~Docet Minervam~

Original Author's Note: Sus docet Minervam is Latin for "The pig is teaching Minerva." (Minerva being the Goddess of Wisdom.) A saying that basically means an idiot is telling an expert how to do something. I thought it fit Lockhart perfectly, so this is set some time during the second Harry Potter book.

Author's Note a year later (when it was posted here, duh): I like to think I've improved somewhat since writing this. And hopefully I'll get my lazy butt around to proving it sooner than next century. Anyway, this oh so brief bit of writing is the result of doing Latin homework after reading many, many fics. I'm sure you'll have guessed what kind by the end of it. Also, this is a one-shot. Meaning I have no plans or intentions to continue this. (Just so you don't expect anything else to come of it.)

Inside the Hogwarts staff room, there was a steady stream of hearty chatter. Unfortunately for Minerva McGonagall, it was all coming from Professor Lockhart and was directed at her.

Lockhart was, at that moment, telling her about the time he had, single-handedly, fended off a horde of rabid trolls by Transfiguring them into large rocks and hurling them at their cohorts. By his description of it, McGonagall was certain it was another of his many fabrifications. A pity he didn't write fiction instead of manuals, he seemed to have a flair for it.

So engrossed was Lockhart in his tale, and McGonagall in remaining polite, that neither noticed Professor Snape's silent entrance to the room.

"Sus docet Minervam," Snape murmered in her ear as he passed.

Professor McGonagall was so surprised she nearly spat a mouthful of milk into Lockhart's oblivious face. As it was, it was all she could do to keep her expression neutral and not give in to the gales of laughter that were rolling through her mind.

"Eh, what's that?" Lockhart asked suddenly, having somehow, remarkably, noticed the one-sided exchange.

"Hm?" McGonagall replied innocently.

"What did he just say to you?" Lockhart asked curiously. He glanced from her to Snape, who had seated himself in the chair furthest from the pair and seemed engrossed in a book.

Turning back to McGonagall, Lockhart suddenly grinned knowingly. "Ahhh, I see, I should have known."

McGonagall was sincerely confused. Surely he couldn't have heard Snape's comment. And even if he had, she highly doubted he understood it. "Known what?"

"Oh, come, Minerva," Lockhart chuckled in that annoyingly superior way of his. "You needn't hide it from me, I know about these things. Really, I'm surprised I didn't notice sooner." He acted as though he had got hold of a particularly interesting piece of information. "The way you two are always gazing at each other--"

"Glaring," McGonagall corrected stiffly. She had a very unpleasant idea of where he was going with this. "We are the Heads of rival Houses."

"Aha! How very like that story that Muggle chap, Shakenbake or something, wrote!" said Lockhart, delighted. "Romy and Julius, I believe. Though I suppose it's only natural I didn't see it, I didn't know the rascal had it in him!"

"What are you going on about?" McGonagall demanded sternly. Her lips had disappeared in a thin line of disapproval and her expression was enough to quell even some of the more nervy of students. Lockhart, however, was disappointingly unfazed.

"Now don't pretend, Minerva. You needn't worry, I won't tell anyone. I dare say few others would have seen the signs, but as I've said I do have experience in these matters." Lockhart gave her a broad grin and a knowing wink. "So what was it he said to you? Whispering a few sweet nothings? Or perhaps arranging a late night rendezvous? The sly dog."

McGonagall sputtered indignantly for a moment before choking out, "The only thing sweet to ever come from Severus Snape is, I assure you, just that: Nothing. As for any nightly meetings, I have no time for, or interest in, such juvenile nonsense!" With a sniff and a curt nod, she swept from the room with no more than a snapped, "Good day, Professor Lockhart."

"Have to hand it to her," Lockhart remarked approvingly. "Denying it in the face of so much evidence."

~*~

Professor McGonagall was just finishing the corrections on a sixth-year's essay ("Why Changing Stuff Is Usefull") when a knock on her office door startled her. Irritably dabbing at the blotch of ink she had just left on the parchment, she snapped, "I'm busy."

"Too busy for a late night rendezvous?" a familiar voice asked from behind the door, sounding amused.

Recognizing who it was, McGonagall pointed her wand at the closed door and it swung open. Leaning against the door frame was Professor Snape.

"You insufferable cad," McGonagall huffed.

"I might very well take insult at that, and your earlier remarks to Lockhart," Snape said smoothly, entering her office and lounging in the chair across from her desk. "if I did not find it all so damned amusing."

McGonagall pursed her lips disapprovingly. "What do you want?"

"I merely came to offer an apology," Snape said coolly. "I had no idea that fool Lockhart would suspect anything." He smirked. "But you looked very much like you do when you're about to Transfigure something especially unpleasant into something even more unpleasant."

McGonagall was unable to keep her mouth from twitching in amusement. "Not quite," she replied. "I hadn't yet decided what would fit him."

"A toad," Snape suggested. "To be given to a student. It can't be a very enjoyable fate if that Longbottom boy's keeps trying to escape it."

A sudden ridiculous image of a toady Lockhart explaining the best ways of escaping to Neville's pet toad, Trevor, popped into her mind and McGonagall laughed. "Do you suppose he might be willing to help me with a demonstration of human to toad Transfiguration for my seventh-years?" she asked, mischief dancing in her eyes.

There was an answering glint in Snape's eyes that many would interpret as evil. Those who knew him well, however, would recognize it as playful deviousness. "If he doesn't first bore you to death regaling you with tales of his expertise in the subject."

Suddenly inspired, McGonagall grabbed a scrap of parchment and scribbled in her neat handwriting, "Ask Lockhart to assist in human/toad Trans. demo. for 7th yrs."

A sneering grin appeared on Snape's face as he watched her write. "Would you really, Minerva?"

"Of course," McGonagall replied, setting the note out of the way but where she would not forget it. "I imagine Lockhart would...jump at the chance to offer the benefit of his superior knowledge." Her tone fairly dripped with sarcasm at the last part.

"How ever did a cunning mind like yours escape Slytherin?" Snape asked rhetorically.

McGonagall peered over her glasses at him and smirked. "Luck."

"A wonder you're still single," Snape murmured with the air of someone sharing an in-joke.

"Which reminds me, Severus," said McGonagall, setting her quill aside. "Did you come here just to apologize, and conspire against a co-worker?"

"Well I did have another reason, but I thought you had no interest in such juvenile nonsense," Snape said with a wicked grin.

"Even I like to...let my hair down...now and then," McGonagall countered, giving a wry smile as she touched her tight bun.

Snape caught her hand and brought it to his lips, while with his other hand he reached behind her head and deftly removed the pins holding her hair in place. "I do so hate proving that pompous fool right," he remarked.

~*~

End

Another Author's Note?!: As if I needed another one. I just like seeing myself talk. *grin*

Ten points to your House if you guessed I'd been overdosing on MM/SS fics when I wrote this! Yes, this is indeed shameless, pointless (plotless?) fluff, but the idea was too good to throw away and it was one of my favorite pairings (though I do try to avoid showing favorites).

Reviews are certainly welcome, flames to be laughed at if they contain no constructive criticism and/or look like they've been written by a preschooler who forgot to take their Ritalin. Hope you enjoyed the fic. Ciao!