Severus grumbled vehemently under his breath, cursing James Potter to the depths of the Black Lake. He really needed a Firewhiskey, and pronto. He didn't know if it was the fact that Dumbledore was at it again with his meddlesome plans or that he was burdened with babysitting Potter and Malfoy spawn.
Draco, by himself, he could deal with. He was his godfather after all, but Potter was another story altogether; no doubt he was the same pompous brat his father was and still is. The only reason Severus even put up with both Potters, was for Lily.
And only for Lily.
How had he even landed himself in such an unfortunate position in the first place? Well, that may have had to do with drinking an extra sip of Lorien's and agreeing to some heinous plan proposed by three rash Gryffindors last night plus a favour (unheard of!) to Lucius and Narcissa.
"Snivellus!' came an unnecessarily loud yell from the kitchen.
He grumbled and swept regally into the room at the faint, dismayed cries of "James!".
Lily, Potter, Mutt, Wolf and surprisingly, Lucius and Narcissa, sat around the kitchen table. "Yes?"
"Could you please look after Harry for me tomorrow? James and I will be out tomorrow," Lily asked.
"Can't Mutt and Wolf do it? They are his godfathers after all."
"Not allowed," Mutt whined insufferably. It was a responsible decision on Lily's part though. Heaven forbid, Mutt being sensible around a child for a whole day?
"Then why not let Wolf do it?"
"Full moon tomorrow."
"And why can't Mutt do it?"
"He's irresponsible," Lily cut in, waving away Mutt's complaints.
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "Do I really have any choice?"
Potter made a face. "No, because Lily says so. But! If you hurt a single hair on his head, I won't hesitate to hex you into next week!" he declared.
"As if I would touch those greasy strands on that child's ego-inflated head."
Lily hid a smile.
"Hey! Whose hair you calling greasy?!" Godfather Mutt joined the argument.
"That Potter spawn."
"Can't compare to that perpetually oily mop of yours!"
"GUYS, CUT IT OUT!" Lily yelled, throwing her hands up as her renowned temper kicked in. "HOW OLD ARE YOU?!" She jabbed a finger at Mutt angrily. "That's exactly why I won't let you look after Harry!"
"I'll look after Potter tomorrow, Lily."
Lily's expression was one of momentary surprise. "Oh, you will? Thank you so much, Severus."
He nodded curtly.
Said man turned to Lucius, who had been silent during the entire argument.
"Can you look after Draco as well? I'll let him stay here tonight so you don't have to pick him up."
"I still don't have any choice, do I?"
"You are Draco's godfather, Severus." Narcissa interjected quietly.
"Yes, yes, very well. I will look after your impish charges tomorrow. But if they misbehave, I'll make them scrub the cauldrons."
"See, Lily! He's going to torture poor Harry!" Potter shouted, gesticulating frantically.
"Calm down, James. I'm sure he'll take good care of him," Lily said soothingly.
James acquiesced, but spent the rest of the night mumbling nonsense under his breath.
And so, Severus was now watching the two devils stumble downstairs with bleary eyes and clumsy steps.
"Good morning Uncle Severus," they chorused in quiet, sleepy tones.
Severus nodded at them in reply, choosing not to point out that he was no uncle to Potter. "Eat breakfast and don't be stupid. I'll be in the potions wing if you need me."
He stalked off, black robes swirling most ominously.
"There's a potions lab in here, Harry?" Draco whispered loudly.
"I didn't know that either but I'm hungry. Dobby!"
The quivering elf appeared, bulbous eyes peering at them. "Yes, Master Harry is calling Dobby? Masters Harry and Draco needs something?"
Draco suppressed a yawn. "Breakfast please."
Dobby nodded violently. "Yes! Masters Harry and Draco is be needing breakfast. Dobby will get them breakfast, Dobby will!" With a click of knobbly fingers, the elf disappeared.
Moments later, two plates of steaming food arrived at the table and the wide-awake pair dug in.
"What do you want to do, Draco?" Harry asked between mouthfuls.
The blond haired boy paused and wiped his mouth daintily. His grey eyes sparkled. "Just think of all the things we could do with Uncle Sev in his lab!"
Harry smiled and finished off his plate, which promptly vanished just as he set down his fork. "Let's go!"
They hopped off their stools and crept upstairs to the room they shared. They both grabbed their brooms with the same idea in mind and snuck back down. They were almost there until Draco accidentally stepped on a creaking floorboard, coincidentally right in front of Walburga Black's portrait, and the moth-eaten curtains flew open instantly. At the sight of Harry, the portrait began howling wildly.
"Filthy half-blood contaminating the noble house of Black! How dare he! And that unsightly dog-father of his! I am most ashamed to be his mother! The blood traitor! The uncouth mongrel, unfit to be my son! The-"
Harry and Draco did not stop to hear the rest of the mad woman's tirade, but dropped their brooms with an enormous crash before rushing back upstairs for cover. "Let's go give my great-grand mother or whatever she is a make-over!"
And so after retrieving the most wonderfully colourful and permanent pencils they owned, they ran back to the portrait and put on their most innocent grins. "Hello great-grandmother," Draco said politely, discreetly hiding a pink crayon behind his back.
The woman in the portrait immediately ceased shouting profanities and smiled maniacally at the blond child. "A Malfoy, finally. I've been waiting for someone worthy to come into this house," she replied, sniffing contemptuously.
"So polite," Walburga crooned, her thin lips twisted in an attempt to smile.
"I was wondering, great-grandmother, if what you're wearing was pretty even centuries ago?" he asked.
Her smile become strained. "Whatever do you mean, child? Surely, you can tell this is- eugh!"
Draco had begun working furiously at reconstructing her face and Harry followed soon with a determination to fix her with a brand new set of high-fashion clothes.
"What are you doing boy, what are you- I demand you- No, not the- NOT THE NECKLACE YOU FOOL!" she screeched.
Harry had stopped drawing long ago and stopped, watching the woman struggle with Draco, who still working concentratedly on a big pink bow. How could he stop the woman from making such an infernal noise? He had heard her use 'infernal' many times, so he decided to try that word too… though not that Harry knew what it was. But it was bound to be something insulting; nothing nice ever came out of her mouth.
Choosing a big black pen, he reached up to her horror struck face and drew a huge zip over her mouth. There.
"That's smart, Harry!" Draco beamed at him.
Harry grinned back and started drawing spiders on the frame, enjoying the woman's mortified expression. After a good while of decorating Walburga Black's portrait (including several comments about her lack of fashion sense on her nameplate), the two progressed onto other portraits and soon the house was reduced to a cacophony of shrill squeals, screams and horrified yells.
Severus was peacefully brewing a new batch of potions for Madam Pomfrey's medical supplies when a loud, screeching noise erupted from down the corridor. He sighed, resigned to the fact that he wasn't getting peace for long anyways, so the interruption may as well have been now. Standing up, he strode off to see what the two were up to.
He found them trying to smother their laughter on the ground, leaning against each other and gasping for air. There were assorted crayons, pencils, pens and other colouring supplies strewn all over the floor. And then came the not-so-harmonious symphony of shrieking portraits. Severus found Phineas sporting a new neon green moustache and bright purple bow tie, others dressed in variations of spotted top hats, hastily drawn glasses and emphatic eyelashes.
And at last, Severus came to the most redesigned painting, which happened to be Walburga Black's portrait. The woman's new look was to say the least, interesting. It was noticeably more colourful and she looked possibly better than she did before. She had huge pink fish lips drawn over her previous mouth, glasses identical to that of Rita Skeeter, a flimsy chartreuse tie, rainbow streaks and a banana yellow cane with a monkey on it. And on top of all that, a black zip sat on her mouth, which seemed to stop the woman from talking.
He ignored her struggle and turned around swiftly to deal with the wide-eyed boys. Both had quite guilty expressions on and were staring at the ground interestedly.
One blond head and one brunet head shot up, mouths open in disbelief. Severus allowed himself a twitch of the lip. "Yes. I can see that Walburga Black has had a great improvement in her appearance. However," the boys froze, "how will I explain this to your parents, Potter?"
"Can't you Scrubbify it or something, sir? Well, except maybe for the screaming lady and the green moustache guy."
"I object! I object! You must- you must- Ow!" Phineas glared at Potter, who had thrown a pencil at his portrait and was now cheekily poking his tongue out at the former Headmaster.
"You have nerve, Potter."
"Thank you, sir."
"That was not a compliment."
"Oh." Potter looked sheepish.
"Scourgify." Severus waved his wand over the portraits, including Walburga's.
Draco and Potter hung their heads. "She looked better our way," Draco whispered to Potter. Potter nodded fervently. "I know."
"Now. If I hear another sound out of you two, I will make you scrub cauldrons."
"Yes Uncle Severus."
After one more suspicious look at the boys, Severus turned on his heel and returned to the safety of his potions lab.
Casting a glance at the now clean portraits, Draco smiled evilly. Oh yes this was a good idea.
And with that, he began to divulge his very foolproof plan to do with one Severus Snape and his hair.
"Can you get," Draco whispered in a low voice, "a stalk of knotgrass, moonstone and hmm… a bit of bellflower dust?"
"Why does Master Draco wants this?"
"That, is none of your business. Just get it, will you?" he snapped.
"Be nice, Draco," Harry scolded, elbowing his friend in the ribs.
"Too bad, he's too curious. He's just a house-elf anyway."
The required ingredients were delivered and the pair ran off to a secluded corner in the house where they could work undiscovered.
There hadn't been anymore noise since the last fiasco and Severus was feeling immensely suspicious. No portraits had come screaming that their 'lovely faces' had been defiled, nor had there been a single sound. Everything had been peaceful, if not somewhat disturbing.
Unable to shake off that feeling that something rather disastrous involving those two, Severus got and left his lab. Little did he know, that two pranksters stood behind his door with a vial of bubbling orange liquid. They crept in as quietly as they could and found their way into his sleeping chambers and tipped the entire contents on his pillow.
Severus felt the unmistakable feeling of someone passing the wards in his chambers. Wand at the ready, he swept his way back and entered, calmly casting an, "Incarcerous" at two small figures.
Bound up in ropes, were two very familiar faces with identical wide-eyed expressions. "Hello Uncle Sev?"
"What were you doing in my chambers?"
"We… uhm…we were looking for you!" Potter stuttered.
"And the empty vial?"
Guiltily, Draco glanced backwards at the drenched pillow.
"You were walking around with an empty vial?"
"It wasn't so empty before…"
"Oh oops, shouldn't have said that?"
"Right. Get rid of that vial and go into the lab and scrub cauldrons."
The children visibly deflated. "Cauldrons?"
"Yes, cauldrons. Now hurry up."
They shot out of the room. "Wait until my father hears about this!"
Severus smiled grimly. "Oh yes, wait until he does, and it won't be from you."
"DRACO LUCIUS MALFOY!"
"Someone call me?" one very tired blond mumbled.
"HARRY BLASTED JAMES BLOODY POTTER!"
The brunet gulped. "Woah, my name's nine syllables now."
Thundering footsteps neared their room door and instinctively, the two boys rushed up and locked the door, looking at each other with terrified eyes. They had never heard Uncle Severus so mad before.
The doorknob rattled.
"OPEN THE DOOR THIS INSTANT, YOU TWO BRATS!"
The door unlocked.
And in stepped a furious Severus Snape with half blond and half red hair.
'"You two. Downstairs. This second."
Both leapt downstairs at an alarming pace.
Sitting at the table were their parents, who had just returned from whatever important errands they had to run.
"DAD!" they both screamed, hurtling towards their respective fathers and hiding behind them. Severus walked in, with the lack of his usual steadiness, and headed towards them. Potter the Older and Mutt began laughing raucously at his hair while the more dignified company present attempted to stifle their laughter.
Severus shot each and every one of them his best glare. All of them made straight faces. Self-satisfied that he hadn't lost his touch yet, he started for Potter first.
Oh yes, he was going to get it. He must've been the troublemaker of them two anyways.
Sadly, getting to young Potter was not that easy. There was the older Potter and his dramatic stunts to deal with first.
"LILY! DID YOU SEE THAT? HE WAS GOING TO ATTACK HARRY!"
"Have you ever thought why?" Snape muttered.
"SEE, SO HE WAS GOING TO ATTACK HARRY; HE DIDN'T EVEN DENY IT!"
"The brat dyed my hair Weasley red and blond."
"So? It was harmless, anyway! Take a joke, Snivellus!"
"So you were the brains behind this, huh, Prongslet? Good job, Snivellus looks wonderful in his new hairstyle," Mutt snickered.
"I was actually the brains behind all this," Draco said pompously, puffing out his chest proudly.
"It was you!'" Severus snarled, turning on Draco. The smile slid off.
"N-no, we both did it, I just-t, DAD!"
"Yes, son?" Lucius replied smoothly.
"Very well. I think's its time for us to leave now. Goodbye." Lucius rose. "Come Narcissa, Draco."
"We shall not trespass on your hospitality for any longer, Lily, James." Narcissa nodded to them.
"Where do you think you're going?" Severus asked, his voice quiet and dangerous.
"Back to the Manor, of course. Where else? Though I do have business at Gringotts. Goodbye Severus," the senior Malfoy replied cheerfully. "Come, come, give me your hand, Draco."
The boy hurriedly held his father's hand and the two Disapparated away, Narcissa following seconds later.
"The damned Malfoys! I will kill the boy."
"Watch it there Snivellus, or you may find yourself the next Dark Lord after Moldy Voldy."
"And you'll be the first on the list, Mutt."
"Now, now, Sev. Go get yourself some chamomile tea to relax yourself."
"No chamomile tea, Lily," he said, voice slightly strained.
He Disapparated to Spinner's End.
"Now, where is that Firewhiskey, no, no, no, ah!" Triumphantly, Severus pulled out a large bottle with Odgen's Finest emblazoned across the label and poured himself a generous tumblerful. Of course, he wasn't an alcoholic, he just needed the comfort of drinking until he was insane, incoherent, and unable to process a single thought in his brain.
Harry exhaled deeply, knowing that his cranky professor was gone. He smiled sheepishly at his parents; mum was looking at him in the way she always did before a long lecture, and dad was grinning at him as if he had just done the best thing in the world.
"That was hilarious; you should've seen Sniveller's face!" Sirius chuckled.
"Oh don't be mean…" Lily admonished.
"You're saying it like Sniveller's going to come back and try to kill Harry," he replied.
"Verreee ees Harrry Potterrr? I s-shalll-killlll himm…" a very drunk, black-clad figure stumbled into the Potter household, wielding mostly empty bottle.
"Severus, what are you doing here?"
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