What a Difference a Day Makes
Hermaphrodito, indeed, Snape thought savagely. Mustering all the dignity at his disposal, Snape swept out of the infirmary and along the winding corridors, down to his dungeon, ignoring all questioning looks and curious stares along the way.
To hell with Potter and Malfoy and Albus. He'd deal with them tomorrow. Tonight he was going to get drunk.
FOUR HOURS POST CURSE...
Snape lay on the sofa, a hot water bottle clutched to his abdomen with one hand and a glass of nettle wine in the other. A copy of Moste Potente Potions was suspended in front of his face and he was proceeding nicely toward his goal of getting totally smashed.
"Hmmm," he murmured, "I wonder if powdered rat tails would work as well... turn back to the last page." The book obediently turned its page while Snape reached for the bottle to refill his glass, bemused to find it empty. He picked up his wand. "Accio wine," he ordered, pointing it at a nearby cabinet.
He had just levered himself up off the sofa to open the new bottle when he heard a faint knock. For a moment he just stared, surprised that he'd heard anything through the powerful silencing wards he'd put on the door. Then, carrying the bottle, he made his rather unsteady way to the door and cracked it open, peering around the edge.
"Potter?" he asked incredulously. "Is that you?"
Snape frowned. The boy looked positively grim, pale and tight-lipped. "What's wrong with you?" he snapped, wondering why Potter had brought his troubles here and not to Minerva where they properly belonged.
"I know I'm probably the last person you want to see." He looked at Snape defiantly and paused, as if waiting for something, but Snape couldn't imagine what, so he just waited impatiently for the boy to get on with it.
"Well, Hermione told me about the curse, and you were in pretty bad shape when Malfoy and I left..." His voice trailed off at Snape's groan.
"I should've known Granger would rush off to the library at the first opportunity."
"Actually, sir, she already knew."
Snape raised his eyebrows in disbelief.
"Honestly. You see, in 'Hogwarts, A History' there's a-"
Snape sighed, holding up his free hand. "Say no more. I know the story." A rather lurid tale really. The book was full of them; one simply had to read between the lines. The students who couldn't get past the dry prose didn't know what they were missing.
"Anyway, you looked really bad when I left the classroom earlier and you weren't at dinner and I...well, the curse was meant for me, you know, and...I suppose I just wanted to make sure you were going to be all right."
Snape smiled, then clutched the edge of the door and closed his eyes as a wave of dizziness washed over him.
"Professor?" Potter asked hesitantly.
Snape waved his hand. "Fine, I'm fine." He abruptly swung the door open. "Come on in."
Wide-eyed, Potter eased past Snape and into the room. "Uhm, sir? Have you been drinking?"
"Yep." Snape nodded, holding up the bottle. "Nettle wine. Here, have a glass." Before Potter could refuse Snape had sloshed a good bit into a glass and pressed it into his hand. "Go ahead, drink up," he said as Potter hesitated.
"Sir, I'm not sure..." Potter stared at him for a moment. "Uh, okay. Thank you."
Snape watched expectantly as Potter took a drink, then choked. "What is this?" he sputtered.
"Oh dear," Snape said sweetly. "I forgot to mention it's probably a bit stronger than the swill you're used to."
"A bit, yeah." Potter cleared his throat and took another cautious sip. "Well, it's uhm, very good."
"You needn't sound so surprised," Snape said. "The process is not all that different from making potions."
"You made this?"
"Of course. Come sit down." Snape went to the sofa and picked up the water bottle, staring at it blankly for a moment trying to remember what it had been before. A pillow perhaps? Close enough, he thought, waving his wand.
Potter's eyes widened and Snape glanced at the pillow, wondering if he'd done it wrong. But no, it was a pillow, heavy with feathers and covered in red velvet. He squinted. It appeared to be shaped like a pair of lips. No doubt why the boy was giving it such an odd look. He tossed it onto the sofa.
"Er, Professor, how much have you had?"
"Just the one bottle so far."
"A whole bottle? Of this?" He looked aghast. "Does Madam Pomfrey-"
Snape drew himself up to his full height. "I do not need Madam Pomfrey to tell me what I can and cannot do, Potter."
"I'm sorry, sir," Potter said hastily. "I didn't mean... I just..."
"Poppy is the one who suggested it. She seemed to think it would help me relax."
"Well, you certainly seem very relaxed," Potter allowed.
"Why don't you tell me about what happened between you and Draco?" Snape said as he poured himself another generous glass of wine.
Potter looked at him askance, but gamely began to explain. Snape steadily sipped his wine and tried to pay attention to the long-winded tale about eye of newt rolling off the edge of the desk, Longbottom hyperventilating over a lost bottle of asphodel root, and Pansy Parkinson in tears, but the sound of Potter's voice was low and soothing and despite his best efforts, Snape found himself drifting away. No matter, Albus had no doubt already settled it all out anyway.
Snape suddenly frowned at the implication of Pansy's tears, hoping the blasted girl wasn't pregnant yet again. If he had to mix up one more abortion potion for her he was going to put her in a chastity belt.
"Well, I should be getting back," Potter said. He stood up and set his glass on the table. "I really just wanted to be sure you were all right."
"Yes, yes. Very kind, Potter," Snape mumbled, setting down his own glass and hauling himself to his feet so he could see Potter out.
Potter was at the door, turning to speak, when Snape stumbled. Potter lunged forward, catching him around the waist, and somehow he found himself leaning against the boy, his hands clutching the front of Potter's robes, their bodies pressed close together. Potter didn't push him away; in fact his hands were perfectly still on Snape's waist and he wasn't moving at all, so Snape was content to just rest there for a moment, just until his head stopped spinning.
And Potter smelled good, Snape thought with surprise; a faint echo of scent, as if it had been applied as part of his long-ago morning ablutions. He lowered his head to press his nose against Potter's neck, trying to smell more. He felt Potter swallow, his throat moving against Snape's lips.
"Professor?" Potter whispered.
"Hmm?" Snape raised his head and was somewhat surprised to realize that Potter was nearly as tall as he was. They stood almost eye to eye now. And he had such pretty eyes. Lily's eyes, clear and green. "Such pretty eyes," he murmured.
He slid his fingers into Potter's hair, idly toying with the soft strands and he bent his head to Potter's neck again, inhaling the seductive scent. He wondered how Potter's skin tasted and promptly put out his tongue to find out. Potter gasped and his hands fluttered from Snape's waist to his shoulders.
Potter's skin was warm and dry, and didn't really taste of anything but skin. Snape slowly kissed and tasted along a line that traveled up Potter's neck to his ear, and he was pleased to discover that the application of lips and tongue and breath to Potter's ear caused a good deal of shivering and whimpering and clutching of hands on the back of his robe. Smiling, he moved on, along the line of Potter's jaw.
"Who-who are you, and what have you done with Professor Snape?" Potter joked feebly. Smiling, Snape pulled his head back to look at Potter's face, then laughed aloud at Potter's stunned expression.
And then Potter's hands were on his face, and Potter was kissing him, kissing him as though he really meant it, and Snape closed his eyes and lost himself in the pleasure of Potter's hot, wet, wine-flavored mouth. Snape's hands, which had been restlessly roaming Potter's back, eventually fell to Potter's backside, and he pulled Potter's hips against his own. Potter lifted his head and moaned, his fists tightening convulsively in Snape's hair, his glazed eyes slowly focusing. "Sir?" he finally asked. "Do you really..."
"What?" Snape asked. "Do I really what?"
"Do you really have..." Potter cleared his throat. "That is...did the curse really make you a-a hermaphrodite?"
"It should've been me," Potter whispered. "If you hadn't come in when you did it would have been me. I'm sorry."
"Not to worry, it's temporary." He waved a hand negligently. "Thirty-six hours at most. You want to see?" he asked abruptly.
Potter's mouth dropped open and his eyes went big as houses. Then he slowly nodded.
Snape grinned. "Come on then." He took Potter by the hand, pulling him into the bedroom.
SIXTEEN HOURS POST CURSE...
Snape woke with a blinding headache and an urgent need to urinate. He stumbled to the bathroom and gazed down at the toilet, wincing at the memory of yesterday's events and trying to decide whether he should stand or sit. He decided to sit; that way was safest, and easier on his head besides.
Damned nettle wine. "Have a glass of wine, Professor. Relax," Snape said, his sarcastic falsetto a sadly inaccurate imitation of Pomfrey's voice. He forced himself to get up and fetch a potion to cure his hangover. At least he had the potion already brewed, thank heavens; otherwise he'd be sick as a dog all damned day.
"There's a reason you don't drink, Severus, remember?" he muttered to himself.
The potion had already begun to work its magic, and Snape was beginning to feel almost human, when he walked into the parlor and a spot of bright red stopped him dead in his tracks. Bright red...Snape squinted...lips? There was nothing bright in Snape's tastefully neutral dcor, and certainly nothing as tacky as a pillow shaped like lips.
He moved closer, then stopped again, staring in horror at the table. An empty bottle. A second bottle with less than half its contents remaining. Two glasses. He groaned as a half-formed memory flitted through his mind: his body pressed against Potter's, the boy's wine-sweet breath hot on his face.
Surely that had just been a drunken fantasy... Potter would never... HE would never...
Snape frowned in concentration. Potter had come to check on him, he remembered that much. Typical nosy Gryffindor, he thought, sneering. Came to gloat over Snape's predicament, more likely. Snape knew that he tended to get...friendly...when he drank, and by the time Potter had shown up, Snape was seriously drunk. In that condition it was entirely possible that he'd asked Potter in and offered him a glass of wine. He briefly cursed himself for not putting stronger wards on the door.
"Quite a show you put on there, Severus."
Snape turned to glare at the portrait hanging over the fireplace. "What are you talking about?"
"You and the boy, of course. For a while there I thought the two of you were going to have at it right there on the floor. Pity you had to come to your senses and drag him into the bedroom."
Snape clenched his fists. "You're lying," he said, eyes narrowed.
"You wish I was lying." His uncle gave him an unpleasant leer. "What were you doing to him, Severus? I could hear him in there caterwauling half the night."
Oh no. He closed his eyes in dismay. He'd really had sex with a student? With Harry Potter? "If you tell a soul about this I'll slice you to ribbons and store you in a jar of acid, do you hear me?" Snape hissed.
His uncle laughed heartily.
TWENTY-SEVEN HOURS POST CURSE...
Snape yanked the door open and stared. Potter again? "What are you doing here?" he snarled. It was bad enough Snape had to see him in the classroom and the Great Hall day after miserable day, he certainly wasn't going to put up with the idiot boy coming to his private rooms night after night.
"I came to make sure you were all right, after last night," Potter said, clearly taken aback. "I didn't have Potions today, and you weren't at any of the meals-"
"Likely story," Snape interrupted coldly. "I'm not interested in your fake sympathy so you can take yourself back to Gryffindor where you belong. I don't socialize with students."
"You don't? Sure didn't seem that way last night," Potter said nastily, his confusion quickly turning to anger.
"Oh, I'll be seeing the headmaster about your attack on me last night, make no mistake."
"Attack on you?" Potter whispered, his eyes wide. "You bastard! It was you who started it, kissing me."
"I was drunk. If you ever paid attention in class you'd know that someone drunk can't give consent." Snape's lips twisted into a gleeful smile. "You've finally done it, Potter. You've gone too far this time. Dumbledore will be forced to expel you, and if he doesn't I'll take this sordid little story to Rita Skeeter."
"I can't believe you." Fast as lightning Potter grabbed the neck of Snape's robes in his left hand, and drew back his right into a fist. "I've wanted to wipe that smirk off your face for so long..."
"Right here in the doorway, my my, this just gets better and better." Snape sneered. "Well? Go ahead then, Potter. Hit me. But you'd better make it good, because you'll only get one chance."
"Look at you! This is turning you on, isn't it?" Potter stared in disbelief, dropping his fist.
"Oh yes," Snape drawled. "Who could resist famous Harry Potter? He's SUCH a gentleman."
"God, I hate you!"
Snape raised a mocking eyebrow. "How very original. Are you going to hit me or not?"
Potter considered the hand still twisting the robes at Snape's throat. "I suppose I've already given you enough to get me expelled."
"Oh yes," Snape whispered fervently, "more than enough."
Potter's lip curled. "I might as well make it worth my while then," he said, raising his fist again. He swung hard, and the force of the blow jerked Snape's head to the side. Dazed, Potter looked down at his hand. His knuckles were smeared with blood.
He'd actually done it. Snape slowly turned his head back. He barely felt the pain, there was so much adrenaline racing through his body, but his mouth was full of the metallic tang of blood and he could feel it trickling down his chin. Snape quickly ran his tongue over his teeth, then he smiled, and Potter winced at the sight. "I'm sorry," Potter whispered, raising his arm and gingerly dabbing at the blood with the sleeve of his robe. Snape made no move, just watched him silently, a faint smile on his lips.
Potter dropped his hand. "I'm sorry," he repeated.
Then Potter kissed him.
Snape stared at the ceiling, trying to work up a good fury, or at the very least some dismay or regret, but he couldn't seem to get past this persistent...contentment. He turned his head to find Potter watching him, his green eyes almost glowing in the candlelight. "What will you do when you leave Hogwarts?" Snape asked. "Play Quidditch?"
"What do you care?" Potter asked, his voice hard.
Ahh, a little irritation. That was better. "Humor me."
Potter shrugged. "I've got a boatload of gold at Gringotts. I think there's enough to open up a potion shop in Hogsmeade."
"What? You loathe potion making."
"No, I loathe the Potions master. I like making potions just fine."
"You haven't the skill. You've not yet learned-"
"No matter," Potter said airily. "I'm famous Harry Potter; people will come from miles around for that alone. I'll hang a sign with a big picture of my face, showing the scar, of course. And I'll be sure to prominently advertise that I was trained by the great Professor Severus Snape."
"Are you trying to blackmail me?"
Potter smiled maliciously.
"And they say Slytherins are bad," Snape muttered. "I'll bet Godric Gryffindor is rolling in his grave."
"Did you know the sorting hat almost put me in Slytherin? Told me I'd do well there." Potter stretched and leaned back with his hands behind his head. "Just imagine it, famous Harry Potter - a Slytherin."
Snape groaned. "Now I'll have nightmares for months. Get out of my bed. You're still a pupil at this school. You can forget about expulsion; I'll not have you dragging my name through the mud."
"Because you have SUCH a good reputation, right?"
THIRTY-EIGHT HOURS POST CURSE...
The urgent knocking at his door woke Snape from a most pleasant dream. He muttered curses under his breath as he yanked at the belt of his dressing-gown. The stone floor of the dungeon was like ice under his feet, which just made him angrier.
"Who is it?" he growled.
Snape flung the door open and gave Potter his deadliest glare. "What are you doing here at this ungodly hour?"
Potter stood in the doorway, flushed and a little breathless. "Is it too late?"
"Is it too late for what?" Snape asked waspishly, although he knew full well what Potter was on about. "Do you know what time it is?"
"Don't be a git. Have you changed back yet?" He didn't wait for an answer, but stepped in, kicked the door shut behind him and took Snape into his arms.
"Potter, stop this at once!" Snape meant it, he did. Even if his hands WERE clutching Potter's backside.
"Listen to me," Snape said, struggling to speak between kisses as Potter walked him backward into the bedroom. "This curse is temporary. I'm a man, Potter, a man you hate, if you'd think for a minute with the head on your shoulders."
Snape backed into the side of the bed and fell backwards, Potter right on top of him. "Damn it, are you listening to me? Would you be doing this if I didn't have those PARTS you like so much?"
Potter was kissing Snape's neck and he paused, slowly pulling back, his expression dazed and dreamy. "Yes," he said softly. "I think so."
Snape worked hard for a sneer, but it was exceedingly difficult with his heart pounding and his mouth dry and the full length of Potter's body on top of him. The boy's arousal was quite evident. He supposed his dressing gown wasn't doing much to hide his own from Potter, for that matter.
"What about you? Would you still want me if you didn't have...you know..."
"No, I don't know, Potter, I can't read minds."
"The...ah...female parts. Would you want me like this if you didn't have all that stuff, the hormones? You know."
Snape opened his mouth to deny it, but somehow the words wouldn't come, and he stared in dismay as comprehension dawned on Potter's face. He tried to pull free, but Potter held him tight.
"You wanted me before, didn't you?" he said softly. "That's why you kissed me. You were too drunk to be mean."
"An excess of alcohol will make people do things they would not ordinarily do," Snape said stiffly.
"No, I don't imagine you ordinarily go around kissing students," Potter said, laughing. "But tell me," his voice lowered persuasively, "did you only do it because of the curse or did you want me anyway?"
Snape glared at him, trying vainly to ignore the sensation of Potter's fingers combing through his hair.
"Never mind, we can talk later," Potter said abruptly, rolling onto his back and pulling Snape with him. With Snape straddling his body Potter was able to pull open Snape's robe and slide it off his shoulders. The boy was really an astonishingly fast learner when the subject interested him, Snape thought. And apparently Snape's body was an interesting subject indeed.
And for the next half hour or so Snape found he really didn't have anything more to say.
The afterglow was lovely, though he was quite sure it had nothing to do with the warm body curled up next to him, or the heavy arm that lay protectively across his chest.
Using his given name, indeed. "Don't talk," Snape said, deciding to ignore the boy's presumptuousness.
"I thought you said it would be thirty-six hours at most."
"Did I not say don't talk?" Snape asked irritably. A warm hand drifted across his chest, pausing to tweak a nipple and Snape noted with interest the sensation that produced down in his nether regions.
"Aren't you worried?" Potter murmured, nosing around Snape's ear.
"If I've not changed back by the end of the day I'll go have another little chat with Madam Pomfrey." He shuddered inwardly at the thought of another examination, but supposed it couldn't be helped.
Potter continued to pinch at Snape's nipple and he moved to take the other one into his mouth. And he was hard AGAIN, rubbing his renewed erection against Snape's hip.
"Haven't you had enough?" His own prick was limp and exhausted, although his female parts felt just fine, and were actually rather interested in what Potter was doing to his nipples.
"Come on, we've got time."
"Of course we do; you woke me at the crack of dawn." Snape bit his lip as Potter slipped his fingers into the wetness between Snape's legs.
"Maybe it's time to check out what men do, eh?"
"What men do is rest and recuperate, Potter."
"Not to worry," Potter said, slowly sliding a slick finger farther back between Snape's cheeks. "You don't have to do a thing; just lie back and think of England." Potter pushed his finger in, hard.
"I hate you," Snape gasped.
"Mmmm, I can tell."
FIFTY-ONE HOURS POST CURSE...
"What did Madam Pomfrey say?"
Snape shifted uncomfortably. "Apparently I still have all the female parts because they're in use."
"What do you mean... Oh my God," Potter whispered, eyes wide. A slow brilliant smile spread across his face.
Snape scowled. "Surely you don't think I'm planning to let this go on?"
Potter raised his eyebrows. "Surely you aren't planning to abort it?" he countered.
"Of course I am; have you gone mad?"
"You can't just get rid of it because it's inconvenient," Potter said, a hard edge to his voice.
"I can do whatever I like. This has nothing to do with you; you're forgetting, you aren't the one who's pregnant."
"I could be. First the curse, then it should be a simple matter of transferring the baby from your body to mine. There has to be a way," he said a little desperately. "Family is important. People are important. This is my daughter or son you're talking about, Snape."
"Trust a Gryffindor to come up with that sort of mawkish claptrap," Snape muttered. "It's not a person, Potter, it's a zygote."
"Now, maybe, but it will grow into a child and even if you don't want it, I do. I'll raise it myself."
"And how do you propose to do that?"
"I've plenty of friends to help me, and I'm sure the house-elves would love to help look after a baby; that's what they do for the rich families, isn't it? Dobby might do it, or Ron's mum. I bet she'd love another baby to take care of."
"You have gone mad, if you think I'll allow a child of mine to be reared by a Weasley." Snape irritably punched his pillow. "Filling its head with nothing but Quidditch and muggle nonsense..."
Potter narrowed his eyes speculatively. "You could teach it all your secret spells and potions, and don't even tell me you don't have any because I know better."
"Surely you realize what a preposterous idea this is?" Snape scowled at Potter's stubborn, set expression. "Damn it, Potter, you're only seventeen!"
"And your point?"
Snape rolled his eyes. "My point is that you've your whole life ahead of you. You're too young to tie yourself down to this kind of responsibility because of some pie in the sky ideas about family."
"Oh, but it's okay to bear the responsibility of being the Boy Who Lived? It's okay to be the messiah of the wizard world? I'm not too young for that."
"If you won't think of yourself, think of me, then. I'll be publicly branded a pedophile."
"So what? Everyone hates you already."
Snape narrowed his eyes. "I'll be fired, Potter, at the very least."
"Then we'll just go live somewhere else."
"We? I have no intention of living anywhere with you," Snape sputtered indignantly.
Potter continued as if Snape hadn't even spoken. "You could make a fortune selling potions and you know it. Between us we could get a house so big we'd never even have to see each other. Although, if you did want to continue this," Potter added, pausing to gesture vaguely at the two of them sprawled sweaty and naked on Snape's bed, "we'd be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want."
Snape stared at Potter, appalled, and yet strangely drawn to the idea.
Potter spread his hand over Snape's abdomen. "I'm telling you this can work. We can make it work. If I waited for the perfect time I'd be waiting forever."
"This is so far from perfect-"
"I know I'm being selfish," Potter said softly, kissing his way along Snape's jaw. Before he could think to stop himself Snape tilted his head so Potter could get to his neck. "I shouldn't let my love for our unborn child influence your decision."
"Oh for God's sake," Snape muttered.
"It's your body, it should be your choice."
"What a manipulative little wretch you are."
Potter moved his hand down, skirting around the swelling prick, lightly stroking the soft folds of flesh below. "You know, if you WERE to say yes, we'd have a whole nine months to play with your...ah...feminine equipment," he raised his head and looked at Snape with a little frown. "Would it take nine months?"
"Without intervention, yes."
"Hmmm. By that time term would be long over. It'd almost be time for the next school year to start." Potter nibbled on Snape's earlobe. "We could keep it secret until then, present them with a fait accompli."
"You have an ungodly amount of self-confidence." Snape squirmed a bit as Potter slipped his fingers inside, his thumb sliding back and forth over Snape's swollen nub. Snape's prick was now fully erect and he reached down with his right hand, stroking it lightly.
"Maybe they'd hire me to teach here at Hogwarts."
"Not to mention optimism."
"I'm nothing if not optimistic," Potter murmured, the words warm against Snape's throat. "Besides, I couldn't be any worse than Lockhart."
"That's not saying much, Potter." Snape sighed. "Oh, very well. I'll think about it. And you can stop grinning like a half-wit. I didn't say yes, I said I'd think about it."
"And I still hate you, you do know that?"
"Yeah, I know," Harry said with a smile. "I hate you, too."