„Severus," Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, looked at his potions instructor over the rim of his halfmoon spectacles. "How may I be of assistance today?" The old wizard supressed a sigh. The young professor – despite having taught at Hogwarts for nearly 20 years Severus Snape was still young enough to be his colleagues´ son or even grandson – had brought two of his students to Dumbledore´s office. True, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were trouble on feet, but the headmaster still thought dragging them in front of him by their necks was a bit harsh. The boys were only sixteen, so what could they have done to deserve such treatment?
"You don´t understand, headmaster," Snape pressed through gritted teeth, shooting the two boys murderous looks. "Potter and Malfoy have outdone themselves this time."
"I´m sure the offence is severe, or you wouldn´t have seen such crude measures fit," Dumbledore agree, following the school politics that, in doubt, the teacher was always right. "But I suggest you let go of the boys before you bring their deeds in front of me." The headmaster smiled in what he hoped was an appeasing way. Severus was well-known for his tantrums.
"That´s part of the problem," growled the potions master. "I can´t!"
"What do you mean you can´t?" Dumbledore got a feeling that this was more serious than he had thought at first sight. Potter and Malfoy looked both miserable. On second thought, this was unusual. Draco Malfoy would smirk at Harry being in trouble, even if he was, too, under normal circumstances.
"I mean I can´t like in I can´t," hissed Snape."How difficult is that to understand. I can´t."
"Severus, it requires a little movement of your fingers. Just loosen your grip and walk one step back," suggested Dumbledore, hoping against hope that this was just part of Severus´s dramatic staging.
"Oh great, as if I hadn´t thought about that!" spat the younger wizard. His lack of respect in addressing his superior was another indicator just how serious the situation was. He took a step back, dragging the two boys with him. Draco, who hadn´t been on the receiving end of Snape´s tempers so often, was caught by surprise and nearly lost his balance.
The headmaster got up from his chair and walked around his desk to have a closer look at the strange trio. A thorough inspection revealed that Snape wasn´t holding the boys, but was seemingly glued to them where he touched their necks.
"Were you brewing superglue?" Dumbledore asked, bewildered. He couldn´t remember seeing it on the curriculum.
"Of course not!" snapped Snape.
Dumbledore straightened his spectacles. "Is it safe to touch you? Or will I be glued to you, too?" he asked before investigating further.
"It´s safe. Several students tried to help us part. To no avail, obviously, but they didn´t get stuck, too." Snape sighed.
The headmaster examined the potions master´s right hand which was glued to Harry Potter´s neck first. After asking Harry´s permission, he moved the boy´s hair away and tried to lift Snape´s finger.
"Ouch!" the potions master and the wizarding hero cried in unison. This time Draco smirked, but stopped when his head of house shook him.
"Severus, there seems to be a substance between your hand and Harry´s skin," the headmaster pointed out. "Are you sure about the superglue? We could try out nailpolish remover. I heard it works with superglue."
"Headmaster," hissed Snape, "never did I, nor do I plan to, ever brew superglue in one of my classes. Superglue is muggle stuff. You can buy it at a supermarket, and the average sticking charm will outdo it easily. So why brew it?"
"So what is this stuff glueing you to the boys?" Dumbledore asked, worried.
"As if I knew! It´s obviously dangerous! So why would I brew it in class?"
"Severus, more than half of your first year curriculum consists of dangerous brews! Or do you really consider brews that melt cauldrons or explode harmless?"
"That´s beside the point! I didn´t teach any sticky potion!"
"So what did the class brew today?" Dumbledore asked curiously.
"Hospital supplies!" The potions master became more and more agitated. "Madam Pomfrey asked me to restock her supplies and I made the sixth and seventh years brew what she needed. I had the students draw lots what to brew."
"I see. Mr. Malfoy, what did you brew?" the headmaster addressed the blond boy for the first time.
"A paste to avoid scarring. Secumcuro. It´s specifically for cuts."
"And not sticky at all," added Snape.
"And you, Harry?"
"Febrideprimens, the fever potion. It´s not sticky either." The last was said with a glance at his infuriated teacher.
"So how did this happen?" The headmaster was bewildered.
"I don´t know!" admitted Snape. "I was at the other side of the classroom, helping Weasley with his burn oinment, when Potter started a fight with Malfoy."
"I didn´t start a fight!" cried Harry.
"So now it was me?" protested Draco. "You threw salamander scales into my cauldron!"
"Only after you had added wax to mine!"
"I didn´t! You can´t prove anything!"
"Malfoy," growled Snape, "this is not the time to deny anything! If you don´t want me to hang on your neck until next Christmas, you better confess which of your ingredients went to places they weren´t supposed to!"
Both boys paled. Then they confessed.
The headmaster asked them to restart after three minutes. The old wizard sat at his desk and noted down what the boys said. It turned out that both cauldrons had held an impressing number of secret additions, some of which weren´t even required for the potion the culprit was brewing.
"What, prey tell, made you go to the store cupboard, retrieve boomslang skin – a very expensive ingredient I´d like to add – and throw it into Potter´s cauldron?" Snape shook Malfoy again. "And you!" Potter got his share of shaking at this point, "why would you spend ten minutes slicing garlic just to ratten Malfoy´s potion?"
When the boys were done with their list of additions to the original recipes, the headmaster sighed. "As far as I can tell, nothing you mentioned should have led to this," he motioned at the three wizards in front of his desk, "result. – You mentioned a fight, Severus?"
"They were brawling like muggles!"
"I hit him after he had caused my cauldron to explode!" cried Harry. "He deserved it!"
"I hit him back after he had caused my cauldron to overflow!" Draco glared at the Gryffindor. "Look what you´ve done! Idiot!"
"You´re an idiot, yourself!" Harry glared back. "This is your fault."
"Shut up! Both of you!" Snape stepped closer to the desk, wiggling his way past the boys awkwardly. "I have to think! As both cauldrons stood on the same worktable and one flowed over and one exploded, the two liquids – I hesitate to call either of those mixtures a potion – merged. We have to take the list as a whole into account."
The two boys as well as the headmaster held their breath while the potions master pondered. The silence was broken occasionally by a trilling sound from the headmaster´s pet phoenix. It took nearly half an hour before Snape was done.
"I need the library. Now," was all the man said.
The headmaster led the way as Snape, his hands still attached to Potter and Malfoy, walked down to the library. Once there, the teacher set out for the restricted section immediately. Madam Pince was not pleased.
"Stop, professor!" the librarian cried and hurried after the quartet. "Potter and Malfoy are not allowed into the restricted section!"
"They are with the headmaster and a teacher," Snape pointed out, agitated.
"They don´t have a pass and you could be a student impersonating Professor Snape."
"And how would I impersonate Professor Snape if I was a student?"
"Students can´t brew polyjuice potion! It´s not part of the curriculum!"
"I ask you! Half of the wizarding households in Britain own at least one book with the recipe."
"I am professor Snape! I do not impersonate myself!"
"Woman! If you don´t let me into the restricted section now, I can´t be held responsible for what I will do to you! I will skin you alive, and believe me, I know at least five spells to achieve this, two of which I can perform without a wand!"
Madam Pince looked taken aback. "That will do," she snapped. "Be careful that the boys don´t nick a book, professor."
The headmaster, who had followed the exchange with a small smile and madly twinkling eyes, opened the door to the restricted section and the four wizards walked in. Dumbledore lit some candles while Snape dragged the boys to one of the bookshelves.
"Get me Moste Potente Potions, Potter," he ordered. "And you, Malfoy, get Potions for the Wicked."
When the boys had obeyed, the potions master pushed them to the small table where Dumbledore was waiting. He made them open the books on certain pages and started reading. Now and then he barked an order like "Turn the page!", but apart from that the potions master worked in silence.
After an hour of frantic work the man pulled the two boys to a chair and dropped into it, pulling the boys down in the course. Harry and Draco both dropped on the floor.
"We´re doomed!" moaned the man. "It seems that these two imbeciles unwittingly brewed a variety of Aggluessence."
"What?" the boys asked in unison. The headmaster didn´t ask, but his expression gave away he had no idea either.
"Magical superglue. You dimwits brewed magical superglue!"
The headmaster looked as if he wanted to say "I told you so!" but knowing Snape´s temper, he kept his silence.