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Nature's Changing Course

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Snape knew he wasn’t in his own bed as soon as he woke. He opened his eyes cautiously. Bright light streamed through the large window beside his bed and he knew he wasn't still in the dungeons; he was in the hospital wing.

Closing his eyes, he began to think rapidly. The last thing he remembered was going to bed in the Slytherin dungeon. Today was his seventeenth birthday and he'd been excited as he got ready for bed last night, finally he was going to be a proper wizarding adult. The trace on his wand would be removed and he'd be able to do magic at home. Something must have happened to him during his sleep.

What could have happened? He certainly felt well enough. It was very strange that he had no recollection of even arriving in the hospital wing.

He opened his eyes again. This time he saw a boy reading a book and sitting on the bed next to his.

“You’re awake!” the boy yelled, suddenly noticing that Snape was watching him. It was Potter! Potter had been sitting by his bedside. The very idea was nauseating.

“Of course I’m awake, Potter. Why am I here? What did you do to me?

“Well, you’ve been in a coma, sir, but everything’s alright. He’s dead and you’re safe.”

Snape pushed back the duvet and leapt to his feet. Potter stood too, looking almost as if he were expecting Snape to fall and he intended to catch him. Snape grabbed him by the collar and slammed him into the wall.

Something was very wrong here. It had never been this easy to take Potter unawares. Snape peered down at the boy, inspecting him without loosening his grip on the boy’s collar.

“What is the meaning of this?” Snape spat out as Potter struggled.

“You don’t remember?” Potter stuttered, his body freezing and a look of utter desperation flooding his face. Snape smirked, happy to have missed whatever nasty prank Potter had devised this time.

“I regret not,” Snape bit out sarcastically; still trying to put his finger on what was so wrong with this situation. “Have you shrunk, Potter?” he asked, his smirk becoming wider. The boy’s mouth flapped open in astonishment, making him look even stupider than usual.

“You..you really don’t remember? Because they said it was only a small chance that the potion would effect your mind as well as your body. I should get Madam Pomfrey,” Potter prattled off as Snape twisted his collar more tightly.

“Madam Pomfrey!” Potter yelled. It galled him to release Potter when he was so completely at his mercy, but he could hear footsteps approaching.

“Professor!” the nurse called out reprovingly. Snape dropped Potter’s collar instantly; if a teacher saw him like this then he’d get detention for manhandling perfect Potter who was incapable of doing anything wrong in the teachers' eyes.

“He doesn’t remember anything!” Potter cried out as Madam Pomfrey came over and shooed Snape back to bed.

“Well, Mr. Potter, we always knew that was a risk. He’s awake and that’s quite good enough for now.”

“I remember everything perfectly,” Snape interjected. Potter and Madam Pomfrey turned to him, both wearing matching expressions of surprise. The nurse paused in the act of covering him with bed sheets.

“Today is my seventeenth birthday.”

Potter’s eyes boggled at him, but the nurse calmly went back to tucking his sheets in.

“I think it would be for the best if you went to fetch Professor McGonagall, Mr Potter,” the nurse said to a thunderstruck Potter.