View Full Version : Severus Snape and the Philosopher's Stone
December 20th, 2003, 12:31 pm
Hello everyone :D
This is my latest fic- Severus Snape and the Philosopher's Stone :) I originally started posting this in the Snape's Point of View Thread, but decided to move it here. It's basically the Philosopher's Stone book given a Snapey twist :D
Without further ado...
Severus Snape and the Philosopher’s Stone
Chapter one- The man who taught
Severus Snape of Snape manor, hidden deep in the English countryside, was proud to say that he was an evil git, thank you very much. He didn't bother denying that he was caught up in some pretty strange and mysterious stuff, because that would be a blatant lie.
Severus was the potions master of a school called Hogwarts, which taught young witches and wizards. He was a tall, thin man, with shoulderlength black greasy hair. He was single and childless, and perfectly happy with this arrangement. He had absolutely no plans for encumbering himself with a wife and child. And besides, he was easily the most eligible bachelor for miles around; a position he was unlikely to give up without a fight.
Severus had, with a few exceptions, everything he wanted, but he also had a secret. His greatest fear was sock puppets, but his second greatest fear was that someone would discover his secret. He didn’t think he would be able to bear it if everyone found out what was tattooed on his left arm. He hadn’t worn short sleeved robes for several years; in fact, Severus tried to pretend that he didn’t have a left arm, because it was a painful reminder of something he had tried to put behind him. He shuddered to think what the students would do if they ever found out. In fact, he shuddered to think of students at all, but that was beside the point.
When Severus woke up on the bright, sunny Monday morning our story starts, he had a sinking feeling that more strange and mysterious things would soon be happening at work. He scowled as he screwed up yet another letter from Dumbledore telling him that he still couldn’t have the Defence Against the Dark Arts job.
Despite your generous offer of 100 galleons and all the cauldrons I can carry, I’m afraid that I must decline your application for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post. You know very well why. Look at your left arm, if you’ve forgotten. In any case, Professor Quirrel will be staying with us again this year, so there is no need.
Thank you, but if you write to me again, I will personally hex you from here to next week.
I expect to see you later on today, ready to teach potions.
PS If you’re thinking of trying to corner me in the staff room, it won’t work. Even if you brought that extremely large bottle of Firewhisky with you.
PPS And stop scowling like that.
Severus scowled even further as he read the last two lines again. The headmaster knew him far too well. At least he could keep the Firewhisky for himself now.
Severus checked that he had packed all his possessions, got into his car, tapped the steering wheel with his wand and allowed the car to drive itself down Snape Manor’s long, sweeping driveway. As cars went, Severus’ car was somewhat unusual. From the outside, it looked like a fairly normal, if a little large, shiny black car. But on the inside, it resembled a living room more than anything else. In the place of normal car seats were four squishy leather armchairs, and a fluffy Slytherin green carpet covered the floor. The sides of the chairs and the walls were covered in dozens of knobs, buttons and dials. Add the fact that it was driven entirely by magic, and you had an extremely odd car.
It was on the corner of the high street in the nearest village that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar- a cat reading a map. For a second, Severus didn’t register what he’d seen- then he jerked his head round to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of the high street, pondering over a map. He recognised the markings immediately, and sighed. His house was Unplottable, so it was pointless looking for it on a map. Women, honestly. He rolled his eyes, tapped the steering wheel, and pulled over.
“Looking for someone, Minerva?” he said, leaning out of the window. The cat looked up, and trotted round to the other side of the car. Severus opened the door and it hopped inside, and transformed into a woman.
“Good morning, Severus,” she said, briskly. “I followed your directions perfectly, but they seemed to stop rather…abruptly.”
“Yes,” said Severus. And for good reason, too, he thought. The fewer people who knew where he lived, the better. But he respected Minerva, in a grudging sort of way. She had taught him during his own student days, and compared to some of the other members of staff at Hogwarts, she was a rock of sanity.
“I trust you had a pleasant holiday?” he enquired, as the car pulled off.
“Very restful, thank you,” Minerva replied. “And yourself?”
“It was mind numbingly dull,” said Severus. “Just the way I like it.”
“I see,” said Minerva. “Well, each to their own. You don’t mind giving me a lift to work, do you?”
“Not at all.”
“Oh, good. It’s such a pain, otherwise. Having to Apparate into Hogsmeade, and then walk up to the school with all your things…”
“Speaking of which, where are your things?” asked Severus. Minerva rummaged in the pocket of her robes.
“Here we are,” she said, finally. Severus stared.
“That’s a sock, Minerva,” he said.
“I transfigured my case into a sock,” said Minerva. “I mean, I couldn’t very well carry it with a set of paws now, could I? And a cat with a suitcase? It would look ridiculous.”
“No more so than a cat reading a map,” said Severus, smirking faintly.
They drove on for an hour or so, talking about nothing much in particular, until they hit an especially sticky traffic jam on the M25…
December 21st, 2003, 11:03 am
Chapter One- Continued
“Blasted muggles,” muttered Severus, craning his neck in an attempt to see what was going on.
“You do know who’s starting this year, don’t you?” she asked, carefully.
“How could I forget?” scowled Severus. “Perfect Potter.”
“Come now, Severus. You’ve never met the boy,” said Minerva, reasonably.
“Neither have you,” pointed out Severus.
“That’s beside the point.”
“I’ll wager I know exactly who he’ll be like,” said Severus.
“What if he ends up in Slytherin?” asked Minerva.
“He won’t,” said Severus. “His parents were the biggest pair of Gryfindors I ever met. No offence meant, of course,” he added, seeing the glare Minerva gave him.
“But what if he does?” she insisted.
“Then I shall treat him no differently to any other student,” said Severus evenly.
“Treat him no differently to any other Slytherin student, or any other Gryfindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw student?”
“That’s hardly fair, Minerva.”
“Neither are you, Severus. You really need to stop discriminating.”
“Discriminating?” said Severus, hurt. “I’ve never discriminated in my life, “ he said, ignoring Minerva’s noise of disbelief. “Except perhaps Gryfindors. Can’t stand Gryfindors.”
“Oh, don’t mind me,” said Minerva, tartly. “I don’t mind you insulting my House.”
“Glad to hear it. I’ll continue, then,” said Severus, while Minerva huffed. “Seven years,” he said, distantly.
“Sorry?” said Minerva, temporarily thrown.
“Seven years since Gryfindor last won the Quidditch Cup,” said Severus cheerfully. “I’m considering having a special cabinet installed in my office to display it, as it seems to be becoming a permanent fixture.”
“We’ll beat you this year, Severus. Just you wait.”
“What was the score last time we played? 290- 20? Or was it 390? Tell me, my memory isn’t what it used to be,” said Severus, carefully inspecting his fingernails.
“It was 290- thirty actually, and you know it,” said Minerva, blushing furiously.
“You still owe me ten galleons from that little bet we made, by the way,” said Severus. Minerva grumbled, pulled out a handful of coins and handed them to him. “Thank you. And how about another little bet? Not on Quidditch, this time…how about…the House Cup? Twenty galleons for Slytherin to win?”
“Well…” said Minerva, uncertainly.
“Unless, of course, you don’t think your House can do it.” Severus smirked, knowing that Minerva would rise to the bait.
“Of course I do. You may as well give me the money now and save yourself a lot of grief. That twenty galleons is mine,” said Minerva.
“Yes, and I’m in the Weird Sisters,” he said, sarcastically.
“The who?” asked Minerva, puzzled. Severus sighed. As intelligent as his friend was, she knew nothing about popular music.
They left the traffic jam behind them, and took a little known route heading north. Several times, they passed stretches of railway track, over which, in a few hours time, the Hogwarts Express would be thundering along with its cargo of students. Severus shuddered at the mere thought.
The lights of Hogwarts came into view, and Severus had the empty feeling in his stomach that he always got at the thought of another year of teaching unappreciative, sloppy children. He wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t insist on leaving such a bloody mess over his dungeons. Instead of driving straight up to the castle, the car turned left, into one of the little known wonders of Hogwarts…
December 22nd, 2003, 10:20 am
Chapter One- Continued
…. Instead of driving straight up to the castle, the car turned left, into one of the little known wonders of Hogwarts…
The Car park.
Only one other teacher, the Muggle Studies Professor, used it, and aside from Slytherin’s mythical hidden chamber, it was probably Hogwart’s best kept secret.
“So the legends are true,” observed Minerva. “There really is a car park.”
“Yes,” said Severus, in an uninterested tone. “Rowena Ravenclaw had it built so that she and the other founders had somewhere safe to leave their horses. Not many people know that,” he added, with a hint of pride. “And anyway, what did you think I did with my car? Transfigured it into a sock, like you, for easy transportation?”
“No,” said Minerva. “You always were hopeless at Transfiguration.” Severus scowled.
“Only because I had a gaggle of wittering Gryfindors sitting in the row behind me. It made concentration difficult, I assure you.”
“Nonsense. You used to sit and glare at me from the back row. Typical Slytherin. And when I wasn’t looking, you’d throw paper broomsticks at James Potter.”
“Only because he threw them first,” said Severus, defensively.
They reached the Entrance Hall of the castle, and each went their own separate ways: Minerva took the main staircase to a higher part of the school, while Severus took the windy stone staircase to the dungeons. There was still a few hours until the students arrived, a few hours that Severus intended to spend relaxing. He reached a lonely, dusty portrait of the very first potion master of the school, and coughed loudly to wake the old man up.
“Oh…um…password?” the portrait wheezed. Severus pulled a slip of paper from his pocket.
“I love Gryfindors,” he muttered, scowling. Minerva had been behind that password, no doubt. He’d have to change it.
The portrait swung forward creakily, revealing his obsessively neat chambers. It looked as though the house elves had already been there: a fire was lit in the hearth, torches were burning in their brackets, the bed was made, and there was a tray of snacks and drinks on his writing desk, next to which was his diary for the year. He sat down in his armchair, picked it up, and flicked through it. To his great surprise, an appointment was already written in today’s section, in the Headmaster’s loopy handwriting.
Staff meeting, 4:30, about Protection Issues. Get off your lazy butt and get down here, Severus.
He scowled. The Headmaster knew he treasured his last student-free hours, he was doing this on purpose. He’d ignore it, that’s what he’d do. Dumbledore couldn’t make him come to the meeting…
Suddenly, more writing appeared on the page.
I said NOW, Severus
Severus sighed. So much for relaxing.
December 23rd, 2003, 12:14 pm
When Severus entered the Staff Room a few minutes later, there were already a handful of other teachers milling around. Hagrid was standing in the middle of the room, trying and failing to look inconspicuous as he chatted to Filius Flitwick, the Charms teacher. Minerva was already there, as were Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey. Severus had always been slightly wary of the Hogwarts matron. She had all his medical records, and knew more of his embarrassing secrets than Severus would care to recall. He decided to avoid her for as long as possible and moved to the edge of the room, where a table had been laid with snacks. Severus scowled. Someone had eaten the last cauldron cake, and judging by the crumbs in his beard, it was Hagrid. He picked uninterestedly at a pumpkin pasty, and considered risking Madam Pomfrey to join Minerva.
“Good afternoon, Snipe,” said a droning voice from behind him. Severus stifled a groan and turned, his face an agonised picture of forced politeness.
“Good afternoon, Binns,” he managed, mentally cursing himself for not noticing the ghostly professor. “How were your holidays?” Binns blinked slowly.
“Holidays?” he asked, blankly.
“Ah. Indeed,” said Severus.
“Severus!” cried Minerva. “Could you come with me for one moment?” Severus could have hugged her.
“Yes, of course…excuse me, Binns…”
“That’s quite alright, Snake…”
“Thank you,” muttered Severus as Minerva led him away from Binns.
“That’s alright. I was watching you crushing that pasty. You looked like you needed rescuing.” Severus hastily put the remnants of the pumpkin pasty on a nearby chair.
“I did. Where’s Albus, anyway?” he added, as a group of teachers from some far-flung corner of the school entered the Staff Room in a tight knot.
“It’s not 4:30 yet. He’ll be here bang on time, you can guarantee.” Severus nodded. “Oh, excuse me, Severus. I’ve just seen someone I have to talk to…” Left to his own devices again, Severus gazed around the Staff Room. Quirrel was sitting, grinning nervously to himself in the far corner of the room. Severus couldn’t begin to imagine how the man had ever managed to defeat that vampire in Romania. Fainted on top of it, in all probability. Or knocked it out with that ridiculous turban…
“Sorry to have kept you all waiting!” called Dumbledore’s cheerful voice from the doorway. “Take a seat, pull up a chair, as they say, and we can begin…” As the slightly eccentric Headmaster of the school set up his thing for the meeting, Severus selected a chair as far to the back of the crowd possible without sitting outside the door. He generally hated staff meetings, but the first one of term was always the worst. He sat down and assumed his ‘Staff Meeting’ face- a falsely interested look, which comprised of one hand under his chin; eyes fixed on Dumbledore’s face; and the occasional nod or shake of the head. He knew that Minerva had a similar approach- she pretended to be taking down notes while she was really doodling. Her speciality was rude caricatures of the other members of staff.
“First of all, I- what on earth have I just sat in?” Dumbledore brushed fragments of pumpkin pasty off his chair onto the floor. Severus tried to look innocent, something he wasn’t very good at. “Well, what I meant to say was that I hope you all had a good holiday?” There was a general murmur of ‘yes’ and much nodding of heads. Severus decided to let the question pass. Dumbledore beamed. Severus sat back and allowed the rest of the pleasantries to wash over him. There were a few small notices: important dates that Severus didn’t bother to write down; collections for retired teachers he’d never spoken to in his life, and a dozen or so other things that he didn’t listen to.
“Well, onto more important things. We all know what we will have with us this year at Hogwarts—“
“Harry Potter?” piped up Flitwick. Severus scowled.
“No, aside from Harry Potter,” Dumbledore smiled. “I was referring to this.” He held up a small, grubby package. As the other teachers stood up to see better, Severus regretted sitting so far to the back. He had spent all holiday writing poetry and brewing potions to help protect this thing, and now he wasn’t even going to see it. He had a brief vision of something small, red and shiny before the Headmaster hurriedly wrapped it up again and put it back out of sight. “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to helping the protection of the Stone, especially Hagrid for his…large contribution. I will be setting up the chamber tonight, and in the meantime, it will be all your duties to keep it secret from the students. That will be all. I’ll see you all at the feast in…oh, say…half an hour.” Severus slumped in his chair. That was it? That was what he’d had to come up here for? To be molested by Binns and bored out of his mind? Utterly fed up, Severus swept from the room before anyone else could try to talk to him, and began the long walk back to his chambers.
December 27th, 2003, 2:28 pm
A fairly short installment of a very long chapter...:D
Chapter 2- The Sorting Hat
Severus reached the portrait of the first potions master, only to find it was empty. He swore under his breath. There wasn't another portrait around for a few floors, the old man could be anywhere. All in all, it wasn't shaping up to be a very good first day back.
Severus checked his watch. It was far too early to go down to the Hall, and besides, he wanted to make a grand entrance. He cursed the sheer unreliability of the portrait. The old man spent most of his time asleep, and then went wandering halfway around the school. Severus had once been forced to sleep in the Staff Room for three days when his portrait failed to return to its frame. Severus leant against the cold stone wall. If he'd been a smoker, he would have lit a cigarette at this point. But he wasn't, so he didn't. Instead, he closed his eyes and allowed his mind to empty. Severus privately felt that his knowledge of Occlumency and Legilimency far exceeded that of anyone else he knew, except perhaps the Headmaster. He found it came in handy, too, especially when he was playing chess. It was always interesting to watch his opponents strategies forming in their mind, and even more interesting to see their faces when he beat them. He liked to keep his talent in check, and practiced whenever he could. Clearing his mind was really quite relaxing, too. Severus always found that after it, he could focus more clearly on things. It was almost like detox for the brain. Severus was only brought out of this state by a wheezy cough from behind him. The portrait had returned.
'So glad you decided to join me,' said Severus sarcastically, folding his arms and glaring at it. The portrait hiccuped and waved a half empty bottle of Firewhisky at him.
'Shomeonesh grumpy today,' it slurred.
'I wouldn't be if you hadn't gone gallivanting off around the school,' said Severus.
'We had a party in the Astronomonomy department,' said the portrait happily. 'Lotsh of drinksh...'
'I can see that,' frowned Severus.
'But I shed, I shed: nono, no drinksh for me. Severeverus ish waiting...' The portrait hiccuped again, toppled over and lay, snoring contentedly, on the floor. Severus rolled his eyes and glanced at his watch again. If he started heading to the feast now, he'd be fashionably late. He glared once again at the portrait, and went off to meet the students.
* * *
Severus took his seat at the Staff Table, still deeply annoyed at the portrait. The Hall was rapidly beginning to fill up already. He watched the students silently as they sat down, shouting and talking and generally being...well...students. His lips moved in silent calculation. Two classes to a year, seven years...each with four hours worth of lessons a week...call it forty weeks...that made...two thousand two hundred and forty hours worth of teaching. That couldn't be right. Severus slumped in despair. He'd never make it through the year.
'Something the matter, Severus?' asked Dumbledore, pleasantly.
'No, no,' Severus sighed. 'I was just thinking about the wonders of my job.'
'That's the spirit,' smiled Dumbledore. 'Positive attitudes and smiling faces, that's what I like to see.' Severus scowled. 'I think perhaps we'll have to work on the smiling faces, Severus.'
December 29th, 2003, 12:02 pm
At that moment, the doors of the Hall were opened, and Minerva entered, leading the new first years. Severus was suddenly reminded that he needed to get revenge on her for the password prank. He flicked through ideas in the back of his mind as she put the sorting hat on its stool, and listened with half an ear to its song. It would have to be something clever to get the better of Minerva, but Severus was good at clever.
Severus applauded the first new member of his House as she made her way to the Slytherin table. He sat and watched with little interest until:
Crabbe and Goyle's fathers had been in Slytherin at the same time as Severus himself, although they were two years above him. It only needed one other person, and the gang would be complete...
'Malfoy, Draco!' The hat barely had time to touch Malfoy's head before it yelled: 'SLYTHERIN!' Severus smiled to himself. He hadn't expected anything less, of course. He would have to write to Lucius that evening and inform him of the good news.
'Potter, Harry!' Severus could have sworn that Minerva had given him an odd look as she called that name. In spite of himself, as the whispers started, Severus found himself leaning forward slightly to hear what House the boy would be sorted into. It seemed an age before the hat made its decision.
'GRYFINDOR!' Severus threw Minerva a triumphant, 'I-told-you-so' look as Potter made his way shakily to the Gryfindor table. His lip curled slightly, out of habit more than anything, as he looked around at the students in front of him. They were all cheering the boy as if he had just scored the winning goal in the Quidditch World Cup. Merlin, all he'd done was get sorted! He shook his head. Even his fellow teachers seemed to be affected by Potter-Mania. It was utterly ridiculous. He was just a boy, a boy who'd been extremely, extremely lucky as a baby. Well, someone would have to keep the boy grounded, and it looked like it would have to be him. He'd treat Potter no differently to any other student--
Minerva's words in the car came back to haunt him, unwanted.
'Treat him no differently to any other Slytherin student, or any other Gryfindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff student?'
Shut up, thought Severus. Someone would need to teach him some discipline, and if it had to be him, then so be it. The fact that he hated Potter's father's guts had nothing to do with it whatsoever, nothing at all...
Severus snapped out of his reverie just in time to applaud 'Zabine, Blaise,' on making Slytherin, ending the sorting ceremony. The Headmaster stood up, and for the first time since Potter's sorting, silence fell on the Hall.
'Welcome!' he said. 'Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!' He sat back down, amid a torrent of clapping and cheering. Severus raised an eyebrow as the plates filled with food and turned to Dumbledore.
'Well, that was unexpected, I must say, Albus' he said. Dumbledore smiled.
'Thank you, Severus. There's no point in trying to make speeches on empty stomachs, I always say.'
'There's no point in making speeches to empty heads, either, but it's never stopped you,' said Severus, before he could stop himself. He waited for the rebuke, but it never came. Instead, Dumbledore merely smiled and began to help himself to chicken.
December 31st, 2003, 5:06 pm
Chapter 2- The Sorting Hat
'Did you h-have a g-good holiday, S-severus?' stammered someone to Severus' right. Severus sighed. He didn't even need to look around to recognise that voice.
'It was as good as could be expected, Quirrel,' he said, indifferently. He remembered his manners just in time to add: 'And yourself?'
'W-wonderful, th-thank you,' Quirrel said, as though recalling something unpleasant. There was an awkward pause, in which Severus helped himself to some beef. He looked up to realise that Quirrel was still watching him, his eye twitching madly.
'I'm sorry,' he said, which he wasn't. 'Was there something you wanted?'
'I...I w-was j-ust won-wondering...' Severus wished Quirrel would stop stammering. It was all he could do to not start twitching in sympathy.
'Yes?' he said, as patiently as he could manage.
'D-did you aid the protection of th-the...' Quirrel dropped his voice slightly. 'the S-stone?' Severus raised an eyebrow.
'I thought that the idea of the...protection scheme was that as few people as possible knew about it,' he said in a low voice.
'Y-yes, of course,' said Quirrel, hurriedly. 'I w-was just...just c-curious, th-that's all...'
'And you know very well that we shouldn't talk about any matters concerning...the...thingy...outside of the staff room,' said Severus, severely.
'Y-yes, I know, it w-was just...I j-just...'
As Quirrel continued to stammer through his excuses, Severus looked past the other man's shoulder to see Potter looking straight at him. Suddenly, the boy clapped a hand to his forehead. Severus was surprised. Sure enough, he had glared at the child, after all, it was rude to stare, but he had never achieved that sort of effect before. He shrugged and turned back to Quirrel. This was a far more pressing problem. Quirrel was supposed to be a Hogwarts teacher, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, no less, and here he was, talking openly about the Philosopher's Stone. He glanced to his left. Dumbledore was too busy talking to Minerva to have noticed.
'N-no harm in asking, is th-there?' said Quirrel, innocently. Severus stared at him.
'No harm at all, if you count vital secrets being leaked to the wrong sort of people harmless,' he said coldly. Dumbledore had expressively forbidden the use of Legilimency on other members of staff, but this was worrying...
He searched into the other person's mind. There ambition there, and greed, and indeed, stupidity, but there was something much stronger. A hunger...a hunger for...
'Severus!' said Dumbledore cheerfully, before Severus had had a chance to find out the source of Quirrel's hunger. 'Will you be joining us in the Staff Room after dinner?'
'I most certainly will not,' said Severus stiffly. The start of term party was even worse than the start of term meetings. It was like celebrating your own funeral.
'But everyone else will be there, Severus. You'd be missed,' Dumbledore said. What was worse was that Severus knew he was being sincere.
'Fine,' he muttered. 'I'll come. But only for a little while. One drink, that's all.' Dumbledore beamed at him.
'That's the spirit, Severus. We'll make a social butterfly of you yet.' Fortunately the Headmaster turned around, so he missed the face that Severus pulled. It was a cross between anger, frustration and flabbergastedness. Overall, it made Severus look constipated.
It was always like this, Severus mused. He'd refuse point blank to do something, and then Dumbledore would say some well chosen words that made him feel guilty, so he'd give in and agree to do it, whether he wanted to or not. And what made Severus feel worse was that Dumbledore genuinely meant everything he said, even the bit about people missing him. Well, he didn't want to be a social butterfly. He was a social caterpillar, and was perfectly happy for things to remain that way
January 10th, 2004, 2:48 pm
At last, the puddings disappeared and the Hall fell silent as Dumbledore stood up again to give a few important notices. Severus pretended to be listening: it wouldn't do to have one of the staff staring into space, setting a bad example to the students.
'...and finally, I must tell you that this year, the third floor corridor on the right hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.' A few people laughed uncertainly. Severus couldn't help noticing the Potter boy was among them. Trust a Potter not to take something like that seriously.
'And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!' cried Dumbledore. Severus managed to stifle his groan just in time. Some of the other teachers' smiles had become rather fixed, but seeing as Severus hadn't been smiling in the first place, this wasn't a problem. He kept his scowl in place
'Everyone pick their favourite tune,' said Dumbledore. 'And off we go!'
Severus allowed his mind to wander as the school burst into song. When everyone's lips seemed to have stopped moving, Severus sat up straight and tried to look important, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn't have to go through that again for a whole year. He watched with relief as the students were dismissed and began to filter out of the Hall up to their respective common rooms.
He looked around. All the other teachers were talking amongst themselves. Perhaps he could just sneak out the back door--
'Severus!' cried Dumbledore. 'Not thinking of skipping the party, were you?' Severus tried to smile, but only managed a grimace.
* * *
It would be nice to say that Severus had a good time at the party. It would also be a complete lie, so we'll leave it there. He spent most of it lurking in a corner, until Filius had pointed out that by hiding he was actually spending more time there than he really had to, at which point he had decided to make a run for it.
He strode down the empty corridors of the school, his footsteps echoing around, giving the place an eerie feel that Severus in fact rather liked. The first day of term did have one advantage, he supposed. All of the students were too busy catching up with old friends to want to sneak out after dark, leaving Hogwarts just the way he liked it- quiet.
But tonight, a voice disturbed the quiet.
'I c-could find out n-nothing...' It was Quirrel. Thinking back, Severus didn't recall seeing him at the party at all. Why hadn't Dumbledore forced him to come, too? He was even worse than Severus when it came to social skills: he was a social maggot. Or larva, possibly. At least Severus could string two words together. It wasn't fair.
'N-no one would t-tell me anything.' Severus frowned. Who was Quirrel talking to? He peered around the corner. Quirrel was standing in the Entrance Hall, completely alone. Ah, that explained it. The man was insane, clearly. That was why Dumbledore didn't want him at the party. Severus felt slightly better for knowing that. He decided to leave the raver to himself, and turned to leave--
'P-p-please, d-do n-not p-punish me,' stuttered Quirrel, his stammer even worse than usual. 'I will g-get the S-stone for you, and th-then, you c-can return...' Severus whipped around sharply. So that was why Quirrel had been so interested in his involvement with the Stone. He wanted to steal it.
'G-give me time...a l-little m-more time...' As Quirrel's footsteps died away, Severus realised that he was still standing completely motionless in the middle of the corridor. Slightly shakily, he hurried back off to his chambers, extremely relieved to see that the portrait was still there.
'I love Gryfindors,' he muttered, barely stopping to scowl at the password.
He made a beeline for his desk, and scrabbled around for his diary. He flicked to the back of it, where he normally kept his memos. Where was it...where was it? At last, he found what he was looking for. A seemingly unimportant piece of parchment from the previous year, plain coloured, quite unlike the usually bright memos that Dumbledore sent out. He'd wanted this one to be discreet. The message was very simple:
Professors Flitwick, McGonagall, Snape, Sprout and Quirrel are required in the Headmaster's office at 9:30om on the fourth of July. Hagrid is required at 9:45.
The meeting had been about protecting the Philosopher's Stone when it arrived at Hogwarts. Quirrel had received one of these memos too, yes, so he knew exactly who he needed to talk to...he'd been talking to Filius before the feast, and Flora too...he'd been talking to Minerva when she'd come to rescue Severus from Binns...
But it still left the question of who Quirrel he was stealing the stone for. In the entrance hall, he had seemed certain that he was talking to someone, and yet there had been no one else there, as far as Severus could see. He rubbed his chin. He'd read some books over the holidays by a muggle author called Tolkien. His idea of wizards had been quite far off the mark, although Severus could see a striking resemblance between Gandalf and Dumbledore. Despite that, it had been a very interesting read. There had been a character in the books called Gollum. He'd been bent on getting the ring back, and he was always talking to himself...
Severus shook himself. Quirrel was completely incompetent, he'd never be able to get anywhere near the Stone alone. He pushed all thoughts of the matter out of his mind and went to bed.
January 19th, 2004, 6:55 pm
Chapter 4- the Potions Master
Over the next few days, Severus had very little time to worry about the Philosopher's Stone. There were potions to brew and classes to teach, and by Friday, he was already fed up and counting down the days to the Christmas holiday. Worst of all, he had to teach first years this afternoon, a lesson that would without a doubt end in disaster. Severus had never been able to understand why first years couldn't grasp the basics of making even the simplest potions. Watching them muddling through a potion that would cure boils vexed him terribly, and he loathed having to lower himself to teach the rubbish that was on the syllabus these days. They had the Ministry to thank for that, no doubt.
He spent most of Friday lunchtime preparing his classroom for the mayhem to come. He ensured that all of the windows were open, so that in the likely event of something going wrong, he could let the noxious fumes out, and wrote the instructions on the board in the simplest language he knew, carefully replacing ''effervesces'' with ''fizzes''. He used a sticking charm on his precious jars that stood on the shelves around the walls. By the time the class was lining up outside the door, he was still contemplating whether or not to call a cauldron ''the big pewter thing you put potions in''. You could never be too careful.
Once the class were settled, Severus took the register, giving him a chance to take a look at the new class. A few familiar faces jumped out at him instantly: Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Longbottom, yet another Weasley and, of course, Potter. Severus paused at his name and took a closer look at the boy. The spitting image of his father, right down to the way his hair stuck up at the back. But the eyes were Lily's, that was for certain.
'Ah, yes,' he said softly. 'Harry Potter. Our new- celebrity.' Severus was rather proud of that one. He'd have to remember to use it the next time someone famous came to Hogwarts. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle sniggering behind their hands. Clearly Potter had already made enemies. How very like his father.
Severus finished calling the names and put the register to one side. He already had the class's attention: there was complete silence, with every eye in the room fixed on him. He straightened himself up and began to recite his meticulously learned speech.
'You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making. As there is very little foolish wand waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering--' he nearly said ''big pewter thing,'' but recovered, 'cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses...I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death- if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.' And it was true. No one seemed to really understand potions in the way Severus did. The ministry treated it as a sort of joke, and it was only kept it in the curriculum ''because it was of traditional value,'' despite the fact that a good solid knowledge of potions had saved many an Auror's life. Severus found that he was only ever able to make a select few respect potion making for what it really was.
'Potter!' he said suddenly. 'What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?' Potter looked utterly stumped. Severus saw him glancing to the Weasley boy for guidance. A girl with bushy brown hair that he vaguely remembered from the register as ''Hermione Granger,'' had shot her hand straight into the air.
'I don't know, sir,' said Potter, eventually. Severus' lips curled into a sneer. No, he thought. Your father never knew that one, either.
'Tut, tut- fame clearly isn't everything. Let's try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?' Severus distinctly remembered Potter senior not being able to tell the teacher the answer to that question. He'd worn an expression very similar to the one on the boy's face in front of him. The Granger girl looked like she was about to explode, her arm stretched as high as it would go. In the row behind Potter, Malfoy and his cronies were shaking with laughter.
'I don't know, sir.' Severus' sneer became even more pronounced.
'Thought you wouldn't open a book before coming, eh, Potter? What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?' Funnily enough, that had been the question that had confused the boy's usually intelligent mother. Granger was standing on tiptoe now, her hand waving desperately in the air. Severus continued to ignore her. He hadn't asked her.
'I don't know,' said Potter quietly. 'I think Hermione does, though, why don't you try her?' A few people laughed at this. Severus, however, was not amused. Potter was as arrogant as his father, just like he'd expected.
'Sit down,' he snapped at Granger. Her frantic waving had started to get on his nerves. 'For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite.' Of course, he'd known that Potter would never have been able to tell him any of that. Being right was so satisfying. 'Well? Why aren't you copying that down?' The class rummaged around for quills and parchment. Severus sighed. They were ill-prepared as well as dim. 'And a point will be taken from Gryfindor House for your cheek, Potter.' He noted the look of horror on Potter's face. Clearly that was the first point the boy had ever lost. Severus had a feeling it wouldn't be the last.
March 15th, 2004, 7:23 pm
wow....it's been nearly two months since I updated this :wow: must be some sort of record for me :lol: Anyway, here's the next update, for anyone who's still interested in reading it...;)
Things only went downhill for the Gryffindors after that. It was a shame, really, Severus mused later. Longbottom's parents had been two of the best witches and wizards he'd known. Their son didn't seem to have inherited any of their traits whatsoever. He had managed to melt his partner's cauldron into a twisted blob, even with Severus' mindlessly simple instructions. Then again, it had given him an excuse to take another point from Gryffindor. That should help put Slytherin ahead in the race for the House Cup. He finished Vanishing the remainder of the spilt potion, washed his hands, and headed back to his chambers to recover before the evening meal.
Today, the portrait of the first potions master hadn't disappeared off around the school. Instead, he had invited over friends from other paintings, and they were playing cards on an upturned keg of Mulled Mead. Among them, Severus recognised the Fat Lady and Phineas Nigellus, a portrait from Dumbledore's office. Severus pulled out the piece of parchment on which his new password was written and rolled his eyes.
"Gryffindors rock my socks," he groaned. The Fat Lady sniggered. This was getting ridiculous. He'd have to work out some sort of horrible revenge on Minerva fast.
"Sod off," said the painting of the potions master, waving a hand irritably. "I'm busy. Come back later."
"Ahem." said Snape. The portrait looked up.
"Oh. Right. Sorry." The painting swung forwards.
"He's hidden a card up his sleeve, by the way," Severus said to the Fat Lady as he passed.
"Spoilsport," he heard the potions master mutter.
There was an owl sitting on Severus' desk, a copy of the Daily Prophet clamped tight in its beak. Severus rummaged in his pocket and (amongst the scraps of parchment, random pieces of herbs and fluff that always seemed to accumulate in his pockets no matter what he did) found five Knuts. The owl stuck out its leg expectantly, and, once Severus had put the money into the little pouch on its leg, dropped the newspaper and flew off. Severus picked it up, flopped down onto his favourite armchair and began to flick through it. The front page read 'GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST.' Boring. He turned the page--
And then turned it back again.
Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31st July, widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown.
Gringotts' goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day.
'But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you,' said a Gringotts' spokesgoblin this afternoon.
Severus stared. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day. 31st July...Hagrid had gone to get the Stone on 31st July...
He put two and two together. Someone knew about the Stone. Someone had tried to steal it.
**Feedback** (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=769820#post769820) is much loved...
August 21st, 2004, 2:43 pm
God, don't you just hate it when people bump up their stories..? :lol: Just a quick note to say that although this fic has been quiet for a long time now, an update is being planned :D
:slyth: Slythy xx
August 22nd, 2004, 10:22 am
ta-da! We have... an update! :lol: Thanks to I_luv_snuffles for reminding me to update :p
Chapter 5- The Gryffindor Seeker
At breakfast the following morning, Severus leant over and muttered in the Headmaster’s ear.
‘Have you seen the paper?’ The Headmaster nodded calmly.
‘Oh, yes,’ he answered, inspecting his goblet of pumpkin juice. Severus stared at him.
‘You’re not at all concerned?’ he hissed.
‘Not at all,’ said Dumbledore in the same tone.
‘But somebody knows about it!’
‘Apparently so,’ said Dumbledore, and with that, calmly popped a sherbet lemon into his mouth. ‘But they haven’t succeeded in obtaining it, have they?’ he added, his voice now slightly sticky and muffled. Severus sat back, shaking his head in disbelief. He noticed some of the students staring curiously at him. A glare soon put a stop to that.
* * *
It was Thursday afternoon. To Severus’ great relief, he had finished teaching for the day. It seemed he was one of only a few professors, though: the Staff Room was almost empty, apart from Binns. Thankfully, he didn’t seem to have noticed him, and Severus hastily retreated back out into the corridors before the ghostly professor could drag him into a conversation.
He nodded to Madam Hooch as he passed her. She was looking slightly apprehensive, and Severus couldn’t blame her- according to the timetable, she was teaching a first years’ flying lesson in ten minutes: Slytherin, paired with none other than Gryffindor. Yet another ‘bonding’ idea concocted by Dumbledore, no doubt. It would never work, of course. Severus privately felt that Madam Hooch ought to be ready with a good few Stunning Spells.
Not particularly wanting to face the monstrous pile of marking he had to do, Severus swept aimlessly around the corridors, docking points and handing out detentions to a couple of Gryffindor fifth years trying to escape their Charms lesson. It had been all Severus could do to prevent himself from smiling at the look of horror on the Gryffindors’ faces when they realised they had been discovered. He had satisfied himself with smirking instead.
It hadn’t been long before Severus ran into Madam Hooch again, now half-carrying the first casualty of the afternoon: Longbottom, sporting a broken wrist by the looks of things. Severus idly wondered what had happened, although he felt he could safely guess. The boy seemed to have his very own force field of clumsiness.
He rounded the corner, and was nearly knocked over by Minerva McGonagall, who was running down the corridor at top speed, robes flying out behind her, holding desperately onto her hat, her glasses slipping down her nose.
‘Sorry, Severus!’ she said breathlessly, not slowing down. ‘I’ll explain later- I’ve never seen anything like it!’ she shouted, now halfway down the corridor, her speed ever increasing. ‘Fifty feet!’ Severus stared blankly after her, half considering going to tell the Headmaster that Minerva had finally gone insane.
Two hours later, he was certain that Minerva had gone insane.
‘Explain to me again,’ he said, rubbing his forehead. They were sitting in the Staff Room. Severus had made himself a cup of coffee, but it was sitting on the table turning cold.
‘Potter caught that Remembrall from a fifty foot dive,’ Minerva gibbered. ‘I saw him. Not even a single scratch! Completely unharmed!’
‘Fluke,’ scoffed Severus. He couldn’t bring himself to admit that Potter actually showed promise at something.
‘No, Severus, you didn’t see him- he’s a natural on a broom!’
‘He’s also a first year,’ pointed out Severus.
‘I’ve already spoken to Albus, and he’s agreed to bend the rules—‘
‘He’ll be flattened,’ said Severus unfeelingly. He had been half- no, completely- hoping that Gryffindor wouldn’t be able to find a replacement Seeker for their upcoming match. It wasn’t fair. ‘I really think that you should recon—‘ Severus stopped. A Gryffindor team with a first year- particularly a first year so completely inept as Potter- as Seeker was hardly any better than a Gryffindor team without no Seeker at all. There was really no reason to worry. And besides, perhaps an embarrassing defeat was exactly what was needed to deflate Potter’s ego.
‘I’ll tell you now, Severus- the Quidditch Cup is in the bag,’ said Minerva, ignoring him.
‘Yes,’ said Severus. Minerva stared at him, surprised.
‘You agree with me?’
‘Of course. The Quidditch Cup is in the bag. For Slytherin.’
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