Characters: Neville Longbottom, Severus Snape
Word Count: ~430
Summary: Some gifts have to be savoured with caution.
Notes: Previous parts of the birthday!verse can be found here.
July 31st, 2003
"Draco?" The word echoed weakly in Neville's ears.
The person that had woken him up by approaching his bedside stepped closer still. "No. Be grateful it is not your Gran." Neither the tone of voice nor the response itself boded well.
"What happened," Neville asked. Through the slit of his barely opened right eye he managed to make out his former Potions Professor. The piercing look he found levelled at himself was one he had last seen when the man had been Headmaster. He felt himself shrinking backwards and tried hard to remind himself that those days were long past and they had been friendly for the last four years.
"You decided to drink what was left in the bottle of Comet Collision your acquaintances from Johannisburg sent you," Severus informed him.
Neville tried to frown and winced. His attempt to level himself up on his elbow failed miserably. He had returned late from a week at the outskirts of Trondheim, the four of them plus Gran had celebrated Remus' latest book and Neville's twenty-third birthday with drinks, and... "It was only a mouthful?"
A hand appeared on his shoulder and pushed him down again. A vial was held against his lips and he made himself swallow. This was the man who had laughed at his recount of consulting with the Monk of Nidaros last night. Professor Snape, Headmaster Snape would at best have left him to his misery. "If you had remembered to pour it into a glass, you would have been as fine as the rest of us were," Severus said. "I had rather thought you had gotten over this inability of yours to follow simple instructions."
He was in his own bed, Neville was pretty sure. Remus, at least, tended to insist poisoning cases see an actual medi-witch or -wizard. It had to mean that at worst he had given himself a hangover. "Where's Draco?"
"Brewing you another one of these, though by my estimation three should suffice." Severus made Neville empty another vial.
"Must breathe more than it gets through the bottleneck. That's something I won't forget again," Neville vowed. He had remembered, but with the remainder barely covering the bottom of the bottle, it hadn't seemed important. "I have to be at Madame Pendylow's and repot her Mandrakes tomorrow."
"Not to mention make an appearance at Potter's party that's supposed to start... in about an hour, if I recall correctly." The smile accompanying the words was positively evil. Neville groaned and tried his best to disappear into his cushion.