Disclaimer: I do not and will never own any of these characters or the Potter Universe. All rights and copyrights (except for this fan fiction's plot) belong to J.K Rowling and associated Publishers of the Harry Potter series. No money has been or will be made from the following story.
A/N: In this story, Harry and his classmates are all 18 (they came back to finish school after Voldemort's defeat) and there are no rules against student/teacher relationships as long as the student is of age. Completely ignores anything 5th book and onwards except the downfall of Voldemort and how it came about (meaning no one died! And Cho and Ginny are completely out of the equation!).
Snapes and Ladders
Ah, Friday the 13th. Dubbed 'Black Friday', it was a day where one with a great level of superstition would avoid a variety of objects and animals. Anything from mirrors to black cats was evaded like the plague by these strange people. Severus was not strange, unless of course you counted terrorizing immature adolescents who were mentally five by swooping around menacingly imitating a bat, strange. The cynical Potions Master was not superstitious in any way, shape or form. Superstitions were left to people like Trelawney who were actually paid for having such ridiculous, unproven beliefs.
Snape prowled through the hallways of Hogwarts during breakfast time that day. He was on his way to the Great Hall before returning to the depressing four walls that made up his office to do some early morning, intense dream crushing of the seventh formers' NEWT assessment essays on the uses of the Belladonna in counteracting other poisons. All the students seemed so much more unsettled today. That may have had something to do with getting into trouble in the presence of Snape on this particular day, but it was annoying to say the least to see them physically diving out of his way. Normally they just pretended they were part of the walls.
He strode quickly towards the staff table. Dumbledore waved happily at him. What he was so happy about on this supposedly woeful day, Severus had no idea. He grunted his hello before settling down into his seat on the left of the Headmaster. A pitcher of coffee appeared and Severus poured himself a generous steaming mug. His breakfast soon appeared shortly after he had downed half of the second mug. He was about to start eating when McGonagall asked him to pass the salt.
"You know, Minerva," Severus began, "At your age, you really shouldn't be eating so much salt. That's bacon for Merlin's sake! Why would anyone want more salt in bacon?"
"Don't be foolish Severus, we're magical people! We don't experience the same infirmities that muggles do." She answered. There was a pause. "Are you suggesting I'm old?"
Severus shrugged lightly. He reached for the salt shaker and with a small clink, knocked it over. The little lid fell off and a small amount of salt spilled out of the neck and cascaded over the edge of the table.
"Oh dear, Severus, now you're going to have bad luck all day!" Dumbledore chuckled.
"I don't believe in such inane things, Headmaster." He answered.
"You never know, Severus." McGonagall concurred with Dumbledore.
Snape snorted. Please! These outrageous superstitions were probably created by some upset witch or wizard, or even a muggle who had gotten through a really bad day and over analyzing their actions throughout the day to try and justify why it was so bad. 'Absolutely preposterous.' he thought as he ate up his plain toast within a few bites.
A disturbance from one side of the Great Hall soon caught his eyes after he had banished the spilt salt with a gentle flick of his wand. There was a loud shriek that seemed to be emanating from none other than Granger of the Golden Trio. Her voice drew his eyes towards their side of the hall.
Potter was standing up and seemed to be recreating his own mutilated version of River dance only he was holding his robes out and off his skin and yelling something that sounded like 'Hot, hot!' Potter then peeled off his black school robes and continued to prance about in the same manner.
'Hot indeed,' Severus thought as he eyed Potter's lean form through his wet school shirt. Then he silently berated himself. Those thoughts were occurring more often than suitable these days. 'Not that it should ever be suitable!' Severus yelled inwardly at himself again.
Dumbledore laughed loudly at this. "Ah, it seems that Mr. Potter's bout of bad luck has just started!"
Severus sneered. Taking the opportunity to get away from the eccentric headmaster, Severus stood up and promptly made his way over to the dreaded Gryffindor table. Honestly, who drinks scalding hot tea in this weather? 'But then again who drinks scalding hot coffee in this weather, my dear Severus?' a small mocking voice asked him to which he promptly told it to shut up.
"Potter, what act of stupidity have you performed this time?" he drawled.
"It wasn't Harry's fault, professor. I accidentally bumped him and he spilt the pot of tea onto himself." Granger rushed to explain.
Rolling his eyes, he cast a drying charm on Potter's shirt and ordered the two of them to go to the Hospital Wing to get some burn salve applied. Severus left breakfast early bringing with him a mug of strong black coffee of tar-like quality. As he exited the Great Hall and nearing the dungeons, loud clanking sounds reached his ears. He could see Filch the caretaker carefully mounting half a dozen large notices onto the wall for the Slytherins. He stood on a long wooden folding ladder that took up the majority of the narrow little corridor.
"Damn it, Filch." He cursed, "Would you hurry up? I have things to do."
"Can't be too careful today Professor," the caretaker began straightening out the first notice. "You never know, with the bad luck that might be running rampant today, one of these notices could just fall and hit someone's head."
"Not you too!" Snape shook his head in frustration. "I thought at least you would be above this nonsense!"
"Now, see here! Just because I am a Squib, it has nothing to do with what I chose to believe in!"
Still shaking his head, Severus stepped under the ladder in order to continue on his way back to his quarters. Filch gasped. "Professor, be careful!" he heard Filch yell out as he rounded a corner.
It was some time later that he was stretching his arms, Severus quickly cast a Tempus to see what time it was. Ah, perfect! Just fifteen minutes before the third period began. Enough time to prepare a few notes for his next class. Speaking of which, what was his next class? …Oh shit. Severus momentarily realized his next class just so happened to be Advanced Potions which meant Potter.
Sighing, he methodically charmed the chalk to start writing the required notes. The bell ringing exactly fifteen minutes later signaled the beginning of his next treaded class. All the students filed in slowly. Everyone was just about settled when Severus noticed that a particular Know-It-All, Red-Head and the Chosen One was missing. A few seconds later, said Know-It-All burst through the door followed by Potter and Weasley seemingly being dragged by the shoulder to their seats.
"May I enquire as to what has given you the idea that you are allowed to show up late to my class without excusing yourselves before hand?" Severus swooped over to their bench and glared at the all of them. "Or do you think yourselves much too important for such simple politeness?"
Again, being the…whatever it was she is of their group, Granger spoke up for the both of them. "We're sorry professor. It's just a notice in the one of hallways fell on Harry. He, um, blacked out for a moment so we were about to bring him to Madam Pomfrey. He woke up but I still had to make sure he was ok. That's why we're a bit late."
"10 points for your lack of punctuality. Each." Snape said silkily before returning to his desk. As he walked back he could hear an angry Weasley try to comfort his friend. "Don't worry Harry. He's just being his usual snarky-git self. You can't help it if all of these things happen to you on Black Friday."
"I know Ron," Potter reassured him in a hushed voice still rubbing his head, "but I don't believe in those things. Even if I did, I haven't exactly done anything to cause bad luck! It's like someone else's bad luck is transferring to me!"
"A further 20 points deducted for disturbing my classroom's peace." Severus called out from behind a large pile of workbooks on his desk. He didn't look up but he was sure he was receiving a look of annoyance from Potter.
Severus thought about their whispered conversation as he continued to grade the worthless assignments with much contempt. So, Potter thinks his luck was affected by the bad luck caused by someone else did he?
He then remembered how he had spilt the salt and Potter got scalded with hot tea. He had walked under the ladder and Potter got bonked over the head with a Slytherin notice board. Severus entertained these thoughts for a few moments and wondered if it could be he who was causing Potter's bout of bad luck. After all, he hadn't seemed to suffer any of the superstitious consequences.
Deciding this theory needed to be tested; he discreetly summoned a hand mirror. Third time lucky…or should that be unlucky? It was a rather subjective matter, he mentally chuckled. Severus promptly cast a Silencing Bubble around himself with a wave of his wand and dropped the mirror to the floor behind his desk. It shattered and cracked. He waited a few moments. Nothing happened. Severus wasn't really expecting anything anyhow as he removed the Silencing Bubble and broken mirror.
But then, a loud bang drew his eyes up from the page in front of him crossed generously in red ink. Weasley was whimpering in pain as puss oozed out from ugly boils covering the expanse of his left arm having disintegrated his robe sleeve. The cauldron in front of him was melted into an unrecognizable glob of molten black metal.
"What in Merlin's name did you do now, foolish boy!" Severus yelled, removing the corrosive mess that was eating its way through the wooden workbench.
"It was me, pr-professor."
He turned to see that it was Potter who was speaking. "Detention, Potter! And 30 points from Gryffindor! Perhaps scrubbing stains off all of the workbenches would help you appreciate the purpose they serve and you would consider twice before melting them!"
Potter shrunk back and into his seat as Severus dolled out his punishment. The bell rang. "Class dismissed!" Severus barked, "Honestly, Cyprus bark before porcupine quills? A mistake worthy of a first year Hufflepuff! My office, 8 o'clock Potter! Don't you dare be late!"
Severus glared at Potter's retreating form, half heartedly glad that the boy had managed to stuff up a simple potion yet again. So…It seemed Potter' bad luck really was affected by the superstitions that Severus put into effect. Well, Severus thought, he'll just have to try his best to use this new power to torment the boy that little bit extra.
At exactly 8 o'clock that night, there was a tentative knock on Severus' office door.
"Enter." Severus said, not looking up from his desk. In his peripheral vision, Severus saw the boy standing nervously with his school bag still on his shoulder. Severus said nothing. He continued to casually grade (or rather degrade) papers, occasionally dipping his quill into his red ink pot. Severus knew how much this would annoy Potter. That's why he did it. But Potter never moved an inch. He just waited patiently which was surprising to say the least.
Suddenly, Severus waved his wand, his eyes still trained on the essays before him. A bucket filled with sloshing cold soapy water and a toothbrush appeared. "I do hope you remember why you're here Potter. Get on with it…And no magic." Severus said.
The boy did as he was told not uttering a single word to Severus. A long silence stretched over them both. The only sounds were the scratching of Severus' quill and the scrubbing sounds from Potter's brush. After another period of stony quietness, Severus felt it was in his best interest to start using his bad luck against Potter.
He lifted his quill up to his nose and tickled it. He wanted to make himself sneeze. Flitwick had said something about it being bad luck if you sneezed and to your left. Let's see if that superstition held merit. He felt the annoying sensation of a sneeze come about and turned his head to the left.
"Bless you." Potter said reflexively. Then he stopped scrubbing and looked up at Severus when he realized what he'd said.
"Thank you, Mr. Potter." Severus said, sniffing slightly.
Potter kept staring as though he thought the words 'Thank you' could not possibly have been in Severus' vocabulary. Severus raised an elegant eyebrow and Potter snapped out of it, quickly turning back to his bucket and toothbrush to scrub a little too enthusiastically at the tables in front of him. Then there was a snap and Potter's toothbrush broke cleanly in half. He let out a groan and Severus looked up at him.
"It seems you are not having a very good day, Mr. Potter." Severus said, not bothering to replace the toothbrush.
"Of course not sir, it's Friday the 13th." The insolent brat replied.
"I do not believe in such nonsense, Mr. Potter. It is no excuse for being clumsy."
"Nor do I, sir. But after today I think I just might have to believe in it. I seem to get into so much trouble today although I don't remember ever doing anything that would cause bad luck."
Well that was unusual, the boy pointedly ignored Severus' insult choosing to instead continuing on with the conversation. Severus stood up and walked over to Potter who had picked up the broken toothbrush and continued scrubbing on the pretence of inspecting Potter's progress. Potter had managed to scrub most of the workbenches already.
"The amount of luck gained or lost on Friday the 13th usually determines the amount of luck you have until the next Black Friday, Potter." Severus said conversationally as he turned to walk to his desk.
There was precisely three knocks and Severus was about to answer his door when he realized it was Potter who had knocked.
"May I enquire as to what that is for?" Severus asked arching his right brow.
"I knocked on wood because I didn't want you to jinx it." Potter said casually. Severus raised his other eyebrow.
"Plus, I can't stand the thought of having very bad luck for a whole year." Potter continued.
"And why is that?" Severus asked looking at Potter again.
"Because, then I wouldn't be able to do this-," Potter said abruptly standing up, seizing the front of Severus' robes and pulling him down into a very sloppy but quite enthusiastic kiss. Severus felt a wet tongue run across his lips and gasped, unwittingly letting Harry in. Harry's tongue darted about inside his mouth, tasting every bit of him. Harry himself, Severus thought, tasted of treacle tart, which may have had something to do with the desert they were served in the Great Hall earlier but he wasn't thinking at all that clearly and knew that his mind was rambling and that he should probably just shut the hell up and enjoy it already. They broke apart both gasping for air as Harry continued, "-and get away with it."
Severus looked incredulously at Harry's impish grin for a moment before seizing Harry around the waist for another kiss. 'God, my reputation as the evil git will be so royally shot to hell if anyone finds out about this,' Severus thought as this time, his tongue plunged into Harry's hot wet cavern, 'What bad luck. Or good luck- it really is such a subjective matter.' And once again, Severus' told himself to shut the hell up.
A/N: Yeah, I know the bit about the luck you set on Black Friday being the luck you get until the next Black Friday isn't true, but hey, cut me some slack here, I've got use something to get them to that ending *points at conclusion and grins* Hope you all thoroughly enjoyed it. My first finished FanFic D: ever. Please REVIEW! It makes me write better and thusly you reap the benefits!