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Severus bent low to snip the sacred mushrooms from their stems. He smiled to himself. These mushrooms will last a year if I can preserve them right.
Horace Slughorn snipped some himself, smiling. Severus eyed him. He knew Horace had just tagged along so he could harvest these mushrooms and sell them to the highest bidder. He didn't like Slughorn's mercenary tactics, but he was in a dangerous part of the forest and felt a companion was necessary.
He looked up again and froze in place. Twenty feet away stood the rare Artiodactyla Camelidae. Severus slowly rose, motioning for Horace to do the same. Turning, Slughorn's eyes grew wide.
"Stand back, Horace. The Artiodactyla Camelidae is an extremely dangerous animal that could attack at any moment."
"Oh, Severus, stop trying to impress me with your vocabulary. Just call it the Drama-Llama like everyone else does!"
Severus regarded Horace cooly. He could see the look in Slughorn's eyes, and it didn't sit well with him.
"Do you realize how much their hair will bring from the right bidder?" Slughorn whispered reverently.
His call went unheeded as Slughorn began to creep toward the black Drama-llama. Without thinking, Severus rushed to his side to pull him back. It was then the llama decided to charge. It raced for Slughorn, who lifted his hands up defensively. Severus turned to Stupefy the llama, but it got to him before he could cast the spell. The animal sunk its teeth into his arm and shook him, knocking him to the ground. The llama glared at him and trotted off.
Slughorn dropped to his knees next to Severus, who was gripping his arm and wincing in pain.
"Um... would you mind?" Horace said. "Drama-llama spit is very rare, and there's some right there." He pointed to Severus' arm. "Might I harvest that?"
Severus glared at him.
"It's worth twenty galleons a vial!" He looked down and got an excited look on his face. "I'll give you half."
"My help is worth much more than that! Just get it off me! It might ruin my porcelain skin!"
Slughorn didn't seem to notice Severus' change in tone. He quickly extracted a vial and bottled the tiny amount of spittle that wasn't tainted with Severus' blood. He smiled at it.
"Quit making love to that vial and help me! I'm dying here! For Merlin's sake, look at all that blood! I... I think I feel faint!"
Horace waved his wand over Severus' arm, and the wound cleaned itself and was soon mended. Severus frowned down at it.
"You realize I could have done that in half the time. And look, the seal is crooked."
"Well, I did my best."
"Your best is obviously not as good as mine."
"Why, Severus, what on earth is wrong with you?"
"Your bad teaching is what's wrong with me. I don't understand why McGonagall insisted that you keep your position. I can teach rings around you. Doesn't she realize she has the greatest Potions master in the world at her employ? She should be kissing my feet, begging me to teach Potions, but no, she lets lackluster you continue on in your sub-par way while my talents go unnoticed."
Horace's face fell. Snape studied him. He couldn't believe how he had to deal with such idiocy on a daily basis. Didn't everyone realize just how brilliant he was?
Horace shook his head. "I know what's wrong with you!" He pointed at Severus. "It's the Drama-llama spit. It's given you a diva complex!"
Severus brushed him off with a wave of his hand as he got up off the ground. "Oh, I knew that already. Do you take me for a dunderhead?"
"Certainly not, Severus," Horace replied while rolling his eyes.
Severus swung his head around so his hair whirled around his head. "Do you think this cape works for me? I was thinking of going purple."
"Oh, it's so you... Severus."
"It doesn't matter anyway. With a beautiful face like mine, everyone will ignore the cape anyway."
He turned and started to walk dramatically toward the castle. Horace grabbed the bags of mushrooms and hurried after him.
"So, we'll have to deal with you in this state until tomorrow?" he asked Severus.
Severus rolled his eyes. "No, everyone knows it takes twelve hours for the spit to dissipate from the body. I'll be fine by three a.m."
Slughorn thought on that. "I was sure it lasted twenty-four hours."
Severus wheeled around and glared at him. "You dare question me? It's twelve hours. Maybe if you thought before you speak, you'd remember your training."
They'd reached the edge of the Forbidden Forest by now, and the green of the Hogwarts grounds was before them. Horace frowned and lifted his wand.
"Stop fiddling with your wand! I'm parched. I need my Fiji water! Did you bring it?"
Horace fiddled in his robes. He turned and fiddled some more. "I think it's over here, Severus, hold on."
Severus rolled his eyes. "The things I put up with from the lot of you!"
Horace pulled a small vial out of his pocket and poured three drops into the bottle of water. He turned back and handed the water to Severus.
Severus took it and looked down his nose at Horace. "When we get back to the castle, I'll be expecting a pedicure. My feet need their TLC too."
"Of course... Severus."
Severus daintily lifted the bottle to his mouth and sipped the cool water. In an instant, he'd fallen to the ground, sound asleep.
"Twelve hours, huh, Severus? That Sleeping Draught ought to take care of you until then."
Horace gave Severus a little wave and tottered off to the castle, a smile on his face.
A/N: This is an answer to oosevie's prompt: A sudden bite changes everything for the potions master.
Great thanks to Maggie and Lisa for their fun ideas for this, and to Lisa for the quick beta.
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The Patronus skin was created especially for The Petulant Poetess by TarahFae.