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Severus sighed. He had just finished his latest batch of lemon drops for the manipulative old ... er, venerable headmaster. But, by Merlin, that man went through those sweets like they were candy or something. However it wasn't the fact that he, one of the foremost potion masters on the planet, was coerced into being the confection chef for the man-who-defeated-Grindlewald-but-couldn't-choose-a-matching-outfit-to-save-our-eyes.
It wasn't even the fact that he now lived a duplicitous life having to serve both the previously-mentioned senile sugar addict and the psychopathic snake man. Nor was it the fact that he had inadvertently seen the Voldemort's forbidden secret chamber (although he did shudder that it was completely decorated in Harry Potter memorabilia and the disturbing realization that naturally accompanies the thoughts of a septuagenarian male perving on a 15 year old school boy).
No, the sigh was that he had something even worse to look forward to - namely his 5th year Gryffindor/Slytherin Potions class. "I mean really," he internally (and externally) sneered, "they really did stay the dunderheads I called them in '91."
Today, he decided, would not be a Potions lesson. Today he would be addressing an issue that has plagued him for years. And this particular class was the worst.
He banged through the doors just following the bell. He stopped suddenly as a golden glow filled the room. He wasn't able to control the face-palm.
"Potter-Peverall-Gryffindor-Hufflepuff!" he barked out as he looked to the raven-haired teen, "Did you have to bond another one?"
Harry looked downcast, holding hands with Millicent Bulstrode of all people, "I'm sorry sir, she stumbled a puddle of gravy that dripped off of Ron's robes and I instinctively reached out to stop the fall."
"Well, in future I would appreciate if you keep your harem activities out of this classroom."
"Yes professor. Can Millicent sit beside me today? It's just ..."
"I will allow it today no matter how much I enjoy your pain I can't inflict it on the girl. As it is, we will not be brewing today."
As one, the class all looked at Longbottom and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Today's lesson is grammar."
The dunderheads looked at him curiously. It had to be Granger to break the silence, "Did you say grammar, sir? Is this on the OWL?"
He snapped, "No, it isn't on the OWL Miss Granger. It seems that this particular class is the worst in grammar in the entire school and I - including you Miss Granger" he said as her hand shot up again and then went back down just as quickly.
"As I was about to say, the teachers have decided that this particular collection of dunderheads needs remedial grammar and I have been chosen to teach it."
What he didn't add is that he drew the short broom twig in the staff room.
"Wait until my father hears about this," spouted Draco Malfoy from the back corner where his toyboys were holding up his mirrors for him.
Severus just ignored him. It was easier that way.
"Today will be the first of several grammar lessons," he paused and grimaced at the class as the groaned, "and we will tackle the worst of the grammar offenses that your teachers have seen."
He stormed over to his desk and snatched the stack of papers off it.
"This is your last essay assignment. This class has the dubious distinction in that all - let me repeat that - all of you have at least three examples of this error in your paper. Miss Granger, yours was the most consistently wrong."
Hermione turned very pale. She'd never been the worst in anything since dodgeball back in primary school. She asked nervously, "Me? The worst? Are you sure sir?"
Snape smirked, "Defiantly."
Hermione looked at him strangely, not understanding why he used that word, "Defiantly sir?"
"Yes, Miss Granger. Defiantly."
"With all due respect sir, are you sure that's the correct word?"
"I'm glad you asked Miss Granger. Now why do you think that's the wrong word?"
Hermione gulped. She wasn't sure where this was going, but it was obvious Snape was baiting her, but like Ron after chicken wings she dove headlong into it.
"Well, sir," she started, "I'm pretty sure you meant to use the word 'definitely' which means unequivocally or positively instead of 'defiantly' which means boldly challenging. They really are two different words with two different meanings."
Severus smiled that special smile he had - the one that would make students cringe and even make the most hardened seventh years want to call their mommy - and responded, "Very good understanding of the words Miss Granger. Take 2 points for Gryffindor."
The entire class gasped when, for the first time in 5 years, the head of Slytherin awarded points to Gryffindor.
"However, please tell me why ... OH FOR ALL THAT IS MAGIC POTTER, ANOTHER ONE?" he exclaimed as the class was flooded with a bright golden light again.
"No sir," Harry quickly said, "it was Neville."
Neville was sheepishly holding Amelia Bones' hand.
Severus stared at the new couple. Ever since Potter and Longbottom started bonding with witches and inadvertently creating harems, nothing surprised him anymore. He didn't even want to know how the head of the DMLE got into his classroom and bonded with the 15 year old boy. Between the two of them they were taking most of the eligible witches off the market. He figured it would be a matter of time before the growing number of men facing either lifelong bachelorhood would lynch them in some way. That being said, he had heard that there were wizards trying to look for ways to get pregnant, but he internally shuddered at the thought.
Pressing his occlumency skills to the limit, he got back on track.
"Random bondings aside Miss Granger, please tell me if you know the difference between those words, why does your paper use the word 'defiantly' or 'defiant' every time you mean 'definitely' or 'definite'?"
Before she could answer, Draco snickered out loud and was about to make a snide remark - undoubtedly about stupid mudbloods - when the professor turned on him.
"You think this is funny Mr. Malfoy? Well the same mistake is all throughout your paper too. Miss Granger only has the most because she consistently hands in essays that are twice as long as what is asked for. Tell me Mr. Malfoy, does your compatriot Diagon help you with your papers?"
Now it was Draco's turn to get sucked into the web of derision, "Diagon sir? I don't know anyone named Diagon."
Snape smirked and pulled out a paper, "Mr. Malfoy, your paper clearly talks about a Diagon Ally. Is Diagon not your Ally?"
"You mean Diagon Alley sir, not ally."
"Mr. Malfoy, I know the difference between Alley and Ally. Based on your paper you do not."
All of the Gryffindors and some of the Slytherins snickered at that.
Snape whipped around again and focussed his glare back at Miss Granger.
"So, Miss Granger, can you defiantly or even definitely explain why you know the meaning of the words but don't know how to use them?"
Hermione just looked down at her lap and shook her head.
"Very well," he looked up at the entire class, "For homework, I want all these papers rewritten and proofread. Any such more mistakes will result in a grade of T and a detention. The other teachers will be enforcing the same rules moving forward."
The students all looked at him with worry. Well almost all. Weasley had fallen asleep again.
As soon as they were dismissed, the students filed out and all of them were throwing broken quills into the nearest waste banishment receptacles.
"I'm going to kill Fred and George," Hermione was building into a rant as she walked with Harry and Millicent and Neville and Amelia, "quills with autocorrect, what a load of crap!"
A/N - After reading so many fanfics, I defiantly decided to write this in hopes that I'll definitely get my point across.