Author's Note: I'm one hundred percent American so if any of the characters sound distinctly off, well, sorry. Also, this is fifth year, but lets pretend Voldemort's is on vacation for the time being.
"Oh no," Neville moaned. "Oh, no, oh no, oh no!" His potion, which should have been a dark blue, was a bright yellow. "He's going to kill me."
"Are you all right, Neville?" Harry asked.
Neville shook his head, looking sick. "I messed up the homework Professor Snape gave us."
Harry's eyes flashed with concern when he noticed how green his fellow Gryffindor was turning. That surely couldn't be good, could it? An idea struck Harry as the color from Neville's cheeks drained, to a near white. Merlin, he looked almost as pale as one of Hogwarts' ghosts!
"Take mine," Harry said suddenly. He heaved his cauldron on the Gryffindor common room's table. "Well, go on, take it."
Neville gaped at me. "No, Harry, I couldn't."
Harry couldn't bear to watch Snape tease Neville again in class. Last class he threatened to make Neville drink the next potion he screwed up. He wasn't having that. Neville looked like he was going to pass out. It was the least he could do for the guy.
"Take it," Harry repeated. "and I'll take yours." Harry didn't wait for an answer, but instead, took the cauldron from the boy's hands and promptly left.
"Thank you," Neville croaked. He picked up Harry's cauldron and hurried after him, not wanting to know what Snape would do to him if he were late.
"Good, Goyle. Excellent, Draco, excellent," Snape murmured to his Slytherin students as he looked at their cauldrons. "
"Mm, yes, hello Mr. Longbottom. What ghastly potion do you have for us today?" He peered down into the cauldron and cocked one eyebrow. "Very good, Longbottom. Five points to Gryffindor." He seemed almost reluctant to grant such a thing, but a smirk slithered its way onto his face when he saw Neville pale and shaking.
He didn't bother to check Hermione's, but instead, crossed tables and glanced at Ron's, before setting his gaze on Harry. "Mr. Potter," he acknowledged. He let out a low chuckle. "Yellow, Potter? Yellow? What could you have possibly done to this potion to turn it yellow?" His eyes flickered over to Neville and then back to Harry. "I see. Well, Potter, if you want to be the hero, then so be it. You will take the punishment that Longbottom would have received if he turned it in. Well, go on, drink it." He took the ladle and fished out a portion of yellow liquid.
"Are you mad?" Hermione demanded. "That's dangerous! You have no idea what the potion could possibly do to him!"
Snape didn't look away from Harry when he snapped, in an almost pleased way, "Five points from speaking out of turn, Ms. Granger. Go on, Potter."
Neville looked sick. He wanted to take Harry's place, just as Harry did for him, but when he tried to stand up, the fear of what Snape would do to him nearly made his legs collapse out from under him. "I'm sorry, Harry," Neville moaned to himself as he slumped in his seat and covered his eyes.
The distinctive laugh of Draco and his minions in the background had Harry angry, but it was Snape's smirk that had him positively seething with rage. He forcefully yanked the ladle out of his professor's grip and downed the sunny liquid in one gulp. Harry almost gagged it back up. He imagined it tasted the same as dirty socks did.
"Harry, no!" Hermione screamed.
"Speak out of turn again, Ms. Granger, and you'll be drinking the potion right after Potter."
"You wouldn't dare!" Hermione said.
He turned around and glared at her. "Try me."
She visibly flinched, but nonetheless, ran to Harry and pulled him into her arms. "Are you okay?"
Harry nodded. "I'm f-fine."
She pressed her palm to his forehead. "You're burning up, Harry." She wiped her hand on her school robes. "Not to mention sweating. We need to get you to Madame Pomfrey."
"I'm fine," Harry insisted.
"You aren't looking so good, Harry," Ron said.
"You three, out!" Snape snapped. "I will not tolerate you interrupting the learning for the students who actually want to."
If Harry hadn't been so sick, he would have snorted when Snape motioned towards Draco and the rest of the Slytherins. Now, don't get him wrong. Not all Slytherins are bad, but most of them hated Harry just as much as Draco did and showed it. Most of the kids in Potions sucked up to Snape and mocked Harry when his back was turned. Luckily, Ron managed to snort for him. Harry weakly smiled.
"Lets go, Harry," Hermione murmured. She wrapped his arm around her neck and she grabbed his waist. She motions for Ron to do the same.
"I can walk on my own," Harry protested as the doors to the classroom closed.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you can. Stop being so stubborn, Harry, and just let us help you!"
He grumbled something unintelligible and promptly passed out.
"It's not use, he's dead weight!" Hermione said. "Ron, why don't you sling him over your shoulder. You must have some muscle from playing on your stupid broom all the time."
Ron was to afraid to be insulted. "Carry him?" He gulped.
Hermione huffed. "You're useless!"
"I am not!"
"Hold him!" Hermione ordered and thrust their best friend into Ron's arms. "Wingardium Leviosa!" Harry levitated in the air and Hermione motioned with her wand, guiding Harry through the air.
Madame Pomfrey looked at Harry when he floated in the room and motioned towards the bed to Hermione. She gently let go of Harry and laid him onto the bed.
"He swapped potions with Neville Longbottom so he wouldn't get in trouble with Professor Snape, but Professor Snape found out and made Harry drink the potion on purpose."
Madame Pomfrey sighed. "I've no clue what that boy could have done to the potion, so it's best if we let it play out and show signs, then I'll reverse it."
Hermione nodded, as if agreeing that was the best thing to do. Ron, realizing what Hermione had said earlier, and then remembering he should be mad, and then realizing he was angry, rolled his eyes in irritation at Hermione's know-it-all tendencies. He had no clue why Harry befriended her first year. It was a wonder why Harry was still friends with her.
"Well, I'm leaving. Tell me when Harry feels better," Ron said. He didn't feel like staying in the same room with Hermione. He couldn't believe what she said earlier. 'Your stupid broom.' Can you believe her? His broom? Stupid? It was one of the most important things in Quidditch. It was one of the main components to winning, and she declared it stupid! He huffed as he left, not waiting for a response.
"I'm not," Hermione said stubbornly. "I want to know when Harry wakes up." She grabbed his hand, as if that would anchor her to the room and make Madame Pomfrey unable to do anything regarding to her whereabouts.
Madame Pomfrey shook her head and went to tend to another student.
During the time that Hermione sat at Harry's side, she finished all her homework and began to study sections ahead of her classes. She skipped dinner, but that was okay, because she wasn't hungry anyway. Her eyes didn't stray from Harry's face, but some time that night, her eyelids grew heavy. She woke herself up when she nearly fell asleep. That was funny, was Harry's face always that round? She must have been tired. Maybe she should go to bed. No, no, she couldn't. What if Harry woke up? His glasses looked a little big on his face, she noticed the next time she snapped herself awake. The third time, she wondered if his hair looked longer. Wow, she must be very tired.
Before long, Hermione's head was resting against Harry's chest and she was snoring softly.