This was written for Marie-Angele in tribute to her amazing artwork. Be sure to check out her deviantART page under Sambre-sambre! It's excellent!
Snape's Home Remedies
The Savior of the Wizarding World had a cold. Not a scratchy throat, slight headache, little cough type of cold, but a full-blown head-in-a-vise, dripping nose, chest full of phlegm, wishing he were dead sort of cold.
Harry Potter fully blamed the cold on his craving for a Muggle cheeseburger that had prompted him to leave Number 12, Grimmauld Place for a local fast food chain. A place obviously crawling with germs.
To make matters worse, Harry had not had a cold since before his eleventh birthday. Ten fabulous, cold-free years had caught up to him in one fell swoop. Due to lack of colds, he therefore had no cold remedies. No Pepperup Potion—cure for the common cold. Not even Muggle cough syrup.
Harry laid on his bed for half a day until he—for a brief, desperate moment—nearly sent Kreacher out to fetch him a potion. Wisdom penetrated the cold-induced fog in the nick of time before he called the house-elf. Kreacher required a massive amount of detailed instruction to perform the slightest task.
"Fetch me a Pepperup Potion" would likely result in Kreacher jaunting off to Bermuda for six weeks before returning with said potion. Harry didn't have the energy to think of every contingency and provide reliable instruction. In the end, he resigned himself to the fact that he would have to go and get one himself.
Harry dragged on some clothing and Apparated to Diagon Alley, which turned out to be a shockingly bad idea. His headache increased by massive proportions and he felt both weak and nauseous. He leaned against a nearby wall until the urge to vomit passed, and then he continued to the Apothecary.
A chime sounded when Harry walked in and the usually sweet tones sounded like hell's doorbell. Harry staggered to the counter.
"Can I help you?"
Even in his pathetically ill state, Harry recognized the hated voice. He clawed his way over the counter and wrapped his hands around the despised neck of Severus Snape. He later blamed his cold on the fact that he completely forgot he was a wizard and carried a wand capable of inflicting several dozen punishing spells.
Snape, however, did not forget, and Harry promptly found himself immobilized while Snape extracted his neck and stepped back, gasping for air.
"Bloody hell, P… P… patron," Snape rasped. Harry's eyes glared balefully at the former Death Eater. Snape rubbed his throat. He looked somewhat different from the last time Harry had seen him… over five years ago? On the tower at Hogwarts when Snape had foully murdered Albus Dumbledore. It was no wonder Snape had changed. For one thing, he had washed his hair. He also wasn't dressed in black. His robes were… magenta?
"I am going to release you, sir, upon your word that you will not try to harm me," Snape said in what appeared to be a reasonable tone. Harry thought he might explode from a sneeze that tickled his nose, but could not be released due to the Full-Body Bind.
Snape cancelled the spell and Harry collapsed in a violent fit of sneezing. When he finished, he noticed a handkerchief dangling from Snape's long fingers. Harry reluctantly snatched it and gave Snape a venomous look.
"I should kill you!" Harry snarled, but miserably blew his nose instead.
"Sir, I don't understand," Snape said. Harry gaped at him for a moment.
"You killed Dumbledore. Don't try to tell me you don't remember. You joined Voldemort. You conveniently disappeared before the war. You utterly despise me. Is any of this ringing a bell?"
Snape drew himself up haughtily.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I recently moved here from Denmark and I certainly never killed anyone named Dumbledore. While I have heard of Voldemort, I would never have joined him. Reportedly, he was quite unhinged and evil. You must have me confused with someone else."
Harry sneered. "Nice try, but you are definitely Severus Snape."
Snape laughed. "Certainly not. My name is Rodney Snyder-Smythe. Apothecarist."
It took Harry a moment to apply the name "Rodney" to the wicked package that was Severus Snape, but even in magenta robes it simply wouldn't fit.
"Cut the crap, Snape. As soon as I leave here, I'm going to the Ministry of Magic and you are going to Azkaban."
The black eyes were fathomless.
"Poor sir seems to be very ill. Did you come for a potion, perhaps?"
Harry sneezed into the kerchief and stared at Snape through watery eyes.
"If you must know, I came here for a Pepperup Potion."
Snape tsked and managed to make the small noise sound smug.
"I'm sorry, sir. We're all out. It's been quite a nasty cold season."
Harry's jaw clenched.
"When will you have more?"
"Tuesday? My blood cold will be gone on its own by then!"
Harry's outburst brought on a coughing fit and he clutched the side of the counter until it passed.
"Poor dear boy. Let me get you a cup of tea."
The incongruity of Snape calling him a "poor dear boy" combined with Mr. Magenta Robes flouncing to the back room was so un-Snapelike that Harry actually began to wonder if he could be Rodney Snyder-Smythe. Perhaps he was the victim of a memory charm? Harry located a chair and sank into it.
Snape returned a few minutes later with a steaming cup of tea that he placed in Harry's hands. Harry gazed into the cup suspiciously before fixing his glare on Snape.
"What's in it? Poison? Veritaserum? Memory-block potion?"
"Oolong and a hint of Darjeeling, I believe," Snape said dryly.
"I'm taking you to the Ministry," Harry snapped.
"That won't be necessary. I just saw the Minister pass by a moment ago. Shall I fetch him for you?"
Harry got up, slammed his tea on the counter, and rushed to the door.
"Minister!" he shouted. Rufus Scrimgeour halted and stared at him. His lip curled in distaste.
"Yes. Severus Snape is in the Apothecary! You need to arrest him, immediately!"
"Severus Snape? Are you certain?"
Scrimgeour hurried into the shop.
"Good afternoon, Minister," said Snape.
"Afternoon, Snyder-Smythe," Scrimgeour replied. "Potter, here, says he saw Severus Snape."
"Oh, yes. I forgot. You weren't around during the war. Severus Snape. Death Eater. Murderer. Nasty sort."
"Never heard of him."
"ARE YOU COMPLETELY DERANGED?" Harry yelled and instantly regretted it when the pain in his throat actually brought tears to his eyes. He put stiffened fingers against his aching temples.
"Snyder-Smythe, is Potter bothering you? He has an overactive imagination, at times."
"You know what? I don't even care. I'm going home," Harry said. He had no intention of involving himself in whatever twisted scenario the Minister and Snape had going. He would deal with it later, when he felt better.
"Minister, allow me to escort Potter home. He is obviously very ill," Snape offered.
"Forget it." Harry pulled out his wand and backed toward the door, where Scrimgeour's latest follower nearly bowled him over. Colin Creevey's cologne assaulted Harry moments before Colin's hand darted out to shake Harry's hand, heedless of the wand clutched therein. At twenty, Colin was nearly as buoyantly exuberant as he had been at eleven.
"Harry Potter! I haven't seen you in ages! You must come by for dinner and catch up on old times!" Colin pumped Harry's hand vigorously and the combination of motion and nauseating fumes overwhelmed Harry beleaguered senses. He felt blackness closing in on him.
The last thing he saw was Colin's worried face hovering over him as he hit the floor.
Harry woke up in his own bed, which was reassuring, but he was completely naked, which was not. A single lit candle at his bedside dispelled the gloom. He glanced at his watch to find it was nearly 7 p.m.
A movement drew his attention and he watched in alarm as Snape's magenta-clad figure detached itself from the shadows.
"Mr. Potter, you've decided to rejoin the living. You must be hungry. I made you some chicken soup."
Harry watched him impassively while he tried to process the incomprehensible image of Severus Snape making chicken soup. Maybe using a live chicken. And eye of newt, wing of bat.
Snape seated himself on the bed next to Harry, conjured a wooden tray, and set a large bowl before Harry, who gazed at it suspiciously while searching for random newt eyes. It smelled delicious, which merely made him more wary. Snape chuckled, a bizarre sound that Harry did not recall ever hearing from him before.
"Oh yes, I forgot. You think I'm some horrid minion of evil who would poison your soup." Snape picked up the spoon, leaned over the tray, and slurped a large spoonful of broth. He gave a sigh of pleasure.
"Practically perfect. It could, perhaps, use a hint of marjoram, but you appeared to be out."
Marjoram. Harry wasn't certain he had even heard of it, but he was willing to bet such a thing had never resided in the kitchen of Twelve Grimmauld Place. He was starved, however, and willing to concede the soup wasn't poisoned. He even began to consider that Severus Snape had been Imperiused to believe he was Rodney Snyder-Smythe, Apothecarist, soup-maker, and wearer of magenta.
Harry ate the soup. It was fabulous. Snape (Rodney?) disturbingly remained on the bed and watched Harry eat every drop. Harry leaned back against the pillows when he finished.
"Where are my clothes?"
"You were burning with fever. I thought it best to remove them," Snape replied as he vanished the bowl and tray before tucking the covers up to Harry chin.
"All of them?"
"Go to sleep now, delightful lad," Snape said and gave Harry's head a tousle. Harry yawned hugely and realized there must have been a sleeping potion in the soup.
Either I'm dreaming or I've gone stark raving nutters, he thought as not-Snape blew out the candle and left Harry in the dark. Either way, he was quickly asleep.