All Things Unexpected
(who is a non-native speaker of English and most likely has overseen a couple of mistakes and some "un-Englishness"; you have been timely warned, I am too impatient to wait for a beta )-:)
A/N: I shouldn't write this. I really, really shouldn't. Not right now anyway. I should write on my paper for the university. But I couldn't resist the idea. BTW, consider this a post-HBP fic, I've read (and disliked) DH but this is probably time frame we had been working with prior that book.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Staff Meeting before Harry's parents and Snape's sixth year
"Mary MacDonald and Remus Lupin for Gryffindor's sixth year then. Excellent choice, Minerva, really excellent." Dumbledore beamed at his Deputy, his eyes shining with respect for the Transfiguration teacher. Neither Sirius Black, nor James Potter had been even considered for the position of a Prefect, but not to nominate the very popular Lily Evans and instead of her propose her more disciplined and yet no less intelligent classmate to give the girl the confidence she was lacking was indeed a very admirable step. Should young Mister Lupin guard his more mischief-oriented friends, all might go well in Gryffindor this year.
Dumbledore added a note to the annual chart of Prefects and Head Students and turned to Horace Slughorn to hear his proposals. "I suppose you wish to prolong Ms. Baddock's appointment in the sixth year, am I correct, Horace?"
The Potions teacher nodded, Sophie Baddock was still the best suited female student in that year.
"We have already agreed on Anna Vaisey and Richard Urquhart for the fifth year. That leaves the male Prefect for the sixth year." Dumbledore sighed. "I am not going to confirm the Avery boy in that function this year, Horace, I hope you are aware of that."
Slughorn nodded. "I am not holding it against you, Albus. His behaviour in the last year had left much to be desired..."
"Mulciber and the younger Lestrange were no better," Minerva noted from the other side of the room.
Horace again confirmed the fact by a silent nod. The members of the influential old families he usually tend to nominate were out of question this year. But he had another card up his sleeve – the upcoming influential ones. On the top his Potions star pupil – should the things go as Horace desired and the boy could add the Prefect position to his flawless academic results in his CV, the Slytherin Head was very confident that he would get his student the highly acknowledged apprenticeship in St. Mungo's research department.
"I nominate Severus Snape for the male Prefect in the sixth year," Horace announced calmly, intertwining his fingers across his round belly. The Slytherin in him smirked on the inside seeing the shocked faces of his colleagues.
"You cannot nominate that boy!" Pomona cried out in disbelief.
"I have been under the impression that Mr. Snape's interests are rather of academic nature," Filius Flitwick noted carefully, eyeing expectantly the Headmaster.
"You cannot be serious, Horace!" Minerva snapped, a deep frown on her face. "He is less disciplined than Potter and Black. Do you know in how many fights he has already been involved with those two?"
Horace smiled at her, the smile sickeningly sweet. "Ask the Headmaster, Minerva, if the school records will or will not allow Mr. Snape to take the position."
Minerva turned to their superior. "Tell me it's not true, Albus! Tell me that the boy has at least the asked 20 detentions recorded that would disqualify him. Potter has 42 now and Black 56. The Snape boy must have at least so much!"
"Blinded by the House prejudices, aren't you, Minerva, dear?" Horace teased her quietly, comfortably leaning back in his armchair. Obviously he had checked before even thinking about proposing the boy. A Slytherin would do that, there are no rash decisions in our House, my dear Minerva.
"Albus?!" Minerva stared at the Headmaster, wishing him to assist her.
Dumbledore sighed. "I fear Horace may be right, Minerva. Young Mr. Snape has often been involved in the fights with your students, true, but I am afraid he has seldom started the fight."
McGonagall stood abruptly and enraged approached the Fireplace. Grabbing a handful of Floo Powder she was about to throw it in the flames and call for Filch to deliver the detention records, when Dumbledore interrupted her. "I have checked myself, Minerva. The boy has 13 detentions in the records so far."
"Thirteen?" The Transfiguration Teacher whispered in defeat, not quite believing the words.
"I am sorry, Minerva. It seems that your students are the biggest mischief-makers after all." Horace Slughorn acknowledged her disbelief.
"I would correct the statement, Horace, if I may." Dumbledore mixed in the conversation. "The most frequent mischief-makers, not the worst. I think that Misters Avery, Mulciber and Lestrange have the honour in this particular year." The Headmaster turned to Slughorn then. "Could you explain your reasons to us, Horace?" He asked kindly, not protesting against the boy's nomination at all.
"I don't have anyone else to stand to Avery, Mulciber and Lestrange," Slughorn admitted after a moment of silence. "Snape does. Ever since the row he had with Ms. Evans last spring, he is after them whenever they use the word 'mudblood.' I think that it may be a start of a turn to better in my House. I wouldn't wish to miss the opportunity. The boy has excellent academic results, too, as you all are well aware."
Flitwick and Pomona nodded. That was true and Horace was right in his reasoning as well. To select a Slytherin Prefect not able to stand to those three was out of question. "I agree," they said almost simultaneously.
Minerva kept frowning. Horace was however right, even she understood that. "Do it then, give him the badge!" She spat at Dumbledore, her mood dark.
Dumbledore nodded. He picked up his quill and added the last four entries to his chart. Anna Vaisey and Richard Urquhart for the fifth year and Sophie Baddock and Severus Snape as sixth year Slytherin Prefects.
Several months later
The day after the Shrieking Shack incident
"They were sneaking out after the Curfew. I had every right to follow them and report what they were doing on the grounds! But they tried to kill me, do you understand that, Professor? Black had all the intention to!" Severus Snape shouted at the calmly looking Headmaster.
"Perhaps," Dumbledore allowed. "And perhaps Mr. Black simply forgot that you are one of the few students at all allowed on the grounds after the Curfew. But he will be disciplined nevertheless, you don't have to fear that. Since you thankfully were not bitten, I think that we can leave it by that."
"You will leave a Werewolf running on the school grounds!?" Severus Snape stared at the Headmaster in disbelief.
"Severus, you must be aware by now that I knew about Mr. Lupin's condition before you told me. My boy, be reasonable – the Whomping Willow and the Shrieking Shack are meant as precautions to allow Mr. Lupin attend the school and have a place where to safely transform while not endangering any other student. I assure you that Mr. Black won't have other opportunity to lure another student in the werewolf's den, as you call it."
"I will not remain silent, Headmaster! You cannot expect that!" Severus cried in protest.
Dumbledore sighed. "Mr. Snape, remind me what conditions have you agreed to when accepting your Prefect naming?"
There was a momentary, startled silence. "Which part do you refer to?" Severus whispered then.
"Reporting to a teacher was on the front of my mind. But you are completely right, Severus, you've signed a binding vow to keep the school secrets in the very same letter." Damn Dumbledore and his Legilimency, Severus swore inwardly, resolving to start on Occlumency as soon as possible and turned away from the Headmaster's sharp gaze.
"Remus Lupin's condition belongs to the school secrets, Severus." Dumbledore continued patiently. "You won't be able to reveal it, I am afraid, even if you would want to. I hope you would change your mind concerning Remus, though. I was under the impression you might be on the best way to become friends..."
Yes, I tried. For Lily. I accepted the badge and stand to them for her, too, but she never noticed. I did my very best to do my Prefect duties for you, Dumbledore, and this should be the reward?
Severus reached for the Prefect badge and took it off of his robes, holding it to Dumbledore to take it back. "I don't think I am willing to go on with this charade. I used to have Slytherin friends once and if I am not good enough for the Gryffs, so be it." With that, he turned on his heel and left the room, for the first time in months joining Avery's, Mulciber's and Lestrange's dinner conversation on the wizard supremacy in the world.
Two teachers observed the change at the Slytherin table from their seats in the front of the Hall. Horace Slughorn sighing over the lost opportunity to present a flawless student to his St. Mungo's contacts and Albus Dumbledore worrying about the future of their world. Neither of them sadly chose to approach Severus concerning his choices before it was too late.
A/N: The idea of Severus Snape being selected to be the Slytherin Prefect is sadly not mine. It comes from http : // www . mirrordance . net / aashby / bnw / PML / PMLindex . html (The Potions Master's Life). In that fanfic Snape is "fired" after the Werewolf incident. I chose to write him resigning instead. I thought this quite a refreshing idea – and really couldn't stand to the temptation to write my own contribution to the idea. I think this actually is not even exactly opposing the canon, since we don't know who the Slytherin Prefect was that year. What is worrying me though – someone told me recently that the Werewolf incident happened before Snape's (and company's) OWLs and Snape's Worse Memory based on DH. Is it true? I dislike the book very much and cannot force myself to go through it. )-: I will do it for "Of Snake Bites and Dittany Cures," I promise, since that one should be (except of the ending) quite close to the canon, but this fic can be AU in this. I hope you didn't mind.