Slughorn's Favourite

"Settle down, settle down," called Professor Slughorn jovially over the chatter of voices as he entered the dungeon. He headed towards his desk at the front of the class, his long scarlet cloak swishing gently behind him. He turned, beaming at the glass beneath the greying walrus moustache, "Righto, class. Before I forget, your Confusing Concoction essays are in today!" A general groan sounded from the class, who had clearly hoped Slughorn have might conveniently forgotten about the homework. "Come on now!" called Slughorn above the groaning, "There's going to be no homework this lesson – " the class, as one, quickly brightened with a few cheers coming from the back row. "Thank you, Sirius, James," said Slughorn quietly with an amused smile.

Slughorn walked down the middle of one of the aisles, gathering parchments from the students as they handed them to him. Some received jubilant winks as he swept by, boyish face gleaming. As he came along the back row, he stopped when Sirius had nothing to give. Sirius quickly intervened, smiling and speaking with absolute charm, "Sorry, sir – it must have slipped my mind."

And Slughorn shook his head, laughing genially, "It's alright, Sirius. As long as you get it in for next lesson. We don't want to send a letter home to the Blacks, now do we?"

"Of course not, sir." His smile twitched slowly.

"Good lad." Slughorn strode off down the last aisle, heading back to the front of the class. As he reached the front, he turned slowly, peering at the class for a moment. "Where's Miss. Evans?"

The door of the dungeon was suddenly thrown upon, and a very flustered looking girl stumbled in, heaving a large shoulder bag and holding books against her chest with an arm. She swept long locks of gleaming dark auburn out of her face, unsurely looking around the room. "Professor Slughorn! I'm sorry I'm late!" She quickly hurried over to him, handing out a thick wad of parchment.

Slughorn chuckled boyishly, bouncing on the balls of his feet merrily, "Not at all, Lily, I was worried you weren't going to turn up." He leant in and added in undertone, "What's a Potion's lesson without my favourite little brewer, hm?" He pulled back with a smile, accepting her essay with a pleased nod.

Lily turned, looking at the full class, which watched her closely as she seeked out a seat. There were only two - one besides a Slytherin whom she'd never spoken to and one on the end of the back row besides four other Gryffindor students, typically a troublesome bunch. Especially Potter and Black. She glanced back to the Slytherin student, whose gaze had rose to meet hers. He shook lanky locks of blank from his face, giving her a dark look, one clearly unwelcoming. Lily quickly moved her eyes from him, making her way to take a seat at the back of the class. She dropped her bag and books on the desk, seating herself upon the stool by Remus Lupin.

"Right then!" called Slughorn, once more causing the murmurs of the class to settle. "Today we are starting on a potion called Draught of Living Death – not as scary as it sounds. Turn to page ten of Advanced Potion-Making. Firstly, we'll be making some notes on it and on Wednesday's lesson we shall be trying to make it! There are some questions on the board – " he turned, and with a flick of his wand white writing appeared on the blackboard behind his desk, "- use the books to answer them!"

As Slughorn ambled to his seat behind his desk, the noise level of the class rose as students began helping themselves to parchment and quills. On the back row, the reaction was a little delayed; with only Lily writing as she hurriedly answered the first question. Besides her, Remus wasn't far behind. Sirius leant forward slowly, eyeing Lily's work as she wrote.

"Now we've got Lily sat with us, we can copy her notes!"

Lily quickly looked up, giving Sirius a stern glare, "I don't think so," she said coolly.

Sirius lolled his head slowly, giving her a charming smile, "But Potions is easy to you. Come on, Lily, share those brains, hm?"

But Lily looked far from convinced, "No!" she snapped, grabbing her work and bag and quickly rising to her feet. She stomped around the back row, past Peter's end of the table and along the aisle to take the empty seat by the surly Slytherin.

As she sat down, the boy quickly looked up, throwing her a startled and displeased look. His lips curled into an unfriendly grimace as he turned his work away from her, going back to his writing. Lily placed her parchment on the desk, watching the boy gently, "Sorry," she whispered quietly, "But I was getting grief on the back row."

The boy peered back very briefly, as though trying to hide any interest. "Potter?" he asked in undertone as he wrote, eyes quickly fixed on his parchment.

Lily opened her book, flicking through to find the correct page again, "No, Sirius Black."

The boy made a disinterested grunt and did nothing else in response.

Lily leant forth slowly, dipping her quill into the inkpot and quickly writing the rest of her answer for question one.

Behind them, there were some stifled sniggers on the back row and soon after, a screwed up ball of parchment sailed across the classroom and hit the boy on the back of his black, greasy-haired head. He quickly looked round with narrowed eyes, glaring over his hooked nose at the four on the back row. Peter, James and Sirius were all fighting to quieten their laughing whilst Remus was merely sat writing.

"Hey! Snape! You got yourself a girlfriend!" Sirius hissed, the boys besides him breaking into loud sniggers of laughter.

"Settle down," called Slughorn lazily from the front of the class without looking up.

Snape turned his back on the group, leaning over his work with a frown. He pulled his textbook towards him, peering at the pages before pushing it away from him. The corner of his book bumped against Lily's causing her to look up at the distraction. Her eyes slowly trailed upon the open pages of his book. Curiously, she noticed that his pages about Draught of Living Death had tiny miniscule writing in the margins and amongst the book text, in his handwriting.

"Erm.." said Lily a moment, pausing as she searched in her head for his name. All she knew him as was Snape, and it sounded so informal. "Severus?" she asked, remembering his first name.

He quickly looked up with a surprised face at the use of his first name.

"What's all that you've done in your book?" she asked politely, gesturing with the tip of her quill.

But Snape quickly pulled the book away from her, throwing her a sharp look as his lips twisted into a malevolent snarl. He placed the book down on the other side of him with a heavy thump, turning his eyes off her and turning back to his work. Lily blinked at the boy's touchy reaction, looking worried for a moment. But just then, Slughorn informed them, they only had fifteen more minutes, and she quickly returned to her work, putting Snape's edited book into the back of her mind.

Thank you for reading, it'd be a great help if you reviewed! Plus I love to read them.