mayachain: (HP green_ring)
[personal profile] mayachain
Title: a fire horn for your journey
Characters: Severus(/Remus), Lily Evans, Teddy Lupin
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1100
Summary: Five times Severus brewed a potion on his birthday.
Notes: Previous parts of the birthday!verse (written yearly since 2008) can be found at LJ or A03).

January 9th, 1973

They snuck into the potions lab seconds before the Head Boy went past. Severus had to restrain himself not to join in Lily’s breathless giggles. “I thought for sure we would be caught!”

“I can see why, the girls you eat lunch with stomp around like elephants,” Severus said.

“Don’t be mean!” Lily whispered. “You wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for me. Silencio.

It was true. There was no way Severus would have dared break into Slughorn’s classroom in the dark on his own.

“What do you want to try first?” he asked, excited, taking quick steps toward the shelves.

“Everything!” Lily breathed.

While Severus dared not trust her silencing charm entirely, he soon almost forgot his surroundings in the jubilance of finally doing what they had both wanted to do ever since they first set foot into this room: Throwing into the cauldron everything that felt right and see what would happen. Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard his mother’s voice, This is extremely reckless and hardly scientific at all! Just because you both believe you’re talented doesn’t mean there won’t be an explosion!

Severus flicked an ounce of hare’s spit into the concoction. “Is that from the snow wizard Potter and his fan club built?” he asked when the room remained standing, trying to get a better look at what Lily was out fishing out from under her robe.

“If you don’t want it...” Lily drawled, hiding her prize behind her back.

“I didn’t say that,” Severus backtracked. If he was right – if she was right – it would counteract that vial of snail’s gall’s volatility. “Marvellous properties, turnips.”

January 9th, 1983

Severus lit the fire under his cauldron and told himself again that this would make Pince’s irrational refusal to simply let him enter the Restricted Section cease. He would grade the third-years’ essays a day late, he would hand over the potion, and that would be it.

The ban had certainly not been instated at Dumbledore’s behest. Not with the pastries the house-elves had presented him with during dinner. No, this was because of Alice Longbottom, still, Severus’ connection to the Malfoys, and yet another woman mourning a friend.

Severus would have been far more aggravated than he was had Pince’s need for fresh Indefinite not been legitimate. The parchment she’d shown him had been so old it had begun to crumple at the mere thought of a restoration spell.

His skill for her space, for all that she should never have dared inconvenience him, was still a fair trade.

A standard frog’s tongue would save hours, he thought, eyeing a tiny jar with extremely rare frogs’ back teeth.

A forty years’ difference – indefinite, ha, at least not yet – ought to be worth all the books he wanted for the rest of the term. At the end of the night it would be Madam Pince who owed him a favour.

January 9th, 1993

Severus searched his shelves and found himself staring helplessly at the contents. He didn’t know what to do.

He could see before him two dozen ingredients for animation, wakefulness, alertness. He had recipes that could alleviate or cure insomnia. He even had an idea how to revert unnatural sleep into peaceful dreams, but nothing, nothing he or Madam Pomfrey had tried had made Creevy, Finch-Fletchley or even the cat so much as twitch.

If he didn’t have to teach. If there were no other potions that needed brewing. If he didn’t have to keep that idiot Lockhart from making matters worse. If he didn’t need to be part of the search for that blasted chamber... And damn Hagrid for being no help at all...

This was not supposed to happen. After Quirrell had been killed there was not supposed to be something this evil inside the walls of Hogwarts.

If only I could ask - but no, no, that line of thought was useless. As was Maybe Poppy is right, we need an army of medi-witches and curse breakers.

Experts or not, St. Mungo’s or not, increasingly hysterical parents or not, insultingly undermotivated Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs or not, they were his students.

January 9th, 2003

A few hours after a five-year-old’s hunger had finally driven them out of bed, Severus stood in his lab and set about brewing their January supply of Wolfsbane. He hummed as he opened the parcel of meticulously prepared aconite that had been Neville and Draco’s afterthought for Christmas. If he started the batch now, the necessity to stir every few minutes would be over in time for him to shower before the guests arrived.

Clockwise four times, counterpoint eight times, count to seventeen, begin again.

The process had long since become a routine, one that he had come to find both satisfying and comforting. Severus often found a deep sense of calm while working on other potions as well – those that were the most demanding and took up hours of his time – but this one had gone from being a defensive measure against being eaten alive to mean waking up every day of the month with Remus curled around him.

Still, even after nearly ten years he could barely stand the smell. He dared not mute his sense with a spell; as Neville often said, every magical plant was an individual and thus Severus needed his nose to tell him the exact moment to stop his practiced movements.

I can smell the scones Remus is baking even over this stench, he told himself. It was nearly convincing.

January 9th, 2013

“Are you sure we’re allowed to be here? Teddy whispered as they slipped into – now – Professor Greengrass’ classroom.

“Considering it’s after midnight, I’m fairly certain that we’re not,” Severus replied before quickly casting a Silencio. He had left Remus asleep on his teacher’s quarters’ bed as Minerva had saddled him with all four bunches of first-years on Thursdays.

Should he encourage such Gryffindorish behaviour in his son? He was being reckless, irresponsible. The boy had Transfiguration first thing in the morning. I really, really shouldn’t.

Some things were more important than lack of sleep and the threat of detention.

Teddy, a Marauder’s son to the bone, had overcome his trepidation by the time Severus had lowered his wand. The fourth-year had pulled out an OWL-level course book, flipped it open at a random page and equally randomly stabbed his finger onto a recipe. It was not how Severus himself would have done it, but then Teddy was a persistent student and not a natural at potions.

Severus looked their starting point over and then threw a quick glance at the shelves, nodding his approval at Greengrass’ organisation. “What are the rules?” he asked.

“Use whatever you want,” Teddy recited dutifully. “Bu-ut – never do it without using the trick.”

“And what is the trick?” Severus demanded, unable to contain a smile.

“Always be certain why it feels right.”

“Very good. Now, tell me what you think will happen if we add this,” Severus said and handed Teddy a parsnip.

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