Author's Note: This is my first foray into this fandom, so be warned. Fanon stereotypes about characters are rampant, and I'm taking liberties with the second year canon. I'm a bad person.
Oh, and one of the characters talks with a dialect. You'd think I'd know better by now, but I don't. Eh.
Harry set his books down and thumped into his chair with a sigh.
He hated Potions. Hated it more than anything else at Hogwarts.
Not only was it taught by Professor Snape -- who utterly loathed Harry even more than Harry utterly loathed him -- but it was, and had been last year as well, a double course with Slytherin House.
As if reading his mind, Draco Malfoy was staring at him at that very moment, his light-colored eyes narrowed, his thin lips curved into his usual smirk.
Harry ignored him, of course. Trouble between him and Draco in Potions always led Snape to take points away from Gryffindor and stick Harry and his friends in detention.
And speaking of his friends…
Ron was already sitting there, already glaring right back at Malfoy. "I tell you. If we get stuck in Snape's class with Slytherin every single year…I don't think I'll make it without putting a fist in Malfoy's face."
Harry smiled. "Just relax. I think you'd make Snape too happy doing something like that."
Ron hummed in agreement. "Probably give me detention every day for the rest of my life."
On Harry's other side Hermione sat down. She looked disapproving. As usual. "Even talking about it likely to get points taken away from us. You two will never learn. Just ignore him."
"Ignore Malfoy?" Ron sighed dreamily. "I long for the day."
"Well, it's your own fault if you can't. I don't have any trouble ignoring them."
Ron rolled his eyes and glanced at Harry.
Harry grinned and shrugged.
A throat cleared in front of the class.
They all faced ahead, and Harry automatically started to dread.
Snape spoke in a soft and low, silky voice that worked up every goose bump on Harry's body. "Good day, class."
There were a few replies, all from Slytherin students.
Harry glanced at Ron.
Ron crossed his eyes and grinned.
Harry held back a smile.
"I take it you all did your reading. I assume, rather hopefully probably, that if any of you were to drink the contents of this bottle…" He held up a glass bottle full of a swirling gray potion that looked like fog. "You would know what to do to avoid being turned into the liquid forms of yourselves."
Harry sat low in his chair and tried to look as small as possible. He had no doubt that Snape would call someone up to test their knowledge. He could only hope that it wouldn't be him.
Probably would be, though. Snape really, really didn't like him.
Snape's cold eyes drifted over the class.
In his seat, Malfoy and his two brainless bodyguard friends, Crabbe and Goyle, were practically rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the fun.
But Snape surprised them all. "Mister Malfoy."
All eyes went to Draco.
He sat up, his smile gone. "Yes, Professor?"
"Come up here."
Malfoy's eyebrows shot up. He stood slowly.
Ron snickered at the expression on his face. "Looks like he swallowed one of Hagrid's rock cakes."
Unfortunately, Snape wasn't done. Drawn by Ron's laughter, his cold eyes hit the red-head. "Weasley. How nice of you to volunteer."
Ron grimaced instantly.
He shot a helpless look at Harry and stood.
"Now. In the spirit of cooperation between houses, which apparently Dumbledore feels we need to work on, I'm going to do things a little different."
Snape clapped a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Mr. Malfoy has always been a top student in this class."
Draco cast haughty eyes over the rest of them, his smile returning.
Harry rolled his eyes. Hermione smacked his arm.
Snape continued without noticing. "We'll see how well he's done memorizing this particular antidote. Mr. Weasley."
Ron's eyes went round.
Snape handed him the bottle of foggy liquid. "Bottoms up."
Ron took the glass and stared at it, his face white.
Snape turned to Draco. "You're job is to stop him before he is entirely a puddle."
Ron turned helpless eyes to his classmates.
Harry glared up at Snape and Draco, seeing the growing smile on Draco's face.
Draco himself turned to Crabbe and Goyle and mouthed something that made the two brainless apes laugh quietly.
Hermione gripped Harry's arm. "He isn't honestly going to…"
But he was. Harry had no doubt. Snape's only happiness in the world came from tormenting the three of them. Well, them and Neville Longbottom.
Snape turned away from both of them, going to his desk. "Get to it."
Ron looked at Harry, his eyes begging for help.
Harry raised a hand and spoke. "Professor Snape…are you really sure--"
"Five points from Gryffindor, Potter."
"For what?" Hermione spoke out, outraged, before she could stop herself.
Snape smiled coldly. "Drawing my attention during a potentially dangerous lesson. Are you trying to get your classmate killed, Potter?"
Harry clamped his mouth shut angrily and sat there.
Ron swallowed and looked down at the bottle.
Snape sat back and watched, looking as close to pleased as Harry had ever seen him.
Malfoy spoke after a pause. "Well? Hurry up, Weasley. Don't worry, I think I remember most of the antidote." He smirked.
Ron's brow creased in anger and his eyes went darkly to Draco.
"Don't be stupid, Ron." Hermione spoke quietly at Harry's side. "Don't make it worse."
Ron didn't move, though. His eyes darted over the room again aimlessly. Apparently he was hoping to stall until the entire hour passed. But Snape wasn't about to allow that.
Ron swallowed and looked at Snape.
"If you find your part of this demonstration too difficult, I can find someone else." Snape's eyes drifted to Harry.
Ron's mouth worked for a moment, but he followed Snape's gaze to Harry.
Harry stood up, glaring up at Snape. "Fine. You want me up there, I'll--"
Ron pulled the stopper on the bottle and shut his eyes tight as he swallowed every ounce of the gray swirling potion.
Harry stopped in his tracks. The class fell dead silent, all eyes on Ron.
Ron's eyes pried themselves open one at a time, and he licked his lips and looked at the empty bottle. "Wasn't too bad," he said, obviously relieved.
And then the bottle fell from his fingers and he doubled over, crying out.
Harry started forward again instantly.
"Potter!" Snape's voice lashed out. "Get back in your seat."
"Ten points, Potter! Sit down!"
Harry stopped moving forward but stayed right where he was, staring at Ron.
Snape turned his eyes to the two boys in front calmly. "Mr. Malfoy? You'll find all the proper ingredients up here. Get to it."
Ron was white as a sheet, and his eyes rolled back in his head. His pained cry had faded into moans. He clutched at his stomach and fell to his knees.
Hermione stood up. "Do something!"
Snape just looked to Draco calmly.
Draco slowly made his way to the desk where the ingredients sat waiting. He studied them thoughtfully for a few seconds.
Ron fell forward, holding himself up with one arm. His head lifted and his eyes went right to Harry, pleading.
Harry swallowed. He had spent most of the night before studying the stupid potion with Hermione and Ron, but his mind was blank. He couldn't remember a single thing about it.
Draco started putting random items into the small cauldron on Snape's desk. He took his time in between, pondering with a look on his face that was supposed to be thoughtful, but looked more like he had some form of indigestion.
Harry looked back at Hermione.
She shot out of her chair and marched forward, determined. Harry knew that the exact ingredients were in her head, bursting to get out.
Draco saw her coming and abandoned the antidote, turning to look at her. He spoke in a slow drawl. "Professor Snape, apparently Granger thinks she can do a better job than me."
Snape raised an eyebrow. "Miss Granger. Shall we set aside a few minutes to debate which of you is more fit to make this antidote? I wonder if Weasley will hold up that long."
Harry and Hermione turned back to Ron.
He was staring at his arm in horror as his fingers started drooping. It did look like he was starting to melt, his hand sliding down like candle wax.
One of the girls behind them screamed as she saw it.
Snape simply eyed Harry and Hermione calmly. "Return to your table immediately."
Hermione grabbed Harry's arm and pulled him back with her.
Snape turned back to Draco. "Please continue."
Draco grinned back at Harry before turning back to take his time on a very unhurried antidote.
Harry just sat there, nearly vibrating with anger, watching Ron's eyes as the rest of him slowly started losing definition and drooping towards the ground.
Ron's mouth moved, his eyes on Harry, but no sound came out.
Finally, after what felt like hours, Draco turned to Snape. "Done."
Harry breathed out in relief.
Snape stood and went to the cauldron, looking into it carefully. "Are you sure?"
Hermione's hand shot up into the air, waving frantically.
Draco didn't seem worried. "I think so."
Hermione raised her other hand and waved both, desperate.
"What is it?" Harry asked her.
"Ground toad warts. He didn't put in the ground toad warts." Her voice was deliberately loud.
Snape glanced at her then back at Draco. "What do you say to that?"
Ron kept dissolving slowly into a growing blob on the ground.
Draco shrugged. "I don't remember anything about ground toad warts."
Snape gestured to Ron. "Then by all means give it to him. You might want to hurry. He may not have a mouth much longer."
Draco scooped some of the potion into a fresh bottle and made his way slowly to the pile of what was only partially solid Ron. His nose wrinkled in distaste as he regarded Ron. He crouched down and awkwardly held the bottle out towards the part that looked like Ron's face. He stayed about six inches away and started pouring it out.
Harry held his breath, looking to Ron.
The class was so quiet they could hear the syrupy splash of the antidote Draco had made hitting Ron's semi-solid form.
Instantly Ron started transforming again. Lack of ground toad warts aside, it looked as if the antidote was working. The puddle of flesh-colored Ron on the ground started reforming around the semi-solid hunks that were left.
Most of the students had their eyes averted by then, and the few who were still staring in horror at Ron were pale and disgusted.
Harry gripped his desk tightly to keep from moving. Hermione was covering her eyes but peering through her fingers, breathing in stutters.
Ron slowly started coming into shape again, but something was obviously wrong. His shape stayed fuzzy, like badly developed film. When the process stopped he knelt there with droopy skin and unfinished features.
But his eyes were clear, having not been touched by the poison. They were staring out from under drooping eyebrows, wide and panicked.
Snape tsked softly. "Perhaps you should have listened to Granger after all."
Draco smiled, not at all distressed at failing. "Isn't he back to normal? I don't see anything different."
Snape's mouth twitched, but he shot a look at the laughing Crabbe and Goyle, both of whom had been watching the entire thing with eager eyes. "Silence."
They fell silent but their grins stayed in place.
Snape looked out at the classroom. "Does anyone have any idea what Mr. Malfoy did wrong?"
Hermione stared at him resentfully. She obviously knew the answer, but for maybe the first time in her life she wasn't eager to demonstrate.
"Mr. Longbottom?" Snape's eyes drifted to Neville.
Neville swallowed, always petrified of Snape. "Um. I…um. Ground…ground toad warts?"
Snape nodded. "And how much should he have put in?"
Neville looked to his desk as if the answer was there. He swallowed again and spoke hoarsely. "Um. I think…just a pinch."
Snape frowned. "Obviously when Miss Granger shouts out the answers, even you can remember them."
Neville flushed and sank in his seat.
Snape waved his hand at Malfoy and what was left of Ron. "Return to your seats."
"Professor Snape." Harry's voice was cold. If possible he felt even more loathing than usual.
Snape barely glanced at him. "Hmm? Oh." His eyes went to the frozen, deformed Ron. "You're quite sure he isn't better this way?"
The Slytherin half of the class snickered.
Harry gripped the table so tightly his knuckles were white.
Snape waved his wand almost absently, and Ron instantly stood there looking perfectly normal. "Return to your seat, Weasley."
Ron stared out at them, his eyes glassy. He blinked a few times and shook his head as if clearing his thoughts, and looked around the classroom.
"Weasley. Take your seat." Snape frowned at him as if he should have been fit to jump across the room straight back into his desk.
Ron moved on shaky legs, stunned, towards his desk.
Harry stood and helped him the last few steps, sitting him down in concern.
"How sweet," Snape drawled out. "Now. On to our next potion."
Harry kept an eye on Ron for the rest of the class. His fingers ached from holding the desk so tightly.
It took a full day for Ron to stop walking around with fog in his eyes. He didn't seem to remember much of the class itself, but it as described to him a few times in great detail by the outraged Gryffindors who had actually watched the whole thing.
"--can't believe he's allowed to do things like that. Should have been fired long ago," was how most of the descriptions ended.
"And Malfoy!" someone else inevitably would continue. "Can't believe he had the nerve…"
And so on.
Harry himself described the entire thing to Ron a couple of times, trying to stay nice and calm so Ron could get outraged on his own.
But Ron seemed to shrug the whole thing off, almost. He already hated Malfoy and Snape as much as he could hate anyone, and no matter how many times he heard the story, or how many graphic details were blown out of proportion by Seamus and Dean's wild versions of the story, he didn't seem to react much of any way at all.
Which was unlike Ron enough that Harry got even madder on his behalf. "Snape must have done something to you when he turned you back to normal. Given you some sort of…mood spell or something. Just so he wouldn't get into trouble."
Ron shrugged. "I don't think he would, would he? It's alright, Harry. It didn't hurt or anything."
But Harry remembered his eyes as he was melting, and when he was solid again but still deformed. He didn't believe for a minute that Ron had felt nothing. Even if all he felt was fear as he watched himself dripping to the floor; even that would be bad enough.
Still, what could they do? All the complaints in the world wouldn't do anything if Ron refused to acknowledge that it had hurt him at all.
School went on, though, as it always did. And by the second day after the Potions class Ron was his usual self.
Which was good, Harry supposed, because it was nearly impossible to make it through Madame Trelawney's Divination class without his best friend there to make fun of everything the woman said along with him.
And in this class there was plenty to make fun of. Trelawney had gone through tea leaves and runes and had moved on to something that involved telling all about their lives by sitting them in a chair in front of the entire class and rubbing her hands over their scalps while rolling her eyes back dramatically.
As Pavarti was up there, clutching the sides of her chair and breathlessly awaiting her fate, Ron leaned in to Harry. "I see…" he drawled out in his breathless and wicked Trelawney voice. "Oh, this is horrible! My poor girl, you will be cursed with…I can barely say it aloud…dandruff!"
Harry laughed quietly. "The woman is completely nutters."
Ron muttered his agreement.
But Trelawney was deep in her trance state and didn't seem to hear them. At last she straightened up and lowered her hands. "Pavarti, dear. I'm sorry to say, but in the very near future you will be accused of something you didn't do. Fortunately the real culprit will be found, but there will be a brief period of great sadness for you."
Pavarti gasped and moved slowly back to her pouf at the front of the class. She looked like she might start crying. Beside her, Lavender grabbed her hand consolingly.
Trelawney turned her eyes back to Ron and Harry; maybe she had heard them after all. "Mr. Weasley."
Ron rolled his eyes and stood up. "This ought to be good."
"At least you won't die horribly," Harry said as he left. "She's saving that one for me."
Ron grinned back at him. "Lucky git."
Harry watched him take the seat.
Ron stuck his tongue out the moment Trelawney was behind him.
"Now Ronald, stay perfectly still. Concentrate hard. This particular form of divination requires full concentration from both seer and student."
"Of course, Madame Trelawney." Ron spoke earnestly, crossing his eyes and making a face.
Harry and a few of the other boys in class snickered. Lavender and Pavarti turned to glare at them before turning back to glare at Ron.
Trelawney buried her fingers in Ron's red hair and moaned a little, fluttering her lashes.
Ron squirmed a little, eyes rolling back as he tried to look back at her without moving his head.
"Well. This is interesting." Trelawney's fingers moved over his head, stopping now and then on a random inch of skull and murmuring to herself.
When she finally finished, she pulled her fingers from his hair and sighed. "A sad story, I'm afraid."
Harry rolled his eyes. The nutty professor just couldn't see any sort of good future. She wasn't happy unless she saw something horrible.
"There will be a boy. He will offer himself with gifts and charm. But you should not be fooled by him. He isn't what he seems. I'm afraid you will suffer from heartbreak."
Ron turned in his chair, incredulous.
The rest of the class stared at him. A few snickers rang out from different areas.
She straightened and sighed. "You may take your seat."
Ron shook his head, going red as more little bursts of laughter rang out, and hurried across the room and to his chair, sinking down into it.
Harry was holding back laughter himself as he stood. He was so preoccupied with Ron's ordeal that he didn't even wonder which way he was going to be killed this session.
"It's like they have it in for me all of the sudden," Ron said unhappily, still avoiding his classmates' eyes at the lunch table. "That was humiliating."
Hermione's eyes were gleaming with amusement. "It was brilliant, I have to say. If you need any more proof that the woman is a complete fraud…"
"Like I'm some bloody girl. 'There will be a boy. It will end in heartbreak.' Like I'm bloody Lavender wanting to hear about flowers and boys. How…how evil is that woman?" He turned red just thinking about it. "Worse than anything Snape could ever do, I swear."
"Don't say that too loud. He may hear it and take it as a challenge." Harry glanced at the professors' table. Snape was sitting silently, glaring at his food as he ate it.
"Look on the bright side, Ron. At least you aren't going to be mauled by a…what did she say? 'A monstrous form covered in fur, not usually seen in these parts.' The woman's a raging psychopath."
Ron glared across the table at Harry. "I'd rather be killed by some tiger or something than take flowers from some boy. Honestly."
Hermione giggled, but stifled it when Ron's eyes instantly went to her. She spoke with some difficulty. "At least we know McGonagall won't be singling you out or doing anything horrible, and she's the only class we've got left today."
Ron thought about that. "That's true." McGonagall wasn't the nicest teacher they had, by far, but she was head of their house. She was stern, but she wasn't one to single students out and humiliate them.
Ron seemed comforted enough to enjoy the rest of his lunch. He was even relaxed enough to ignore Harry's occasional chuckles.
Ron sat up as all eyes turned to him. He glanced at Harry in disbelief. "You've got to be kidding me," he said under his breath. "Yes, Professor McGonagall?"
"Please come here to the front. And bring your rat."
Ron looked balefully down at Scabbers, who was as usual curled up and snoring softly in a furry gray ball. He lifted the rat, who protested instantly with a mild squeak, and went forward like he was going to his own tomb.
McGonagall nodded to him. "I expect you all have mastered the transfiguration spells we went over during the last class."
Ron swallowed and turned depressed eyes to his friends. They had spent a while on the grounds outside working on it, but the closest Ron had come to turning Scabbers into a beetle ended with a large fur-covered thing that looked like a dinner-plate with a lot of little legs.
"No, I've noticed you have a particularly difficult time with transformations involving your pet, Mr. Weasley. So I intend to keep you up here until you manage at least this one simple spell."
Harry shook his head in sympathy and glanced at Hermione.
She just sighed. "He's doomed."
Ron sat down on his bunk and dropped his head in his hands, looking utterly wasted. "Worst day of my entire life."
"Oh, it wasn't that bad." Harry sat on his own bed right beside Ron's. "And it's over now. I'm sure tomorrow everything will be back to normal."
"Except with everyone teasing me about taking flowers from boys and turning Scabbers into a flying furry hat."
"Neville's done far worse to his poor toad."
Ron considered that. "But I'm not used to it the way he is."
Harry laughed. "Don't worry. You've still got me."
Ron flopped back on his back, sighing. "An entire hour, even with McGonagall helping me. And I can't do a single thing right."
"Your grades aren't bad. Does it really matter that much?"
"I suppose not. And at least…"
Harry looked down at him. "At least what?"
Ron flushed suddenly and shrugged. "Nothing. Just…"
Harry leaned over enough to nudge his arm. "You didn't get melted today, anyway."
"Yeah, but his class is tomorrow, isn't it? And Malfoy…you know he's been laughing at me ever since that day. Keeps pointing at me and sagging in his chair like he's melting. Thinks it's hilarious."
Harry laughed. "I think if Malfoy ever developed a genuine sense of humor he'd be much more frightening than he is now."
Ron chuckled despite himself. "That's true."
Ron sat there stiffly, watching Snape.
He tried to stay relaxed. He could feel Harry shooting him occasional looks. But despite what he'd said the day after it happened, he remembered very well what it was like to see himself drooping, feeling every nerve in his body as they dripped down and hit the floor. It was sort of horrible, his skin separating into drips and collecting in a heap on the floor.
He had dreams about it the last couple of nights now, seeing himself fading away bit by bit, seeing his eyes blinking in a pile of goo on the floor.
He shivered, then forced the thoughts out of his head.
Better him than Harry, at least.
Snape finished sprinkling the powder of unicorn horn into his concoction, and it belched a great burst of glittering silver smoke.
The class oohed, impressed. For a Snape potion it looked almost pretty.
Snape smiled coldly out at them. "You like it? I suppose you'll be lining up to have a swallow."
Every eye immediately went down, and they fell dead silent.
"Hmm. So you're not entirely stupid after all. The lesson today, class, is that not everything that looks desirable is good for you. And some things…" He lifted the sludgy glass of the first potion he had made that hour. "Some things that look as if they could harm may actually save your life."
And then came the dreaded words. "Now. Who would like to volunteer?"
Harry sank down reflexively, pleading to be overlooked in a quiet voice only Ron could hear.
Ron could feel the cold press of Snape's gaze move over him and right on to Harry. "No one? Well then, I'll have--"
"I'll do it." Ron shot out of his chair before he could stop himself.
Harry looked up at him in disbelief.
Snape raised his eyebrows. "Weasley. Very brave. Up here, please."
Ron moved up there before Snape could change his mind. He reached the desk and immediately eyed the two glasses now there. The one, a thick sludgy brown goo, still bubbled with a disgusting squelch.
The other was the shimmering silver potion Snape had just finished.
Snape folded his arms and looked down at Ron. "Now. Weasley. The lesson I'm teaching today is that appearances can be deceiving. Keeping that in mind, if I asked you to take a taste of one of these, which would you choose?"
Ron looked at the glasses, biting his lip. He glanced out at Harry before pulling his eyes back in. After a moment he tapped the glass of shimmering liquid. "That one."
Snape's eyebrow lifted archly. "Are you deliberately choosing to ignore my lesson, or is there some reasoning in your mind?"
Ron swallowed. His reasoning, of course, was that Snape hated him and probably would have loved to see him melt again. But that wouldn't go over well if he said it out loud. "Well. I just…I figured that the lesson was too easy. You said appearances could be deceiving, and then you appear to be giving me an easy choice. But…"
Snape pondered him, then nodded once. He seemed disappointed.
Which was a good sign.
"Well, let's see if you're right. Have a sip, Weasley."
Ron grabbed the glass he'd chosen, made confident by the frown on Snape's face. He took a little taste of the silvery stuff.
And then spit it out as fast as he could. Too late -- his mouth was on fire, his tongue shriveling and his teeth dissolving. He gagged as the taste of blood filled his mouth, and had to fight to keep from instinctively swallowing the horrible acid-like potion. He clamped a hand over his mouth to keep from vomiting his own mouth out of his body.
Snape's disappointed look vanished as if it was never there. He turned to the class. "As you can see, appearances can be deceiving. Things that appear to be tricks are sometimes not."
Ron's stomach seized, and his hand flew away from his mouth as it overflowed and spewed out blood and chunks of things he didn't want to think about.
The class burst into horrified noises.
Snape waved his wand easily and muttered something under his breath.
And the pain vanished, Ron's widening cavern of a mouth was suddenly unharmed and normal.
He straightened up, shuddering. He reached up and touched his teeth awkwardly, just to be sure.
"Be seated, Weasley."
He looked down on the floor and saw no trace of any blood or anything.
An illusion, he figured out as he moved back to his seat. So real he could feel it and they could all see it, but just an illusion. No harm done, no complaints to be made.
He sat down, ignoring Harry's huge, concerned eyes, and shook in his chair. He didn't hear a word of the rest of the lesson.
"You think he's got it in for Ron?"
"Why would he? Ron's not Harry. Everyone knows Harry is the one Snape really hates."
Harry heard the voices from across the library and glared.
But he couldn't be too angry. It was Fred and George Weasley talking, and of course they were furious about what they were hearing about Snape tormenting their little brother. In fact, he didn't think he had ever seen the twins as upset as they looked now.
Fred must have felt his eyes, because he glanced over. "Harry? Come over here and tell us what happened. We keep hearing stories."
Harry picked up his books and went over more than willingly. "What have you heard?"
"Just that Snape's been singling Ron out and doing horrible things."
"Used a mouth-melting illusion on him last time, we hear."
Harry nodded grimly.
"And made him melt altogether before that."
"Not altogether. He did stop it before Ron was all gone." Harry filled them in quickly on the facts of what had happened. "And the strangest thing of all," he finished, "is that Ron volunteered for it the second time."
"Volunteered?" George stared at him incredulously. "No Weasley since Percy has ever volunteered to help a teacher with a lesson. Especially not Snape."
Harry shrugged. "I know. But he jumped right out of his seat. And the first time he acted like it was nothing afterwards. He tried to this time, too, but as soon as we got back to the dorms he went to the bathroom and threw up all over everywhere."
Fred and George exchanged looks. "Where is he now?"
"Asleep. He sort of passed out when we got him back to his room."
"You know." Fred looked to George thoughtfully. "I hate to say this, but I think we should rat on the little bastard professor."
George thought about it. "I don't fancy going against Snape, that's for sure. Still."
"Don't worry about it," Harry said with a sigh. "Hermione was so outraged that she went straight to McGonagall after Potions. If I hadn't been worried about Ron I would have gone with her."
"Good." Fred sighed. "As much as I hate Snape, I don't like the thought of playing rat."
Harry didn't bother opening his book to study. He was lost in his loathing for Snape. And for Draco, who had amused himself and his brain-dead friends by holding his mouth then fake-vomiting everywhere.
He couldn't stop seeing Ron in his mind. Horrified and throwing up blood, or sitting there shaken and senseless the rest of class. Laying in his bed in his dorm, shuddering.
Ron was his very best friend in the world. The first friend he had ever had, and the best he could have ever hoped for. He had almost gotten himself killed last year to help Harry. Had willingly sacrificed himself, as a matter of fact. Didn't even hesitate. He hadn't been overawed by Harry once he realized who he was. And he was always there to make him laugh and get angry on his behalf. Not to mention that he had rescued Harry from his home with the Dursleys and smuggled him into school at the beginning of the term.
Ron was the best thing he had found at Hogwarts. Even considering Quidditch. And Harry was not about to sit there for another class and let Snape humiliate him and torture him in the name of learning.
His mind stuck on Ron, and he stood up after a few minutes and grabbed his books. "I'm going to go check on him."
Fred and George nodded at him seriously then went back to their own quiet conversation.