Tears and Trolls

A/N: I cannot be sure that this fits exactly with canon since the only copy I have right now is in French, (which means I'm remembering more what I read before than actually comprehending the language itself,) so some of it is based on what I vaguely remember and more of it is based on the movie. Canon or not, J.K. Rowling owns it all.

This has been revised and added to after receiving readers' comments. Thanks for your input and remember your reviews do matter!

The dust settled even as the stench of troll and terror lingered. The girl's bathroom lay destroyed, splinters of wood that had once been stalls laid in piles on the ground and water spouted from the broken sinks before anyone had the presence of mind to wave their wand and fix the problem. It really was too bad that Filch was a squib, cleaning this mess up would take time and it would be left to a teacher to do it, teachers who had more pressing matters to attend to.

Professor Snape surveyed the three students before him. Potter was eyeing him suspiciously as if it were him that had committed some wrong rather than the other way around. With one fluid movement he moved his robes to cover the spot where that blasted dog had bitten him.

Weasley stood next to him, looking happy just to be alive though a look of dismay crossed his face when Minerva deducted house points.

But what truly caught his interest was Miss Granger. She had glanced over at Potter and Weasley before answering Minerva's question. She had hesitated and in that moment he sensed her scrambling for something other than the truth. As a master of deception he knew a lie when he saw it, and he could see that Miss Granger clearly was not experienced in the art of dishonesty.

What interested him was why she chose this moment to lie. Her story didn't make much sense when he thought about it. Why not just admit that she had slipped out to use the toilet? Why choose to make herself look foolish by telling them she had thought she could handle the troll on her own?

She was just as arrogant and overconfident as Potter, he decided. Watching her nearly fall out of her chair the first day of class, he had dreaded the thought of seven more years of snapping at her to sit down and shut up. It didn't help that Minerva felt the need to reward them for their stupidity, awarding the two boys points for "sheer dumb luck." He tried hard to suppress a scowl, wondering why people were so critical of him for favoring the students in his house. He certainly wasn't the only one who did so.

Glancing back at Miss Granger, he saw something that had escaped his notice before. She still looked nervous, trembling slightly either from her recent encounter with the troll, from having lied, or both, but he noticed that her eyes were somewhat red. He looked at her pointedly and she returned his gaze for only seconds before looking abashed and staring at the floor.

But it was long enough. His suspicions proved, he could see that she had indeed lied about why she had been missing from the feast. She was smart enough to know to avoid trolls, but she hadn't even known there was a troll loose in the castle. She had been crying.

He looked back at Potter and Weasley who were now beaming at the points Minerva had awarded them. Harry was the image of his father, both in visage and in behavior. And Weasley was a red-haired version of Sirius Black, taunting the poor girl simply because she happened to be smarter than her peers.

She might have died because they had driven her to spend the afternoon in the bathroom crying. She only survived because of their last minute guilt. And now she had lied to save them from trouble and more importantly, he thought, because she didn't want to admit that they had such power over her, especially not to teachers she so desperately tried to impress on a daily basis.

He felt a sudden stab of sympathy for the girl that he quickly suppressed. But as the three first years filed out of the bathroom, headed for their dormitory, he briefly wondered if he had lied to save Potter and Black from punishment if they would have treated him better…might they even have become friends? He pushed the thought away almost as quickly as it had come.

He had nothing in common with a mudblood Gryffindor and friend of Potter.