"When correctly made, the potion is a sunshine yellow," Lily read aloud from the book.
Severus nodded, counting under his breath as he stirred. He had every confidence that the pale orange potion would achieve the appropriate color after the next ten strokes.
When it did, Lily let out a little squeal of delight, waved her wand to put out the flame, and reached for the rack of vials in which they were to decant the completed potion. Slughorn was willing to let his two top O.W.L. students experiment at N.E.W.T. level unsupervised in his dungeon classroom as long as they provided him with samples of their work.
By the time they'd finished, the first dose was cool enough to try. Lily offered it to Severus, who refused, saying, "One of us should maintain a clear head."
Making clicking sounds with her tongue, she took the Elixir and was immediately filled with elation.
"Severus, it worked!" Lily giggled, tweaking her friend's large nose for good measure.
Severus rubbed the offended appendage. "Obviously. I wonder if we could refine the recipe to eliminate that particular side-effect."
Lily, the Euphoria Elixir still in full-force, began to warble nonsensical syllables and make playful swipes at his nose again.
Severus took a few steps away from her. "Perhaps an antidote?"
Lily's face fell. "Only you would want to cure this feeling. You didn't even try it yourself." That apparently gave her an idea, because she closed the distance between them, raising her lips toward his. "Maybe it will work second hand."
Severus hadn't fully processed what she was implying when the door slammed open and an irate voice yelled, "What are you doing, Snape?"
Lily spun to face James and Remus, who was carrying what she knew to be their magical map. She made pointing gestures at it until Remus caught on and put it away.
Severus drew alongside her, glaring at the intruders. "Some of us prefer to engage in intellectual pursuits rather than childish pranks."
Something Severus had said started Lily giggling again. "That's right, James. We're quite happily down here pursuing better O.W.L. scores." She pressed her arm against Severus', her hand fluttering as she fought to keep from tweaking his nose in front of the other boys.
Potter, barely controlling his fury, had taken a menacing step toward them when Sirius bounded in. "What's your hurry, mates? I saw you--" He turned a charming smile Lily's way. "Are these blokes bothering you?"
"As a matter of fact, they interrupted a euphoria-inducing moment," Lily answered, tweaking Severus' nose again.
James face grew hotly red until Sirius took in the row of yellow potion bottles beside Lily and let out a loud laugh.
Severus thought it was worth the indignity to his nose to see Lupin and Black dragging a loudly protesting Potter out of the room with vague apologies for their friend.
He also thought he'd try spearmint in the next batch. If it worked, he might even try it himself.
A/N: Originally written for the romancingwizard LJ community.