Title: Home Brew
By: Lynda aka TBoy
Author's notes: Beta: My grateful thanks to the enormously talented Luthien, who
beta read with great skill, grace and patience. All remaining errors
Credit also to Bernice, with grateful thanks for encouragement and
the use of her Relaxarse spell ™. Much appreciated. ;-)
A/N: Yes, Snape/Hagrid. [snicker]. Why? Because size *does* matter,
obviously. Go on. Give it a shot. You know you want to ;-)
Disclaimer: Characters and universe belong to others, not to me. The
story however, is mine. No money made, written for fun.
Title: Home Brew
Fandom: Harry Potter
Size: 63K thereabouts.
Archive: SSF, Slug & Jiggers Apothecary; any other Snape or rareslash archive interested, please just let me know first! Spoilers: none
Challenge: Professor Snape, you sexy bitch.
Disclaimer: Characters and universe belong to others, not to me. The story however, is mine. No money made, written for fun.
Summary: The tasks that duty leads us to perform can be daunting. Severus tackles a large problem.
Beta: My grateful thanks to the enormously talented Luthien, who beta read with great skill, grace and patience. All remaining errors are mine.
Credit also to Bernice, with grateful thanks for encouragement and the use of her Relaxarse spell (tm). Much appreciated. ;-)
A/N: Yes, Snape/Hagrid. [snicker]. Why? Because size does matter, obviously. Go on. Give it a shot. You know you want to ;-)
The task Dumbledore had quietly set for Snape was a daunting one. This particular potion had not been brewed by anyone, as far as he knew, in several centuries.
It had taken months of research to even discover its existence. Potions Master though he was, there were a great many ancient brews of which he had no specific knowledge. They had fallen into disuse, knowledge of their properties and power disappearing from the art, or sometimes clinging to the modern day through half forgotten legends.
The Headmaster had outlined the task before him quite simply, and had left it to Severus to find a way to achieve it. Snape was quite aware of the confidence the old wizard had in his abilities, yet it was not that alone which prompted his painstaking search through ancient, dusty texts in his quest to find answers. His own deep love of potion lore made the task richly satisfying. That the end result was to create a way to destroy the Death Eaters' inner circle from within was a bonus. An important one, however, and Snape had bent to his secret task with the zeal of a perfectionist in his field.
Still brimming with the adrenalin charged excitement of his discovery, Snape moved along the shelves in the dungeon storeroom, mentally cataloguing the ingredients at hand, and noting those that he would need to seek out. There were several items that even he, in his years of practice, had never had occasion to use. A clandestine trip to a specialist apothecary was in order.
Albus Dumbledore sat at the centre of the staff dining table, indulging in the never-ending pleasure of the riotous atmosphere in the Great Hall. All about him the wizards and witches of the next generation chatted and laughed as they finished their meals, creating a wonderful buzz of happy sound that never failed to content their elder.
As he often did, Albus silently thanked the fates that granted him his precious role in life; directing and educating these young minds and spirits, fostering in them a love of wizarding lore and culture, was simply the most satisfying vocation he could ever envisage. He loved these children, loved them with all his heart and soul. They never ceased to amaze him with their endless variety, their individual qualities shining brightly through the paradoxically repetitive cycle of school life. Ah, though some might only see a simple pattern of sameness, year in, year out, he saw the wonderfully complex textures within the great tapestry that each singular child added.
This fierce, burning love for his charges not surprisingly pointed the way towards his other, less public role. An outwardly gentle man, Albus was ruthless in defence of the children and their families, in protecting all that made up the essence of the wondrous wizarding world. In cooperation with the Ministry of Magic, Albus led all who would follow against the encroaching evil that was Lord Voldemort.
His still-youthful eyes scanned the room, noting with pleasure and amusement the exact moment that another Fred and George Weasley prank came to fruition. He added his silent chuckles to theirs as Lee Jordan's mane of dreadlocked hair became a kaleidoscopic windmill of multicoloured strands, waving cheerily in the air as Lee turned and thumped the shoulder of Fred, who was bent almost double in laughter.
Averting his gaze so as to let them continue on without seeming to have claimed the attentions of the Headmaster, his eyes found the figure of Severus Snape. The normally taciturn man was even more withdrawn than usual, seemingly lost in thought and oblivious to the parade of life around him. Albus watched the frown of concentration that marred the professor's forehead, inwardly noting for the hundredth time how pleasing was the sharp profile and soft dark hair of this noble born wizard. A quiet sigh escaped him as he wondered, also for the hundredth time, why the fates had decreed that this remarkable soul should spend so much of his life alone, and lonely. It seemed to him a terrible waste of such dark beauty, both within and without, for Severus to have never found in another the life mate he deserved. As always, his own heart ached to see the younger wizard in his bitter self-imposed isolation, wishing only that he would one day find a partner to balance his introspective nature. Someone lively and cheeky would be best, Albus impishly concluded with a smirk.
As if the sparkle in his eyes had flashed between them, he saw Severus look over and focus, finally, on his own gaze. A querying eyebrow from Albus resulted in a slight thinning of lips on Severus' austere face, and a small shake of the head. A tiny gesture towards the outer doors was the only signal needed to inform Albus that Severus requested a conversation with him after the meal. Both men returned their attention to their plates, and resumed the attack on a particularly rich berry pudding with butterscotch sauce. Delightful.
"Walk with me Severus," requested the Headmaster. "Such a meal needs to be worked off, I think."
"Certainly Headmaster," replied Snape as all the staff stood and stretched at the meal's conclusion.
The pair wound their way through the crowded hallways, the younger children's boisterous antics stilling hurriedly upon catching sight of them, one regal, majestic and revered figure, the other somewhat feared and resented. The look of distaste pasted across Snape's features did nothing for the shaky confidence of first years as they gulped and moved aside, or stood frozen like rabbits in the hunter's lamp only to be dragged to the side by their more able peers.
"You haven't lost your touch I see," Albus murmured for Snape's ears alone.
Shooting a glare at the older man, Snape declined to comment. Albus recognised the almost invisible signs of amusement in the tense lines scored around Severus' mouth, and moved with a lighter step than his age and the heavy repast should allow.
Exiting through a side door leading to the playing fields, both men took deep, cleansing breaths of the fresh wind that had blown up over the lake. The distant waters rippled in the moonlight, the reflection from the stars above sparkling the surface like a multitude of fairy lights. Albus squinted and peered closer. One couldn't assume that they *weren't* in fact fairy lights, after all. Who could know all the festivals to which the faerie folk held allegiance? Their celebrations were not all performed under cover of secrecy; it would not surprise him in the least were he to discover thousands of tiny boats adrift and glowing with eldritch splendour.
Deciding that distance defeated him this time, Albus returned his attention to the silent man keeping pace with him on the worn path as they made their way further from the castle. Judging them safely cut off from public notice, he cleared his throat and asked "Something troubled you during dinner, did it not?"
Snape's open gaze dropped the years from his face, and Albus was reminded again how young the other wizard truly was. Solemnity, and more often than not, a truly wicked sarcasm, made the Potions Master appear older than he was. On the few occasions that Albus had seen a genuine, carefree smile lighten Severus' features, his breath had caught at the stark beauty before him. He had even, once or twice, had to remind himself that Severus was indeed very young in comparison to himself, and quite unsuited to a pairing with a wizard 6 times his own age.
Such was life. Still, it was always a marvellous thing to behold something beautiful, to acknowledge how precious and unique it was, and to find joy in the sharing of friendship. A great believer in finding the good in all things wherever possible was Albus Dumbledore.
"I find myself somewhat frustrated, Headmaster," Snape replied. "My visit to Brandenwein's was successful in all but one item. I fear it may be impossible to procure."
His despondent tone produced an answering frown from Dumbledore. It was quite unlike Snape to admit to impending defeat, most especially in his own field of expertise.
"What is it that you're missing, Severus?" he asked. "Perhaps I may have a contact or two..."
"Possibly, but I rather doubt it," was the short reply. They trudged on, Snape's posture revealing his tension.
"Well we won't know until you try me!" Albus finally offered as the silence grew.
A begrudging grunt of acknowledgment reached him just as Snape halted and looked up at the night sky. With arms crossed over his chest defensively, his black robes catching in the gentle wind, he looked for all the world as though beseeching an answer from the heavens.
"The final, and vital, ingredient is a... rare extract from the race of giants." He whirled towards the older man, suddenly violent with suppressed energy. "The giants have all fled, as you well know," Snape continued, his intense gaze underscoring the seriousness of his predicament. "Gods only know where they all are now. Rumours abound, but each one contradicts the other. We are faced with pinning our hopes for success on the vagaries of unsubstantiated hearsay. We can't afford the time or the manpower to instigate a proper search. The substance we need is simply out of our reach."
Albus looked nonplussed as Snape's bunched fists punched the air beside him, emphasising his almost fury at coming so close to their goal, only to be thwarted by a single essence. If he wasn't sure those fists wouldn't be turned on him, Albus would have been tempted to laugh, his mind incongruously picturing Severus as the little boy he'd once been, fiercely determined to succeed and prone to the occasional tantrum.
"Hmmm," he mused aloud, finger tapping his chin. "That is indeed a difficulty. Is there perhaps some stocks still held in the apothecaries of Europe..."
A swift shake of negation interrupted his suggestion. "No, it needs to be... freshly harvested. The dried or powdered versions simply will not substitute. I checked," Snape replied.
"Very well," Albus murmured, deferring at once to Snape's indisputably superior knowledge in this arena. He became lost in thought as he turned the matter over in his mind.
As one, they proceeded again on the path, each in contemplation of the problem before them. Several minutes went by as their feet chose directions neither consciously noted. The serene beauty of the silvered landscape went unappreciated as they meandered across fields bordering the Forbidden Forest.
The appearance ahead of warm yellow light spilling from the window of a cabin pulled the Headmaster up short. "Severus," he called, as the other strode ahead.
Snape turned and walked back, closing the distance swiftly. "Albus?" he queried, seeing the change in the older wizard's face, recognising the subtle signs of excitement heralding the arrival of an idea.
"Does this extract need to be from a full-blooded giant?" Albus asked quietly.
Shock gave Snape's appearance an almost comical aspect as understanding hit him in full force. "No... it does not," he breathed, as he turned and stared at the humble cottage, smoke wisping from its chimney into the chill night air.
"Oh my God..." he mumbled. And shuddered.
Albus' look of confusion only flustered the Potions Master further. A deep, burning flush stole over his face and he turned away, not rapidly enough to escape notice.
"Well, what's wrong?" Dumbledore asked, a hint of frustration creeping into his own voice now. "Surely all our answers lie before us. What other problem do you foresee?"
Snape turned back to face him, a somewhat evil expression now returning his features to something quite recognisable to his students. "The problem, Headmaster, lies in the harvesting of the substance we require. It is of a rather, shall we say, intimate nature."
The crossed arms and raised, sardonic brow left Dumbledore with no illusions as to what Snape referred. His own irrepressible humour reasserted itself, and he attempted gamely to bury the grin blossoming from his lips, to no avail.
"Oh, ho ho, yes, very funny indeed," sneered the younger wizard. "I recommend you do the honours then Headmaster. Hagrid would clearly follow you to the ends of the earth, as his noxious hound does for him. You are clearly the most suitable candidate to approach him with this request."
An actual laugh did escape Dumbledore then, as he shook his head, smiling in delight at the discomforted man. "Oh but I must disagree with you, Potions Master. The gathering of ingredients for all concoctions most certainly comes under the purview of your responsibilities. I couldn't possibly interfere in the execution of your solemn duties." If his grin had grown any wider his white whiskers would have stood up in the air.
"You must be joking," Snape snapped. Any greater hissing of his sibilants and he would embody the very emblem of his house.
"I'm afraid not," Dumbledore countered decisively. "I ask you Severus, is there any other possible substitution for this, ah, substance?" At Snape's reluctant shake of the head, he went on more softly. "I sympathise with the absurdity of the situation, Severus, but truly, do you see another alternative?"
"No," was the almost unheard reply.
The Headmaster had returned to the castle, having aborted his attempted pep talk mid-sentence when Snape's warning growl convinced him it was best to simply leave him to get on with it. With a last attempt at reassurance, he patted the resigned wizard on the shoulder and disappeared into the night, his purple robes swishing against the grass until they too, could no longer be discerned.
Snape searched his pockets, knowing already that sterile specimen jars lay within, as they always did, on the off chance a desired plant or insect could add unexpectedly to his supplies. Knowing his actions for the delaying tactics they were, he mentally braced himself and approached the cottage door.
Having reached his goal, he stood there uncertainly, rehearsing how to approach this impossible scenario. He found himself at a complete loss, however, and almost turned to escape back to the safety of his dungeons, to try again another night.
Cursing himself for the streak of cowardice, and cursing Dumbledore for not offering to take his place, Snape banged loudly on the door.
"'Oo is it?" yelled Hagrid, as Fang set up a din guaranteed to raise the hackles of any centaur for miles around.
The door opened and light spilled out, blinding Snape momentarily. His sight cleared to see Hagrid's massive bulk filling the door frame, holding onto Fang's studded collar with his enormous fist. The dog's mad howling only increased upon sighting him.
"For Gods sake, Hagrid, shut that animal up at once!" snarled Snape, betraying his agitation. The cacophony was doing nothing to help settle his already thinly stretched nerves.
" 'ere Fang, that's enough fella, i's orright, jus' Professor Snape, see?" The hound swallowed the final growls into a yawn, then shook himself, drool flying from his jowls as he turned and padded back over onto his blanket by the fire.
"Oh, that's ... disgusting!" Snape muttered, fingers stopping just short of flicking the odd dollop of slime from the folds of his once immaculate robe.
"'m sorry Professor, Fang didn't mean to get yeh. Just got caught in the backwash, hehe... Would yeh care to come in?"
"Not really," Snape replied sotto voce, but his legs failed to hear him and he walked into the large single room, Hagrid shutting the door closed behind him.
"'ere, lemme get yeh a cloth fer yeh robes, Professor," said Hagrid, bustling over to his sink and returning quickly. He busied himself wiping the dog's spittle from the folds of the rich fabric, engrossed in locating and removing even the smallest trace. His large hands played deftly over the figure standing before him, and Snape heard a horrified gasp when Hagrid realised that he was scrubbing diligently at the man's groin.
Hagrid's eyes made frightened contact with Snape's startled face. A strangled "Yes, thank you, I think you've got it all," and Hagrid jumped up and backed away rather rapidly.
"Right then. Right. That's that then. Good." Hagrid looked as though he was waiting for the ground to open up and swallow him. When it failed to do so, he finally turned and rinsed the cloth, wringing it almost into separate threads before spreading it along the windowsill to dry.
Turning back with somewhat more composure, he offered a weak welcoming smile. "'ave a seat Professor, and I'll put the kettle on. Cup o' tea?"
"Yes thank you, that would be most welcome." Snape settled onto the rough-hewn kitchen chair with relief.
"P'raps a dollop of something stronger with it then?" Hagrid asked, looking worriedly at Snape.
"Yes, indeed, something stronger," Snape repeated, determined not to seem too pathetically grateful when Hagrid added an extra nip. The usually cool Potions Master had never been so rattled, not even when Neville Longbottom had managed to spill a ladleful of curlicue mixture onto his hand, causing his straight black hair to instantly spring into shiny ringlets.
Snape grasped the over-sized and only slightly chipped cup tightly between two long-fingered hands (shaking? Of course not!) and rapidly drained its contents.
"'ere, 'ave another," prompted Hagrid, pouring another generous serve, and another into his own cup as well for good measure. The Potions Master suspected he wasn't the only one feeling a bit flustered.
Snape watched as the gamekeeper sat back to survey his unlikely guest, smacking huge lips and obviously feeling a bit bolstered up from the drink. It wasn't often Snape ever ventured down this end of the fields, certainly not for a good couple of years. Finding himself on Hagrid's doorstep was as unlikely as seeing McGonagall leading the cheerleaders at a Quidditch match. Although there had been that one Christmas when Peeves had spiked the punch, and Minerva had tap-danced her way down the corridors, finally coming to rest at the foot of Sir Brussel's rather battered suit of armour, which had had to step sideways to avoid her precipitous halt. The sight of the Transfigurations Professor with hat and robes askew, flashing a still shapely pair of pins, all things considered, wasn't one anyone was likely to forget in a hurry.
"So... Professor. What can I do fer yeh? Err... best ter put that a different way p'raps, I mean, ter what do I owe the, err, 'onour of... "
"The Headmaster, Hagrid." Snape's interruption was brusque. Possibly he hadn't quite been fortified by the 'tea' as much as he could have been. Snape pretended not to notice when Hagrid poured another cup, complete with additives. "Dumbledore sent me to see you."
"Aye, what can I do fer 'im? Nuthin' I wouldn't do fer that man. Great man is Dumbledore."
Hagrid's question froze him momentarily. "Well, you see Hagrid... " he began.
Snape licked dry lips, and tried again.
"A matter of great importance has arisen." Yes, that was a good start. Now what? "As I'm sure you're aware, the battle against the Dark Forces is being fought on many fronts."
Hagrid's eyes were growing wider at every word. Snape cringed inwardly as Hagrid's thoughts paraded across his face. 'What secret mission was Dumbledore entrusting to him? Oh, he wouldn't let the great wizard down, anything within his power to help, he'd do and more!'
"Aye," Hagrid breathed, waiting.
"There is a potion. It hasn't been used in centuries, but if my studies are correct, it has unique properties, and, when correctly administered, could help sway the outcome of our struggles in our favour." Snape was rather pleased with himself so far.
"An' 'e want's me t' deliver it for yeh, does 'e? No' a problem! Dumbledore's entrusted the righ' man. I'll see it gets ter where it's goin', 'ave no fear."
Severus felt his nostrils flare in exasperation. "Er, no, actually, that's not it. We, that is, I have yet to brew the potion."
"Well, get on wi' it, man! What's holdin' yeh up?"
"Really Hagrid, if you will kindly let me finish."
"Oh, righ', sorry Professor, don't mind me," Hagrid said, a bit shamefaced. "I get a bit - I'd do anything for Professor Dumbledore. Great man, Dumbledore, great man." He noticed Snape's expression. "Go on then."
Hagrid poured another cup of his tea mixture into both cups, as Snape settled a determined expression on his face and bravely tried once again.
"The potion has certain ingredients, quite rare and, unusual, I might even say. I've managed to gather all of them bar one, and can begin the process immediately on acquiring the last missing, err, element."
"Wha'ever could i' be?" Hagrid asked, his curiosity obviously running riot as he almost immediately forgot his promise to let Snape finish. "Somethin' from one of me interestin' creatures, no doubt. He, he, the wizards'd all put their noses up a' me a' one time or another with me devotion ter the care of these misunderstood lovelies, but sooner or later I knew they'd come ter be appreciated!" Hagrid's chest started to puff, obviously feeling not a little pride at the thought of some small vindication, after years of being slighted for his interests. Then he cast a worried glance at Snape, obviously realising that he shouldn't have voiced such thought in his present company. "I shouldna' 've said that," he added apologetically.
Snape waved the apology away, relieved to be finally getting somewhere.
"An' which of my beauties can get yeh what yeh need, Professor?" Hagrid asked, face aglow with eagerness, and the growing effects of the tea.
Snape choked over the top of his cup, caught unawares for the second time that evening. Obviously alarmed, Hagrid stood and thumped him repeatedly on the back, which had the unfortunate result of laying him flat on the floor.
"Oh! Professor, lemme help yeh up there, dunno me own strength som'times," Hagrid said as he lifted the still disabled wizard easily with one hand. Snape stood unsteadily, swaying and coughing as Hagrid held him upright.
"'Ere, lean on this a mo', I'll get yeh som'in ter 'elp," Hagrid muttered, turning towards a cupboard. Snape clutched the back of the chair as his breath started coming back in great whoops, making Fang lift his sleepy head from the blanket and eye him suspiciously.
Hagrid returned, a huge glass full of amber coloured liquid sparkling in his grip. "'Ere, get this down. Do yeh wonders this stuff."
Once again Snape found himself gulping down a dubious sample of Hagrid's strange supply of beverages. The liquid burned it's way down his throat, clearing his nose instantly, but making his eyes water in copious quantities.
"Gah! What on earth is that stuff?" he gasped, blinking owlishly.
"Some of me best home brew, tha' is," Hagrid answered. "Yeh no' the only one 'oo can mix 'em up, yeh know. I've been perfectin' this recipe fer decades. Good, init?"
"It's... not bad, actually," Snape managed, voice still a little hoarse. "May I...?" He held out the glass and waved it vaguely in Hagrid's direction.
"Comin' right up!" Hagrid said, appearing pleased as anything. Another full glass was presented to the slightly swaying professor, though whether the swaying was due to the effects of the drink or the helpful thumping was not quite clear. Hagrid helped himself to a beaker of the home brew, and set the flagon on the table between them.
Snape slid into his chair again, propping his head up with one hand. He peered at Hagrid over his fingers, squinting slightly as he focused on the face before him.
"You're not making this any easier, you know," he drawled slowly. He paused while he took a sip of his drink, swallowing it down and licking his lips. He looked at nothing in particular for a few moments, then shook himself and returned his attention to the man dwarfing him across the table.
"It's not what you think," Snape said, enunciating each word very precisely. If only he could just make every syllable absolutely clear then surely that would sort out the matter once and for all.
"'s not?" asked Hagrid.
"No," Snape said emphatically, shaking his head from side to side, then leaning at a slight angle and finally catching the edge of the table before he could tumble back down to the floor.
"It's you, you big, daft... " Snape's hiccup interrupted what he was about to say, and Hagrid's snigger had Snape smiling serenely back at him. Hagrid looked a bit unnerved at that.
"You're a giant," Snape said.
Hagrid pulled back and blinked in surprise. "Well, yeh got it 'arf righ' , I s'pose," he responded cautiously. "Not tha' I usually bandy tha' about."
"'Course, of course," Snape said, nodding agreeably. "But it's what we need, you see."
Hagrid nodded, and Snape looked at him happily, quite satisfied with his own explanations so far.
Still nodding, Hagrid ventured "an' yeh need what, exactly, then?"
God, it was like pulling dragon's teeth. "Giant seed. Emission of the great race. Loinal larva from the large. It's all in the old parchments."
"Wha'?" Hagrid screwed up his face till his cheeks looked like small ruddy plums, confusion wrinkling his great broad brow.
"Your semen, Hagrid. We need a sample of your semen." Snape burped genteelly into the air. "Be a good man and toss off in this will you?" he said, rummaging through the pockets of his robes once more. Blast it all, but where the hell had he put those jars anyway? They'd been right there earlier.
Snape started at the sound of Hagrid's chair crashing to the ground. He paused, his hands lost deep within his robes, and stared at the larger man in surprise.
"Yer've got to be out of yer fookin' mind!" the shocked man cried. "I've never 'eard such rubbish! What do yeh think yer playin' at?"
Hagrid's outrage was a somewhat daunting sight. Snape's mind cleared slightly as he belatedly considered the possible effects on the immediate surroundings of an enraged half-giant, and the injuries one could inflict. As his fingers finally located one of the elusive jars, he prudently attempted a little damage control.
"Now Hagrid, there's no need for histrionics. It is indeed a vital ingredient. We must procure some, and you're the only available subject. This is a highly important matter, Hagrid! Dumbledore is depending on you," he added, playing what he prayed was a winning card.
"I don't give a flyin' Hippogriff's arse, yer not fiddlin' about with me private parts. Now sod off, and take yer flippin' ruddy great jars with yeh!"
"Hagrid, sit down man. Please!" Snape snapped. "I'm not leaving here until I get what I came for. The fate of the wizarding world could depend on the success of this potion, and our sensibilities aside, I think that's a bit more important than your pride, don't you?"
The sound of Snape's remonstrance with its familiar mocking cadence ironically calmed the giant man more than any particular argument. He seemed to find it a relief to find even one thing familiar in the face of the surreal request before him. Shaking his head, no doubt at the idea of taking comfort in anything Severus Snape said, Hagrid righted the chair and slowly lowered his bulk back down. He glared at the Potions Master, his beard bristling over his crossed arms as he pushed out his lower lip and glowered.
"It's tha' important, then, is't?" he grumbled.
"Oh absolutely," Snape assured him. "This simply cannot happen without you. It's an unusual situation, I'll grant you, but think of the good you can achieve!"
Hagrid hunkered down further into his chair, pout almost trembling with the internal battle he was apparently waging. Snape decided silence was the most prudent course at this point, and helped himself to another swallow of Hagrid's brew. It really was quite more-ish.
"I dunno... "
Severus picked up the flagon and poured another serve into Hagrid's beaker and his own glass. "It's not as if I wanted to come and ask you, you know. You don't imagine you're high on my list of social calls, do you? But I didn't have any other choice either. I can assure you, if I had an alternative, I would have taken it in a heartbeat."
Hagrid looked even more offended at that.
"Well now," the giant muttered, smoothing his beard with one great hand, his fingers trailing though the knots and catching, "I s'pose there's nuthin' fer it then. Gotta be done, init?"
Snape looked up, a faint victorious smirk trying gamely to stay unexpressed. "That's the spirit Hagrid. Knew you wouldn't let us down." He thumped the flagon back on the table, and lifted his glass in salute. "Off you go then."
"Oh! Righ', then," Hagrid said, swallowing visibly. He reached for the jar, reluctance in every line of his body. He stood, holding the jar away from him with a trace of horror on his face.
'Typical,' thought Snape. 'The man happily stands shoulder to shoulder with creatures made of the stuff of nightmares, but handles a simple jar like it's about to leap up and tear his throat out.'
Hagrid shuffled towards the back door leading to the gardens. "I'll, err, jus' go out t' ther back sheds then. Be righ' back."
"Very good. I'll just be counting the minutes till you return," Snape drawled.
A panicked expression raced across Hagrid's face. "Yeh will?"
"No, you fool." Rolling his eyes, Snape added wearily, "Take your time. I'll just help myself to a little more of your home brew, if I may."
"Oh, yer, be my guest," Hagrid replied, finally making it through the door and shutting it firmly behind him.
Snape slumped at the table. Even dealing with those loathsome first year students wasn't as exhausting as this. He picked up his glass and drank deeply, only putting it back on the table when it was completely empty.
His eyes roamed about the room, idly noting the rustic and simple furnishings. He shuddered as he raised his eyes and saw the game hanging directly above. Most of it wasn't identifiable, and Snape wondered what improbable denizens of the Forbidden Forest contributed to the large man's larder. Best not to speculate. Thank God for house elves.
Snape stood, somewhat unsteadily, and made his way over to the fireplace, warming his hands against the flames. His eyes were drawn to the miscellany scattered haphazardly over the mantle piece. Bits of bone, a ball of hairy, nasty coloured wool, a photograph of the Gryffindor Quidditch team in flight (the Potter boy waving to him as he flew past - couldn't he escape that dratted child anywhere?), and boxes of matches from the Three Broomsticks pub in Hogsmeade. Not the most elegant of homes, obviously, but he had to admit, grudgingly, that Hagrid had made the most of the little space he had. The cottage was crammed with all the sundry articles useful for life as a busy groundsman and gamekeeper.
The door flew open with a resounding crash, and Snape jumped, almost landing in the hearth.
"It's no good!" yelled Hagrid. "I can't just do i' ter order. This is bloody hopeless." He strode over to the table, draining his beaker in one swift move.
Snape, beating out the flames licking at the edge of his robe, was dismayed. "You can't give up. Try it again," he said.
"But I can't!" wailed the giant. "Every time I, you know, 'ave a go, me mind wanders off an' I jus' lose it."
Snape groaned and sat back at the table, putting his head in his hands. Why, oh why hadn't he been able to convince Dumbledore to do this instead of him? Life was so unfair.
"All right. Let's think about this. Maybe we're going about this the wrong way," Snape began.
"I'm not doin' anythin' else without a drink," said Hagrid, and proceeded to pour them both another serving from the flagon.
"Good idea," said Snape. "I think I need one, too. Have a few more, and maybe you'll loosen up."
Both men sat drinking despondently at the table, silently cursing themselves and each other. After a few more turns at the flagon, Hagrid shook it upside down, frowning as the last drops spilled out.
"Be'er ge' us a refill," he said, his words slurring, and turned back to the cupboard.
"What about if you had some inspiration?" asked Snape, once again enunciating his words slowly and carefully.
Hagrid returned to the table and looked him up and down. "Wha' sort of inspiration?"
"Oh, I don't know," Snape said, waving his hands loosely in the air. "What usually does the trick?"
Hagrid's eyes unfocussed as he appeared to search his memories.
"Heh, heh, heh," he snickered.
"Got something?" Snape asked, sitting up straighter. Well, what he thought was straight. Straight usually didn't curve so much to the right.
"Well, yeah, sorta," Hagrid admitted. Another chuckle escaped him.
"Well, what is it?" Snape asked impatiently.
"I's like, I get sorta, heh, heh, well, turned on, yeh know, when I'm dancin'," Hagrid said sheepishly.
Snape blinked at him slowly. "Dancing," he said, face perfectly straight, although his eyes had started to cross ever so slightly.
"Well, yer," blustered Hagrid. "Nothin' wrong wi' that, is there?"
"No. No, there isn't. Right, get dancing then," Snape ordered.
"I can't just 'get dancin', can I?" whined the big man. "I need music, and a partner."
"A... partner?" Snape repeated, voice rising slightly.
"Well, yer, that's what does it fer me. Yer know, holdin' 'em close, swayin' and touchin', movin' and rubbin'... "
Choking yet again on his drink (his robes were in a disgusting state by this stage), Snape looked at the giant with something akin to fear.
"And I suppose you'd know where to get a partner at this time of night, would you?" he asked plaintively.
"Nope," said Hagrid.
A sad sort of sigh escaped the wizard. Why wasn't he surprised it had come to this? Thankfully his system was being cushioned by the benevolent effects of their beverage, or he'd have probably run full pelt back to his dungeons long before now.
"Right then. I suppose I'll... dance with you," he offered, feeling his face gain a bit of colour for a change, as warmth suffused it.
Hagrid leaned back and looked him up and down speculatively. "I dunno," he said slowly. "I s'pose you could do i' fer me."
Flushing even hotter, Snape snapped "You can always imagine I'm someone else. Rosmerta, I suppose," he said disdainfully.
"No," said Hagrid, "there's no need, really. You'll do. Yer not bad lookin' really, fer a bloke. I could do worse."
"Oh, spare me!" cried Snape. As if this wasn't mortifying enough.
"Righ' then," said Hagrid, seeming to warm to the idea. "I'll jus' put the radio on."
He got up and stumbled over to his bedside table where an ancient Bakelite receiver stood. He tapped a few of its charmed dials, and the WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) sprang to life, the strains of a slow ballad filling the little cabin.
Snape closed his eyes as he sat, composing himself. Did he really need to continue with this? Couldn't he find another potion for Dumbledore, something with ingredients a little more accessible?
He opened his eyes again to see Hagrid swaying on the rug before the fire, face a little dreamy and arms held out from his body.
"Well, come on, then. Watcha waitin' fer?" Hagrid called.
Snape grabbed his glass, downed it, and stood. Squaring his shoulders (he thought), he walked resolutely over to the big man. And almost tripped face first on the rug.
Hagrid caught him just before he could smash his admittedly generously proportioned nose on the floor, lifting the wizard easily and clasping him in his huge arms. Re-positioning their hands, Hagrid smiled. Snape nearly wet himself.
"Now we've got i'" Hagrid said, proceeding to move them about on the rug. Snape dangled from the giant's arms.
"I can't touch the bloody floor!" Snape complained, nose and mouth squashed up against Hagrid's chest. The odour of the man's coat was nearly overwhelming in itself.
"Ooh, sorry," Hagrid muttered, lowering Snape slightly and clutching him even harder against his chest. "Jes' lose yerself in the music," he advised, executing a swift turn that almost had the both of them falling on Fang, who barked in alarm and took off under the bed.
Half a song later and they were almost getting the hang of it. Snape had wriggled until he'd found a semi-comfortable position, his hands now locked behind Hagrid's broad shoulders, letting the giant move them about at will. He found himself almost drifting off as the tinny music wound around them, the rhythmical movement Hagrid followed lulling his inebriated mind in a surprisingly soothing fashion.
His eyes snapped open again as he discerned a change. Hagrid was ever so slightly moving him up and down, large hands on Snape's waist forcing the gentle action. Snape blushed furiously as he was reminded why he was in the position he was in.
"Is it working yet?" he hissed through gritted teeth.
"Sshhh," soothed Hagrid, happily humming along as he swayed. "We're gettin' there."
Snape's head fell forward onto the giant's chest, much as it would against a brick wall, had he had one handy to bash against.
The interminable song kept playing, and Hagrid kept swaying, moving Snape vertically with slowly increasing intensity. Snape's horror grew in direct proportion to the mounting evidence of Hagrid's satisfaction.
"Mmm," murmured Hagrid. "Don' that feel nice?" he asked, rubbing one hand along Snape's back while the other kept him moving.
Snape found himself utterly unable to say anything at all. He closed his eyes again and just prayed the giant would reach a suitable level of excitement soon.
Hagrid's hand worked itself lower, massaging Snape's buttocks as he pulled the wizard even higher up his body and pulled him in tight. To his dismay, Snape found the new position even more sensitive and gulped in horrified fascination as the evidence of Hagrid's ancestry made itself felt. The enormousness of the appendage growing against him was stunning.
Snape's mind almost snapped when he belatedly realised that the effect was beginning to arouse him as well. It was damned near impossible not to be excited by Hagrid's oversized penis. The thing was almost an entity in itself, and was beginning to reach monstrous proportions.
"Ooh, Snapey," crooned Hagrid, blissfully moving his massaging fingers into the crevice of Snape's arse.
"Oh God!" choked Snape, as his own cock swelled, apparently deciding that no amount of willpower could prevent the admittedly pleasant effects of all this rubbing.
Hagrid's hips started thrusting slowly, increasing the pressure along Snape's groin. They swayed and twirled slowly, Hagrid completely lost in the nirvana clutched within his arms. Snape's breathing deepened, catching as he hung desperately from Hagrid's shoulders.
"ooh, yeh, yer got such a nice bum," breathed Hagrid, pushing one enormous finger against the entrance, making Snape lose his breath altogether.
"Aah!...Aah!..Gaa.." he choked. Hagrid lifted Snape a little higher still, and nuzzled his bushy face into the wizard's neck. An enormous tongue swept along the skin, and Snape was suddenly boneless in the bigger man's arms.
Hagrid growled, and Snape, realising that Hagrid had manoeuvred them to the side of the room, found himself crushed between the wall and the giant, suspended still by the powerful arms.
More tongue licks, and Snape whimpered as his head moved to allow Hagrid deeper access. Hagrid's hips were pumping more urgently now, and Snape fought to untangle his legs from his robe. Finally freed, he wound them around the giant's waist, trying at last to move his own hips against the man's huge, bulging cock.
Hagrid's growls were getting fiercer and his thrusting more forceful. "Yer such a sexy bitch."
"Hag... Hagrid," Snape cried, desperately. "I'm getting...cru...cru... crushed!"
He yelped as Hagrid swung them both around without warning and took one enormous stride over to the bed. Dropped unceremoniously, Snape bounced without control, arms and legs flailing. Fang shot out from under the bed and took off like a startled rat, hurling himself into the depths of an enormous wardrobe. Snape's head was reeling, and he didn't see the giant bending to grasp his robe until it was already being torn from his body.
Holding the shredded remnants in his huge fists, Hagrid flung the pieces over his shoulder and stripped off quicker than Snape thought possible. It seemed incredible that such a large person could move so damn fast! Before he could focus his spinning eyes on Hagrid's naked body, he found himself with a groin full of beard, and his cock engulfed in the enormous wet cavern of Hagrid's mouth.
"Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!" he yelled as Hagrid's tongue swept over him in great waves, covering all his nerve endings at once. There was no let-up from the warm, wet moving muscle as Hagrid licked him from root to tip and all the way back down past his balls, seemingly without effort, over and over again.
Snape clutched the bed cover, arms outstretched as his eyes stared unseeingly into the dim depths of the lofty ceiling. He'd never, ever in his entire life felt anything as intensely wild and wet as this. This defied anything he'd ever even imagined.
Hagrid's hands grabbed around Snape's knees, and pushed them up and apart. His tongue dived straight down to Snape's hole and he forced the slippery tip inside.
"Aaaaaarrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!" There was no thought possible for Snape any more. He was just a bundle of supercharged energy contained in a formless mass. He was barely aware as one of Hagrid's hands moved instead to his chest, fingers rubbing over and over his nipples. His mouth uttered strange, frantic sounds as Hagrid's tongue moved from side to side, and back and forth. The very size of it was mind blowing. It opened him completely, and Snape nearly blacked out when it managed to reach inside and stroke his prostate.
"Oh! Gods! Merlin!" Snape cried when he could catch his breath. "More, oh God, MORE!"
He yelled again when Hagrid's tongue left his body, and the giant looked down at him with a shiny, deliriously frantic face. Hagrid picked him up and dropped him further up the bed, then prepared to move onto the bed himself.
Snape froze in conflicted horror. For the first time he could see the reality of the outrageously sized penis before him, and he whimpered in abject terror. His body was taking no notice of his gibbering mind however, and Snape simultaneously wanted to fall at the giant's feet in worship, and run screaming into the Forest.
"Wait! Wait!" he cried as Hagrid crawled onto the bed, straddling his slender, oh so tiny (incredibly vulnerable and unbelievably horny) body.
Hagrid paused, hovering over Snape like a huge, hairy airship, his expression one of confusion and lust.
"Ah don' wanna wait, Snapey, I wanna 'ave yer now," he said plaintively.
"For Merlin's sake Hagrid, I'll be split in two! You'll KILL me!"
A desperate Hagrid creased his brow in thought, searching frantically for an answer. His face was split by a beaming smile as he picked up the wizard and turned them both around, holding the startled man above him. Snape balanced on the two outstretched arms, trying not to flap like an owl to the music from the radio still playing merrily away, and gaping at the expanse of hair and skin below him. It just went on, and on, and on, as far as the eyes could see...
He came back to himself as Hagrid suddenly settled him down and perched him just at the root of his enormous cock.
"Ah reckon yer could manage from 'ere, tho' couldn' yeh?" Hagrid asked, winking. His hand reached down and started stroking Snape's cock, apparently just in case it had been feeling neglected through all these aerial manoeuvres.
Snape gazed at the appendage before him, gulping in drunken awe. His hands moved up of their own accord, and he wrapped them both around the shaft, fingers just meeting. Barely.
"Oh my God, Hagrid, I don't think it can be done," he whispered as his traitorous body arched up into Hagrid's hand, which was still caressing him gently.
"Well, I've opened yeh up nice and loose, like. An' I got some greasy stuff 'ere... " Hagrid said, reaching one arm over to the table and grabbing a stoneware jar.
Snape opened the lid and sniffed cautiously. It didn't seem too toxic, whatever it was, and was certainly viscous enough. The smell was vaguely familiar.
"What is this?" he asked.
"Err, jes' a bit o' this an' that. Got some Flobberworm base in it, but i's cut with slippery elm t' make it perfoomed."
Snape shuddered. It would have to do. He put his hand into the jar and scooped out a large portion. As it hit the skin of Hagrid's shaft, the giant yelped. "'Ere, yeh could warm it up a bit!"
"Oh, sorry," muttered Snape, bending his head and concentrating on his task. Two hands were swiftly brought into use, and he swirled them up and around and down, clearly to Hagrid's delight.
"Oh God, yeh, tha's it, yeh, Ooh, yeh, bit more of tha'," he said, head falling back. The enormous cock leapt to life again under Snape's elegant hands. He kept moving them, fascinated by the feel and the texture of this truly magnificent organ.
"Shit," muttered Snape. "How on earth am I going to manage this?" His cock chose that moment to jump, reminding him that a way had to be found. "What was that Relaxarse spell again? Dammit, never thought I'd need to use it. No, can't remember the bloody words. Oh this is hopeless."
Hagrid looked up at Snape as the despondent wizard hung his head (his hands still moving though), Snape's soft black hair falling over his downcast face.
"Now don't give up, Snapey," the giant encouraged. "Ah bet yeh know a spell o' two that can help us 'ere. Give it some more thought while yeh rubbin' away there." He dropped his head back onto the pillow and sighed contentedly.
"It's too big, it's just too big," muttered Snape. "Why couldn't you have been just a little bit smaller..."
He paused as a thought flashed into his head. "That's it!" he exclaimed.
Hagrid looked up again, opening one eye. "Wha'?"
"Wand, where's my ruddy wand," said Snape, head twisting back over his shoulders as he searched frantically for the pathetic remains of his once elegant robes.
Hagrid snuck one arm under his pillow and shuffled it about.
"'Ere, yeh can use this," he said, drawing out his arm and waving an umbrella under Snape's nose.
Snape blinked. "Beggars can't be choosers," he said shrugging, and grabbed the rather tatty umbrella, turning it around to point the business end of it at Hagrid's cock.
"Reducio!" he intoned.
Hagrid flinched and his eyes opened wide as his penis started shrinking back into his body. He seemed to have a moment of absolute panic until he realised that the effect had stopped and about 14 inches still remained.
"Whew!" said Hagrid. "Thought I was gonna lose the lot, then, I did." He peered at Snape suspiciously. "Yeh are gonna be able to put it back the way it was, tho' , inya?"
"Yes, naturally," Snape said, some of his usual hauteur returning to his voice. "The spell is only temporary. What do you think I am, a novice?"
"Naah," replied Hagrid, eyes twinkling again. "Ah reckon you've done this a time o' two," he said, throwing the wizard another wink.
Snape looked down at his handiwork. The thing was still enormous, and the girth hadn't reduced much at all. It now resembled one of the barrels of Butterbeer stored in the cellars of the Three Broomsticks. Still too daunting; another spell was obviously needed.
Racking his brain, Snape rapidly listed all the spells he could think of that could possibly be of assistance. Finally he settled on one.
"All right," he said. "I'll try one more."
"Ok," said Hagrid, bracing himself. "But if this don't work, I'm no' sure I could take any more changes."
"It'll work. ''Detumesco!'" Sparks flew out of the end of the wand, and Snape watched, amazed, as the circumference of the massive organ gradually decreased. The spell finally desisted as the penis reached the proportions matching the adjusted length.
"Oh, yes," smiled Snape, looking up happily into Hagrid's slightly stunned eyes. "This will do nicely."
Shuffling on his knees until he hovered directly over Hagrid's cock, he reached behind him and directed the massive head to his entrance. Snape drew a deep, deep breath, letting it out as he allowed himself to fall slowly back.
"Ooh, fuck, yeh," breathed Hagrid, reaching again for Snape's cock. The wizard found himself being worked over quite thoroughly, which was distracting him admirably from full awareness of the enormous, mind-blowing, unbelievable sensation of Hagrid's cock as it slid inexorably further and further into his channel.
"Guh... ," was all he could manage, as with head thrown back and body arched, he let gravity and Hagrid's home-made lube work their own magic.
"Tha's it, tha's it," Hagrid crooned, mouth hanging open and eyes slitted. "Oh, yer look so beautiful like this, tha's it, slide on me some more, jes' a bi' more now..."
Hagrid kept up a quiet, running stream of encouragement, occasionally moving one hand up the wizards body to gently tweak a nipple, or stroke the extended neck where the tendons stood out in sharp relief with the strain.
"Tha's it baby, oh yer, tha's it," the giant whispered.
"Oh, God Hagrid," Snape all but sobbed. "Oh my God."
"I got yer. Jes relax, lemme do this, you'll be righ', shhhh."
Snape did sob then, as he felt the giant's hips surge up gently, Hagrid's first soft thrust sending unbelievable spikes of pleasure ricocheting through his body.
"Aaarrgghhhhhhh," he wailed, and reached for the giant's hips. Rocking slowly, he backed himself even further on the pole breaching him, overwhelming him.
"Aw, Sev, so sweet," Hagrid whispered again, moving his hips in time to Snape's tiny movements.
A gentle rocking motion began, and Snape found his breath hitching, and tears sliding down his face from under tightly shut eyelids. Little by little, the motion increased, and his moans grew louder as his body blazed from within.
"Fuck me, Hagrid," he begged.
The large man groaned, and wiggled his way rapidly to the edge of the bed, letting his feet touch the floor. Gently cradled by two huge arms, Snape felt himself enfolded as Hagrid sat up.
"You 'ang on, now, righ'?" Hagrid pleaded into his ear, lightly flicking his enormous tongue along Snape's neck.
Snape placed his two arms around Hagrid's neck, and opened his eyes. He didn't know what Hagrid saw, but the giant's eyes were damp and looking at him tenderly.
"'ang on," Hagrid repeated, then rose to his feet. Snape whimpered, then groaned harshly, loud and long, as his partner began to raise and lower him, impaling him repeatedly.
"Fuck me, fuck, me, fuck me," he heard, and dimly realised it was himself. The giant responded, burying his face against Snape's neck and thrusting faster and faster, pulling the wizards body against his own, rolling their hips into one another with eagerness.
Snape held on mindlessly as wave after wave of perfect sensation burst through him. Hagrid's furred belly massaged his cock, while fireworks, surely, exploded behind his eyes. His orgasm took him by surprise, and Snape screamed in pure, blissful agony while his body shuddered uncontrollably.
"Oh yer beautiful man," Hagrid cried, as arms continued to brace him against Hagrid's still pumping body.
Utterly limp, Snape remained skewered as he felt Hagrid lower him back down to the bed, and deftly turn him. His face pushed into the bed cover, he could only bite his lower lip and grunt as Hagrid raised his hips, and thrust in deep.
Snape passed out as the first splash of white-hot semen burst forth from Hagrid's swollen, throbbing penis. He came to, enfolded within warm, furry arms, Hagrid's beard softly scratching his shoulders as the giant moved his lips gently across his skin.
"Yer all righ', then?" Hagrid asked.
"Mm. Don't know," said Snape quietly. "Do I still need to walk, do you think?"
Hagrid chuckled into his neck, stroking the wizards hair away from his sweat-drenched face. "Naah," Hagrid answered. "I's overrated, walkin'."
Snape snorted, then groaned as a muscle cramp hit him. He felt himself turned to the other man, and saw a frown crease Hagrid's flushed forehead. "I should make a bath fer yeh, clean yer up and get yer muscles workin' again," Hagrid offered.
Snape gasped in sudden horror. "Hagrid! The potion!"
"Ooh, yeh, righ', 'old on a bit then," Hagrid said, and eased himself away from Snape and off the bed. A stride or two in either direction, and he returned, looming over the prostrate wizard with the jar in his hand.
Snape forced himself up on his elbows, and took stock of himself. With not a small measure of shock, he realised his legs were covered in thick, gooey semen, as his body fought and lost the battle to contain all the giant had poured into it.
"Should be enough there, don' yer think?" Hagrid asked, scooping the jar down to scrape gently along Snape's skin. The jar filled to capacity in two passes, leaving the wizard still fairly well coated.
"Don't let an owl in here, whatever you do, Hagrid," Snape advised. "I'd be tarred and feathered in no time at all."
Hagrid snickered as he put the lid carefully back on the jar, and placed it on the bedside table. "No chance o' that, " he promised. "I'm not lettin' anythin' bad 'appen to yeh, in a hurry."
Snape watched nonplussed as the giant blushed and turned away to grab another clean cloth, wetting it down and returning to the bed. The large hands played gently over his body, removing the sweat and semen, rubbing a bit where it had started to crust around the edges.
Finally Hagrid rolled him over gently, pulled down the covers of the bed, and placed him under the sheet.
"Jus' rest up a bit while I get the bath goin'," he said, and walked away to get it all started.
When Snape awoke, he was half submerged in a gloriously hot tub of steaming, scented water, the giant's hands massaging his neck and shoulders with gentle pressure. A sigh of contentment rose up with the steam.
"Back with us, I see," Hagrid said.
"Mmm," murmured the wizard.
"A few bruises 'ere and there," Hagrid said softly. "Poppy should be able ter fix..."
"Hardly," Snape interrupted. He looked up and over his shoulder at Hagrid, who was kneeling next to the tub, looking somewhat guilty to Snape's eyes. "I rather think you're doing a good enough job on your own," he said, looking at Hagrid pointedly.
A blush stole over Hagrid's features, and he swallowed before answering, "If yer reckon, then."
Snape turned back around, and Hagrid continued with his ministrations.
"Lean forward a bit," Hagrid requested.
Snape hugged his knees as Hagrid poured water over his head, then pulled the hair back from his face. He kept his head back as large fingers massaged his skull, and his nostrils twitched as he smelt Hagrid applying a cleansing lotion.
It had been years since anyone had touched him so intimately, and Snape swallowed hard. After all they'd been through tonight, it wasn't the sex that undid him, but the gentle kindness he felt in the other man's caress. He screwed his eyes shut tightly and concentrated on controlling his emotions as Hagrid completed his attentions.
Eventually clean and dry, having been lifted out of the tub by the gentle giant, Snape stood woozily by the fire. Hagrid was rummaging around in a drawer, and turned back to him with various garments clutched in his fists.
"I can't believe how unsteady I still am on my feet," he muttered, frowning.
"Aye, i's not just the, err, exercise," Hagrid said, sorting through the items he held and holding up a shirt against the wizard's body. "Yer had a fair bit o' me home brew, yer know."
Snape thinned his lips. If he wanted to, he could use this as an excuse to blame away his actions. If he wanted to, he could put all this behind him, and return to his solitary life. If he willed it, the giant would back off, he was sure, and leave him be from now on.
Snape continued to frown as he absent-mindedly donned the clothes Hagrid handed him, holding himself up by leaning a hand against Hagrid's shoulder as he stood on one foot to manage the pants.He stood lost in thought, not noticing as Hagrid tied the belt at his waist.
Hagrid stood back and watched him. "Yer look like a little kid in that get up," he said, a small smile tugging at his lips, but not reaching his eyes.
Snape blinked, and looked down at himself, finally noticing the outfit he was wearing. He did indeed resemble something out of a Victorian pantomime, some poor abandoned orphan perhaps.
"I can't wear this!" he exclaimed.
"I'll cover yer with this old cloak, don' worry," said Hagrid, and proceeded to wrap the wizard completely in its folds. Turning to the bed, Hagrid pocketed the jar, then returned to the fire, and lifted the smaller man into his arms.
"What do you think you're doing?" Snape asked coldly, the hauteur returning to his voice as though it had never left.
Hagrid swallowed, and turned sad eyes to him. "Yeh can't walk all the way back tonight, yer not up to it, and I don't have a broom 'ere. Unless you'd rather stay the night?" he finished.
"No," said Snape, acidly.
"Didn' think so," Hagrid muttered, and walked out the door with Snape held securely in his arms.
Two days after being safely deposited at the door to his dungeon apartment, Severus emerged from his laboratory and sought an audience with the Headmaster.
"Well, well, I congratulate you," said Albus, inclining his head in respect. "I'll see that your potion is set to work immediately, Severus. It will be out in the field before the end of the month, I predict. Very good work indeed"
Snape's shoulders straightened, and he preened ever so slightly. He flicked his hair out of his face, vaguely noting in passing that it flashed a brilliant and sparkling black as the sunlight from the open window caught it. It really was quite glossy now.
"Not at all, Headmaster," he replied, not quite keeping a trace of smugness from his voice. It wasn't every day, after all, that his talents were sufficiently appreciated. Then he stiffened slightly, suddenly aware that Albus was staring at him with some small amount of amusement.
"Some tea, Severus?" asked Dumbledore, turning to a tray at his side.
"Thank you, yes," said Snape, watching as the tray suddenly filled with a steaming pot, two cups, and some wafer biscuits.
They tucked in, neither speaking as they went through the time honoured ritual of taking tea. Snape sat back in the comfortable armchair and brought the cup to his lips, blowing the steam gently before sipping.
Dumbledore stood and carried his tea over to the window, looking out over the grounds of Hogwarts. He seemed quite interested in something.
"What has caught your eye, Headmaster?" asked Snape, reaching for a wafer.
The wizard turned, and smiled gently. "Oh, just Hagrid. He's in the gardens, picking flowers, of all things."
Snape gave a little cough and looked down at his lap.
"I trust, then, you encountered no difficulty in the procurement of the final essence?" Albus asked, finally.
Snape shifted uncomfortably and blew harder on the surface of his tea. "None whatsoever, Headmaster," he stated shortly, not lifting his eyes to the other.
"Good," the old wizard said. "Very good indeed." He paused momentarily. "Hagrid cooperative, was he?"
A frown started its way across Snape's forehead, but he ignored it, concentrating as he was on the temperature of his tea. "Of course. Once I explained it to him, he saw that it was simply a matter of d-dduty."
"Ah yes, duty. A heavy burden sometimes. Still. No reason why one cannot also find a duty pleasant, sometimes, don't you think?"
Snape swallowed his mouthful of tea with some difficulty. Finally raising his eyes to meet those of the older wizard, he asked, "Has Hagrid discussed it?"
"Oh no, not really," replied Dumbledore, and Snape heaved a quiet sigh of relief. "Not really. Well, I simply thanked him for his efforts, of course," continued the old man.
"Oh!" Severus replied, somewhat weakly.
"Yes, and being Hagrid, of course he offered his services in whatever way you see fit in the future."
Chinaware tinkled as Snape's hand shook slightly, balancing the cup with whitened knuckles.
"I see. Well, that's generous of him. I think we have enough to go on with, however."
"Very well Severus. Very well."
In the following silence, Snape relaxed marginally, and returned his attentions to his cup.
"Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Speaking of duties, Hagrid seemed to think you wouldn't mind, and I assured him you wouldn't. You'll both be leading the staff table in the first dance at this year's Yule Ball."
As tea exploded across the room, a small, gibbering part of Snape's mind tutted over the wreckage of another fine set of robes.