The Lioness, the Snake and the School Nurse
Disclaimer: I do not own anything that JKR created.
"You have got to be kidding."
"Snape and McGonagall?"
"Are you daft?"
Harry and Ron both looked incredulously at Hermione who nodded her head irritably.
"Yes. If you two weren't so thick-headed, you would have seen the notice board."
Harry rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest. "What was on the notice board?"
Hermione smirked. "Quote 'The finalists of today's duelling contest, Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape, will compete tomorrow for the final prize. The match will take place on the quidditch pitch.' Unquote," she recited.
Harry and Ron's jaws dropped. "Those two, together?!?" Harry gasped. "They're going to kill each other."
Ron grinned widely. "We have to make sure to get front row seats."
Harry, Ron and Hermione arrived at the Quidditch pitch an hour early, but still seats were hard to find. It seemed that the entire school was out in force to watch the two Professors. The students wore red and green respective of which teacher they were barracking for, and the school seemed to be evenly split.
They sat down quickly after bribing three first-year Hufflepuffs with ten galleons and settled themselves comfortably.
"When's this thing starting?" Ron asked, tightening his scarf around his neck. "I'm freezing."
"Here they are!" Hermione said, wringing her hands in her lap.
Sure enough, both Snape and McGonagall were marching to the centre of the pitch, both with identical looks of pure venom on their faces. Madame Hooch stood uncertainly between them, her expression stricken.
"Well you two, I assume you know the drill," came Hooch's magnified voice from the grounds.
"Of course," said Snape snidely.
"Naturally," said McGonagall crisply.
Hooch swallowed a nervous lump before she spoke her next sentence.
"Well, take your positions."
The two Professors glared at each other, their eyes glittering dangerously in the faint rays of light that permeated the thick cloud.
"If you'd be so kind as to look after my cloak," said McGonagall, in a strangely sweet voice.
Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged looks.
"What the..?" Ron began, but faltered as McGonagall's cloak slid over her shoulders to reveal muggle attire beneath.
"Bloody hell," said a fifth-year Ravenclaw behind them.
Gone were the heavy robes McGonagall normally wore, to be replaced with black jeans and singlet with her customary black, conservative boots.
"Well, we know she was named correctly," said Hermione inconsequentially.
Harry arched an eyebrow toward her.
"Minerva," Hermione said impatiently, "Goddess of Wisdom and War."
As Harry nodded in understanding, Ron interjected.
"Snape's getting in on the action too."
Hermione and Harry's heads snapped back toward the field. Sure enough, Snape had forgone his voluminous robes in favour of black trousers and a black polo shirt.
"Oh dear," said Hermione softly, "This is going to end badly."
The two soon-to-be-duelling Professors bared their teeth at each other in a semblance of a smile, before turning on their heels and marching twenty paces away.
Madame Hooch cleared her throat nervously. "On the count of three the duel will begin. One. Two-"
Snape and McGonagall circled each other, never once breaking eye contact.
"Hooch said on 'three,' Severus," snarled McGonagall.
"I was merely being in the character of a smarmy Slytherin," Snape replied smoothly.
"You say that as if it's an act for you, Severus."
McGonagall's action was almost too quick to see as she flicked her wand and sent a streak of blue light toward Snape. He looked momentarily surprised, but ducked at the last second, the curse missing him by inches.
"I see you haven't lost your touch, Minerva," he said, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
It was McGonagall's turn to dodge and she did so with a terpsichorean ease, twisting easily in the air before landing upright on her feet.
Harry whistled in appreciation. "She's good."
"They both are," Hermione said, now gnawing at her fingernails.
Any semblance of decorum was soon lost as the Professors threw more curses at each other at lightning speed.
"Ionsaí i leith an tosaigh!"
It was like watching a tennis match, only faster. The two Professors showed no sign of fatigue as they continued to circle each other. Neither bothered with shielding charms, and the air began to tremble with the sheer magical power that was being showcased.
Suddenly Snape stopped and held his hand up. McGonagall raised a quizzical eyebrow.
"Conceding defeat, Severus?" she asked coolly, wiping away a patch of dirt from her cheek that she had sustained rolling on the ground away from one of Snape's darker curses.
"Never, Minerva," Snape sneered. "I thought we could use some different weapons. Wands seem to be getting us nowhere."
An almost predatory grin spread across McGonagall's face.
"I leave the decision up to you."
Snape smirked. "Blades?"
McGonagall nodded. "One dagger and one short sword. Deal?
Snape flicked his wand and instantly two deadly-looking blades appeared in his hands. McGonagall echoed his movements and the two began to parry. The sound of the blades cutting through the air resounded through across the grounds. The two were truly expert as they parried and thrust, though as previously, neither seemed to be gaining the upper hand.
"This is so dangerous," Hermione said, looking through the spaces between her fingers, "What if one of them gets hurt?"
Harry shook his head, watching in morbid fascination as the blade of McGonagall's short sword tore the material of Snape's shirt. Snape looked momentarily nonplussed, but regained his composure and thrust toward McGonagall, very nearly grazing her arm with the dagger tip. McGonagall raised a sardonic eyebrow.
"My apologies for the shirt, Severus."
"Well I had to let you get a point in somewhere didn't I, Minerva?"
Snape leapt forward then and tackled McGonagall to the ground, pinning her beneath him.
Harry leapt to his feet. "Unsportsmanlike! He can't do that!"
Ron yanked him back down. "This is McGonagall we're talking about. She'll have something up her sleeve."
Sure enough McGonagall transformed into her feline form and escaped from Snape easily. As he stood upright, she re-transfigured herself and grabbed him from behind, the blade of her dagger resting against his neck.
"Forfeit," she hissed in his ear. "You know it's over."
Snape grabbed her arm and bent forward, throwing McGonagall over his back so she landed flat on the ground. From her heavy breathing it sounded like the wind had been knocked from her lungs.
"You forfeit," Snape said, straddling her, his short sword resting against her sternum.
With a tremendous effort McGonagall bent her leg, her knee colliding painfully with Snape's groin. The Potions Master fell onto his side, curled up in the foetal position. McGonagall rose to her feet with a vindictive smile on her face.
"I win, Severus."
Snape shook his head, though he still whimpered. "No."
He grabbed his dagger from beside him and threw it at McGonagall. The deadly blade whistled through the air as McGonagall twisted, but she let out a cry of pain as it cut through the fabric of her shirt, grazing her side. Blood began to trickle down her side and she clutched the wound, her face contorted in pain.
Snape smiled. "Got you."
McGonagall's eyes narrowed as knelt down and picked the dagger from the ground. Snape was rising slowly to his feet, and retrieved the short sword from where it lay next to him.
"Not bad, Severus," McGonagall said, placing one foot back and balancing her weight evenly.
"Thank you, Minerva."
Harry looked aghast at Hermione. "They're going to kill each other!" he said urgently.
"Well there's nothing we can do," Ron said hurriedly, "They'd curse us into oblivion if we tried to stop them!"
Hermione nodded, looking anxiously as McGonagall parried Snape's short sword and nicked his ear with her blade. "Well we have to do something!" Hermione said shrilly, "Maybe we should go and get Dumble…
"Severus Tobias Snape and Minerva Catriona McGonagall! Put those weapons down this instant!"
Harry, Ron and Hermione turned to see a furious Madame Pomfrey marching toward the dueling duo. To their intense surprise both McGonagall and Snape looked contrite and were staring fixedly at the ground, their weapons forgotten next to them.
Madame Pomfrey came to a halt in front of the pair and stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at both of them.
"Minerva McGonagall," she said coldly, "We have discussed this. Why don't we duel with Severus?"
McGonagall mumbled something incoherent and Madame Pomfrey repeated her question.
"Minerva, why don't we duel with Severus?"
"Because we always end up injuring each other."
"Correct. Severus, why don't we duel with Minerva?"
"Because we always end up inuring each other," Snape echoed McGonagall's response. "But it's not my fault she can't get out of the way quick enough!"
"I'm not the one who was writhing on the ground!" retorted McGonagall furiously, turning to face Snape.
"I won that duel, Minerva! And you know it!"
"You did not! Until Poppy came I was winning!"
Madame Pomfrey held her hands up and the pair fell silent instantly. "You two. I want you to apologise to each other."
"I'm not apologizing to that greasy bat!"
"I will not apologise to that insufferable woman!"
Madame Pomfrey glared at both of them.
"I'm sorry, Minerva," Snape said grudgingly.
"Me too, Severus," McGonagall replied.
Madame Pomfrey glowered at them for several more moments before nodding curtly. "Right then. That's settled. Come with me to the hospital wing."
"I don't need…"
"The Hospital Wing…"
"Well maybe Severus does…"
McGonagall and Snape shut up instantly.
"Hospital. Wing. Now."
"Yes Poppy," the two said simultaneously. Together they dashed off, their faces downcast. Madame Pomfrey glared at their retreating figures until they disappeared into the castle and turned to the crowd.
"Shows over," she said crisply, "I suggest you all go back inside."
With those final words she marched back inside leaving behind a flabbergasted school.
"Did she just treat them like three-year-olds?" Ron asked uncertainly.
Harry nodded his head, too shocked to speak.
Hermione began to laugh. "The two most feared Professors at Hogwarts are scared of the school nurse!" she said between cackles.
Harry felt a smile spreading over his features. "Did you see the look on their faces when she came marching out?"
"Scared out of their wits!"
They stopped laughing as they heard a shriek from the first floor.
"If I have to take that potion then so does Minerva!"
"SILENCE! Minerva has to take this one, Severus."
"But, Poppy, no!"
"Why you little…"
"OW! Poppy! Minerva poked me in the eye!"
Author's note:- I know, they're incredibly out of character, but it's 3 am in the morning, I'm dog-tired but can't sleep and this is what happens. Please review. Cheers. Minniequill