I HATE Naga fics, mostly because I have yet to find one I like. I complained about this after a few drinks and heard, "Fine - if they all suck then write one yourself!"
"Why, there isn't a wizard alive today that's not half blood or less." ~Hagrid
Draco had never wanted to skip a Potions class so badly in his life. Several Slytherins had tried, in fact, but they had all been caught and sent back or threatened with steep penalties if they failed to attend. Professor Slughorn was having them brew a potion today that, despite many complaints from parents and students alike, was now a requirement from the Ministry. It was an old potion once used as early as 200 C.E. by Pure-Blood lines to ensure those marrying in had no contaminated blood. Once drunk it would scan the body and detect creature genes or curses transmitted by blood contact. If there was Veela, Merfolk, Giant, Werewolf, Vampire or any other blood besides Human then the potion would detect it immediately. Then, a small orb of light would appear to hover over the crown of the drinker's head. For a Human the light would glow blue, but for anyone with creature genes present it would glow red.
There was a reason this potion was no longer used among the Pure-Blood lines anymore. There was a very high probability of a red light, and so to keep their lines at least credibly pure families were forced to stop using it as early as the 1300's. Even by then there were very few Pure-Blood lines willing to marry Muggles or Squibs; no, they far preferred Veela or other attractive creatures that had magical talent to the common non-magic folk. As it was now the likelihood of a blue light was a virtual impossibility to anyone who had been taught to value their pedigree. Instead of perpetuating amongst the future Witches and Wizards of the world romantic ideals of a 'superior, pure-blood' line, the ministry had stepped in to shatter the spirits of any who still believed their largely falsified family trees.
And to add insult to injury, they insisted on searching for creature blood instead of Muggle blood. Every student in their final year of school was now required to brew and drink this potion and the results would be clearly visible to the class. The message was this: Pure Blood no longer exists.
The requirement extended beyond the school. It had already been carried out in the Ministry. Those not on trial for Death Eater activities had taken it voluntarily, mostly at Ministry functions and parties celebrating the war's end. Those on trial had no choice; they had to take the potion and face the facts. Even Lucius and Narcissa had, on the stand during their trials, been forced to take it before the court and display their red lights.
As far as anyone knew there were no Pure-Blood lines left. All of the lights thus far had been red aside from a select few Muggle-Born whose families would, obviously, be mostly human throughout. It showed how much the world had changed in such a short time after the war that those few individuals either found themselves relieved to be married to someone with a red orb or deliberately sought out a mate with one. Nobody but the oldest families still wanted to be associated with blood purity in any fashion, even if it only meant pure Human.
One, the Daily Prophet reported gleefully, had intentionally contracted Vampirism to rid themselves of it.
As they brewed most of the Slytherins whose image of the world had by now been rather devastated did so with the grim determination of the condemned walking to the executioner's block. They knew without any doubt they were about to receive absolute proof of their tainted blood and it wouldn't even be their right to keep as a secret. Most were despondent. Many were nearly inconsolable. Still, they knew they were on laughably thin ice even being allowed to continue their educations at Hogwarts at all and completed the task as expertly as they knew how. They simply wanted to get it over with.
Draco concentrated on his work fiercely.
Pour. Mix. Mash. Cut. Scoop. Stir.
He consciously dismissed the thought of what the potion would do, that he would have to drink it, and the fact that his light would be just as nastily red as Weasley's hair. His mask of the obedient student was flawless, firmly in place, and he was determined that nothing was going to dislodge it no matter how utterly disappointing the next few minutes would likely be.
On their side of the classroom the Gryffindors brewed with excitement and expectation. Granger had finished hers and helped Weasley finish his very quickly after. She sported a blue glow while he proudly sported his red. Eventually they had begun to lean on each other (Draco quite suspected his children would have an awful lot of Weasleys to deal with in their school years) and the combined lights blurred to an annoying purple color, which made them giggle like idiots. Potter was still brewing, as was his partner Finnigan. Both of them were ready for the last step.
As was Draco.
Calmly, betraying nothing of his inner turmoil, he put the tip of his wand on the potion's surface with as little contact as possible while maintaining a physical connection. Uttering a whispered "Avus Revelare" he allowed a trickle of his magic to seep into the milky white liquid that would allow it to search his blood and his Core. As he was the last Slytherin to complete his potion, he had the honor of setting the pace for their next move.
Nobody in their house wanted to drink alone, so they had made a pact the night before to drink together. As Draco prepared the vial, filling it with the correct dose, he sneered at the irony of it all. This was without a doubt the most meticulously he had prepared a potion in his life. He'd taken as much time as he possibly could, got it right, and even made sure to wash the vial twice. It was perfect. It was the sort of work he'd be praised for.
He wanted to throw the damned thing against the wall.
In perfect unison the Slytherins tipped back their vials. A surge of light the color of their neighbor's ties blossomed around them. They only had a moment to dwell on it, however, before a loud and predictable wet sounding explosion came from the Gryffindor side. Draco retreated until his back was against the wall and craned his neck to see, and was surprised that it hadn't been Longbottom this time.
There were many consequences of war, Harry knew, not the least of which was this; after a certain number of near death experiences dulled the panic reflex, any accident that didn't kill you became absolutely hilarious.
This explains why the first sign that Harry would survive the searing pain of something very, very hot being all over him was the sound of his friends laughing hysterically to his left. For a moment he couldn't for the life of him recall what had knocked him down, where he was or even which of his friends in particular were present to laugh at him in the first place. Eventually he had to open his eyes and find out, which was difficult since they seemed to be caked shut.
Indeed he was alive, so he smiled a bit before coughing in a weak attempt to join his friends in their mirth at his expense.
Harry wondered why his body hurt so much. Perhaps his Animagus transformation had finally worked properly, which would explain the now fading burning sensation. He felt a brief surge of satisfaction at that thought. Then, after testing his ability to move and finding very human hands and fingers, he frowned. What had happened, then? His vision swam as if he were both under water and entirely too drunk, and the water itself was very angry with him.
Looking up he saw a large glowing ball of red light hovering over him. It was annoying, so he shut his eyes again. His friends continued to laugh.
"Thanks for helping me up, guys," he drawled sarcastically.
"I'm not touching you, Harry," Seamus chuckled. "No way."
Harry's frown deepened in his confusion. Slowly, as his vision cleared and his head stopped spinning, Harry realized his body felt tingly and uncomfortable, particularly his lower half. "Ugh. I feel like one of Binns' classes. Bits of me keep falling asleep."
This, of course, only made them laugh harder. Somewhere in the distance he could hear the familiar sound of Slytherins whispering to each other. He couldn't tell if they were pleased with his predicament or not. He thought it likely they were either hoping they wouldn't get blamed for something they didn't do (as was wont to happen recently) or trying to figure out how to avoid getting blamed if it was their fault.
The volume and proximity of Slughorn's voice made Harry wince. "Ow. What?" he asked. Now he remembered where he was; Potions. They had been brewing something... Harry didn't think it had been volatile. Then again, he had a talent for causing even the most docile of potions to go wrong even if Malfoy wasn't sabotaging it. It would seem he had botched this one rather spectacularly.
"What happened? You made the potion perfectly! I watched every step!" Slughorn was wringing his hands and looking rather ill. He worried over Harry because, most likely, he didn't want to be known as the Professor that had let Harry Potter blow himself up.
"Would you mind," he asked calmly, "If you let my thoughts catch up to the rest of me before I answer that?" Professor Slughorn paled a bit and nodded. For his part Harry remained placidly on the floor. It was the only stable thing he had at the moment, and besides the cool stone that helped with the aftermath of that burning feeling he was quite certain he'd only fall down again if he tried to get up just yet.
*Orange* he thought momentarily. *Why am I orange?*
"I just don't understand what went wrong!" Slughorn muttered, upset.
"I do," Hermione said. "We infused the potions with our magic. Like lighting a candle to guide it through us to do what it needed, right? Well... have you ever known Harry to do something in little bits like that? When you told us to infuse the potions, you forgot to stress how much... and Harry lit a bonfire. He overwhelmed the potion, that's all."
"Oh. Oh, of course." Slughorn had relaxed a little. "Did a bang-up job of it too, Mr. Potter. That's supposed to be white, you know?"
*Ah. That's what it is* Harry looked down at himself at the potion that was, apparently, still seeping into him. Instead of the milky liquid it was supposed to be, his potion had turned a rather frantic fluorescent orange color. Once it had hit him during the explosion it had puffed up like a big angry marshmallow and stuck. His face was the only part of him visible. It also inexplicably smelt of cucumbers, which was odd because that hadn't been an ingredient. "Is someone going to try and get this off me, then?" he asked.
Slughorn rushed back to his desk and began to mix things to dissolve the mess.
Harry continued to lie there. His thoughts had begun to gather themselves back in an orderly queue. Harry deliberately shattered them again because he felt quite nice where he was and thought he may get the rest of the day off classes if he looked as if he'd been knocked sufficiently senseless.
"Are you in pain? Your face is all red." Ron looked a bit concerned.
"No." Harry said it again just to be sure, since he hadn't thought about it until after the first answer. "No. I feel a bit warm is all. The room isn't spinning anymore."
"It's disappearing!" Hermione shouted back at Slughorn, who was still mixing things.
The old man's face went white. "No it isn't. It's soaking into him. Quickly, throw water on him!"
Six wands pointed in Harry's direction. While the potion continued to deflate via entering Harry's system, the wands utterly failed to produce enough water to bother it. By the time Slughorn got back with his concoction to 'save' Harry, there was no more left.
Harry felt rather languid as he looked up at them. *Black.* He thought. *Why are my hands black?*
Hermione's voice was dead serious now. "Nobody touch him. Bright contrasting colors are never a good sign."
"Whatever you do, don't bite your tongue, Mate," Ron said unhelpfully.
"What?" Harry demanded, bored. "Oh, hell. Fine." Surrendering to the inevitability of visiting the hospital wing despite feeling perfectly fine, Harry sat up to look at himself.
There was a long, stunned silence. Even the Slytherins had stopped whispering.
"That's it." Harry crossed his arms, which were the only exterior limbs he seemed to have left at this point. "I'm dropping this bloody class."
"At least you're a pretty snake," Seamus offered.
A sudden shriek of alarm came from the Slytherin side of the classroom. Harry and the D.A. tensed with battle-honed reflexes, drew their wands and looked in the direction of the sound. Bullstrode was pointing somewhere in shock, her face a mask of horrified wonder. Harry's gaze followed the indicated direction to Malfoy, who bore a similar expression. He was staring at his hand, which would have been odd but for one thing; he obviously couldn't see the top of his own head and there were no mirrors around. He had lifted his hand to reflect the light of his orb, correctly guessing that may be the source of Bullstrode's fit.
His hand was illuminated with a faint blue glow.