Authors Note: This is a challenge fic, issued by Pheonixx. Sadly, family problems prevented me from finishing it in time for the deadline but I'm posting it anyway.
Disclaimer: Any of the characters you recognise, they're not mine; they belong to J K Rowling. Only this story line is mine.
Distribution: If you want it, take it, but tell me where it's going.
Timeline: Fifth book time, though I will be paying no attention to any spoilers in this.
Content Warnings: Deaths, mental torture, physical torture, high angst, violence
Status: Work in Progress. (Sort of, I'm going to keep you waiting for parts! ::grins evilly::)
Summary: On a detention in the Forbidden Forest, Harry is attacked by a…
Dark Side of the Moon
Harry shook his head slightly in amazement as Professor Snape ordered them to start tidying away for the end of their potions lesson the mixture of Slytherin and Gryffindor students began standing, gathering up books, parchment and quills, ready to go to their next lesson. 'A whole potion lesson and Snape only took five points from Gryffindor,' he thought in amazement. 'I wonder if he's turning over a new leaf this year? Either that or he's not feeling very well.' Everything considered, Harry suspected that the 'not feeling well,' theory over the other.
"Can you believe it?" Harry's friend, Ron asked. "First Potion Lesson of the year, and he didn't even yell at Neville! Well," Ron conceded, "Much. Not as much as he usually does, anyway." Harry grinned and nodded.
"I know," he agreed. "Makes you wonder if he's sick or something."
"Oh come on." Harry's other friend, Hermione, broke in. "Maybe he's just trying to be nice for a change." At Ron and Harry's frankly disbelieving looks she laughed. "Alright," she conceded. "Maybe that is a bit farfetched."
"Just a bit!" Ron said scathingly. Harry laughed.
"Look," he said, gathering up the scales they had used to measure the ingredients for their Blissfulness Potion. "I'll put these away, shall I?"
"Yeah, thanks," Ron said distractedly as he tried to gingerly nudge his spare rat brains into their container, touching them as little as possible. Harry shook his head and gathered up the brass scales they had used and carried it over to the stone gargoyle. He shivered slightly as he stuck his hands under the icy cold water jetting from the gargoyle's mouth to wash the remains of various potion ingredients off the scales.
Finished, Harry turned around, almost knocking over Draco Malfoy who was stood right behind him.
"Watch where you're going, oaf!" Malfoy sneered as he pushed roughly past him. Harry wisely kept his mouth shut, biting down any retaliation. Malfoy was Snape's favourite, and it wouldn't do to destroy their record.
Harry turned to make his way back to Ron and Hermione but tripped, stumbling over the foot Malfoy had slyly stuck out in his path. Harry wobbled, trying desperately to keep his balance, but one foot landed in a puddle of water splashed from the stone basin. He struggled to right himself, but slipped, fell, and…
There were shrieks of alarm coming from the class. Harry, head wringing from the crash lay on the stone floor, side aching. He stared. He had succeeded, (With a little help from Malfoy, he thought sardonically,) in completely knocking over a tall wooden cupboard, which now slumped drunkenly, doors hanging upon on the floor. All its contents had spilled out- glass phials, glass measuring tubes, glass containers- and lay utterly smashed on the dungeon floor, glittering in the light from the three cauldron fires that had yet to be put out. Harry gulped and looked at Snape who was bearing down on him, an oddly pleased smile on his face.
"Well, well, well, what has happened here?" Snape asked smoothly, black eyes glittering. Harry opened his mouth to say something, then shut it, deciding he would be punished anyway and he would probably only increase it by answering back. He caught sight of Malfoy's smirking face out of the corner of his eye and felt a rush of anger. As soon as he had the chance he promised himself grimly he'd practice one of the curses he had learnt for the Third Task on him. Automatically Harry fought down the sudden surge of fear and guilt that came whenever he thought of the Third Task. The Third Task, Cedric and… Voldemort.
He pushed those thoughts firmly out of his mind and concentrated on Snape, who would never be nearly as scary as Voldemort and was, as strange as it sounded at this moment in time, on their side. Snape was speaking.
"Couldn't resist just entering the new school year, with a bang, could you, Potter? Just had to draw a little more attention to yourself."
"But- Owww!" Ron exclaimed, rubbing his shoulder. Harry felt a momentary flash of gratitude to Hermione.
"Thirty points from Gryffindor, I think." Snape decreed. Harry gaped at him, and there was a rumble of protest from the Gryffindor half of the class.
"And," Snape continued, "Detention."
"What!" Harry said in shock. "Professor…"
"Unless you would like to make it fifty points from Gryffindor?" Snape asked, his eyes glittering. Harry fell silent. "You will stay behind to receive your detention." Snape eyed him with disgust and added: "And get up."
Harry stood up and made his way over to his friends, glaring at Snape resentfully as the Potions Master flicked his wand, repairing the cupboard and glass occupants in a few seconds.
"What happened?" Ron murmured to Harry as they packed their books into their bags.
"Malfoy tripped me," Harry whispered back.
"Slimy git." Ron muttered. Harry groaned and rested his head on his arms.
"Thirty points from Gryffindor," he moaned. "Already,"
"Well, we were really asking for it." Hermione said with a sigh. Ron frowned at her.
"What d'you mean?" he asked.
"Well, going on about how Professor Snape had took hardly any points from us, we were just asking for something like this to happen," Hermione said. "We should at least have touched wood."
"I never figured you for the superstitious type, Hermione," Harry teased. Hermione blushed red.
"Yeah," Ron laughed. "Next thing you know, you'll be joining Lavender and Parvati worshipping at Trewlaney's feet every break time!" Hermione glared at him and opened her mouth to say something scathing in retort, but just then the bell rang, signalling the end of the lesson and the class as one made a stampede for the door.
"We'll wait for you outside, OK?" Ron muttered to Harry before he and Hermione exited the dungeon and Harry was left to gloomily approach Snape's desk, wandering what he had in store for him. He remembered with a shudder Ron's detention in their third year- to clean all the bedpans in the infirmary, without magic. Harry wondered inwardly what could possibly top that, but he was sure that Snape would find something.
"Potter," Harry noticed that Snape's eyes gleamed with anticipation and Harry wondered what he could possibly have come up with. "Professor Sprout has need of some assistance harvesting a certain plant," Snape continued. "Report to Greenhouse 3 tomorrow night at seven o'clock for your detention." That's it? Harry thought in bewilderment, then noticed that Snape's eyes were still gleaming with anticipation, and Harry immediately began wondering what sort of plant Professor Sprout needed help in harvesting, and exactly how deadly it was. "Now get to your next class," Snape snapped suddenly, making Harry jump. Harry turned silently, picked up his bag and left the classroom.
He, Ron and Hermione had to run to get to Charms in time, but Harry was able to explain hurriedly what his detention was. Ron agreed with Harry that the plant in question was most likely deadly, probably something along the lines of the Devil's Snare. Hermione pointed out that Professor Sprout was the one actually taking the detention, so it wouldn't be fatal to Harry. In view of this, Harry went to bed that night a bit more relaxed then he would have been otherwise. After all, he thought before he dropped off to sleep, it's not as if we're going into the Forbidden Forest.