Chicken Soup for the Snape
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Detention at seven tonight in the dungeons with Professor Snape. Please be prompt or you may face further punishment. M. McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress
Harry groaned inwardly at the notice. He’d been caught fighting with Draco in the corridor again, and to his luck, it was Professor Snape who had found them. It was no surprise that only Harry had detention though. He called goodbye to Ron and told him to say goodbye to Hermione, who was down in the library still. Harry scrambled through the portrait hole and trudged down to the dungeons. He knocked on the door of Snape’s office and a hoarse voice that Harry didn’t recognize called out,
Harry thought it sounded a bit like Professor Lupin when they’d first met him on the train, but to his surprise, he pushed open the door to find Snape himself, although looking much nastier than usual. His greasy black hair was stuck damply to his forehead and his eyes were bloodshot. His sallow skin was paler than usual and had a sickly sheen to it. He was wearing a blue bathrobe over his regular robes and he had a mug of steaming tea in his hand. On his desk sat a thermometer and a box of half-empty tissues.
“Sir?” asked Harry. “I got a note that said I had detention with you now.”
“Yes,” said Snape hoarsely. “There is a plate of wormroot in my cupboard that needs to be evenly sliced. There’s also a vial of burb extract that must be shaken for exact ten minutes then…”
Snape broke off, coughing. He snatched a tissue from the box and wiped his hooked nose hastily. Harry watched, trying not to laugh at seeing Snape in this awful state.
“I can come back next week, sir,” said Harry. “You sound like you need some of Madam Pomfrey’s Pepper Up Potion. I could ask for some chicken soup sent to your room from the kitchens, or…”
Snape scowled. “Enough! For your information, Potter, I brew that potion for Madam Pomfrey, and currently she is completely out of it. ‘Estoy concada’ Potter. Do you know what that means? It means ‘I’m tired.’ Too tired to brew that stupid potion. So get to work on that wormroot so I can get some rest.”
Harry nodded, trying to hide a smile. He began to slice the wormroot, listening to Snape writing in a small book, pausing every so often to blow his nose. When Harry finally finished the wormroot and reached for the burb extract, he noticed that Snape had fallen sound asleep in his chair. Harry crept over and looked down at Snape’s book. It was a diary! Harry picked it up and began to flip through the pages, careful not to awaken Snape. He wasn’t too worried though; Snape looked very tired. The diary contained mostly recipes for complex potions, but a few pages had Snape’s familiar scrawl complaining about students and how they made his head ache. Harry laughed at one particular passage about the day Neville melted his cauldron, causing Snape’s foot to erupt with incredibly painful boils. Suddenly, Snape jerked in his sleep and awoke, staring lividly at Harry with the diary still in his hands.
Snape has opened his mouth to yell, but no sound came out. He moaned softly and tapped his wand on the desk. His diary flew out of Harry’s hands and landed in front of Snape. He waved his wand again and a knock came on the door. Snape nodded at Harry, and Harry opened it.
“Oh! Hello Mr. Harry Potter, sir!”
Harry looked down at his feet only to see Dobby.
“Oh, hello Dobby!”
“Professor Snape, sir rang?”
Snape nodded. Dobby hopped over to Snape’s desk and handed him a vial of pink liquid. Snape reached for a piece of parchment and wrote,
Is this the throat soother I rang for?
“Of course, Professor, sir. Dobby brings what is asked for!”
Snape picked up the vial and drank deeply. He coughed a few times before settling back in his chair. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out again. Snape’s face turned livid and Harry watched as her shook his fist at Dobby, spit flying from his soundless mouth. Then, Harry burst out laughing hysterically at a sight he’d only wished to see. Snape’s greasy black hair had turned bright purple. Dobby’s already wide eyes widened even more as he handed Snape a mirror. Snape’s eyes narrowed and he threw the mirror down in rage and stalked out of the office, beckoning Harry to follow. Dobby waved goodbye and slipped out of sight. Harry and Snape reached the gargoyle in front of Dumbledore’s office, but Snape found himself without the abilitly to speak the password. With a sigh of exasperation, he took out his wand and wrote,
“Gobblegook” in the air with green swirls of smoke. Harry shrugged and watched Snape mouth,
“SAY THE PASSWORD!”
Finally Harry grinned. “Oh! Say the password! No problem. GOBBLEGOOK!”
The gargoyle sprung open and Harry followed Snape up the staircase. Dumbledore was at his desk, engrossed in papers. He looked up and smiled.
“Ah, Harry and Severus. How can I help you?”
Snape pointed at his throat, attempting to rasp out an explanation. He finally gave up, coughing. Dumbledore frowned.
“Severus, I think perhaps you should go to see the matron. While she tends to that horrible cough of yours, maybe she could restore your hair color.”
Dumbledore winked at Harry as Snape stormed out of the office. “He never did think to ask me to make some Pepper-Up Potion. I think I could have handled it. It might have saved him coughing all the way through our meeting last night. Anyway, I suppose you are dismissed from detention. I suggest you head back up to Gryffindor tower for the night.”
Harry nodded, and turned to leave. Suddenly Dumbledore broke out in a horrible fit of coughs. Harry whirled back around.
“Are you okay, sir?”
Dumbledore smiled. “Just joking, Harry. Goodnight.”
Harry laughed. “Okay. Goodnight.”