All canon characters belong to JKR.
A huge thanks to June for all of her help and suggestions.
Chapter 3 â“ Like Iâd do this to myself
Albus stepped through the Floo and stood over Severus. His Potions Master was dressed in his usual robes, which were open to reveal his black frock coat and trousers. The small Slytherin was looking up at him with an angry look on his face.
It was the most adorable thing Albus had ever seen. He fought back the smile that was creeping up on him, and pushed his spectacles further up the bridge of his nose.
âI have seen you in difficult situations before, Severus. But Iâve never seen you like this. What have you done to yourself?â he asked as he sat down, hoping to meet Severus eye-to-eye.
Severus was shocked. âJust what the hell makes you think I would ever do this,â he gestured towards his own body, âto myself?â
âWhy, I honestly donât know. You have left me utterly speechless.â
âThank heavens for small favors,â Severus muttered under his breath, before he continued. âThere was an accident at the university.â
âWell, yes, quite a large one, or should I say small.â Albus started laughing.
Severus crossed his arms and actually stomped his small foot.
âDammit, Albus! This is no laughing matter. Iâve got Miss Granger in my lab finishing up the counter-potion we need to get ourselves back to normal.â
Albus got himself together and stopped laughing.
âMiss Granger was affected as well? What exactly happened?â
After Severus explained the entire mess to Albus, the two men walked into the lab in Severus rooms. Albus smiled as he looked at Hermione stirring the normal-sized cauldron, which â“ due to her size â“ now looked over-sized.
âGood afternoon, Hermione,â said Albus.
Hermione looked up as her former Headmaster walked into the room.
âProfessor Dumbledore, hello,â she said as she continued stirring the potion.
âPlease, you are no longer a student, and will soon be a full member of the Order. Call me Albus.â The old wizard walked to the open book placed on the stool next to the makeshift table. He knew that they needed to make the counter-potion quickly. When he had laughed at the current situation the young man was in, Albus had noticed the fact that Severus stomped his foot in a very childlike manner, which made him painfully aware that both his and Hermioneâs mind as well as their actions could already be deteriorating into those of an actual six-year-old. He would need to look further into this without their knowledge.
âMiss Granger and I have altered the counter-potion slightly. We believe this will not affect the potionâs effectiveness, but instead of the seven days it would normally take, this potion will be done in four.â
âGood, the sooner you two get back to your normal selves the better.â Albus looked down at Severus. âSince you said you donât know exactly what Ron did, it would not bode well to take any chances.â
âAlbus,â Hermione said as she finished stirring the potion and lowered the flame slightly to allow the necessary slow simmer. âI canât go back to my dorm like this. Do you think you can set up a Floo connection so that I can stay with my parents?â
âYour parents are still in hiding, Hermione. I am afraid I cannot allow you to go to them even in this state,â said Albus. âYou will have to stay here for the time being.â
âIâm sure Minerva will be pleased. Her favorite cub is back.â Severus snickered.
Hermione stuck her tongue out at him as he frowned.
âWell, actually, I was thinking Hermione would stay here with you, Severus.â Albus looked at Severus, whose jaw was now in danger of falling off its hinges.
âYouâre joking, right? Why canât she stay with Minerva? Or maybe she can stay with the house-elves. Sheâs about their size now anyway,â said Severus.
âOh, you should talk, Mr. Midget Master!â countered Hermione.
âMinerva has the flu,â Albus said. âPoppy didnât want to give her any unnecessary potions due to her age, so she has to go through this the Muggle way. Iâm sorry, Severus. You will just have to share your space.â
Severus and Hermione looked at one another, their faces crinkling in distaste at having to spend any more time with each other than they absolutely had to. âUgh, cooties!â They both thought.
âThis is the only logical way. I canât have either of you running around and being seen by the general student population. And the other professors will ask too many questions.â Albus looked seriously at Severus. âAlso, we cannot risk you being seen by your students and having them owl your condition to their parents; you are vulnerable in this state, and could be easily attacked.â
Albus shook his head and turned to walk out the door. As he stepped out, he looked back over his shoulder, with a slightly amused look.
âNo, you two will just have to keep each other company for the next few days.â
Severus and Hermione quietly cleaned up the lab. The cauldron would simmer for four days. The easy part was over. The hard part would be spending the next four days with each other.
They walked out into living room and took a seat on opposite ends of the couch.
âWell, I suppose if we are to spend the next several days in each otherâs presence, I think a few ground rules are in order.â
Hermione looked at him as though heâd grown another small head.
âRules? Youâre kidding me, right?â
âYou will not touch my books unless I give you permission. You will not, as I know women tend to do, spend more than five minutes in the bathroom at one time; and you will sleep out here on the couch.â Severus looked at Hermione.
She thought he looked quite pleased with himself.
âWell, why donât you just tie me to this couch, Mr. Bossy Pants. You can give me this monthâs Quibbler and that will take care of both my reading needs and the bathroom tissues.â
âThatâs not a bad idea.â He smiled then ducked, just barely missing being hit upside the head with the flying cushion. Severus laughed as he looked at her now pouting lip. He thought she looked cute. Hermione looked like a little doll to him with her curly cinnamon-colored hair and big brown eyes. He shook the thought out of his head and stood up. He walked towards the fireplace and called to the kitchens.
âIâm starving. Letâs order lunch.â He wrote an order for himself and Hermione, and passed it through the Floo; minutes later, their meal floated through on trays.
They sat on the floor and ate their grilled cheese sandwiches and potato chips. They never even realized why something they had never particularly liked in the past, seemed to taste better than anything at any four-star restaurant they had ever been in. When they finished they ordered chocolate brownies topped with ice-cream and hot fudge, and a glass of milk to make it go down smoothly.
âThat was the best lunch Iâve had in ages,â said Severus as he leaned back against a large floor pillow and patted his stomach.
âMe too. Maybe for dinner we can have macaroni and cheese,â said Hermione.
Severusâ eyes opened wide as he nodded and smiled.
âThat sounds good. And for dessert we can have some Twinkies. I havenât had one of those in a long time.â He yawned and felt his eyelids growing heavy. His body slouched against the couch.
Hermione laid her head on top of the pillow next to his, and covered herself with the throw sheâd taken from the couch.
They fell asleep in front of the fire. As they slept, their small bodies cuddled against each other, and they looked like the picture of two perfect little angels.
A short time later Severus woke up from his nap feeling surprisingly refreshed. He hadnât taken a nap since he was a real little boy. He looked over to the big bushel of hair next to him. He smiled as a wicked thought entered his mind. He consciously knew that the fumes of the potion were already affecting his and Hermioneâs mind. But, being a Slytherin and being, well, himself, he didnât care. One part of his mind remembered what a sad and lonely childhood he had, while another part told him he was no longer a child and now an adult. At that that moment however, he decided he didnât care if he was an adult; plus, any trouble he got into could always be blamed on the potion.
He stood up slowly, not wanting to disturb the sleeping Hermione and went to his lab. Once he got what he needed, he did what he had to do, then sat back and waited for his new roommate to wake up.
Hermione slowly woke up from her nap and stretched her small body. She tried to sit up and realized she couldnât, at least not without taking the very large floor pillow with her. She tried again, this time touching her hair with curious hands.
âWhat theâŚâ She pulled her hands out of her hair, only to find that she was stuck. âOh, no, he didnât.â She pulled again and again, only to find that her entire head of hair was stuck to the floor pillow, as were her hands.
âSeverus!â she yelled. As she struggled to get herself free of her predicament, Severusâ upside down head calmly popped into her view.
âDonât you âyesâ me! What did you do?â asked Hermione, clearly infuriated.
âDo? Well, I took a nap, then I woke up and went to the bathroom, thenâŚâ
âOh, shut it! You know damn well what Iâm talking about. What did you do to my hair?â she yelled.
Before he had a chance to answer her, Albus walked through the flames from the Floo. Heâd come to Severusâ rooms after having an owl delivered a message to his office from the other spy working for their side. Albus looked at the still struggling Hermione on the floor, and Severus standing innocently next to the couch.
âWhatâs going on here?â asked the older wizard.
âHeâs put glue in my hair!â yelled Hermione.
âI did not, liar!â countered Severus as he crossed his arms and sat on the couch.
Albus sighed heavily. The potion was already beginning to affect the two. After he had left them earlier, he read a bit more about their condition. He knew that they would have moments during the next coming days in which their penchant for mischief would overwhelm their normally rational adult minds. All he could do was try to keep them from actually killing each other. He peered at Severus over his spectacles and frowned.
âSeverus? Is there something you would like to tell me about Hermione?â asked Albus.
âYes. She talks too much,â he answered coolly.
Hermione stopped struggling and looked at Severus.
âWell, youâre stupid!â She stuck her tongue out at him.
âNo, you are stupid!â yelled Severus as he stood and looked over her.
âEnough! Both of you!â Albus took out his wand and had Hermioneâs hair back to normal within seconds. She immediately jumped up and attacked Severus. They both fell on top of the couch wrestling with each other, neither really getting the upper hand. Albus rolled his eyes, and took Hermione by the waist and pried her from Severusâ grasp.
âI mean it, you two stop acting like children this instant!â Albusâ voice was so loud Severus felt as though the walls had shaken. He blinked several times and realized what he and Hermione were doing. Hermione looked to him, also coming to her senses. Albus put Hermione down and looked at both six-year-olds.
âI know this is not going to be easy for either of you. After all, the potion now running through your veins is controlling you. But you must do a better job of quelling your six-year-old instincts and allowing them to take over.â
Severus bowed his head and pushed on the carpet with his feet.
âIâm sorry, Hermione,â he said softly.
Hermione touched her hair, making sure it was back to normal.
âOkay,â she said, thinking sheâd have to do something at some point to get back at him, potion or no potion.
Satisfied with the fact that they both seemed to be back to normal, Albus sat on the large leather chair next to the fireplace and motioned to Severus.
âIâve received a letter from Snowbird.â Albus handed the letter to Severus, who took it and immediately began reading it.
âI had a feeling Hogsmeade would be attacked soon, but not this soon,â said Severus. âDammit, and me in this body!â
âI have already sent notice to our people in the Ministry. The other Order members have also been alerted,â answered Albus, hoping it would calm his increasingly irate Potions master. âWe will have people there the day of the attack. I canât guarantee no loss of lives but we can only do so much, Severus.â
âI know. I just wish I could be there. I wish I could help.â
âSeverus, even if you were fully grown, I still would not allow you to go. You barely made it back alive after Voldemort found out you were a spy. I wonât risk you like that again. It was a risk when we set our plan in motion. My boy, you are too precious to me to let that happen to you again, my young friend. You have already given so much more than any of us.â Albusâ eyes became teary.
It had been almost four months since Voldemort had discovered Severusâ duplicity and role in faking Dumbledoreâs death during Harryâs sixth year, which made it clear which side he was really on. If it werenât for the other spy the Order had in Voldemortâs ranks, Severus would not have made it back alive. Ever since then, he rarely left Hogwarts. The only reason Albus had even allowed him to go to the university to supervise Hermioneâs Potions class was because Albus felt it was safe. Both the university and Hogwarts were guarded by strong wards, and their Apparition points were monitored.
Severus nodded in understanding. There were moments when he himself hadnât thought he would make it back in one piece.
Albus patted his little shoulder and stood. He walked towards the door, deciding he would take a walk around the castle before supper.
âThank you for keeping me abreast of whatâs happening, Albus.â Severus said as he followed the old man to the door, and then closed it behind him. He turned and saw Hermione standing next to the coffee table.
âWhen will Voldemort attack Hogsmeade?â she asked.
âTomorrow evening,â he answered.
âYouâre not planning on going, are you?â Hermione was worried. She knew he was a brave man, and sheâd heard about what happened to him those many months ago. There was no way he would stay away from this one.
âI canât just stay here and hide,â he said. âUp until now Voldemort has been sitting back, waiting for everyone to feel safe, and looking for the wizarding worldâs most vulnerable spots. Hogsmeade is one of those spots. With all the new shops popping up and the new housing developments, with neighbors not knowing each other, itâs the perfect place at the perfect time.â
He walked to his room and shut the door. His hunger was suddenly gone. He felt so useless after heâd been caught spying by Voldemort. From the beginning, Severus always knew that his days as a spy were numbered, but heâd hoped that he could last just long enough to make a real difference. He didnât realize that he already had. Over 20 years of spying had saved many lives. But it wasnât enough for him; he needed to be in the middle of it.
Hermione stared sadly towards the dark hallway heâd just disappeared into. She wished she could say something to help him, but knew there was nothing she could say. Knowing there would be an attack on Hogsmeade tomorrow evening made her lose her appetite too, even for macaroni and cheese. Deciding it was too early to go to bed, she turned her attention to the bookcase and picked out a book.
She would read and fall asleep, and hopefully have good dreams, and not the nightmares she suspected Severus would be having that night.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for reading.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages by ancientgir