His hand only slightly cramped today, Severus Snape looked up from his near endless grading, calling out in his usual trained voice, "Enter," He knew who it was, and so didn't bother to look up. Harry Potter entered, and closed the door softly. He came near the desk, and stood there awkwardly, shifting back and forth from foot to foot.

Which was good, as Snape hadn't quite decided what to do.

You see, this week had gone ridiculously wrong. Somehow, despite four tricky potions (two for his NEWT class, and another for his OWLs), no one had managed to scotch a cauldron. And Snape was familiar with Potter's work ethic - it was the only good thing about the lad. Too short, too slight, couldn't fly a broom without getting into enough trouble for ten grown men... But, by golly, the lad could work.

And so Snape had expected to simply set him another set of cauldrons. But there weren't any - even his own experiments (furthered by the lack of detentions) had gone surprisingly well. His modifications to the Wolfsbane potion might actually manage to keep werewolves alive for more than thirty years! Decreasing the toxicity had been his primary thrust, but he'd also managed to make it more unpalatable (which, yes, was a petty revenge for Lupin's past, but it still tasted sweet).

If Potter had been older... but no, that was lunacy. He'd never so much as considered giving a first year potions ingredients to prepare. Not for Real Potions, and not simply Classtime. He hastily thrust the entire thought out of his mind.

Instead, Snape said, "You'll be reorganizing my potions stores today. Every day someone misplaces something, and by three months in, it's bound to be an absolute wreck."

"Thank you sir," Harry Potter said, and oddly enough, the boy did actually look thankful. It was certainly cleaner work than cleaning flobberworms!

Snape had been forced to keep up his detention schedule with the oddly diligent Gryffindor. He remained oddly polite in detention, though Snape put that down to his general rudeness being attention-seeking behavior. Oh, lookit me! I can insult the Potions Prof! It was immature and stupid to boot, and Snape was not amused.

But unlike the Weasley child, at least he didn't need to precisely supervise Potter's detentions. He could let the boy have at it, and finish his grading to boot. At some point, Snape was sure, these detentions would teach Potter to hold his tongue. But Snape hoped that would come later rather than earlier.

[a/n: Yes, Snape is unbelievably petty. And Harry really is only that mouthy in front of his friends, it's a perfectly natural thought.

Snape ignoring Potter's diligence can be chalked up to sees what he wants to..

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