potter, I'm not coming in after you." Slowly, Harry obeyed, crawling over to the Potion Master's arms. With his huge green eyes, the boy eyed the man curiously. Snape felt increasingly uncomfortable, and was relieved to be able to dump the kid at the table.
"Well, who's hungry?" Dumbledore asked boisterously.
"Me!" a chorus of children replied.
Snape seriously wanted to hit something.
With a clap of his hands, the table filled with food. Wide eyed, Snape couldn't believe what the house elves had picked for the meal. Each plate was covered in large quantities of spaghetti, dripping with sauce. Peas, rolls, and mashed potatoes also adorned their meals.
Greedily, the kids dug in; the sight tested Snape's stomach. They were like a bunch of pigs, finally let lose on a full trough. At least his godson had a modicum of propriety—or rather he tried. With his hand, he placed the meatball on his fork and used the utensil to stuff it in his mouth. That was a step above the usual hand to mouth method most of the children were using. He did notice the Granger girl was quite proficient with her fork, but, of course, she was also busy lecturing the large boy next to her.
"No," she commanded. Holding up her silverware, she said, "Fork." She continued on to demonstrate the uses of said utensil by scooping up a bit of noodles and taking a bite.
Meanwhile, the boy—Snape now recognized as Goyle—paid no attention to her. That is, until the idiot Gryffindor decided to take a new approach. She grabbed the boy's wrist and tried to force a fork into his hand. Stunned for a moment, Goyle did nothing, the suddenly he threw the fork down and pushed the meddlesome girl away.
Snape restrained a laugh.
Hermione, feelings hurt more than anything, started to pout. In a flash, McGonagall was at the girl's side. This only served to escalate the pout to a cry, so the woman picked her up. Severus was disgusted by the fact the woman ignored the spaghetti-covered face and let it wipe all over her robes.
Snape involuntarily shivered when he noticed the rest of the grime-coated children. The food was disappearing quickly; soon they would be done. Snape eyed the door; he could make a run for it. Out in the corridors, he could disappear before Dumbledore could say "lemon drop."
"Well, I need to get down to the Great Hall," Dumbledore announced. "Dinner's starting soon and I need to be making an announcement. The students will be wondering what happened to the sixth year Gryffindors and Slytherins."
"You're leaving?" Snape sneered. "You can't possibly expect me to stay if you yourself won't."
"No," Snape shouted. "I've done my part. I have work to attend to. This incident is your fault! YOU insisted that I give everybody a chance. YOU made me accept Longbottom. Now I'm done doing what YOU want!"
Not many people could stand up on the receiving end of Snape incredible temper. Many students, staff members and death eaters a like, would tremble in fear—ready to do anything in hopes of quelling the fires of rage… And yet, Dumbledore stood there, unmoving, eyes full of twinkle, waiting patiently for the man to finish.
"Now, Severus, I am sure that you took every precaution necessary in your classroom,"—Snape snorted—"But the fact remains. An accident occurred under your watch. It is your responsibility to make sure your students are well cared for."
"I brought them to Madame Pomfrey," Snape said through a clenched jaw.
"She needs help, Severus. Minerva has volunteered and you have also."
"I hardly call this volunteering," Snape snapped.
"Call it what you will," Albus replied, patting Snape on his shoulder. "Now, if you'll please excuse me."
Damn that man! Snape watched the Headmaster as he walked out the hospital wing. The door remained wide open. Albus left it that way, because he would never force Snape to obey. No Snape had to choose to stay… That meddlesome, manipulating old man! Snape knew that he would stay, he knew that he couldn't refuse Albus' wishes. He owed the man too much. But that didn't stop him from glaring at the open door, muttering to himself about the old man's gall.
"Up," Draco commanded. Snape wanted to kick the boy. Turning around, he looked down at his godson, young, innocent and covered in spaghetti sauce.
"Come, Draco," Snape said. "Let's clean you up," and he walked back into the chaos.
Ignoring the women's reproachful glares, Snape did not refrain from using magic. Madame Pomfrey and the Headmaster had decided to limit their use of magic around the children so as not to frighten the muggleborns. Somehow, they overlooked the fact that most muggles were unaccustomed to seeing a table pop up from the floor or food suddenly appearing on plates. None of the children had yet dropped into a fit of hysterics—at least over the shocking display of magic—and therefore Severus decided it was fair game. Besides, it likely didn't matter if they were terrified or traumatized. By next morning, they would all be back to their normal selves with only an odd memory. Or would they remember it at all?
So with Dumbledore gone, Snape took the opportunity to Scourgify the children and banish their robes. The toddlers, wearing nothing other than their training nappy, where place on a hospital bed with a set of pajamas. Snape then drew an age line along the edge of the bed— ensuring that the child was contained—and ordered them to dress.
"Baff, teeff, an' den bed," Hermione explained to Snape as he carried the girl to bed.
"That's wonderful, Miss Granger," Snape snapped sarcastically.
"Me 'mione," she corrected, tapping her hand on her chest for emphasis.
"Icky teeff," Hermione announced, jabbing her finger into Snape's mouth.
With cat like reflexes, Snape snatched the girl's hand away. "Don't touch me," he said coldly.
She stared back at him, terrified. Sticking her fingers in her mouth, she started to cry.
"Severus Snape!" McGonagall scolded as she rescued the girl. "Honestly, she's just a baby. Show some control."
The woman turned away sharply. For a moment, Snape raised his right arm, his hand outstretched, ready to strangle his former Professor. After closing his eyes and counting to ten, Snape was finally able to lower his hand again.
"Thomas," Snape called, moving on to the next child.
Eventually, Pomfrey and McGonagall gave up their muggle cleaning methods and opted to follow Snape's lead. In no time at all, each bed had a half-naked toddler. Some of the students attempted to put on their own pajamas. But most decided to stand pressed against the invisible wall; a few looked confused, while others wailed in protest. The craziest of kids, such as Weasley and Finnigan, had already fallen asleep without even bothering to dress.
Mentally counting the students, Snape noticed one was missing. He immediately knew which one. "Potter," he muttered. He first looked to the women, hoping one of them noticed the boy's disappearance… let them deal with Gryffindor's Golden Boy. Cursing Merlin, Snape saw that they were both otherwise occupied.
Crouching low, Snape looked under the various hospital beds. Trust Potter to be the nuisance… He found the boy, under his godson's bed, hiding something.
"Potter!" Snape snapped.
The boy jumped, smacking his head on one of the supporting bars. Tears welling in his eyes, he bit his bottom lip, but he did not cry.
Unmoving, Snape continued, "What do you think you're doing, boy? Did you steal something? Show me what you're hiding!"
Looking crushed, Harry scooped up his prized possession and presented it to Snape.
Disgusted, Snape's lip curled. The Potter boy had a handful of spaghetti and a mushy roll. He opened him mouth to ask what was wrong with the idiot, but shut it immediately. Eyes wide, realization struck him. Potter was hiding food. Potter was afraid, unsure when he would get to eat again. The boy was starved. His muggle relatives neglected him.
"Potter, come here," Snape commanded, with a lot less edge to his tone.
Harry didn't move—he just continued to bite his lower lip, spaghetti dripping from his hand.
"Listen, Potter," Snape said, "You will eat again. Trust me, I promise. You'll never go hungry again."
Slowly, Harry crept out from under the bed, still clutching the remains of his supper.
One flick of Snape's wand and every trace of spaghetti vanished. With the next flick, the robe was gone. Harry looked down at his now clean hands, sad and scared at the same time.
Tentatively, Snape picked up the toddler in order to put him on his bed. Snape was caught off guard when Harry laid his little head down on his shoulder. With a sigh, the boy's whole body became loose, relaxing completely into the Professor's arms.
Snape was equally surprised when he felt reluctant to put they boy down. Scoffing at himself, Snape brushed aside his sentimentality. But he could not prevent the almost soothing voice that left his lips. "Time to go to bed."
"Unky Sev'vus, Unky Sev'vus," his godson called from the bed over. "Dwaco, up!"
"It's time for bed, Draco," Snape announced. Picking up the pajama bottoms he began to dress the boy. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Harry was pulling on his own clothes. After tucking in Draco, Snape turned and helped Harry with the buttons on his top. Covering up the boy, Snape left to help with some of the others.
The room was growing quiet as many of the students started to fall asleep. Still, there were several hyper children, jumping up and down on their beds—ignoring the adults' orders to stop. Snape scowled at some, scaring them into obeying, but as soon as his back turned, they were up again.
"We're just going to have to take care of them one at a time," McGonagall said. She had transfigured a chair into a rocker and had Hermione nestled into her lap. Considering the girl's half-closed eyes, she wasn't far from sleep.
"Dwaco up!" his godson screamed from across the room. The boy was irate now, face race red and his little fists balled.
"Lay down, Draco. It's time for bed."
"Draco," Snape warned.
Snape walked over to his godson and laid him back down. He tried to pat the little back, but Draco struggled to his hands and knees. Snape laid him down again.
"No!" Draco screamed. "Dwaco up. Up! Up!"
Twack. Snape brought his hand down on Draco's bottom. "Now you lay down or I'm flooing your father!" The boy immediately obeyed, tears flowing from his eyes.
Embarrassed, Snape looked around the room to see if anyone noticed. Like dominos, all the remaining children dropped in their beds. The room became silent, save for Draco's quiet whimper. Snape avoided looking at Pomfrey and McGonagall, although he could feel their glares.
He hated himself. Covering the little boy up, he started rubbing circles on his back. Soon the whimpers faded away only to be replaced by snores.
Relieved, Snape sat down and watched his godson sleep. After a moment, he turned to check on Potter and was startled when he found the boy staring back at him. Quickly, the green eyes snapped shut. Leaning back, Snape pinched the bridge of his nose—a migraine was soon to come.
"I need a strong cup of tea," McGonagall announced, rushing out of the infirmary.
"I need something stronger than tea," Snape mumbled to himself.
"I could use some tea as well," Pomfrey stated and left.
For a second, Snape sat there, eyes shut and pinching his nose. Suddenly, he shot to his feet. He was alone. Near panic, he surveyed the toddlers, expecting them all to leap up and start running around. Relieved, he noticed they were all slumbering peacefully.
Well, all except Potter.
"Go to sleep, Potter," Snape commanded. The little boy squeezed his eyes shut. Snape sat back down to nurse his migraine. After a minute or so, he looked back at Potter. Again the wide eyes stared back at him and then shut almost immediately.
This pattern continued for nearly thirty minutes.
"Potter, you need to go to sleep." Snape knew the transition from toddler to teenager would be painful if endured while awake. And loath as he was to admit it; he did not want Potter to feel any pain.
He knew how to put the boy to sleep.
He'd seen Lily do it. The boy had grown quite ill shortly after his first birthday, while James was away. Lily, wrought with fear, called Severus over for a special potion to ease the boy's suffering. He'd supplied the potion, but Lily begged him to stay, "just in case," she had said. So he sat and watched her rock the baby to sleep. And now, Snape couldn't think of anything else to do.
Looking around the room, Snape made sure no one was watching. He transfigured his chair into a rocker, and then quietly scooped the boy up and cradled him in his arms. With gentleness unseen by any living soul, Snape rocked back and forth. Using his callused hand, he brushed down the boy's nose encouraging the eyes to close.
At first, Harry stared up at him, confused. But after a while, he relaxed, sticking his thumb in his mouth. A short while later, his eyes became heavy, drooping more and more until they finally closed.
Snape closed his own eyes, leaning back in the chair feeling relaxed. Planning to rock the boy for only a short while longer—so that the boy was deep asleep—Snape hadn't expected to drift off to sleep himself. But he did.
So this story can go two ways. You can think of this as the end. The students wake the next day, back to normal, with a few sketchy memories. They blush, poke fun at one another and then go on with life. –Or— What if Snape's calculation was wrong? What if there was more to Neville's potion than he realized? What if the students were still toddlers? … If that seems interesting to you, let me know, and I'll continue on with the story.