Disclaimers: I do not own anything from the books of Harry Potter and I'm certainly not making any money from this story. Everything you might recognise belongs to J K Rowling, her editor and Warner Bros. (Though as far as I know, the plot, and some minor characters, are mine.)
Summary: One usually says that "bright minds think the same", but do they listen to their hearts – especially when the minds are as stubborn as those of Severus Snape and Hermione Granger?
Author's notes: I hope you'll enjoy my story. It's my first attempt ever to write fanfiction so naturally I'll be very happy for all kinds of reviews. (Though I hope you'll take in consideration that I'm not a native speaker and that I don't have a Beta.)
Bright Minds Think the Same
Chapter one – Powdered ginger
"Potter! What on earth do you think you are doing?" a quiet hiss, just enough to make every student in the room look up, some more worried than others, caused Harry's attention to leave the stirring of his cauldron.
"Following your instructions on the board, Sir, I'd say I'm making a Permanent Sticking Brew." the tall seventh year answered boldly. Harry Potter was only too used of having his professor insulting him, but he had still wished that the teacher one day would leave him alone. A hope he had abandoned when Lord Voldemort was defeated last spring. Harry had thought that the two of them fighting on the same side with the same goal might have changed his teacher's attitude towards him, but he had been wrong.
"Following my instructions, Potter? If you had done that, this concoction of yours would actually have been a Permanent Sticking Brew, but since you have not, this mess wouldn't even hold two pieces of parchment together. Ten points from Gryffindor. Evanesco!" the Potions master said with a wave of his wand.
"I did follow your…" Hermione's thoughts left the conversation and returned to her cauldron, which held a thick fluid that would definitely hold more than parchment together as soon as she had added the scale of a Basilisk that they had each received at the beginning of class. Knowing that she only had thirty seconds to add it when the counter clock stirring was completed, she reached out for the last ingredient at the end of her neat line with all of the necessary ingredients for a Permanent Sticking Brew. But, to her great surprise she realised that there was no scale at the end of it. A vague memory of something flying beside her face towards Draco Malfoy about half an hour ago made her realise what had happen. However, there was no time to consider this. The potion was highly explosive at this state and if the Basilisk scale wasn't added within the remaining fifteen seconds her cauldron would explode and the fluid would splutter all of the class. With a wave of her wand and a short spell she summoned powdered ginger from the students' cupboard and threw it in her cauldron while shouting to the rest of the class to get down immediately. She threw herself under the table just as the cauldron gave a most audible hiss and exploded.
"Miss Granger! Kindly explain yourself." The voice cut through the grey smoke and panicked silence of the room like cold glass and even though the words themselves were rather polite, the way they were uttered left no one unaware of the fact that Hermione was in trouble worthy of Neville Longbottom.
"It wasn't my fault, Professor Snape, Malfoy'd stolen my Basilisk scale and I only realised when I was about to add it to my potion." she answered him, knowing that she had to try to explain even though he wouldn't care and that no explanation would have pacified the teacher.
"Oh, I'm sorry." he said, "I'm afraid I did not realise that it was Mr Malfoy's fault that you were extremely close to cause this entire class serious harm. Knowing that you are an insufferable know-it-all, I trust you to know that this potion would have left anyone hit by it at this stage, knocked cold in the Hospital wing for a month!"
"Yes, Sir." she answered in a low voice. "But, I did add powdered ginger before it exploded and it really wasn't my fault that someone", she put a heavy emphasis on this word, "thought it funny to destroy my potion and expose us all to great danger."
"Miss Granger, I command you to immediately stop accusing Mr Malfoy. It is not his fault that you lost your scale and for you adding powdered ginger, I thought that the explosion you just caused would stop you from any further experimentation, especially in my class." Severus Snape's voice was calm, but rage was barely hidden under the surface and the low, dark whispers he uttered made every student in the room quiver, even if the Slytherins all had rather content faces. "This" and she knew he meant both the explosion and the way she'd just spoken to him, "has just cost you detention and Gryffindor fifty points."
"I do not lose any potion ingredients and that was not an experiment and you know it! It states most clearly in Most Potent Potions that powdered ginger neutralises the harm of any dangerous potion that requires Basilisk scale to work properly." At this point, however, both Harry Potter and Ron Weasley felt that their friend since six years was in great danger of being ripped to pieces by the potions professor causing them both to grab her shoulders and pull her down onto her chair telling her out of the corners of their mouths to shut up.
"That is true, Miss Granger, but that is not something you are supposed to know since Most Potent Potions is placed in the restricted section in the library and not to be read by students without very good reasons. Another twenty points from Gryffindor." and with his robes sweeping behind him he walked to the front of the classroom. "This class is dismissed. You will make this potion again on Monday and I do not tolerate any failure, is that clear?" Neville's face became white as the teacher continued. "What are you waiting for? I said the class is dismissed. I want all of you out of here, all of you, except Miss Granger that is. We need to make arrangements for you detention. And by the way, leave your cauldrons where they are." In a haste that almost made them stumble, the students threw their ingredients into their bags, left their cauldrons on the desks and flung themselves out of the dungeon.
Very reluctantly and not just a little scared, Hermione approached Snape's desk. She knew she'd gone way too far and she also knew that she was going to pay for it. She wished that she hadn't mention that she'd read the book from the restricted section, but on top of everything else, being accused of making dangerous experiments without knowing what she was doing when in reality she had prevented a major accident was simply too much.
"Well, Miss Granger, I want you down here at five o'clock. You will clean all of your classmates' cauldrons, without magic, and I do not care if it will take all night."
Yet again unable to stop herself, Hermione answered him. "But Sir, we've been making Permanent Sticking Brews, it's impossible to get rid off it without magic."
"Miss Granger, you do not possibly think that any of the dunderheads in this class actually has managed to make a Permanent Sticking Brew? Though I do sincerely hope that this time they at least have managed to make a sticking brew or else you will have to do something else as well." he added with a smirk. "Five o'clock then, Miss Granger." and she turned around and tramped out of the room her face red with anger.
Snape remained sitting by his desk. He stroked some of his black, greasy hair away from his face and then put his chin in the palms of his hands, slowly massaging his temples. He went through the scene in his head and felt a wave of rage through his body when he thought about the girl's less than polite words. On the other hand he couldn't help thinking that she was right. She never failed with a potion and she most certainly never lost an ingredient, still she had shown absolutely no respect. Then again, no other student would have remembered that the potion was both dangerous and explosive or had had the senses to tell people to protect themselves and no one else would have known that powdered ginger could diminish the damage to almost nothing. Well, he certainly didn't regret punishing her.
"Dumbledore must have a weird sense of humour." Ron said to Harry while they waited for Hermione in the Great Hall. Loading large amounts of spaghetti onto his plate, he continued. "He probably put double Potions at the end of the day so that there would be no possible way for us to forget the trials and sufferings Snape puts us through every bloody lesson."
Harry nodded and gave his friend a weak smile. He unquestionably knew everything about trials and sufferings in Potions. Although they had returned to Hogwarts that Monday Harry had already managed to lose twenty points, all of them in Snape's classes. Once again Harry considered if dropping Potions would make up for the fact that he then would not be able to become an auror, the only reason he and Ron still took the horrid subject.
At this moment Hermione entered the great hall. She tramped across it, her face still a colour matching that of Ron's hair, and flung herself down between her friends. "He took seventy points from me and he's making me scrub your cauldrons without magic!" she informed them in a voice that would have caused rather brave people to think at least twice before they talked to her, but Ron hadn't listened.
"Brilliant, Hermione!" he blurted out, "that must have been a new school record. Along with Harry you managed to loose eighty points in just a quarter of an hour." Taking a deep breath he continued, "Fred and George once lost sixty in ten minutes, but this must have been more."
Hermione suppressed a smile and said in the lecturing voice they all associated with her, "In fact, if your mathematic ability had been higher than that of a ten-year-old, you would have realised that Harry and I only lost five and a third points a minute while your dear brothers lost six a minute, causing their record to be intact."
"Well, then it was a shame that Ron and I stopped you or the new record would have been a hundred points a minute." Harry intervened with a broad smile knowing only too well that Hermione was more than happy that they'd stopped her.
"He truly is horrible." Hermione said, "I don't understand why a man who hates his students continues to teach, especially now when the war is over and his loyalties proven." Her voice faded away and she seemed to sink deeper and deeper in her thoughts.
"What happened to everything you said last lesson, when Harry was upset with him?" Ron asked. "You said that he had proven his loyalties, that he had shown great courage both before and during the war and that he had the most brilliant mind."
"Well, that was before he destroyed my Friday evening, which I had planned to use to visit Hagrid with you and Harry. Anyway, you two better give him my greetings and apologies because it's nearly five and I have a lovely date with thirty cauldrons and I wouldn't miss it for the world." Her voice was bitter and the irony was harsh so both Harry and Ron decided not to comment on her words.