When he agreed to teach here, against his better judgement, he felt that there would, at least, be someone worthy to teach. Perhaps he would even find a person who could solve some problem in the future. He was fired up, bright eyed, and bushy tailed, as it were. Hogwarts would be a school to become proud of in potion making!
Severus Snape held a different opinion now.
It had all started in that first class he held. He learned the hard way that people had begun treating the class as a joke, something you learn enough of to pass, forget the safety of others, the precision required, or the patience required so as not to injure people with the completed liquid. The only way to counter this abysmal performance was to create a persona as the ultimate school villain. It worked. While passing fewer individuals, the people who he had trained to pass their NEWTS had never harmed a single person with a misbrewed potion.
The blame could be left at the feet of one person.
For years they had that dunderhead, Slughorn, who had been more interested in making connections between people than the dedication to hard work necessary to succeed. The hypocrite was always going on about how people were the same everywhere, whether they were wizards, muggles, elves, or squibs. Although he had managed to fool most of the people, Snape was witness to the 'harmless' prejudice that the man exuded. The man was single-handedly responsible for more corruption in the wizarding world than any Deatheater Severus could think of or name. Not only was he responsible for such people as Ludo Bagman, Cornelius Fudge, Lucius Malfoy, and, god forbid such a woman from existing again, Doloris Umbridge gaining power and prestige, but, and this was a personal suspicion, he was responsible for creating Voldemort.
The man was a crackpot! If Snape could realize the name determination magic that flowed from birth, why couldn't the old geezer? If he had only checked the meanings of the names of the people in his 'Slug Club'!
It was for these reasons that he believed that Dumbledore had done his best to coerce, blackmail, or otherwise memory charm him into accepting the position as professor.
Yet with all those regrets, he had found one bright light in that long tunnel.
Although he would never admit it out loud, he had been proud of Hermione Granger. The girl was bright, precise, studious, brave, and safety conscious. She could do with a dose of ego puncturing, and learning that not all peoples appreciated being corrected every second, but aside from that, she had been his best hope, his brightest star, his small contribution to tomorrow.
Then she had to ruin it all by running away after that full of himself, Potter. Aside from fame, this was his real complaint against Harry Potter. He had taken and somehow ruined a girl who would have surpassed him as a Potions Master, creating who knew what wonders.
As he knew too well from experience, Potters were deft at creating problems for people more…academically inclined.
Now they were entertaining 'guests' who really had only guesswork to go by on what worked or happened in the wizarding world.
First you had that Rupert Giles, the so-called 'Watcher'.
Not a bad man, overall. Shy, but with an obvious steel to him, if one knew what to look for. A True Slytherin, if ever there was one, and much more competent to teach history than Binns. The problem with the man was that he was just as obsessed with Vampires as Binns was with Goblins. It seemed that no one could tell him what to do, since, to him, all vampires were demonic. He even affected his eldest daughter.
The poor girl, Buffy Summers Giles, was what people could kindly call, special. It seemed that the supposed 'chosen one' had drunk a potion of strength at some point, and styled herself as a 'vampire slayer'. He really couldn't see it, as she didn't like to open books, wanted to shop all the time, didn't listen, and heavens help the poor mortals on the planet that had to deal with her, was more egotistical than James Potter and Sirius Black combined!
He really felt sorry for Mrs. Giles for putting up with her husband and daughter for however many years.
Dawn Giles, however, was a treat for Severus to behold. Not for being pretty. That was the last thing on his mind, but for the shear pleasure that he had when Albus became flustered at her questioning.
Dawn stared at the man with the long white beard.
She really couldn't figure him out. The man acted like a kid, kept his eyes twinkling magically, and tried to foist candies off on anyone he met. Senility overload!
She had observed him for a few days, trying to decipher what mysterious wisdom he had that the entire British Wizarding Society could look up at him. She had already crossed off morals, knowledge of spells and theory, creative ideas and approaches, actually caring what the students wanted or needed, understanding what was wrong and correcting it, as well as numerous other possibilities. Were the people in the Britian a bunch of sheep or were they brain dead from birth?
Since she had to find out more of what was going on, she decided on a peace offering, of a type. "Headmaster, I think I have a drink that you'll enjoy."
Dumbledore looked up from where he was talking with Ms. Rosenberg. She and Severus had been in a rather vociferous argument as to the values of various potions ingredients, which, in the end, required his intervention before it got out of hand. Smiling at the young woman, he replied, "If you have a bottle of Butterbeer, I would be most appreciative."
"Nope! Sorry about that, but Butterbeer does not compare with this, at least not for your discriminating taste." Dawn said.
"Then I must try this drink. Can you give me a bottle of it please?" said a curious Headmaster as the two antagonist looked on in curiosity.
Dawn pulled out a lemon-lime soda. "I'm afraid all I have are cans. It's a Muggle drink, so I don't think you've seen it before."
Albus took the can with some curiosity, looking the entire thing over, and reading everything he could about it. One of the more interesting sections on this 'can' was the fact that it listed all the ingredients that were contained within. This was certainly different from potion bottles or drink decanters that he was familiar with. There was a small problem, however. "Miss Giles, can you show me how to open this can?"
After Dawn showed him, he took a sip. Liking the flavour, he gulped it and finished half of the can before coming up for air. "Most delicious. I must see about getting this for Hogwarts!"
The man was just about to wander off to his office when Dawn exclaimed, "HA! I got your secret now! I know why everyone looks up to you!"
Dumbledore turned and raised an eyebrow, "Pardon?"
"You're drunk!" howled Dawn. "Before you drank, there wasn't the smell of alcohol on your breath, now that you've taken it in, I can smell the slight trace of it. You get drunk on Sugar!"
"I'm afraid you're mistaken. I have not had anything alcoholic for several days." Albus replied, dumbfounded at this conclusion.
"Dawn, are you sure? It happened a bit fast for him to become drunk from sugar." Willow questioned.
"Hey! Magic much?" Dawn rolled her eyes, "Someone do a spell check to make sure I'm right."
"Severus, could you please do as the young lady asks?" the Headmaster smiled.
Severus Snape snorted and then did a simple charm to find out if Albus was drunk. He paused when the test indicated that the girl was correct. "Albus, please drink some more of that canned drink?"
Dumbledore took a small sip, as Severus did the test again. The results didn't lie. "She's right Albus. You're drunk."
"Knew it!" smirked the young Giles girl, "I'll inform the school nurse, and we can get you cut off from all that nasty sugar."
Severus did not laugh. He did not smirk. He had a reputation to maintain.
It didn't stop him from falling to the floor barking out laughter like crazy as the Headmaster, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, did his best to stop a young girl from informing Poppy with an expression of horror on his face.