Mythic Alliance is complete and I will try to post at least one chapter a week as I go over and edit it. It is the first of a trilogy (all three stories are complete), but I have tried my best to be sure it can be read completely on its own. This story is gen, with no pairings. The sequels are slash, but I don't believe there's any hint of that in this one. If you are in a hurry to read the whole thing, it can be found on my yahoogroup, Jendraslash.
This story was written several years ago, and takes place after Goblet of Fire. Nothing after Fourth Year will be canon. I welcome comments and critiques (though not flames). I hope you enjoy!
Harry Potter does not belong to me, though I could use some Rowling type money... but as it is, I receive none for this.
Severus Snape kept the sneer on his face as he stalked around the classroom. The year had just started and he'd decided to shake things up by designating partners to the Fifth Year Double Potions class. Pairing up Draco Malfoy with that odious Harry Potter had laid the basis for a lot of fun. Well for him at least. After all, he had to grasp what enjoyment he could, while he could, did he not?
His eyes were suddenly caught by a glimpse of orange behind the two students. He suddenly rethought his partner idea as he strode forward with a scowl. Whatever had possessed him to pair *those* two together?
"Mr. Crabbe! Mr. Longbottom! What exactly do you think you're doing?"
Snape watched in well hidden dismay as his ... forceful ... tone caused Neville Longbottom to turn quickly, bumping the cauldron, which certainly did not contain the Hair-grow formula they were supposed to be making, and dumping its contents right onto the unfortunate students in front of him.
Potter and Malfoy jumped away with exclamations of disgust as their hands moved to wipe off the mess on their robes.
"Stop!" Snape barked out. His voice alone contained enough command, as well as enough magic, to freeze everyone in the classroom in place.
"Back away from the potion," Snape ordered. "Potter, Malfoy, go into my office and get out of those robes. Without," and that word had enough emphasis to be almost shouted, "without touching the potion, or allowing it to get on bare skin. Weasley and Goyle will bring you new robes." Ron Weasley and Gregory Goyle ran out of the dungeon room as if they had DisApparated while Harry and Draco headed quickly but carefully towards the office. If Snape was that worried then they weren't going to argue. "The rest of you, get back to work. Ten points from Gryffindor for Mr. Longbottom's clumsiness and you and Mr. Crabbe may give me two feet of scroll on how exactly you changed a simple Hair-grow potion, which any first year should have been able to do competently, into a contact poison." He noticed Longbottom's sudden change from ruddy to ghost white with well concealed satisfaction. Maybe this would finally get the impossible young man to pay attention in his class. Crabbe however, looked as uncomprehending as ever. Mentally the professor shook his head. No matter what some other teachers said, there were such things as unteachable students, and Mr. Crabbe was a prime example.
As he was talking, he gathered several ingredients from the cupboards, including one from the locked cabinet that no one else was allowed into. After a few minutes of mixing and heating his cauldron he whispered a spell over the concoction he was creating. Once it cooled he ladled part of the potion into a jar and the rest into a spray bottle. The potion in the jar was dumped into the still seething, even though partially tipped over, cauldron, while the spray was used on the rest of the spill. He made sure to get every little bit of the potion, even that which spilled under the stools. Only after the poison was completely neutralized did he use a spell to clean it all up.
"Professor? Are they going to be all right?" Hermione asked worriedly.
"As long as they weren't stupid or careless enough to get any on their skin and removed their clothes before it soaked through, they will be fine." Snape answered absently.
"Professor?" Draco called from where his head was sticking through the office door. "I think you need to come here."
Draco had followed his rival into the Potion Professor's office. He noticed that Potter seemed a little nervous and gloatingly put it down to being in a room with him. After all, this was the 'Boy Who Lived', surely no little potion accident would make him nervous.
Draco carefully but hurriedly pulled off his outer robe. As he dropped it at his feet, he saw that he was none too soon. The liquid had already seeped through his outer robe and was spotting his inner one. Without hesitation, he pulled that off too and was soon shivering lightly in nothing but his underclothes.
Turning around, he was surprised to see his rival still slowly working on his outer robe. "You planning on getting that off anytime this century, Potter?" Draco asked with a sneer.
Harry glared but didn't move any faster.
"You do know it's soaking through your robes, don't you?" Draco asked with exaggerated patience. "Or perhaps you're just modest? Don't worry, I'm sure you don't have anything I don't have better." Draco smirked.
Harry blushed wildly and glared harder, but he didn't move any faster.
Draco kept the smirk on his face, but inwardly he was getting concerned. He knew the potion was sinking through his rivals robes and his stupid modesty was keeping him from getting them off quick enough. His concern turned to anger and his anger to action. "Expelliarmus clothing!"
Draco's smirk got bigger as Potter's clothes started to fly away from his body. Harry was grabbing at them furiously but Draco's magic was too strong. As Draco looked at the other boy though, the smirk disappeared as his eyes widened in shock.
Harry made a pained sound as he curled in on himself trying to hide. At Draco's involuntary step towards him, he scuttled backwards, ending up curled under Snape's desk.
Draco just stared for a long moment at his rival's hiding place, complete disbelief and shock the only expressions on his face. For a moment he wavered indecisively before striding to the door. Remembering his own state of dishabille, he stuck only his head through the doorway.
"Professor! I think you'd better come here!"
After warning the other students not to touch anything while he was gone, and stopping Granger from following, Snape stalked towards his office door. Although completely impassive looking on the outside, inside the Potions Professor would admit to being slightly concerned. Draco was unlikely to call him for something that was not serious and the poison was fairly dangerous. To have Potter killed in his own class, after all he'd done to try and save the stupid brat...
Snape stepped into his office and closed the door behind him. A quick glance around showed a mostly unclothed blond haired student, a neat pile of clothes in one spot and other clothes scattered haphazardly around. However, of the clothes' original wearer there was no sign. Having expected to find Potter writhing on the ground in pain from the poison, this was a surprise to the older man.
He turned towards the visible student in the room with a raised eyebrow. Draco shrugged helplessly and pointed to the desk.
"He's hiding under the desk Professor," Draco's voice was snappish but his eyes showed his shock. The sight of his rival's body had appalled him down to the core, and he covered it as he usually did, with sniping and insults. Snape ignored the tone, used to his student's normal defense mechanisms.
"And what exactly precipitated Mr. Potter's flight?" Snape's voice was even but his face showed a hint of worry. The snappish quality of Draco's voice might have been normal, but the look in his eyes certainly was not. Something awful must have happened to impact the younger Slytherin that way.
"The little git was being as modest as a girl and wouldn't take his robes off, so I, being the helpful sort," he half grinned at his teacher and received a small smirk in return, "decided to do the work for him. A simple Expelling charm on his clothes and they're on the floor and he's hiding under the desk."
Under said desk, the aforementioned Harry Potter was steadily cursing himself. If only he hadn't reacted so instinctively, he wouldn't be in this mess. He was sure he could have bluffed his way out. After all, he'd done it before and with people much more perceptive than Malfoy. And now he'd called Snape!
Why did it have to be Malfoy? He really didn't need to give his enemy another thing to either insult or blackmail him with. And Snape! Harry was never actually sure what was going on with the Potions Professor. He treated him so awfully, but he'd saved him too, and he had to be really brave to be a spy, and he couldn't be nice to him without it getting back to Voldemort through the children of the Death Eaters like Malfoy and company. It didn't necessitate him being quite so much of a prat though, Harry was sure.
"Mr Potter, I would suggest that you come out before you lose even more points for your House," Snape ordered.
Harry didn't move.
A knock on the door interrupted Snape before he could do more. Opening the door, he found Weasley and Goyle waiting with the new robes. Without a word he took them and went back into his office, all without letting a worried Ron Weasley get a look inside. Handing the robes with the green and silver badge to Draco, he turned back to the desk.
"If you don't come out, I will burn these clothes and you can walk back to your tower as you are," Snape threatened. There wasn't a doubt in either of the two students' minds that he would do it.
Harry slowly crept out, keeping his eyes on the ground.
Snape went white and only years of self control kept all other reactions internal. Harry's body was thin to the point of emaciation. Bruises, scabs, welts and scars covered his body front and back. Harry's face was down, embarrassment and shame reddening his cheeks. He knew what his body looked like, he didn't need to see their expressions. Of course, considering who it was, they were probably enjoying seeing him like this.
Snape moved forward, his eyes never leaving the tortured body in front of him. If he had looked at the Slytherin youth standing next to him, he would have seen a boy trying desperately not to get sick. Both Draco and Snape had seen torture before, even participated, on both sides. Still, it was almost always done by curses and curses didn't leave marks like that. Hidden deep in their psyches was the other reason it bothered them so. This was Harry Potter, and somewhere deep within, they, like most of the people at Hogwarts, had begun to believe that no one could truly hurt Potter. To see him like this...
Snape dropped the robes to the ground as his hands gently grasped Harry's arms, trying not to touch any of the bruises. A close glance confirmed his first thoughts; some of the marks were only days old. He shook his head in disbelief. How did this happen?
"How did Voldemort get you? Why didn't you tell anyone? How did you get away? What did He do to you?"
Harry might well have burst out laughing at his babbling professor if he wasn't so suddenly, completely, enraged. With an abrupt movement, he pulled out of the professor's hold. To the surprise of the other two, he got right up in Snape's face and growled.
"Voldemort! Voldemort! Why is it always freakin' Voldemort? Not every bad thing in this world is flaming Voldemort! But no! I'm Harry Potter! I'm the bloody 'Boy Who Lived'! Of course it's Voldemort who I have to worry about! 'We sent you to the Dursleys to protect you from Voldemort!' 'If Voldemort kills you it's the end of everything!' As long as I'm around to fight Voldemort, no one cares about anything else! The Dursleys keep me safe from Voldemort! Great! Who in the flaming Hells is supposed to keep me safe from the Dursleys? Huh?" He poked Snape's chest as he screamed in his face. Snape had been slowly backing away from the angry young wizard as he ranted and now his back was against the stone was as he stared in disbelief at the student in front of him. He could feel uncontrolled magic pulsing in the air around them.
"But... Dumbledore?" Snape questioned.
"Dumbledore doesn't care about me. He only cares about the school and Voldemort, you should know that," Harry almost hissed as he turned away and started pacing.
"Maybe he doesn't know," Snape suggested, trying to calm him down. If Potter didn't calm down soon, the magic he was pouring out would start acting without any controls. That was bad enough at any time, but as enraged as the young wizard was now, the loose magic would be extremely destructive to anything it touched.
Professor Snape recognized the look on Harry's face. It was the same one he'd use whenever a student said something extremely stupid. He found he didn't much like having that look directed towards himself.
"Are you saying that in all the times I've ended up in the Hospital Wing, Madam Pomfrey has never noticed that I'm covered in scars? Or if she did notice, she didn't tell the Headmaster? Or that he couldn't figure out there was something wrong when I'd beg, beg not to be sent back to the Dursleys'? You think I didn't notice that when the letters began to come they were addressed to the boy in the cupboard under the stairs? How about the fact that my ex-babysitter is a witch that Dumbledore trusts, and yet she never wondered where the bruises came from or why I sometimes had trouble moving and sitting down? All she cares about is her bloody cats!"
Harry paused to draw in a deep breath and Snape decided it was time to take some control back. He was the teacher here after all.
"Mr. Potter, do not use that tone of voice with me!" he snarled. It seemed to do its job. Potter was calming down and backing slowly away. Snape almost sighed in relief as he felt the loose magic calming down and retreating back into the student's body. However it wasn't until Potter's eyes caught sight of the other student in the room that he seemed to realize exactly what he'd been doing. After all, it wasn't everyday you saw Draco Malfoy seemingly stunned speechless, with a look in his eye that was all too familiar to Harry.
"Sorry, Professor," Harry muttered, blushing furiously. Only then did he... any of them really... notice that he'd done the whole rant in nothing but his underwear. The blush deepened and he looked down, his eyes coming to rest on the clothes the Potion master had dropped. With the quickness that helped make him a good Seeker, he grabbed the clothes and slipped into them. Only after he was covered and hidden from view did he raise his eyes off the floor. "May I go now Professor?" he asked.
"I think not," Snape snapped back. "There are still questions that need answers."
Harry looked up, a flash of anger once more crossing his face. "Why?" he asked sharply. "You don't care any more than anyone else does! Probably less! If that's even possible. Or do you just want details? Is that it? Do you want to know exactly what happened and who did what so you can gloat and get your jollies over it? Well you're just going to have to get them somewhere else!" He turned and stomped towards the door.
"For that bit of attitude, Mr. Potter, you can see me in detention. Tonight, 8 o'clock."
Harry spun around and glared, seemingly ready to start another rant before looking upon the implacable visage of the Potions Master. Visibly gathering his control, he just nodded jerkily and headed out of the door with a thunderous expression on his face.
Snape turned to the other student in the room. Draco Malfoy's response, or indeed, non-response to the happenings of the morning would have surprised most of the people that thought they knew him. It did not surprise Severus Snape.
"What do you want me to do?" Draco asked, his normal arrogance completely out of sight.
"Try to stay out of his way as much as possible," Snape advised. "He's extremely volatile right now and we don't need him exploding in the middle of school."
"You mean like he just did?" Draco snarked.
Snape shook his head slowly, his face utterly serious and a little worried. "That wasn't a blow up, that was just a little flare up. He's like a Fellis Flambe potion that's just had the dragon blood added. What happens at that point?"
Draco answered automatically, used to potions questions coming in the middle of seemingly unrelated conversations. "The potion will burst into flames and burn wildly until forcibly calmed, then it will burn gently and can be poured into heat resistant containers."
"And after that?" Professor Snape prodded.
"If placed in a clear, closed, shatter resistant container, it will give constant light for a year. If put into a spillproof but open container it can be used as a constant temperature fire for use under a cauldron or to cook on if you don't have a fireplace or oven," Draco recited. "However, it's not commonly used since it's highly volatile and can explode if jarred or splashed around. These days it is better known as a fire bomb then as a beneficial potion."
"Nicely done, Draco," Snape murmured, a pleased smile showing for half a moment. "That's how Potter is right now, he flared up and has been calmed, but he's still burning and a sudden shock or jar could very well cause him to explode."
"Which is why I need to stay away from him," Draco agreed. "But what if someone else jars him?"
"Then, Mr. Malfoy, you need to pray that a teacher he trusts is nearby, for I don't believe anyone else would be able to talk him down or stop him."
Draco nodded thoughtfully as he headed towards the door. He turned back as he put his hand on the doorknob, looking back at the man behind him. "You stopped him. Doesn't that meant that Potter trusts you?" he asked. Then he walked out, leaving a dumbfounded professor behind him.