-1All It Takes

Chapter Nine

All five boys ran from the Great Hall as fast as they could manage. It was moments before their first Potions class of the semester, and if the rumors bout the teacher were correct… they shuddered to think about it.

Miraculously, they made it into the dungeon on time, and managed to get everything from their bags unpacked before their teacher stormed into the room.

"I am Professor Severus Snape, head of Slytherin House and Potions Master of this institution. It is my job to put up with you and educate you in the art of Potions making. Though I am sure that most of you will prove to be terribly inept at this subject." his eyes settled on Neville for a moment, who gulped. "While others will excel beyond our Headmaster's wildest expectations." His eyes landed on Draco, who smirked.

"To the inexperienced, Potions can be lethal. Without me here, most of you would die by the end of the week, if not by your own stupidity, than by someone else's." His eyes landed on Harry. There was a look of pure loathing there for all to see.

"Mister Potter… Our new celebrity." Severus Snape sneered at the class. "Now called Mister Moody, I believe. Possibly the only Wizard in this room with two fathers. Tell me boy, did you inherit your father's arrogance? Or did the madman rub off on you and pass along his paranoia?"

"It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you." Harry quipped.

A few people gasped. A few snorted, Seamus started laughing and turned it into a hacking cough. But all eyes in the room were now on Harry or Snape. And once Shamus's "cough" subsided, the room was as silent as a mime's funeral.

"Let's play a little game, Mister Moody." Severus said with a dangerous gleam in your eye. "If you win, I will give five points to Gryffindor. If you lose, I will deduct twenty-five and give you a week's worth of detention. Or you can skip out and only get the detention and ten points off, for talking back to your teacher. Your call, boy."

"What are your terms?" Harry asked. He didn't want to back down, but he wasn't stupid either.

"I will ask you three questions testing on Potions knowledge. You will gain or lose five points for each question. If you guess them all correctly, you will also get out of the week of detention that I am already giving you." Snape's voice was dripping with malice.

"I accept, provided that all the answers may be found in the textbook you assigned." Harry said, determined.

"Of course." Severus agreed. The ending almost sounded like it was hissed out.

A few Gryffindors were already shaking their heads, knowing that they had probably already lost the twenty-five points.

"First question: Name all six dragon parts that are used in Potions making."

The girl next to him seemed to be thinking harder than he was. She was counting them off on her hands, without speaking. She only seemed to remember five of them.

"Hide, Blood, Heart, Liver, Claws and Horn." Harry replied. He was astounded he remembered all of them.

Snape scowled. "Very good. Take five points. Why is it so important to keep Ashwinder eggs frozen, Mister Moody?"

"Because otherwise they explode and set things on fire." Harry answered automatically.

Snape's scowl darkened. "Another five points." But Snape seemed absolutely certain that he wouldn't be able to answer the third question. "What is the most important ingredient in the draught of peace?"

"That is a matter of opinion, Professor. Any number of misused or inproperly measured ingredients could cause it to foul up. The Draught of peace is particularly difficult and could go wrong any number of ways."

"You didn't answer my question." Snape said with a glare.

"The answer is water." Harry snapped.

"That is an interesting answer Mister Moody, please explain how you came to this ludicrous conclusion.." Snape replied nastily. His intent was to humiliate him in front of the whole class.

"Without water, it would not matter how perfectly you added all the other ingredients. The potion would remain completely inert because there would not be enough liquid in the cauldron to blend the ingredients. All your ingredients would be tainted by touching the other ingredients, and you would have to throw the entire thing away."

"That is incorrect, Mister Moody. Five points from Gryffindor. Please report to my office every night this week for detentions starting tonight."

"But it was correct!" Harry insisted, getting to his feet. "It fulfilled all the criteria needed for a correct answer! You have to accept it!"

"I do not!"

"Professor, if a beaker is filled exactly to the halfway point, is it half full or half empty?"

"I…Full… no… empty…" Snape spluttered.

"You see? My answer is just as correct as yours. It would be unfair if you did not accept the other answer!"

"Five more points from Gryffindor!" Snape boomed.

"I should have known that a Death Eater wouldn't play fair." Harry spat!

"OUT OF MY CLASSROOM!" Snape yelled. "And go to the Headmaster's office immediately! One hundred points from Gryffindor!"

Harry packed his bag and fled the room. It would take a long time for Snape to restore order after what he had said. Still, the feeling of impending doom was there as he trudged towards the Headmaster's office.