Disclaimer: I do not own HP.  I repeat, I do NOT own HP.  But, of course, you lot know this, right?  If not, whack yourself repeatedly in the head with a blunt object until you do.

Chapter 1 – Reason For Living

"20 points from Gryffindor, Potter."

Harry glared as Snape stalked past.  Across the room, Malfoy snickered.

"What was THAT for?" asked Ron in a whisper.

"Glaring at Malfoy," replied Harry darkly, still glaring at Snape.

Hermione sighed and said, "Ignore him."

"Snape or Malfoy?" asked Ron.

"Both," growled Hermione, savagely cutting her dandelion roots.

Harry finished glaring at Snape and turned back to his and Ron's potion.  Hermione was partnered with Seamus beside them and was doing well.  He grimaced their sickly yellow potion.

"I don't think it's supposed to look like that," remarked the raven-haired boy. The ginger-haired boy beside him frowned as the potion gave off a puff of orange smoke.


Harry looked up at the list of ingredients on the board and spotted Malfoy aiming something in their direction.  Snape was terrorizing Neville again and did not see the object that arched across the Potions dungeon and landed with a splash in Harry and Ron's cauldron.  The yellow potion instantly turned an acid green and began to froth.  The two boys looked at each other in horror as it began to give off puffs of dark green smoke.


The Potions Master stormed over to them and looked at the cauldron as it let off another rather large puff of smoke.  A large bubble on the surface of the potion popped and Snape bellowed, "GET DOWN!"

They had all just scrambled under their tables and chairs as the cauldron exploded, sending the potion everywhere.

Harry, coughing severely, climbed out from under his, Ron, Hermione, and Seamus' table after everything had settled down a little and peered through the greenish smoke that permeated the room.  Someone was cursing rather fluently in the midst of the smoke and coughing.


There were a few more curses then a voice (the same that had been cursing) snarled out, "Whatever you did, Potter, you are going to UNDO IT!!"  The same voice snarled out the words of a spell and the smoke cleared, leaving the fifth year Gryffindors and Slytherins with a very strange sight.  Standing in the center of the room was a pale fifteen-year-old with shoulder-length black hair streaked liberally with green and jet-colored eyes.  He was dressed in extremely baggy clothes and had to grab at his pants before they fell down.

The teen looked down at himself, plucking at the baggy clothes with his wand hand, then looked back up and growled, "Damnit."

From the Slytherin side of the room came Malfoy's surprised voice.


Snape – for that is who the teen was – looked around at his students then did something surprising.

He ran.

He dashed out of the room and up the corridors like he was being chased by a rampaging Dementor or Hippogriff and did not stop until he reached the stone Griffin that hid the staircase up to the Headmaster's office.

"Fudge Whip-or-will!" he cried even before he'd reached the gargoyle.  As it opened, he leapt inside; sprinting up the revolving staircase so fast he made it in record time.  Once at the top of the stairs, he began to pound on Dumbledore's door, using both his fist and the doorknocker in the shape of a Griffin's head.


The door opened and Albus Dumbledore peered down in amusement at the fifteen-year-old Severus Snape.

"Why, Severus.  This is a surprise."

Snape snarled incoherently and moved past Dumbledore into the office.  Dumbledore closed the door then moved around to sit behind his desk, eyes fixed on the surly looking boy slouched before him.  Fawkes fluttered over to the figure in the chair, perching on his knee and crooning softly.

"Will you tell me what happened?"

Snape sighed and began to speak in a low monotone, the long fingers of his right hand idly stroking the phoenix's scarlet-and-gold plumage.  When he was finished, Dumbledore gave a small sigh.

"Do you remember what was in the potion?"

Snape growled, "Who KNOWS what was in that potion with Potter and Weasley making it."

"Severus, surely you know that Harry and Mr. Weasley are not going to deliberately try and disrupt your class."

Snape glared sullenly at the older wizard.  As much as he loathed admitting it, Dumbledore was right.  Potter and Weasley weren't THAT stupid.

"Yes, yes, Albus.  You're right.  As ALWAYS."

Dumbledore smiled and said, "I know.  Now, do you have any suspects?"

"Albus," said Snape, sitting up in his chair, careful not to disrupt the swan-sized bird perched on his knee.  "What in Merlin's name can I do to them NOW, even if I DO know who it was who sabotaged that potion?"

"So you agree that it was sabotage?"


Dumbledore smiled warmly at his Potion's Master and said, "Perhaps…Draco."

"I wouldn't put it past the boy," grumbled Snape.  "I've tried to change him, you know.  But I can't, even if I AM his godfather."

"Does he even KNOW that, Severus?"

"No.  It wasn't Lucius' idea; it was Narcissa's.  She knows how I feel about Voldemort, she being my half-sister."

Dumbledore nodded then asked, "Now – how shall we handle this situation?"

"I believe that is YOUR department, Albus."

"You will condone with whatever I decide?"

Snape sighed and looked seriously at the Headmaster.

"What other choice do I have?"