The Weasleys Brew Again! #1
By Raven Dancer
summary: Another day, another potion, another catastrophe...
a/n: Dear HLB, here's your first installment of Die Ballade Grunen Haars.
It was definitely not one of their most brilliant moves. Even George, who never thought anything through, recognized that!
It had all started innocently enough, one fine winter morning. The sun was dazzling bright but the air was soo cold it hurt to breath. Angelina was disappointed with the freezing weather. She'd wanted to play a little quidditch that Saturday morning.
In retrospect creating a modification for heating the air inside the bubble charm would have been a much better choice.
As it was a week later they were still arguing who'd come up with the idea. Fred and Angelina swore it was George. George was adamant that it was Fred.
Snape refused to give them veratiserum. Bloody git.
In any event someone suggested it might be nice to properly welcome the new potions instructor. Show him how well Professor Snape had taught them about crafting potions. The twins had been reformulating the basic Zonko Dung Bomb formula over winter break at home. (Much to their mother's extreme displeasure.) They had managed to rig a timer-charm that was much more precise than the old fuse. They'd even replicated the secret' formula that Zonko's had developed.
Well, they thought they'd replicated the formula correctly.
And added a few extra ingredients to enhance both the smell and the smoke.
And rigged the timing charm for five minutes. Short, but necessary to be sure they actually caught the terse French professor in the lab itself. They just didn't expect anyone else would be around the dungeon classroom.
Especially not the Headmaster.
Especially not Professor Snape. Well, that had been a good thing, actually, because Snape was used to their explosions and was able to open the vents nearly immediately, activating the fans.
They'd put the dung BOMBS, plural, in the lab itself, under three different work tables. The timing charms were set as soon as Jacques had come into the room thoroughly engrossed in some old book. He'd simply sat down at the first table not even noticing the twins. As quiet as mice they left, going a short distance up the hallway to await the explosion and ensuing mayhem.
Then, and only then, did Fred notice voices coming from the open doorway. More than one. Unless Jacques was in the habit of speaking in tongues the wizard was not alone. The twins looked uneasily at one another but it was too late to go back and unset the charms.
Carefully they crept back to the open doorway, listening intently. With growing dread they recognized Dumbledore's voice. Not good, not good at all! The Headmaster had lost some of his tolerance for their gags.
Jacques was discussing some arcane point of the wolf bane potion. His voice went a bit shrill when a third voice disagreed with him.
gods. Snape. They were as good as dead. Not because Snape would kill them. The Potions Master had been extremely ill for the best part of the winter and was only now being allowed to move about the castle with an escort. No, Snape would not kill them.
Dumbledore would. With a mirrored shrug both boys simply walked into the classroom. All three adults looked over at them quizzically. Snape raised an eyebrow.
You've set up one of your gags haven't you, gentlemen? Snape asked tiredly. Couldn't fool Professor Snape. The twins hung their heads looking with great intensity at their shoes.
The roar was only slightly deafening. They'd kept the decibel count down and three together weren't that loud. The smell on the other hand, there they'd made some serious improvements. As smoke swirled around, filling all of the class and spilling into the hall, eyes watered and lungs burned slightly.
Snape called out firmly, hand outstretched. The wizard had not been given his wand back as yet, but that didn't stop him from casting two spells in quick succession.
weaker, but enough to work effectively. Smoke was sucked up the ventilators and spewed outside the castle. As the room cleared the twins watched with great trepidation as the Potions Master collapsed in a chair. The Headmaster had come beside him with a hand on his shoulder.
SEVERUS SNAPE! Dumbledore yelled sharply, wanting to make the wizard take back the charms thus restoring his precious strength.
I'm fine, Albus, I'm, Snape took a deep breath before he stared at his friend and began to laugh. Deep belly laughs. Snape had a terrible time stifling them, tears streaking his reddening face.
What? What's wrong? Are you sick? Dumbledore asked very concerned. He glanced over at the French wizard who was gallantly succeeding not to laugh aloud, although his mouth was twisting into a silly grin. Finally the Headmaster looked at the twins standing in the doorway still, a look of horror clearly emblazoned on their faces.
Exactly what are you all staring at? Dumbledore asked insistently.
gods, you two didn't try to recreate Zonko's formula, did
you? Snape finally controlling his mirth; the exhaustion from the wandless magic left him limp and leaning shamelessly against his friend.
Ye-yes professor. George and I broke the formula down
over the winter break, Fred said, still staring with dread at the Headmaster.
I take it you didn't remember the lecture about patented
formulas? The markers they place in the recipes? Snape continued, wanting to stay awake. This was just too rich. The twins certainly didn't recall any formal lecture about markers did they?
It dawned on George first. The look of absolute chagrin was well worth the wait. It crossed over to his brother and mortified they ducked their eyes.
Ah, we do recall something now, don't we? Snape chortled.
Severus, what in the name of Ptolemy are you going on
about? Dumbledore was out of patience, even for his child. Something was very wrong and he reeked of concentrated dung. It was clinging to his beard so that his nostrils were still full of the stench even though the air was clear.
Albus Dumbledore took a second look at his beard.
OH GODS! he screeched. It was green.
Bright neon green.
Hours later, still smelly and still green, the beleaguered Headmaster sat in his tower watching the drained Potions Master sleeping on the lounge as Jeffrey Barnes held him.
Just went completely overboard, Severus has no reserves
to speak of so he'll be probably drowse or sleep until tomorrow, the Healer said avoiding the Headmaster's eyes.
And my hair!? Dumbledore growled. Barnes managed to briefly meet his eyes.
It's not my field of expertise. Nor Professor Jacques', the Healer replied carefully.
Severus will have some ideas, but to be honest those
patent markers are next to impossible to break...
I have a conference to attend in three days Jeffrey... Dumbledore snarled.
I am giving the opening address! This was too much for the poor Healer and he laughed once, covering his mouth immediately.
Severus will help you when he wakes, he managed then studiously looked at his patient as he continued to feed him healing energy.
But Jeffrey! It's bloody bright green! I look like a muggle's
advertisement for a used car lot! Albus was whining. He knew he was whining. He didn't care he was whining. Every hair on his head and face was absolutely electric neon green. The short hairs on his forearms were green. Even the curly thatch around his, uhm... Well, when he'd used the loo it was green down there, too!!
Albus, it's going to be ok. Severus will know what to do.
Just wait up here until he wakes and can think about it, Barnes soothed. Snape was limp in sleep cuddled close.
Come here and let Severus curl up with you; he always
sleeps best when you take care of him, Jeffrey suggested knowing this would calm the irate wizard down better than anything else. Dumbledore held on to his frustration and anger a moment longer, then sighing moved to the lounge.
At the very least Snape smelled as bad as he did. Even deep in sleep the Potions Master recognized Dumbledore curling close. The ill wizard snugged against the older wizard's chest. The loving heart beat a soothing cadence.
The Headmaster felt all the tension slowly drain out of him. Yes, he stunk. Yes, his hair was shockingly green (even that patch). Yes, he had an important speech to deliver.
Oh, hells, it couldn't be worse! IT COULDN'T!
Snape twitched in his sleep and Dumbledore willed himself to be calm. Minerva would be up soon. She had offered to contact Zonko's to see if there was a cure. (Of course she'd had a very hard time not snickering, but she did valiantly try!)
He watched as Barnes smoothly injected one of his special concoctions into the sleeping Potions Master. He was so deeply asleep he didn't even flinch. A second needle, another shot.
There. That will help. We'll wake him for dinner in a few
hours. He'll probably be coherent, but not able to
concentrate much, Barnes explained as he cleaned up, stashing medical potions in his bag. Finally he pulled out a thick book and settled on the couch.
The hours passed with few interruptions. Dumbledore moved to his desk getting involved in the ongoing mail and forgetting his glowing problem for very short stretches of time. He also managed not to hex Flitwick with boils or worse when the diminutive Charms teacher stopped by, supposedly to tell him there was no word from Zonko's and that Jacques was experimenting on the Weasleys to eradicate the smell. Really, the nosy professor wanted to gawk at the new look the Headmaster was sporting.
About four o'clock there was a tap on the door and the bane of his existence shuffled in with Professor Jacques. Dumbledore simply glared at the twins as they approached the desk.
Well, Headmaster, we do not have good news, Jacques reported solemnly. Both boys were staring at their shoes.
Zonko's sent a cure' for the smell, based on their original
potion, he explained, and it does cut most of the odor. But
there is a little problem with side effects. George? Fred?
The twins looked up at the French Wizard. Both were now bright red.
It stains their skin? Dumbledore asked with growing trepidation; grand! He'd be an avant guard artist's idea of a Christmas tree.
Oh, no, they're blushing. Right? Jacques prompted.
Yes, Professor, Fred positively squeaked, his voice strained and high pitched in a ridiculous fashion.
Yes, Professor, George echoed in a similarly squeaky voice. Dumbledore dropped his face into his hands. Oh, joy. Squeaky and green. A snickering rose from the lounge and Snape rolled to hold his stomach.
Oh gods, Jeffrey! The extra ingredients they added are
going to cause all sorts of problems! The situation was so funny to the Potions Master he didn't even try to control himself. Poor Albus! And the convention was only three days off. He giggled helplessly, the energy potion coursing through him effectively breaking his normally stoic facade. The Healer sat behind him and ran a soothing flow over the wizard's back.
sssshhh, Severus! You need to rest, he continued to focus Snape hoping Dumbledore wasn't too angry. The situation was really difficult. And hysterically funny. The Headmaster stood and walked quickly across the room to the quieting wizard.
Severus. This is NOT FUNNY, he asserted as he sat in the chair next to the lounge and firmly grasped Snape's hand. Two bright eyes regarded him solemnly.
Not f-f-funny, the Potions Master stuttered, trying very hard to be serious.
Severus! I have a conference is three days!! he exclaimed.
Opening s-sp-sp-peaker, Snape was failing miserably on consoling his friend. With an exasperated groan Dumbledore fell back in the chair.
We also discovered not to use regular soap, Jacques decided to give the Headmaster all the bad news.
We smelled like the Brighton tidal flats, George squeaked.
On a hot summer day, Fred finished shrilly.
Albus, just wait for me. I can't think now, but get me
the twin's ingredient list and directions and I'll start on
it as soon as I'm able, Snape promised hoping he could keep the laughter from his tone. He was drowsier, the Healer had upped the energy feed to calm him down.
Severus, let's get you something to eat while you're
awake, Barnes murmured gently throwing a warning glance at the Headmaster. Dumbledore backed down immediately, going so far at to chastise himself silently for thoroughly disturbing his child's much needed rest. (*But the Conference!* he thought.)
While Barnes assisted Snape the Headmaster returned to his desk and the hangdog faces of the Weasley twins. At the very least they were still repentant for what they'd done and hadn't laughed at the Headmaster, a definite plus.
Gentlemen, I expect the entire list of ingredients you used, including any supplies you used to brew your little bombs. And a detailed explanation of how you brewed it. You will bring that to my office in the morning, 11 am sharp. Be prepared to assist Professor Snape. The twins stood up quickly, wishing to be anywhere but there.
And gentlemen? Dumbledore peered over his glasses at them, eyes hard steel.
The little matter of detentions will be discussed. I have
always drawn the line at certain forms of detentions, here the Headmaster allowed a very small curve at the corner of his lips. It was truly frightening.
But I believe you have forced me to reconsider.
Remember, report immediately should your voices change
and record any, and I mean ANY more side effects, Professor Jacques firmly ordered. Wide-eyed, George managed a stuttered yes sirs' while Fred simply nodded. Then they bolted from the room.
I am sorry, Headmaster, I have not had much experience in
this aspect of potions brewing, Professor Jacques explained with a careful shrug. He'd never seen this side of Dumbledore and didn't know him well enough to predict how the Headmaster would react at this point. Professor Snape did not seem the least bit worried about getting the great wizard more upset. But the Healer, Barnes? Yes, Barnes was being more than cautious.
I understand, Michael. I might even be laughing along with
Severus if I didn't have this conference coming up, Dumbledore ran a tired hand through the frighteningly green hair on his head. The poor potions instructor had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep a straight face. The venerable wizard looked ridiculous!
Snape moved to a chair next to Dumbledore's desk, sitting comfortably on the cushions. Barnes levitated a small end table next to him as Dobby carried over a tray of sliced fruits, cheeses, crackers and meats. Tea was poured and lightly sweetened.
Thank you , Dobby, Snape said with a warm smile. The house elf grinned in response and disappeared. Before he could be nagged, the tired wizard picked up sliced apple and gouda and took a small bite. Munching he looked benignly at the Headmaster.
I still don't understand why my hair was affected but
no one else's, Dumbledore said gruffly.
As I said, Headmaster, I have not studied this before;
there was some reaction that occurred, perhaps the
shampoo you use? Jacques postulated. Snape waved his hand and shook his head as he chewed and swallowed.
Albus' hair is white, it lacks pigment. The shaft is
easily filled with the coloring agent, the Potions Master explained.
Our hair, he indicated to Jacques and himself, is black.
There probably is some of the dye in the shafts but it's not
noticeable. The Weasley's red hair was slightly darker too.
So I need to clean the hair shafts? I could get some
whitening agent... Dumbledore started but Snape shook his head violently, taking a large slurp of tea to wash down the mouth of cheese and cracker.
No, no! I don't know what the coloring agent is. You might
make it white again. But you could also change your hair
a different color or cause it to fall out completely, he yawned and sleepily regarded his mentor.
Although you'd look stunning flame red tipped in
Jacques was sure that Dumbledore would retort sharply, even though the tired wizard didn't laugh. The Headmaster never struck him as vain, but he supposed being shocking green three days before going out into a very public venue would try any man's patience. In fact, the older wizard glared harshly at the younger for a full moment, neither breaking the eye lock. Finally the Headmaster snorted.
I'd think purple with silver streaks would be better. I have
just the robe to go with it, Dumbledore deadpanned.
hmmmm. Emerald green with gold shot through it, Snape said speculatively, eyeing his friend. He raised his hand as if to cast a charm when Barnes restrained him.
Oh, no, Severus. You are doing much better but let's
not push it, said the Healer. With a wide-eyed innocence Snape negated his action.
Jeffrey! I was only stretching, he said with hurt sincerity.
Although emerald green would be simple... he finished in a mutter.
Sensitive to the mood swing, to be expected with the powerful energy potion he'd given Snape, Barnes nudged him towards the plate and another bite of food. With a sigh the Potions Master selected another sliver of cheese and fruit.
Jacques glanced from Healer to Headmaster before settling on the enigma of Snape. Given the wizard's reputation he'd never had believed he would be so tractable. But here was the taciturn, snarky Potions Master letting the Healer treat him freely. The relationship between Dumbledore and Snape was curious, too. He'd been up here when they'd been curled up in the lounge on one occasion; Jacques had needed to speak with the Headmaster and had done so in hushed tones as the ill wizard slept.
I need to return to the labs, Headmaster. I have a few
potions to brew and some students coming in for
detention, Jacques reported as he stood. All three wizards bid him good day as he left.