A/N: Yes, yes, yes. Another kidfic. I know. They keep haunting me. My muse just delights in setting kidfic plotbunnies loose in my head whenever I turn my back on her. Oh well. This is the last. The VERY last! glares at her muse
Six wands were raised as well as six voices.
Severus Snape groaned. He usually felt a lot of pride in his Slytherins, but that particular bunch drove him to despair occasionally. Draco Malfoy and his zombies just didn't display ANY Slytherin qualities. If he didn't know that it was impossible, Severus would've bet Lucius threatened or bribed the Sorting Hat.
He rushed over to the six, a glare on his face and prepared to dock every point Gryffindor still had left. Inwardly he couldn't really blame the Potter boy. He rarely started a confrontation, and when he did, it was because Draco insulted his friends. Really, what HAD Lucius been teaching that boy?
He saw Minerva McGonagall rush in from the other side, but he reached the children first, stepping between them just as the hexes began flying.
It wouldn't have been so bad if his Slytherins had been using the hexes taught in school. And if Granger wasn't such a dedicated student. Then he would've had some embarrassing side effects to get rid of.
Unfortunately, Draco's obscure Dark curse, combined withthe strong Light spell from Harry and the antique locking spell from Granger made the result more than embarrassing.
He lost consciousness for a while, and when he regained it, the three Gryffindors were squatted next to him. Minerva hovered over their shoulders.
"He's waking up," Granger stated the obvious, turning to the teacher.
"Ugh. Cover him up, Mi!" Weasley's face was as red as his hair, disgust the most prominent emotion.
Potter reacted differently, however. His face showed nothing but concern and curiosity.
"Hey, little one," he said softly, as the others debated loudly over what was to be done, "I'm sorry, professor. We didn't mean for this to happen."
Potter stroked his cheek.
Potter stroked his cheek?
Snape glared dangerously. "Unhand me, Mr Potter! 50 points from Gryffindor!" he meant to say.
To his horror, all that came out was: "Agggg Daaaa! WAAAHHHH!"
Then he noticed everyone was HUGE. And his robes were pooling around him. He looked around until he caught his reflection in one of the suits of armor.
It showed a child, probably not a year old.
It was then that he REALLY started to wail.
McGonagall interrupted his protests by grabbing him under his armpits and lifting him. She shook him, her face angry.
"Quiet! That will do us no good! If you weren't so set on deducting points from Gryffindor none of this would have happened, you…"
Snape yelled louder, frustrated that all the sound emerging from his mouth were wails. She was hurting him, he was naked in the corridor in front of students, and he was COLD!
The desperate, angry young voice made both the Deputy Headmistress and the tiny Potions Master close their mouths.
"You are hurting him, Professor! You shouldn't be talking to him like that, it wasn't his FAULT! He's only small now, you have to be careful with him."
Potter? Potter was showing concern? The world had surely ended.
Apparently it was true, however, because he was taken from the hard hands of his colleague and transferred to a warm cloak. He saw Potters face close to his. It was hard and angry, but not at him.
"I'm taking him up to the Headmaster's office," the boy said resolutely, "I think we need to find Malfoy and his cronies to find out what combination of spells caused this."
Too stunned to react, the other three simply accepted Potters lead and went off. Severus startled a bit as he was carried away, in the arms of his archenemy's son.
"Potter, put me down. I'm going to deduct points. I still remember how to WALK, you dunce. Now RELEASE ME!" he kept protesting.
Potter, however, just held him tighter and softly patted his bottom – oh, the humiliation – while whispering soothing words. The boy knew the password to Albus's office, which annoyed Severus, but right now he was grateful for it, as he seemed to have lost his voice.
Entering, the Headmaster looked up with those irritating twinkles in his eyes.
"Hello Harry, how may I help…oh my."
Rushing around his desk, Severus found himself under the close scrutiny of the ancient Mugwump.
"It's our fault, I think, Headmaster," Potter confessed, still sounding concerned. Over his punishment, no doubt. "We – Ron, Hermione and I – had a bit of an argument with Malfoy. Well, hexes started flying and Professor Snape, who was just arriving to break us up, was caught in the middle. He fell down, and when we got to him, he was like this!"
"Oh, my, that IS quite a story," Dumbledore nodded, with the air of someone who sees staff members reduced to babies on a daily basis.
"Could you hand him to me, please, Harry?"
Oh well. If he had the choice between Potter or Albus holding him, he'd rather go with his mentor. Reaching out his arms, he waited for Dumbledore to save him from Potter.
Albus chuckled, took the child and cuddled him. Severus, indignant, voiced another protest.
"Just because I LOOK like a baby, doesn't mean I AM, you old coot! Put me down! Now!"
"Oh, hush, my little one," the old idiot cooed, rubbing his back, "don't make such a fuss. We'll sort this out one way or another."
Harry looked miserable. "He's going to kill me," he muttered.
"Indeed I am, Potter," Snape tried to growl. Instead, a small whimper emerged that apparently triggered Dumbledore's paternal streak and he was rocked gently.
"I'm sure it won't come to that," the Headmaster smiled, "after all, members of his own House were involved as well."
"And don't I regret that little shit ever being Sorted into it," Snape muttered, ignoring that his complaint came out completely in 'adadada's'.
Being hexed back into infancy was tiring, he decided. The hand rubbing his back felt oddly comforting and the rocking made it difficult to keep his eyes open. He yawned, rubbed his eyes and then nestled into the beard. He never thought that mass of facial hair would be so soft and smelling nicely of…
He missed whatever Draco had to say. He woke up to see Poppy standing over him, waving a wand, and on instinct he rolled away, off the couch where they had put him on.
"POMFREY, YOU INCOMPETENT IDIOT, WHO PUTS AN INFANT ON A COUCH AND STICKS A WAND IN HIS FACE?" he roared.
"WAAAAAHHHH, WAAAAAHHHHHHHH, WAAAHHHHWAAAHHHWAAAHHH," was what the others – Pomfrey, McGonagall and Dumbledore – heard.
"Oh, my little precious, did you hurt yourself?" Dumbledore asked, picking him up and holding him close again.
Snape hiccupped in frustration. It was horrible not being able to get one's point across. It was even more horrible that Albus, too, thought it necessary to softly pat his bottom. How could they honestly think THAT was going to calm him down? Would THEY calm down if someone took them over their shoulder to smack their backside?
It was then that he realised he had put his head on Albus's shoulder and was sucking his thumb. He quickly whipped it out, wondering how that had happened.
"From what Mr Malfoy and Miss Granger told me, the combination of their spells caused this," the nurse said, "Filius is researching a countercurse, but it might be a while – it's a unique situation. He and Vector need to make precise calculations, if he even finds a counter, before it can be cast. Would you like me to send him to the Spell Damage ward in St. Mungo's until then?"
Snape realised that it would perhaps be best if he was sent there. It would keep him away from prying eyes. But he didn't want to be locked all alone in a hospital ward, and he certainly didn't want to leave the strong arms that were holding him.
So he did the only thing he could think of. He grabbed Albus's robes tightly and started to scream at them that he WASN'T going to St. Mungo's and that he was an ADULT and they had NO RIGHT to make him go if he didn't want to.
This time, although he was fairly certain they hadn't understood a word he said, Albus at least got the point.
"I don't think Severus wishes to go there," the wizard said calmly, "Christmas holidays start tomorrow, and I promised Harry he wouldn't have to return to the Dursleys for that, but could stay here, even if I'm the only one who's going to be here during break. He's the only student remaining and has already seen Severus in his present…condition. It won't be a problem."
"Miss Granger told me that's what the fight was about," McGonagall informed him, watching the small form against Albus's shoulder relax, "Apparently Mr. Malfoy made some scathing remarks concerning Mr. Potter's parents, or lack thereof. Mr. Potter didn't react to this, until Mr. Malfoy claimed the Weasleys only took him in because of his money. Both Mr Potter and Mr Weasley got upset and started shouting, upon which wands were drawn, from what I gather, first by Mr Malfoy."
It could well have happened that way, Severus mused, absentmindedly tying knots in the beard, it was certainly Draco's style.
"I removed twenty points from each student for the fight," McGonagall continued, "but as they didn't intent for this," she motioned to the playing baby, "to happen, I couldn't bring myself to deduct points for it. I have also assigned all six an essay on how this could happen and why one should be alert to what spells are being cast simultaneously. Knowing Miss Granger's thorough research methods, she might even come up with something useful."
Dumbledore nodded. "Good thinking, Minerva. Now, Poppy, if you think Severus is not suffering from anything other than this de-aging…"
"He is malnourished, Albus," the nurse said seriously, "You know Severus was neglected as a child at the least. It seems this started at an early age, and the spells have reduced him to his actual condition at ten months old. I will send a recipe for formula to the house-elves that is specifically designed to deal with that. He will need that three times a day. He will probably be eating some mashed foods. Give him small amounts of food frequently. Other than that, he doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects of the de-aging."
"Good," Dumbledore seemed pleased, "Minerva, would you send Harry up? Someone will need to go buy baby things, and since he partly caused it, it might as well be him."
Oh NO! He was going to be wearing Gryffindor colors, sleep in a red and gold crib, and play with snitches!
This was going to be hell.