Authors Note

IMPORTANT: If you are reading this story with the expectation of delving into a well written story full of mystery and suspense, twists and turns and excitement, please press the back button. You will be sorely disappointed. I am writing in the effort of improving my writing style, and for enjoyment. I would appreciate any and all constructive criticism, and I emphasise the word constructive. Flames serve no purpose whatsoever. This story is practically finished, with only some minor reworking to do, so it is unlikely to be changed. However I will certainly use any good advice for my next story, which is already planned.

I will be posting new chapters for this story every couple of days. It contains 13 chapters, and is approximately 11,000 words in length.

I don't have a beta, so if anyone would like to beta for my next story it would be most appreciated. The next story I write will be an 'R' rating though, so you will need to be okay with some very dark story lines.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters and most of the settings in this story. The honour belongs solely to JK Rowling. I suspect that I do not even own half of the plot, as this has been influenced by the numerous fanfics I've read.

Summary: Harry needs to take Advanced Potions in order to become an Auror. Harry doesn't have the grades, so what does the Headmaster do?

Spoilers: All five books

Characters: HP/SS Not Slash!

Rating: PG

Chapter 1: The Manipulation of Professor S. Snape

It's clear that Harry has the makings of a great Auror. He is brave, heroic, resourceful, a great leader, not to mention superb at Defense Against the Dark Arts. Okay, he can also be erratic, foolishly jumping in before giving himself time to completely understand the situation, but that flaw can be eradicated with age, experience, and most of all, discipline. The only thing standing in his way presently is his potions scores. Harry managed an A for his OWL. Acceptable. It was a pass, but not good enough for Advanced Potions, not good enough for Snape, who demands an O, Outstanding. Without potions, Harry can never achieve his dream of becoming an Auror.

So, what is there for a Headmaster to do? A Headmaster, in fact, who feels for Harry like a father does a son? Why, he tries to remedy the situation, much to the utter outrage of Professor S. Snape. Here is the story:

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"ABSOLUTELY NOT! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. THE ABSURDITY OF THE IDEA …."

Severus Snape was, to say the least, fuming. The barmy old codger, and possibly Severus' only true friend, had finally lost his mind.

"IF YOU THINK I AM GOING TO ENTERTAIN THIS NOTION FOR A SECOND-"

"Now now, Severus, settle down, there's no need for hysterics."

"SETTLE DOWN!? … NO NEED FOR …!? …" Severus was speechless. How the headmaster could even consider this was completely and utterly beyond him.

"Please, Severus, calm down and let's talk about this rationally." Dumbledore said calmly, indicating to Severus to sit down.

Still fuming, Severus took out his wand and said "Reparo!", and the chair he had just minutes ago demolished, repaired itself. He sat down in front of Dumbledore's desk, giving the esteemed headmaster, (or in Severus' current opinion, the batty old fool) the Snape death glare.

Dumbledore, immune to the Snape death glare, continued on. "We all know Harry Potter has unlimited potential for an Auror. Consider all the things he's achieved at such a young age. Even you, Severus, would have had great difficulty doing the things he's done. It's a shame that the only thing standing in his way is potions. If we could just give him this opportunity…" Dumbledore tried to reason with Severus, but Severus was simply not in the mood to be reasoned with.

"NOT FOR A SECOND!" Severus roared. "WHAT HAS THAT, THAT INSUFFERABLE, ANNOYING LITTLE SPOILT BRAT EVER DONE! HE'S GOTTEN THROUGH ON SHEER DUMB LUCK! CONSIDER ALL THE LIVES HE'S PUT IT DANGER! HE'S ERRATIC, FOOLHARDY, UNDISCIPLINED, DISRESPECTFUL! SHALL I GO ON?!"

"That won't be necessary, Severus-"

But Severus cut him off. "WHY, IN THE NAME OF MERLIN, SHOULD I EVEN CONSIDER GIVING THAT BOY SPECIAL TREATMENT? NEVER, IN MY FIFTEEN YEARS OF TEACHING AT HOGWARTS, HAVE I EVER CONCENTED TO GIVING ANY STUDENT SPECIAL TREATMENT!"

Dumbledore, however, was quite amused by this statement, considering Severus' treatment of his own Slytherins. He decided to let it go and try a different tact.

"It is unfortunate, that your disloyalty to Voldemort has been discovered, Severus."

'Unfortunate wouldn't be the word I'd use,' Severus thought, still glaring at the headmaster, and wondering where on earth he was going with this. He waited for Dumbledore to continue.

"You have given so much to the Order."

'And this is how you repay me.' But Dumbledore's words stuck a nerve. Now that Severus can no longer spy for the Order, he was at a loss as to what use he could be. He felt as useless as that idiot Black was.

"I would like to repay you," Dumbledore said, as if reading Severus' thoughts (which he probably was), "by offering you the teaching position of Defense Against the Dark Arts." Dumbledore smiled, and thought. 'I've got you.'

'You manipulative bastard.' Although Severus' ears pricked at the thought of obtaining his long sought after goal of Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor.

"All I am asking is for you to go to Privet Drive, and teach Harry potions over summer. If he is not up to standard by the time summer has ended then I will not push you into accepting Harry into your advanced potions class."

Severus glared at Dumbledore for a very long time. Finally, through clenched teeth, and with a nauseating feeling deep in the pit of his stomach, Severus said, "Fine".

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