Disclaimer:  Nope, nothing is mine (except some OCs)… the Harry Potter-universe belongs completely to J.K. Rowling and all the others she decided to share with (not me, though). I'm not making any money with it, so please don't sue me.

Once again, I'd like to thank Autumnmist for betaing one of my stories - I wouldn't know what to do without you, honestly! *hug*

Yep, I finally did it… It was quite late in the evening when I finished this story, but I still hope you are able to follow the plot line. This is my response to SilentG and rhitmcshanm's Potion Masters' Bachelor Auction & Fundraiser Fic Challenge. For further information regarding the challenge, please read the notes at the end of the story. Read and enjoy!

-~*~- Nobody's Day -~*~-   (by Faris-Eirin@gmx.ch)

Hermione was in charge.

She had never thought that being the youngest among her colleagues from the Potions and Research Department at St. Mungo's Hospital could be a disadvantage – however, the last few weeks had clearly proven how wrong she had been believing this.

Every now and then, the "Belle Etage" (speak: the administrative board situated in the top floor of the hospital building) of St. Mungo's informed their staff that they'd run out of money to finance the various ongoing projects,  which meant that this time they only informed the Potions and Research Department, since it was the only department that had ongoing projects... Actually, it was the sole department to ever run projects at all.

And therefore it was time for another fundraising event. Since none of Hermione's colleagues were very keen on the idea to organize yet another such event, they decided it was a job for the youngest and freshest mind: Hermione.

At least they had left her the choice whether or not to organize it - and she really could have said no - but that probably wouldn't have been a very clever decision, since she was quite fanatically working on her career at St. Mungo's.

It was common knowledge that if Hermione was asked to do something, she wanted the result to be not just passable, but extraordinary brilliant - as if her immortal soul was at stake. The fundraising event would be something nobody could ever forget, and once the idea of a bachelor auction occurred to her, she knew exactly what the fundraiser would be.

The location - a congress centre near the Berkley University in the heart of Muggle London - was quickly booked, and Hermione spent the remaining weeks planning the evening, writing invitations and preparing the great hall of the congress centre for the D-day.

Owls carried the invitations to destinations both within Britain and all around the world, and soon Hermione was happy to receive acceptances not only from Freidenberg of Zuflot, Xi Shang from The Mystical Magical Palace, Geoffrey McDonald from The Salem Institute of Pennsylvania and other well known Potions Masters abroad, but also from the one and only reclusive Severus Snape from Hogwarts! She couldn't believe it! "Maybe," she thought, "he might have gone nuts after all, or - a more plausible explanation - he hadn't read the invitation properly." That must be it. Well, it wasn't her problem, was it? In any case, she looked forward to seeing him again…

***

The day of the days came (or rather the night of the nights), and Hermione crossed her fingers hoping that everything would go smoothly. The Belle Etage ('Idiots, all together,' was Hermione's opinion of them) couldn't have chosen a worse day; not only was it her birthday, thought that didn't bother her at all, but it was the second day after a full moon. (For anybody who thinks that the night of a full or blue moon is when people go crazy, you could not be more wrong. Actually, it is two days after the full moon when people turn into fruitcakes.)

Hermione couldn't have come closer to the truth if she had been a second Trelawney…

The nightmare began, as Hermione scanned the auction hall for the hundredth time, then hurried outside, shook her head and went back in again. Her friend, Cynthia, was late. She had never been late before, and Hermione began to worry. Not only because she was afraid that something might have happened, but also because Cynthia had promised to be the auctioneer!  (Not that it wasn't Hermione's job, too, but she had already organized the entire auction... and besides, if she really had to hold the auction herself, she couldn't bid on the Potions Masters – on one specific Potions Master, to be exact.)

Again, Hermione rushed outside, to see whether Cynthia had arrived in the meantime, passing the one-armed doorman who opened the door for her each and every time, looking more and more annoyed each time she rushed past. Just as she was heading back in, she heard the motor of a car roaring; a Ferrari sped along the driveway of the congress centre, stopping with wheels screeching in front of Hermione, and Cynthia Fairfax jumped out of the car, waving frantically.

"Herm!! I'm so sorry!", she babbled and pulled Hermione into a tight hug.

"Cynthia! --" Hermione tried to free herself from her friend's arms, ignoring the fact that her friend had called her 'Herm' as usual, which she couldn't stand at all "--I've waited more than an hour! Where have you been? Has something happened?... And whose car is this? You haven't stolen it, have you?"

Cynthia laughed aloud. "Uhhh, so many questions at once. Take it easy, Herm! I've been at home. There... er... has been a slight problem, but don't worry, everything's ... er... fine now. No, nothing happened - at least not to me. What was your next question? Oh, I remember: Sad to say but, no, this isn't my car. And no, I haven't stolen it - it's Clive's."

Hermione bent over to look into the car if Cynthia's boyfriend was in it, but she saw nobody. "And where's Clive? - Is this a NEW CAR, by the way? - I can't believe he let you drive his car!"

Cynthia laughed again. "He's at home, yep, it is and no, he didn't... Truly spoken, he doesn't even know I've taken it."

"But, but... WHAT?" Hermione asked with a puzzled expression on her face.

"Uhm... You know… We've been watching this muggle movie, 'Basic Instinct', the whole day, and Clive insisted on... well... trying *it* out. So I tied him to the bed with this silk cord, but then I... got rather bored of the silly game... and anyway, I had to hurry up if I wanted to be here on time for this fundraiser stuff... And so I've somehow... forgotten him?" Cynthia explained highly amused, as she watched Hermione's eyes grow wider and wider.

"You've forgotten him?"

"Er... not really forgotten... It's just that I've really wanted to try out this car and I knew that he wouldn't let me drive it, you know, he mumbled something which sounded like: 'This is a wizard's car, darling, witches don't know how to drive, anyhow… blablabla' ... so this whole tied-to-the-bed-incident simply… slipped my mind. Don't worry though, he'll be able to free himself quite soon – hopefully -... and in any case, I'll be back in a few hours and we can continue where we've stopped..."

Hermione shook her head. She had been acquainted with Clive for a while now and knew that he was pretty short tempered and vindictive; he clearly would be quite pissed off by now, and she didn't want to be Cynthia when she saw Clive the next time.

Not that Cynthia was any better. Oh no! They truly were quite a nice match, and Hermione enjoyed being around them, as long as they knew where to draw the line (which unfortunately, was not always). Sometimes Hermione felt like she was friends with the Addam's Family.

"He's probably going to kill you for that, do you realize?" Hermione asked, but Cynthia dismissed her words with a light wave.

"Oh, come on! He loves me… although the last time, when I nailed his new shoes to the ceiling, he… oh, forget it… Why don't you take a poll about what he'll do this time? That could be quite fun, you know? And it would give me some new ideas, too," Cynthia teased.

Hermione accompanied Cynthia into the hall to show her around and explain the basic rules of the auction. She had only explained half of it, when Cynthia slipped away to greet one of her former professors. Hermione glared at her friend's back and was about to follow her when the door flew open and Clive entered the scene.

"Oh Gods," Hermione prayed.

Clive strode in her direction, and before Hermione could say a word he demanded: "Where's the bitch?"

"Hello Clive," Hermione replied calmly, "I'm fine - thanks for asking - and you?"

"Humph."

"Cynthia's somewhere over there, I guess…" Hermione continued and gestured in the direction her friend had disappeared. Clive didn't wait for her to finish the sentence and stomped into the crowd, watched by a slightly worried Hermione.

"… nice seeing you, Clive."

But she didn't have long to worry about her friends, before there was a loud *bang* from the opposite side of the room, and then...

"NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM!!!" a familiar voice yelled, "You... dunderhead! What have you done?"

Hermione rushed over to the tables where the Potions Masters presented their poisons, antidotes and... themselves. Finally reaching Snape and Neville, she heard her former teacher continue his monologue: "... Didn't seven years of attending my classes teach you to keep as far away as possible from any goddamn cauldrons?"

"What is the problem?" Hermione interrupted them with a calm voice, although she could see quite clearly what the problem was: both Snape and Neville were covered from head to toe in green, glowing liquid, and there was a large hole in the ceiling where the exploded cauldron had skyrocketed and broken through.

Snape spun around as he heard her voice, and as soon as he realized that it really was Hermione Granger speaking, he groaned audibly: "I should have known that you would be here, Miss Granger! Always one step behind Mr. Longbottom to protect him? Well, this time you have clearly come too late!"

Hermione shook her head. "No. Actually, I didn't know that Neville would be here, although we both work at St. Mungo's--" and turning around to Neville "--what exactly are you doing here, Nev?"

"Well... I... you know..." he stammered.

"Just.. go, o.k.? Just. Go." Hermione begged, and Neville, sensing the distressed undertone in Hermione's voice, nodded and left.

"I am so sorry, Professor Snape. They really shouldn't have let Neville in," she addressed to Snape, trying to calm him, "What is this stuff you are covered with, anyhow? I hope it's no poison?"

"No poison - it's Everglow."

"Can you… hex it off?"

Snape groaned. "It is EVERGLOW, Miss Granger! You can't just hex it off! It is supposed to be resistant to hexes. I'll kill Miss Fairfax for asking me to brew it…"

Hermione swallowed and finally realized, whom her friend had wanted to greet so urgently. She could think of only one reason why Cynthia had asked him to brew Everglow. The reason had five letters; beginning with 'C' and ending with 'live'. The evening was getting worse and worse. "How should I have known what you can and can't do with Everglow! It wasn't on the final, after all!!"

Snape simply snorted. "You haven't changed a bit since Hogwarts, have you?"

Angrily he slipped out of his robes and Hermione had to do a doubletake, as he stood there in his tight, black trousers and velvet frock coat. He looked… gorgeous!

Alas, she couldn't enjoy this sight as long as she would have loved to, because from yet another part of the hall she heard somebody scream: "Cynthia, Cynthia! Oh my God! Speak to me!"

"This is it! Damn!" she cursed and hurried to the source of the uproar: a hysterical woman she didn't know was standing next to her friend, who wasn't moving at all - she didn't blink, she didn't breath, she did… simply nothing.

Touching first Cynthia's arm and then her cheek, Hermione jumped back. What had happened to her friend? She was cold as ice, and felt somehow… unnatural.

"By the hidden dragon!" echoed a yell from one of the tables, "Somebody has stolen my Aluminoison!"

It was Xi Shang who had cried out this time and was running over to Hermione. "Somebody has stolen my Aluminoison!" he repeated.

"And what does that stuff do?" Hermione asked, realization slowly dawning.

"It… it…" he began, noticed Cynthia and pointed at her: "This!"

Knocking at her cheek, it sounded like *klong* *klong*. "It's a poison, which changes the person drinking it into aluminium!"

Hermione groaned loudly. "Don't pass Start, don't collect $ 200.00 and go directly to hell." she quoted.

"What?"

"Oh, never mind. Just… get the antidote, o.k.?" she asked Xi Shang, who hurried off and returned shortly after.

Ripping the antidote out of his fingers, she stared at Cynthia, at the antidote and then again at Cynthia. "And how the hell should we give this to her? Her mouth is shut firmly - not even a crowbar could open it!"

"Uh… oh… I don't know, actually," Xi Shang stammered, "Maybe pour it into her… ears?"

Hermione glared at him furiously, but nevertheless followed his suggestion and poured the contents of the flask into Cynthia's ears. She tossed the bottle back to Xi Shang and tried another knock at her friend's cheeks. *klong* *klong* - No difference.

"And now what?" she demanded, "She has to be on stage in fifteen minutes!"

"I don't know how long it will take, Miss Granger, honestly. I've never tried it before… Maybe ten minutes? An hour? A day?" he offered.

"Damn!" Hermione swore again and rushed away. Bad, bad day! She headed straight to the exit to see whether the Ferrari was still outside, quite sure who had given the poison to Cynthia. As expected, the car wasn't there anymore. "I'll kill Clive, I'll kill him… with my bare hands!"

When she returned back into the hall, the tumult had more or less settled again, and the people gathered around Cynthia to examine the effects of the Aluminoison and the tables of the other Potions Masters.

Hermione returned to Snape to have a look at his table and chat a little bit.

"Why don't you have your own table, Miss Granger?" he asked, apparently fairly relaxed again.

"First, I'm the one who has organized this… disaster… and second, I'm no Potions Mistress yet," she answered, and with a second thought added, "and last but not least, the invitations were strictly limited to men."

Snape raised an eyebrow, obviously unaware of that fact. Now she was positive that he truly hadn't read the invitation properly and didn't know what the highlight of the evening was. It was too late for him anyhow, she wouldn't let him escape.

Checking her watch, she noticed that it was time for the auction, and one last time she checked Cynthia's condition: *klonk* *tock* - It sounded slightly better, but it was still far away from sounding human.

With another few curses that would have made her parents faint, she stepped onto the stage and announced the beginning of the auction: "Ladies and Gentlemen. I am pleased to welcome you this evening in the Great Hall of the Springtower's Congress Centre to our first St. Mungo's Potions Masters' Bachelor Auction and Fundraiser Event. Our dearest Potions Masters from all over the world have graciously accepted our invitation not only to demonstrate their skills in the world of potions and to answer the one previously defined question you've always wanted to ask them and never dared, but also to help us raise money for our ongoing projects by having themselves auctioned… and that means each of them, Professor Snape--" Hermione added amused, as she noticed that Snape attempting to sneak off "--the doors are securely locked, by the way… Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please take your seats, hold your Knuts, Sickles and Galleons ready, for the auction is about to begin!"

There was a shuffling noise as the people searched for free chairs, and as they finally sat and were quiet again, Hermione asked the first Potions Master to join her on stage.

"Here is our first candidate: Our charming, friendly Potions Master Frederik Freidenberg of Zuflot, well known for his monthly column in Ars Alchemia and his research on the effect of pink flowers in beauty potions.--" the audience applauded loudly "-- Our audience would like to know from you,… er… ('what a silly question,' a nasty voice in Hermione's head commented) whether you've ever thought of researching the effects of blue flowers?"

"Never. My mum likes pink", was his curt answer, but nevertheless the people applauded cheerfully.

"Thank you. Then, I would like to start the auction with twenty Galleons… will anyone bid twenty-two?"

"Twenty-two for the lady in red… twenty-four for the lady in the rear… twenty-six… oh, we've got forty here in the front… forty-five… fifty… sixty for the lady with the hat… --" Hermione recited monotonously.

Frederik Freidenberg of Zuflot groaned slightly and closed his eyes: "Oh come on, mum! Don't do this to me!"

Hermione tried to stifle a giggle. Looking closer, she recognised the similarities between the old, fat lady with the hat and the Potions Master next to her. Heavens, what could be worse than a mother who couldn't let go of her son?

"--… seventy in the rear… eighty… ninety… one hundred. Anybody else? No… Sold for one hundred Galleons to the ('old, fat,' the voice added) lady with the hat!" Hermione ended and gave the ownership contract to the now sold bachelor, for that he could hand it over to his new owner - his mother.

"And now, may I please ask Potions Master Xi Shang from The Mystical Magical Palace, inventor of the Ginger-Up - the Chinese answer to the English Pepper-Up -, on stage? He travelled all the way from China just to be with us tonight…--" Xi Shang bent to Hermione and whispered something into her ear "No problem, honestly… He likes to ask you that only men should bid for him, so kindly respect his request. Thank you. And the audience's question is… well, we've already answered that: Whether you are gay… Never mind… We will start again with twenty Galleons…"

('who cares that he's gay? I don't like Chinese men, anyhow')

And it went on and on. Xi Shang was sold to a handsome looking guy with a blond moustache for one hundred ten Galleons, Cornelius Caramelita from the Roman Imperium College cost the lady in red two hundred Galleons ('yep, Italian men are quite expensive') and Geoffrey McDonald from The Salem Institute of Pennsylvania was sold for ninety Galleons ('poor guy, but who wants an American anyhow - they've got George Bush as president') to a shy looking woman on the left.

"And as our last candidate, please welcome our ('gorgeous looking, handsome') reclusive and daaark Potions Master Severus Snape from Hogwarts!--" at least he got some applause "--known by his indefatigable effort to teach dunderheads Potions at Hogwarts ('sorry, Professor'), his enormous help in defeating Vol… he-who-must-not-be-named and finally finding a cure for the effects of the Cruciatus-Curse… And the question from the audience for you is…--" Hermione blushed slightly, recognizing her own handwriting on the card, which had been pulled out of the pot at the entrance "--… whether you wear boxers or briefs."

Snape gaped and attempted to rip the card out of Hermione's hands - she was quicker, though. "WHAT?" he asked in disbelief.

"Boxers or briefs, Professor Snape." Hermione repeated.

"*mumblemuble*"

"I don't think we've understood you, could you please say it again?"

"*MUMBLEMUBLE*"

"Excuse me, what did you say?"

"Boxers… o.k.? I wear boxers."

"Thank you for this honest ('and inspiring') insight… Well then, lets start this time with fifty Galleons, shall we?… anybody bids fifty-five?"

A young woman in the middle of the crowd held up her hand. 'Great,' Hermione swore, 'Pansy Parkinson! Well, I wouldn't have stood a chance against her, anyhow, so don't be depressed, Granger'

"Fifty-five for the ('hated, ugly') lady in the middle… sixty for the man… sorry Sir, only women. Thank you… sixty for the lady in the rear I can't see because she's standing behind a palm tree… sixty-five for the ('hated, ugly') lady in the middle… seventy for the lady in the rear I still can't see… seventy-five for… sorry Sir, strictly no men… seventy-five for the ('hated, ugly') lady in the middle… eighty for the lady behind the goddamn palm tree… please hold your hand down, Sir… eighty-five for the ('hated, ugly') lady in the middle… if I see your hand up in the air one more time, Sir, I swear I'll turn it into rubber and tie it around your throat… thank you for your understanding, Sir… ninety for the lady…"

"…. THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTY for the lady back there somewhere… anybody else? SOLD for THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTY Galleons to Lady Palm Tree." Hermione ended completely exhausted. "You're quite marketable, Professor, did you know?"

Snape grumbled and glared at Hermione - which he actually had been doing since he joined her on stage - though now his eyes were deadly weapons.

"Please join Lady Palm Tree over there somewhere, o.k.? And stop glaring, it doesn't become you… It's only for one night, after all!" she joked, and after tearing his ownership contract out of Hermione's hand, he hurried away.

Worn out, Hermione also left the stage, heading to the bar and emptying two glasses of wine with nearly no pause in between. Damn, her evening was ruined. She almost had hoped that nobody would bid on Snape, so that she could 'keep' him herself, but her luck must have left her quite early this evening. Probably when she accepted to organize this bloody event. She should NOT have gotten up this morning, after all. Never been born would have been even better…

With a tight grip on her third glass of wine, she decided to check Cynthia's "rehumanization", but when she reached the place where Cynthia had turned into aluminium, her friend wasn't there. 'It's getting better and better,' Hermione thought bitterly, 'I guess I should check Cynthia and Clive's house on my way home - to see if it still stands…'

Then she spotted somebody waving at her from the rear of the room - it was Cynthia, and standing next to her was Snape.

"Darling… I'm so sorry I couldn't do the auction… Honestly. Clive's going to pay for that one!" she announced cheerfully.

"Oh, and by the way… Happy Birthday, Herm!--" again Hermione found herself buried in her friend's arms. "--Here you go, my Sweet!" Cynthia continued and pressed the birthday present into Hermione's hands.

It was… Snape noticed with horror as he craned his neck over for a look… his ownership card, for which Cynthia - Lady Palm Tree - had paid *only* THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTY Galleons.

What a bargain!

--- The End ---

Read it? Liked it? Please review! --- Thanks!

Author's notes:

- Yep, there are a few things mentioned in this story I've picked up from various (must be hundreds) Snapefics I've read so far - 'Ars Alchemia' is one of these, but I honestly can't remember in which fic it's mentioned - so please let me know if anything is familiar to you, and I will gladly mention it here: _____________

- Cynthia's surname is taken from Jane Austen's novel 'Emma'

- "Belle Etage" is actually taken from real life: It's how my colleagues and I call the top floor of the building I work in and where the big bosses have got their offices; large, sunlit rooms with expensive leather chairs, beech furniture and nearly priceless Persian rugs…

- "I should have known that you would be here…" is from the HP-movie, when Dumbledore meets McGonagall at Privet Drive.

- … And if anybody of you has ever seen 'Galaxy Quest', you probably found the quote from the movie fairly quick, haven't you?

- Yeah, 340 Galleons is a lot of money, but a) research projects cost a lot, b) invitations for fundraiser events are usually only sent to people who don't have to worry how much they've got on their bank accounts and c) if I had had the chance to attend the auction, I would have paid far more than 340 Galleons just to get my hands on Snape *g*

….

o.k., I always forget to mention it: Although I too prefer continued stories myself, I'm crap when it comes to write one (or at least when writing in English) - so I'm really sorry to disappoint you by deciding not to continue this story (not at the moment, that is. I've taken up my English studies again, so maybe one day…)

----------------------- challenge ------------------------------

Potion Masters' Bachelor Auction & Fundraiser Fic Challenge

It is time for the First Annual Potions Masters Bachelor Auction and Fundraiser! All potions masters and mistresses from around the globe are invited. Bring your deadliest poisons, your most amazing antidotes, but most importantly--bring yourself! For the Bachelor Auction features such prominent masters as Freidenberg of Zuftlot, Xi Shang from The Mystical Magical Palace, and reclusive Severus Snape form Hogwarts! Bring your knuts, sickles and galleons ladies because these men (and others like them) are going fast!

Point of story: Severus and Hermione attend the Fundraiser and auction (together, separately, does not matter) and wacky things happen.

Time frame: Hermione is in school, out of school, doesn't matter

Must Haves:

· Somebody must be poisoned.

· Severus must have 'special qualifications' that are read aloud when he is auctioned off.

· Hermione doesn't have to bid on Severus, but they must end up together in the end.

· Story must include mention/use of:

§ A one-armed man

§ An exploding cauldron

§ A silk cord (to be used at the author's discretion)

§ The line "...boxers or briefs?"

OR

§ The line "…your immortal soul…"

OR

§ The line "…a NEW CAR!"

OR

§ The line "…that wasn't on the final!!"

OR

§ The line "…why don't you take a poll…"

      ***BONUS POINTS if you use all five!!!

Deadline: August 18, same as the poll.

Additional notes: 

Story rating is at the author's discretion.
Can be one or muli-parts.
Get as crazy as you want with the plot, but please (please, please!) grammar/spell check it before entering it (in consideration of the other members of the group).

And of course, HAVE SOME DAMN FUN!!

SilentG and rhitmcshanm