A/N: I have reformatted the earlier chapters. I didn't realise that the section breaker that I was using didn't show up on They should be much easier to follow now. I also rectified the error in Ch12 where I AGAIN forgot that I had killed off Flitwick. Well, no-one spotted it, so I assume that everyone else forgot too.


Chapter Sixteen.

"Cholmondley, I have no idea what kind of anarchy Professor Secutus allowed to reign in this classroom, but let me assure you that I will not stand for such DITHERING INCOMPETENCE."

If the Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw class had had any illusions that about their new Potions Professor, they were firmly reset into their proper position by the hellfire wind that seemed to whip the robes from around the dark corsetry of the furious woman currently threatening to breathe fire into their depressingly incompetent drafts.

Behind the wide eyes, the Ravenclaw fourth years indulged in a mental smirk. Book-reading could only get one so far and Professor Secutus had never paid enough attention to them to help them to improve their technique. A Professor who demanded excellence and denied them the luxury of failure was exactly what they needed to pass their OWLS.

Professor Snape swept up to the raised section at the front of the classroom and quickly set her own cauldron up ready to brew. She deftly arranged the appropriate ingredients on the table in the order in which they needed to be added to the potion and spelled the instructions onto the board in clear colour coded lined of neat chalked script. Red for an added ingredient, blue for an action to be made and white for something to take note of. Turning to address the class, Serenity noted how many faces cleared of confusion as her precision condensed the technical information down to a clearly comprehensible task.

"I DO understand that you have been without adequate instruction in potions throughout your education, HOWEVER, that is no longer the case. I taught potions here at Hogwarts for a longer time than you yet have the capacity to imagine and NO-ONE ever got a fail grade unless they chose to not make the effort. If you listen to my instructions and act according to my demands then you will not fail this class. I will make the effort to be as clear as possible as to what I require of you, obey me and you will succeed. This is a dangerous subject, attention MUST be paid to the procedures and safety measures. I do not allow failure in this classroom, so PAY ATTENTION. I am not doing this for my own benefit and I will not be the one who loses out if you fail to heed my demands and warnings. House points can flood away like water from a burst dam if you think that you can get away with anything other one hundred percent attention and effort in my lessons. NOW, clear away that disgusting slop you have produced and begin again. One from each pair, collect the ingredients now."

Professor Snape stood immobile, hands firmly grafted to her hips as she watched the students banish the 'gunge' they had produced and rush to collect more ingredients.

"LESS HASTE AND MORE PRECISION. DO NOT RUSH OR YOU RISK ACCIDENTS. Avoiding accidents should be your primary consideration in this classroom. I assume nobody wishes to leave for Transfiguration with duck feet or transparent skin?"

Suitably calmed, the students quietly mimicked the ingredient layout that was clearly visible on their teacher's workbench and waited for the next instruction.

"Good. Now carefully read the instructions on the board and annotate your text books accordingly, I would suggest highlighting each separate action according to the colour code that I have illustrated on the board, it will be easier for you if you are this organised from the outset. When and only when you have completed this preparation will you begin to work your way through those directions in your pairs. If you have a personal issue with your partner then save it for breaktime, indulging in petty squabbles will endanger your life – Remember that! You have twenty five minutes. The Bratislavan Bunyan Cure only takes fourteen minutes to brew so you should have ample time to complete and bottle it before the end of the period. If you have any problems or need assistance RAISE YOUR HAND – do not wait until your cauldron explodes. Is anyone unclear about what they are doing?"

Serenity kept her smile firmly on the inside when nobody raised their hand. The difference in efficiency and precision of action was markedly noticeable when compared to their first go at the potion. No wonder Parvus had had such trouble progressing within the ranks of the Brewers; he had no discipline and having none was unable to teach it. At least these students seemed to be responsive to instruction.

She took a deep breath and felt the thrill that she had always felt when faced with the possibility of actually teaching students something. This might actually work this time.


By the time that all of the students had completed at least one lesson with their new Potions Professor, the school was awash with talk about the class. If Serenity had mingled with the students enough to hear their chatter she would have been amazed at the tone and positive feeling.

What nobody of any generation had realised was, that had the students of previous generations had the experience of being educated by someone as incompetent as Parvus Secutus, they too would have found Professor Snape to be a breath of fresh air. They would have weathered the snark, not felt personally threatened by the bellowing and endeavoured to try harder instead of try to get away with murder under a gaze which would always find them out eventually.

But none of them realised this now either, so the sudden enthusiasm for potions and the general appreciation of the hardest task master in the school took everyone a little by surprise.

What would be interesting was how Professor Snape herself would react to this turn of events and how her teaching style would be affected by knowing that she was appreciated.

To discover what these reactions would be Professor Snape would, of course, have to find out about the current mood in the school. With a smirk at yet another overheard conversation about the exciting potions lessons, Remus determined that it was probably time for the teachers to do a little gossiping themselves.