(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
(Highlight to View) Prompt: After accidentally activating a magical artifact, Severus and Hermione find themselves changed (SS/HG or SSHG).
Note: This fic would have many faults if it weren't for my Betas. Thank you JK for creating such wonderful characters for us.
Summary: A Potions accident results in a discovery that has unforseen consequences.
Severus opened his eyes to Stygian blackness. The cold stones beneath him leached the warmth from his bones. For a nightmarish moment he thought that he was in Azkaban. However, the scents that reached him were not redolent of the fear and rank despair which hung over the fetid dungeons of that ill-fated island. As his heart rate slowed down to more normal levels, the more rational part of his brain identified the aromas surrounding him. He had been transported to his Potions laboratory.
Automatically he reached for his wand. His hand halted when it encountered bare flesh instead of his robes. A quick examination confirmed that he was naked: no wonder he was cold! He scrambled to his feet, stubbing his bare toes in the process. Severus cursed roundly as he rubbed his smarting feet. He didn't remember the floor of his lab being so bloody uneven. As he shuffled carefully towards where he hoped the wall should be, he racked his brain to try to think how the hell he was going to manage to navigate the corridors of Hogwarts without any clothes on. Fortunately his rooms would not be far, once he found the bloody door. So long as the corridors were empty he should be able to slip inside his rooms without anyone being the wiser.
His steps faltered as he remembered that he shouldn't be alone. Miss Granger had been grasping the blue glass bottle the same time he had. A Portkey was not designed for multiple destinations, so where was she?
"Miss Granger?" he called.
There was no reply. If she was around, she was keeping very quiet. Which was rather worrying as the blasted witch never bloody shut up. Severus decided he would worry about Granger's whereabouts once he was decently clothed.
His thoughts ground to a halt as his hand encountered the wall. Instead of cold stone or the wooden Potion racks, he had felt a soft, yielding cloth that gave off the aroma of an apothecary shop. He wasn't in a cave at all. Someone had Engorgio'd his robes!
Severus scowled. Was this Miss Granger's idea of retribution? All right, he had banned her precious Gryffindor, Meredith from his classes. Just how the dunderhead had managed to create a powerful explosion with the First Year materials at hand was beyond him. Until he could ensure the safety of the other students, himself, and the structural integrity of Hogwarts he was not going to let the unwitting saboteur into his classroom. Not even Longbottom had managed to wreak such havoc in his lessons.
Miss Granger had naturally taken exception to his strictures and leapt to the defence of her little lion. Severus hadn't wanted her on the investigation to assess the damage the brat had done. Miss Granger had insisted. Now he knew why. Incandescent with fury he summoned his wand.
An ominous swishing sound rapidly came closer. Pure reflex saved him. He twisted to one side just in time as what felt like a spear swept by him almost knocking him off his feet.
"Lumos" His command brought forth a globe of light from what might be mistaken for a Wizard's staff. Severus stared in astonishment at what was undoubtedly his wand. The black wood carvings at the base, worn smooth many years of handling by himself and his mother before him, were unmistakable. Now it was taller than he was!
Severus swore under his breath as he tugged the charmed wand towards him. By its light, he could see that his ceiling had buttons and was too low for him to raise the wand. He was going to have to drag it out of his clothes. Severus snarled, and promising dire revenge on Miss Hermione bloody Granger, he retraced the path the wand had taken from its pocket in his sleeve.
Soon, a thin grey light appeared ahead as he neared the cuff of his sleeve. Severus stopped near the entrance. If Miss Granger was out there, he was not going to emerge stark bollock naked. The last thing he wanted was for her to laugh at his body's shortcomings. He needed something to cover his dignity.
Although he was expecting it, having summoned the handkerchief to him, being suddenly enveloped in soft black silk was an unsettling experience. Rather like being hugged by a Dementor, only without the accompanying chill and despair. Shuddering slightly, he struggled out of the Handkerchief's silky embrace. Severus held up the edge of the handkerchief thoughtfully. It was large enough to wrap around himself several times over. Until now, he had never thought he would regret declining Minerva's offer to teach him how to tie a kilt.
Severus tugged at the knot again. His attempt at something resembling a toga would certainly not win any fashion awards but it did manage to cover the essentials. Now clothed, he stepped forward prepared to give Miss Granger a piece of his mind.
Severus stopped, rooted to the spot. In front of him a delectably bare Miss Granger was just struggling out of her own robes. Her more than usually dishevelled hair and red face did not detract at all from her curvaceous body. Just when had she grown so attractive? He had never, thank Merlin, lusted after her when she was a teenager.
As she stood up, all unaware of his gaze, his mouth suddenly went dry and all anger drained away only to be replaced by a very different fire. She was no longer skinny and gawkish but definitely what he would define as an ample armful. Realising he was gawping at her like a hormone crazed teenager, Severus snapped his mouth shut.
"Accio wand!" declared Miss Granger, holding out her hand.
Knowing all too well what was going to happen next, Severus dived forward. He was just in time to catch her as she was knocked flying backwards by her own wand. He then registered just where his hands gripped her.
Before he could transfer them to a more innocuous position she kicked him in the shins and then pushed his arms away and whirled on him. He was still too stunned by the almost electric reaction he had felt on touching her to avoid the resounding slap across his face.
"What did you do that, for you silly witch?" Severus clutched his rapidly reddening cheek." I was stopping you from falling over. Next time I'll just let you land on your bloody arse!"
"Oh I'm sorry!" Miss Granger said. Her eyes went wide as she tried to cover up her more interesting assets.
Severus smirked slightly and held out a hand. He summoned his second handkerchief, glad he always carried spares just in case a student needed one. "If you don't mind the Slytherin monogram this should cover your… embarrassment."
Her blush extended all the way down to her toes. In spite of his intention to be a gentleman, his eyes couldn't help tracking the rosy glow as it suffused her smooth skin.
"Hrrmph" Miss Granger coughed loudly.
Severus jerked his eyes back to her face. "Something in your throat?"
"Oh!" She glared at him. Fortunately certain spells were impossible to be cast without a wand, otherwise Severus was certain he would have been struck dead on the spot. "Professor Snape, would you be so kind as to turn your back."
His gaze met hers. It was greatly tempting to say no, as she returned his stare boldly enough. Then he noted her hands were shaking. So this Gryffindor was not as fearless as she made out? Severus went to retrieve his enlarged wand and snuffed out the enchantment at its tip. There was plenty of light coming from a row of windows set high in the wall opposite them. He might as well save his energy for when it was needed.
"Very well, Miss Granger, although in the circumstances aren't we being rather formal? After all, you are no longer a student. You don't have to call me Professor all the time."
"I—er" She drew a deep breath.
Severus tried to keep his eyes on her face and ignore the interesting way the inhalation lifted her ample breasts. The improvised toga he was wearing would do little to hide his interest in her.
"I suppose you are right, but could you please turn around, Pro—Severus."
"As you please, Hermione." Severus turned, wondering why her uttering his name gave such a lift to his mood. He had only asked her to do so to unsettle her further. To take his mind off the intriguing rustling noises going on behind him, Severus studied his surroundings.
They were in a stone-built corridor. The walls towered so far above him he could barely make out the ceiling. Windows were set high in the walls and the wall of the corridor opposite the windows had tapestries rather than paintings. The nearest one was huge and depicted a rather disturbing scene of the climax to a unicorn hunt. Much to his relief, unlike the portraits in most of Hogwarts, the scene was static. The strangest thing about the cavernous corridor were the pavers on the floor. They were massive, easily the same length as himself and the chinks between them were deep almost as if they were designed to trip anything less than a giant. Severus frowned in puzzlement. Giants were not known for their architecture, yet he couldn't think of any other being that wouldn't be dwarfed by their surroundings.
"You can turn round now."
Severus turned, his train of thought totally derailed by the sight that greeted him. The handkerchief draped around her form more closely than her robes. It left her arms bare and had a swooping neckline that drew his eyes down to the hollow between her breasts.
Mentally berating himself for reacting like an oversexed Seventh Year, Severus regathered his scattered wits. "I think you made a better job of that than I did."
"I believe you are right. I never thought having Parvati as a dorm mate would be quite so useful."
"It does look like a sari." Severus would have been a poor agent if he hadn't known who slept with the Golden Trio. Not like that! He told himself sternly as his brain conjured up an image of Parvati and Hermione locked in an embrace that would not have been out of place in the Kama Sutra. He hastily brought his mind back to the here and now. "Anyway, sartorial discussion aside, do you have any idea which student we need to hex into the middle of next week?"
"How do you know a student was responsible? I don't even know how we got here."
"I initially thought that you had hexed me. However, when I saw you had been similarly afflicted, I knew someone else must be responsible. A student is far more likely to pull this sort of a prank"
"You don't think it was that glass bottle then?"
"Portkeys don't usually change the size of anything they transport."
"How are you sure it was a Portkey?"
"Hermione, do you recognise where we are?"
Hermione slowly rotated in front of him, studying their surroundings."I have never seen this part of Hogwarts before. It's quite impressive."
"We may not even be in Hogwarts. It is strange, this place seems to be designed for those of somewhat larger stature. Apart from Hagrid, giants have never been known to want to live in houses, never mind something as grand as this."
Hermione cast a glance at the nearest tapestry and shuddered. "Well, the hangings would suit their tastes. We are not going to solve the mystery standing here. Right or left, Severus?"
"Spoken like a Gryffindor," Severus said looking up and down the cavernous room. "Left is as good as any."
"Spoken like a Slytherin!" Hermione retorted.
Severus smiled slightly. "Touché."
The uneven floor made their progress slow, even with their staffwands to assist them. The surface seemed designed to trap unwary feet. Several stubbed toes and nearly-sprained ankles later they were approaching an imposing, iron studded wooden door. About halfway up a thick iron latch held it shut.
Suddenly, a large shadow swooped over them. Severus instinctively ducked and reached for his wand before he remembered it wasn't up his sleeve but was being used as a walking staff.
"What was that?"
"It was just a bird, passing by the window."Hermione said.
"That was a bloody big bird!"
"Or just a large shadow. How are we going to get through the door?"
Severus leant against his wand as he craned his neck upwards. The lock was too high to reach, even if Hermione stood on his shoulders. If they could figure out a way to reach it, what were they going to do if it was locked? "Hermione do you think you could Alohomora the lock from here?"
"With my wand this size? I don't think I could manage the movements. A Sesame would be more effective." Hermione moved next to him as she too studied the door.
Severus eyed the door dubiously and sighed. "It opens inward, which would make your suggestion somewhat trickier. However…" his voice trailed off as a shadow passed over them again. He looked up at the windows. "It's not too high, I could levitate and see where we are. If we are still in Hogwarts, I should recognise the view. I do know other spells that can be cast wandlessly. However, as they are harder to control, I would prefer to know exactly where we are before I use them."
"That sounds like a good idea. Meredith has done enough damage without our adding to it." Hermione smiled up at him.
Severus froze as a sudden urge to bend his head to brush his lips against hers swept over him. Where had that come from? Had he hit his head or something? Perhaps asking her to call him by his first name had been a bad idea. It would have been easier to hold her mentally at arms length if she was Miss Granger.
"Severus, are you all right?"
"Fine!"Severus shook his head trying to clear it. "I was just preparing my mind to focus on flight. Perhaps you had better stand back."
Hermione retreated a few steps away from him. Severus resisted the impulse to call her back. He really needed to concentrate to be able to levitate and having her beside him was all too distracting.
Severus took a deep breath and laid his overgrown wand down. For a moment he missed his cloak. It wasn't essential, but the robes billowing around him gave an illusion of flight that somehow made it easier to levitate. Framing the spell in his mind, he summoned the magic required. He lifted off the floor with the toga billowing around him. Too late, he realised Hermione now had a good view of his nether regions as he had neglected to fashion any underwear…
That thought almost broke his upward progress. As he corrected the wobble in his ascent he sternly focused his attention on the window in front of him. A huge owl flew onto the ledge outside the window and regarded Severus with a beady eye.
Severus stared at the bird in astonishment. It looked like a barn owl. Unlike most barn owls, it was huge. In its beak was a large envelope. An all too familiar address was inscribed across it.
A cold chill shivered down his spine as the awful truth struck him. It wasn't that everything was larger. He was the one who was smaller!
"Fuck!" Severus found himself plunging towards the ground as his mind reeled in shock.
Hermione screamed below him and then next thing he knew, he was no longer hurtling groundwards. As he gently drifted like a leaf on a wind. Severus closed his eyes and focussed his magic once more. He managed to regain control and get his feet under him before he touched the ground.
"Are you all right, Severus? What happened?" Hermione asked.
"It's not the bloody wands and robes that are bigger. We are the ones who have changed size!"
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm bloody sure! Hogwarts doesn't get mail deliveries from giant owls!"
"So we are still in Hogwarts! But where exactly? Did you have time to see before you fell?"
Severus sighed as he realised he had been so flustered by the owl that he had forgotten to determine their location. "Bugger! I'm going to have to go up there again."
"I'll prepare a Floating charm, just in case."
Severus could feel her eyes upon him as he ascended for a second time. Although he knew it was for his own safety, it didn't help to improve his concentration. To his relief he reached the window without any incident. He saw the Quidditch Pitch some distance off and two of Hogwarts' towers framed it in such a way that he had a very good idea of their location. Satisfied, he returned to Hermione.
"Well, do you know where we are?"
"Yes. Although I have never been in this corridor before, we should not be too far from the Potions classroom. I think we should have ventured right instead of left."
"Oh."Hermione shielded her eyes trying to make out the far side of the room. "It's an odd Portkey to have moved us such a short distance."
Severus stared at her for a long moment. "I abandoned that assumption the moment I realised we were not the victim of a foolish prank. I have often thought that Potter was too big for his own boots, now it seems that bloody boot is on the other foot!"
"Oh no!" Hermione covered her mouth, her eyes going wide in shock. "Severus, why didn't you want me to touch that bottle we found?"
"Do you want to go over that now? I would have thought your own experiences would have taught you the wisdom of caution. Sorry, I forgot I was talking to a Gryffindor." He halted and looked back at her. His eyes narrowed as he studied her closely. "Does this have any bearing on our current situation?"
"Erm… maybe," she replied. "Just as I touched the blue glass I was thinking well…" She shifted under a gaze that had suddenly gone as cold as the Arctic. "I was thinking that…"
"It was not a Portkey, it's a djinn bottle. What did you wish for?"
"A djinn bottle, but we didn't even open it? How could it grant wishes?"
"Unlike Muggle fairytales, the last thing a Wizard would do is open the bloody thing. A djinn is too dangerous to be let out once it has been captured! So what exactly were you thinking when you touched the bottle?"
"I was wishing you'd be cut down to size!"
"Oh Merlin's balls! That's bloody marvellous! Well you had better hope there is at least one more wish left, otherwise we are going to surpass Flitwick in being the shortest Professors at Hogwarts! Bloody Gryffindors! I told you not to make a grab for it."
"You snatched at it too!" Hermione glared at him. To think she had been worried about him! Now he was reprimanding her like she was a student again.
"Actually, I was trying to grab your hand back from it." Severus scowled at her and then strode away to collect his wand. As he bent to pick up his wand, he cast a glance over his shoulder at her. He looked away hastily before she could realise he had seen that she was blushing again. This time, however she didn't look embarrassed to him, not with that sort of smile on her face.
If the trek to the door had seemed long, their progress to the other end of the corridor was interminable. Every dip and crack between the pavers seemed to be conspiring to trip them up. His legs ached and his bare feet throbbed with each fresh bruise they gained. By the way Hermione was limping, she did not seem to be faring much better.
Hermione said, "Severus, I don't suppose you could levitate the both of us?"
"If I could, I would have offered to do so. I am no more enamoured of walking barefoot than you are."
"I wonder how long it will be before we are missed?"
"You did tell Minerva that we may be some time. Assuming they don't expect us for dinner, probably by breakfast time."
"Hopefully we can get back to normal by then."
"It would be preferred."
"Severus, what were you thinking when you touched the bottle?"
"Well, obviously our change in size is my fault, but if I was only thinking of you, why was I affected?"
"Djinn have an odd sense of humour. You only have yourself to blame. The only thing I was thinking of at that moment was getting you away from the damn bottle."
"Well that explains why we ended up so far away. Do you think it will be all right? It was rather precariously balanced when we found it."
"The bottles are designed to withstand the power of a djinn, I doubt a fall to the floor will damage it. Actually I hope the bloody thing fell, otherwise we have a climb ahead of us."
"I don't suppose you could teach me how to levitate?"
"It took me weeks to master it. Do you think you could learn to focus your mind and your magic wandlessly in the space of a few hours enough to lift yourself off the ground and direct your flight?"
"Since you put it that way, no. Do you think you could teach me, afterwards?"
Severus stopped and considered her for a long moment. "I could try. It isn't something everyone can master. Why do you think broomsticks were invented?"
"I prefer Apparition. Flying just balanced on a stick makes me nervous."
"Yet you want to try flying without even the benefit of a broom?"
"Well since you put it that way, I'll have to think about it. Just at the moment, it's a skill I rather wish I had!"
"Hermione under the circumstances I would suggest you think very carefully what you say."
"Surely we need to be touching it for the magic to work?"
Severus just smiled and resumed walking.
Hermione stared after him. "Was that a joke or a warning?"
"With djinn one can never be too careful"
Severus studied the jumble of rocks that had once been part of a wall.
"Meredith really made a mess, didn't he?" Hermione said.
"It could be worse, at least it wasn't a supporting wall. Otherwise I would need a new classroom."
"Hermione stared upwards. "I think you might have to hold your next class in another room until we fix the hole in the floor."
"Now you understand why I want him out of my classes. We only have so many rooms in this part of Hogwarts and some are rather less robust than the Potions classroom."
"He won't do it again."
"How can you be so confident of that? I don't even know how he managed such a catastrophic explosion with the ingredients he had in the first place!" Severus scowled down at her.
"You could have tried asking him!"
"I did, all he could say was, he didn't bloody know!"
"No, I mean you could have gone through the lesson, step by step."
Severus studied her, his eyes narrowing suspiciously. "From which I can conclude that you have already done so."
"Yes, he described exactly what he did. Meredith is Muggle-born and he often helps his mum in the kitchen. She taught him how to stir a pot to avoid it burning. That is where the problem occurred."
"Are you telling me he blew up the Potions room by following his mother's instructions rather than the ones written on the board?"
"He wasn't sure which way clockwise was. All the clocks in his house are digital and he only covered analogue clocks when he was in the infants learning to tell the time."
Severus frowned in puzzlement. "Even if he stirred the cauldron bloody widdershins, the worst he could have done with the potion wouldn't have caused that!" His arm swept out to indicate the heap of rubble that towered over them.
"He didn't. He stirred it like this." Hermione's hand made a figure-of-eight motion.
"Merlin, an infinity loop!" Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "I suppose we should all be grateful he wasn't brewing anything stronger. Very well, Hermione, I will allow him in my class, but only under strict supervision until I am certain he won't employ any other little technique his mother had taught him. Potions is not bloody cookery!"
"He's well aware of that now. I have discussed the matter with him and he's agreed that the next time he is unsure of anything he's to ask you for help."
"It's a pity he didn't have the brains to think to do that in the first place."
Severus edged round the heap craning his neck up as he searched for the blue djinn bottle. He caught a glimpse of blue about halfway up the heap. "Bugger! We are going to have to climb."
There didn't seem to be any easy way to reach it. The blocks of stone that had tumbled to the floor were easily higher than his head. Once beyond them the going looked like it might be easier.
"Severus, if I stand on your shoulders I could get on top of that block. Then I can help you up."
"Or I could levitate up to you."
"If you could do that, why don't you just levitate up to it?"
"Because I'm tired. I'm not sure I have the bloody energy to make it."
"Oh! We could take a rest first, if you like."
"No, I want to get this damn thing over and done with. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to be climbing while it is still daylight."
"All right, let's do it."
Severus laid his wand down. He was reluctant to leave it but it was going to be hard enough to scale the heap without the added encumbrance. Hermione sighed and placed hers alongside his.
Severus glanced at her and wondered if she was aware of all the connotations of her gesture. It seemed young Meredith was not the only one who could benefit from a course in Wizard studies.
"What are you smiling about, Severus?"
"Nothing!" Severus braced himself with his back to the stone and offered Hermione his cupped hands. As Severus helped guide her to his shoulders, he tried to ignore his reaction to her moving against him. He had to bite his lip as her crotch passed mere inches away from his face. He was all too aware that only a thin layer of silk concealed her from his gaze. He closed his eyes trying to get his libido under control.
This was definitely not the time nor the place to be distracted. It was going to be hard enough scaling the rubble without his body having other ideas of what to do with Hermione. He never should have seen her naked. Thinking of that sight did little to dampen the erection that his toga was bloody poor at hiding.
"Are you all right?" Hermione asked, peering down at him. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Severus bit back a reply of, just the opposite. No, he was not going to let Hermione know the effect she was having on him. Not unless she gave him any indication that she fancied him. Severus frowned inwardly. Would she ever indicate an interest in an ex-Death Eater? Realising she was still waiting for a response, Severus looked up at her. "I'll be up momentarily." His inner schoolboy snickered at the risqué pun. Banishing him sternly from his mind Severus tried to concentrate on rising above the block.
To Severus' relief Hermione did not seem to notice the slight bulge at the front of his toga as he joined her at the top of the stone block. After that, the ascent went fairly smoothly. Fortunately the climb seemed to dampen down his ardour. Even the glimpse of a shapely thigh as she navigated a tricky section only caused a slight frisson of arousal.
"What are we going to wish for, exactly?" Hermione studied the deceptively innocent looking bottle of blue glass.
"To be back to our usual size, unless you have a preference for a different height?"
"Yes, but do we both have to wish for that? After all, we each had a wish last time."
"I think it would be best to keep it simple. There is one problem. If we suddenly regain our normal stature, the handkerchiefs we are wearing could be rather tight!"
"Oh…erm" Hermione blushed bright red.
Severus refrained from pointing out that it wasn't as if he hadn't already seen her naked. Damn, he shouldn't have reminded himself. Now he was definitely going to have to turn his back on her if his interest was not going to be self-evident. "No need to worry, Hermione, I am going to be a gentleman and turn my back."
"How will you know I'm touching the stone then?"
Severus sighed. "We will touch the stone together, on the count of three."
"All right. I wish we'd thought of this problem earlier. It's not going to be easy getting undressed when we are perched halfway up a rock pile."
"Hermione, please curb your tendency to utter that word!"
Severus sighed and began to pull the toga over his head. He did his best to ignore the rustle of silk behind him. She was right, it was decidedly precarious disrobing while perched next to a djinn bottle that could interpret their inner thoughts. However the alternative would have had its own hazards. Not the least of which was it would have been impossible to hide his inconvenient erection.
"Are you ready, Hermione?"
"Yes, only I think we ought to think of a location as well. It will be awkward if we suddenly shot up to our full height here."
"Good point. All right, on three. One, two, three."
Severus closed his eyes and thought hard of being his normal size, back in the safety of his room. Unfortunately his subconscious added the rather tempting image of Hermione lying beside him on his bed.
Severus blinked, the place he was in was in deep darkness. He was kneeling on a soft surface and he could hear someone breathing close by.
"Severus?" Hermione queried hesitantly.
"Here. One moment." His body shifted next to hers and suddenly candlelight filled the room.
"Oh! We're back to normal size! But this isn't my room."
"No, it's mine, Hermione."
"But I was thinking of my room!"
"As was I. I mean, of my own room. Now how do I get you out of here without the rest of Hogwarts knowing about it?" He turned his head to look at her.
Hermione's blush suffused her body from her toes up to the top of her head. They were still naked and she was on his bed. She was so close he could feel her breath ghost across his skin. He met her gaze and suddenly found that he didn't care if the whole of Hogwarts knew.
Slowly his face came closer, almost hesitantly. He stopped when there were only inches separating them. "Hermione."
Before either of them could change their minds she leant forward and kissed him. He drew her against him and returned the kiss fiercely…