Three Gryffindors and a Baby
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter (duh) that honor belongs to Rowling, the genius that she is. I'm just borrowing her people and locking them in little cages for my (and your?) amusement. I promise to give them back relatively unharmed. Well, Snape may need some serious counseling after this. Anyhoo, I make not one penny off this story, and I don't even have a penny so it's quite pointless to sue. Thanks.
Summary: An accident in Potions (where else?) turns Snape into an infant. Dumbledore in his glorious wisdom (and because it makes a nice plot) leaves him in the care of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Neville Longbottom was shivering so hard during Potions that Hermione feared his teeth would shatter. The clattering of his jaw as it connected around thirty time a second was even beginning to set Ron on edge as he tried to stir the contents in his cauldron the same way Snape had demonstrated. Neville continued to tremble as he attempted to drop the Mersalt into the mixture.
"Neville," Hermione whispered from the corner of her mouth, "you're adding too much. Just a dash, not a handful."
"S-s-sorry," Neville replied frightfully. Hermione understood his fear. She would be shaking as well if Snape had threatened to flunk her for one more botched brew.
Speak of the devil, she thought as Snape's head lifted from the desk and his gaze latched onto her.
"If you are assisting Longbottom in any way, Miss Granger, it will be a failing grade for you as well." A corner of his upper lip slowly arced upwards into a menacing sneer. "I would absolutely hate to be the one to give your first F."
By the tone in his voice Hermione rather doubted that. He'd relish an ability to prove that Little Miss Know-It-All didn't, in fact, know everything. Tightening her own lips to keep any unkind thoughts strictly to herself, she returned her attention to her aging potion.
Unfortunately, Ron had never shared her common sense. "Greasy git," he murmured quietly to Harry. "Just wants to see Hermione lose her place in line for Head Girl so some Slytherin can claim it."
Harry nodded his agreement. "Not that there is a Slytherin-"
"Mr. Potter?" Snape hissed, uncomfortably close. Naturally he had moved from the head of the class to the back while they weren't watching, and now stood directly behind Harry. Only one table away, Neville's shivering worsened.
"Yes Professor?" Harry didn't glance over his shoulder, instead continuing to chop his eel.
"Don't let me interrupt your little conversation." Snape's voice was deceptively soft, a tactic Harry had learned to recognize after five years of potion lessons from hell. The trap was closing fast on his ankle.
"I think you already did, Sir."
Unnoticed by Snape, Neville was so shocked he dropped the entire tray of whole eels into his potion. No one in the class took note. Instead, an eerie silence had settled over the room, broken only by the light bubbling of cauldrons. If a snitch flew past the window it would be heard.
Snape's lips tightened, the corners of his eyes narrowing until only black slits peered down at Harry over his crooked nose. "Very cute Mr. Potter. Your powers of observation are simply astounding. Tell me, because I'm sure everyone here would like to know, what were you about to say regarding my House?"
During his response, Snape's face had steadily grown closer to Harry's. The Professor had lent forward, until they stood nose to nose. Harry could feel Snape's breath hissing against his face, and wanted nothing more than to turn away and stick his head into a pen of Blast-ended Skrewts. Instead, he gazed back defiantly. "I was about to say that your house couldn't produce a Head Girl even if Rowena Ravenclaw was alive today and sitting under a Slytherin's banner."
Snape's eyelids twitched. No one dared breath, not even Malfoy and his two shadows. Snape gradually straightened away from Harry, all the while casting hexes with his eyes. "Hmm," was the first sound to leave his mouth.
And then, "As opposed to a glory-seeking, loose cannon, such as yourself? Someone who paints a bulls-eye on his back and tramps around in front of Voldemort at the first opportunity? An honor bound Gryffindor who shielded himself with a Hufflepuff's body under the guise of fair play? Fifty points from Gryffindor, Mr. Potter, for just being you."
Snape turned on his heel and began to stalk back to his desk when what would be known as the greatest disaster in Snape's potions class struck. Harry, blinded by fury at Snape's insinuation in front of the entire class that he had purposely sacrificed Cedric, leaped from the spot he was standing at before Ron could restrain him. He flew towards Snape like a bat out of hell, and collided just as the Potions Master was nearing Longbottom's table.
Surprised by the sudden weight of the fifteen-year-old boy landing atop his person, Snape stumbled forward and fell against the cauldron where Neville's botched aging potion was violently frothing. It tilted as soon as Snape's chest collided with the edge, pouring the contents down the front of Snape's robes.
It dripped down his chest, purple and thick as gel. He let out a cry of shock when the scalding potion met his skin. And then the most extraordinary thing happened.
Snape started shrinking.
The whole class watched with growing horror as their tall, gangly Potions Master lost an inch every second. It was as if someone had gone crazy with a the time-turner. His face filled in and grew rounder, his narrow and hawk-like eyes enlarged to the size of chestnuts. His hands and fingers, long and spindly, began to shorten and bulge. His back twisted as he sunk closer to the floor.
The great billowing robes he wore engulfed his body, until only his head was left. A moment later, it too disappeared beneath the folds. The lump that remained grew smaller and smaller until finally it stopped, leaving a squirming mass no larger than the length from wrist to elbow and a half as wide.
Everyone stared down in shock. No one breathed, no one moved. It seemed the entire class was at a loss for what to do.
A powerful wail erupted from the pile of robes on floor, one so shrill that everyone quickly covered their ears. The cry continued to permeate through the palms of their hands no matter how tightly they pressed against their ears. Ron shook his head violently, and if anyone could have heard over the piercing wails, he would have been heard saying over and over, "This isn't happening! This isn't happening!"
Hermione was the first to act. Shoving Harry and Neville roughly out of her way, she knelt by the small bundle the screams emanated from. Gingerly, she picked up the collar of Snape's robes to reveal a very un-happy and very baby-looking Snape.
"Oh Merlin!" she cried out, voice breaking as she tried to be heard over his. "He's a baby! My goodness Harry- he's a baby!"
"I can hear that Hermione!" Harry called back, fingers still deeply embedded in his ears.
"Now you've done it Potter! You're expelled this time for sure!" Draco sneered from his corner of the room.
Neville began to cry. "I'm so dead when he turns back. He will turn back, won't he?"
Hermione gazed up sympathetically before reaching into the robes and pulling out the naked infant inside. Everyone crept closer despite his continued wailing. Hermione cradled Snape in her arms and stood up, her eyes roving the group collected around her, taking in their dumbfounded faces one by one. "We've got to go to Dumbledore!" she shouted. Everyone nodded numbly and looked as if they'd just stumbled into a nightmare. "There there," she cooed.
Snape stopped wailing in favor of sucking down a long breath with fitful hiccups. Everyone sighed and pulled whatever they had stuffed into their ears out. Their gazes turned curious as they studied the small form of the most menacing man in the school. His pudgy body contrasted deeply with the thin bat they were use to.
"Merlin save me, he's almost cute," Pansy muttered.
At that Snape began to scream again. Hermione glared at her before smoothing the soft black hair on his head. "We have to fix this!" she called out to them. Most of the class shook their heads. Hermione stomped her foot. "Fine then. Harry, Ron, and Neville come with me. The rest of you should clean this place up!"
"Why us?" Draco snarled back. "Let the elves do it."
Hermione glared at him for several moments. "Fine. You take him to Dumbledore." She repositioned Snape till her hands fell under his armpits and presented the screaming Professor to Draco.
He held up his own hands in surrender and shook his head. "No way. We'll straighten out the room. It's your fault anyway Potter!"
Harry didn't answer, he just stared at Snape. He was sure his days at Hogwarts were numbered. Assault on a teacher was one thing, but transforming them into a baby? He really hated Snape now, even worse then before. "This was all your fault," he muttered to Snape as Hermione cradled him again in the crook of her arm.
She gave Harry a stern glare before sighing and moving to the door, motioning the three of them to follow with a nod of her head.
Neville clutched Ron's sleeve. "How are we going to explain this to the Headmaster?" Eyes brimmed with tears as he looked to Ron for answers. Ron shook his head and pulled at Harry before following Hermione out the classroom door.
It was the first times in years that it hadn't slammed shut at Snape's exit.