My first work, so be nice!

Characters, personalities, settings, and vocabulary were set by JK Rowling. Mood and plot set by me.

Chapter One: Introduction and a Detention

The bright afternoon sun shone through the glass windows of the Gryffindor common room, falling over empty chairs, tables piled with papers and books, and a squashy red armchair, in which a young woman was curled, breathing softly. Her green eyes fluttered open, looking sleepily at the large grandfather clock by the fire.

"Oh, damn!" Ginny Weasely cried, realizing the time. She rose quickly, grabbing her messenger bag and jamming books into it. She tossed the bag over her shoulder, pushing the back of the portrait of the Fat Lady, who muttered something about rude students not caring about her comfort. Ginny pulled her bright red hair into a ponytail at the base of her neck, panting.

Soon, she reached her destination. She dashed over the cobbled stones of the dungeons, hearing her footsteps echo through the empty stone walls. She quietly pushed open the door to the Potions classroom, steeling herself. The door creaked loudly, as she poked her vibrant red head into the cold room.

"Miss Weasely," a snide voice said as she stepped tentatively into the room. The rest of the class, made of Gryffindors and Ravenclaws, stared at her. The Snape glided over to her.

"You are ten minutes late for my class," he said silkily, drawing himself to his full and considerable height. "I will not tolerate such a lack of respect. Explain."

She paled. While she wouldn't admit it, Professor Snape terrified her out of her mind. "I-I-I was taking a n-nap." she said, trying to keep her hands and legs from shaking. "I l-lost track of time. I--" She looked down at her feet, feeling herself go red. "Sorry. . ." She muttered, looking back up.

Snape smiled nastily. "Well, if you are so tired that you feel it appropriate to sleep through my lessons, then I suppose you will have to catch up this evening," he leaned in closer, "in detention."

She leaned back as far as she could, muttering "Yes, sir." She dashed over to a cauldron in the back, between Colin and Luna. She dropped her bag onto the floor, still shaking.

"He's a terribly wretched git," Colin whispered, leaning in towards Ginny, "I could report him to Mr. Macflin, if you want," he added excitedly. "He's become a friend of my father, and he's a school governor."

Ginny felt herself calm down. Colin's advances, while unwanted and slightly annoying, were humorous. "That's alright, Colin," she whispered, smiling at him.

"Before I was so rudely interrupted by Miss Weasely," Snape said, commanding the classes' attention with no more than a whisper, "I was discussing your latest O.W.L. Preparation Essays, which were a bit more abysmal than I would have expected from a class of trolls." The class went silent, embarrassed. "I shall now hand them out." He swept to the front row of cauldrons, saying "Keep in mind that these would be the grades you would receive, had this been your exam. Hopefully," he said, handing Luna back her essay, which had a great "P" scrawled across it, "you shall improve over the next seven months."

He handed Ginny her essay, which also had a spiky "P" across the top. She sighed. It was better than Colin's "D", but she had worked the entire evening, researching the properties of False Aconite. She would have complained to Luna, but Snape was currently giving her a searching, unnerving look. She looked into her cauldron, and Snape introduced the different ways to create a Soothing Serum.

At dinner that night, all the fifth years were complaining about the essay that was due the following Tuesday, a particularly confusing one all about the similarities and differences of a Soothing Serum created with wolfsbane and one created with a bicorn horn. However, Ginny was playing with her untouched salad, nervous of her detention with Snape. She wasn't afraid of the physical work, as she was used to scrubbing her own kitchen at home when she aggravated her mother. She was afraid of Snape's presence; as of late, he had been giving her odd stares, meeting her green eyes with his cold black ones and holding them against her will. Harry sat down next to her, closely followed by Hermione on her other side.

"Don't worry, Ginny," Harry said to Ginny, grinning at her. He had quite a change over his personality after a discussion with Lupin over the summer, not being the sullen, depressed angsty boy that they had all expected. "He can't do anything too horrible to you, can he?"

"I should hope not," Hermione said, sounding nervous, "If he tries to jinx you. . ."

"He won't jinx me," Ginny said, chuckling lightly. She knew he was horrible, but he was in the Order. He wouldn't hurt her.

"Nine o'clock," Ginny said to Luna, standing from the table in the Library, feeling somehow doomed.

"'bye," Luna said distractedly, absorbed in a book entitled So, You Think You Saw a Scrimpled Dallatrum?

Ginny walked down to the dungeons, knocking on the Potions classroom door.

"Enter," Snape's silky voice called form the room. She stepped in, noticing that only two of the candles were lit, both of them sitting on Snape's desk, which Snape sat behind, grading a set of papers. Ginny stared at her feet again, expectantly.

"There is a scraper on my desk," Snape muttered, not looking up, "and several frog brains under the cauldrons." he looked up. "Four hours," he stated simply. Ginny nodded, shaking again as she approached the Potions Master's desk. She took the wooden-handled knife, avoiding Snape's piercing gaze and approaching a cauldron. She leaned over, trying to pull the cauldron over.

"It's bolted," Snape said, smirking, "so you'll have to lie on your back."