Title: Teach Me Professor
Summary: After Voldemort gains his body back Harry realizes that he's going to need much more than his usual dumb luck to survive the Dark Lord's next attack and so seeks help under Snape's tutelage.
Chapter Rating: T
Author: Property if Professor Snape
Characters: Harry J. Potter Severus Snape
Word Count: 3,261
Genres: Friendship Drama
Warnings: None that I can think of
A/N: I just finished the fifth book, and while I was reading it an idea started to form in my mind, it sort of just snuck up on me during the chapter about Snape's Occlemency lessons. And before I knew it, it was a full blown plot. So please enjoy me new fic Professor teach me. And sorry about the horrible title I couldn't think of anything else, if anyone can come up with a better title that would be greatly appreciated.
Harry squared his shoulders drawing himself up to his full height and nodded resolutely; it was now or never. As the rest of the class emptied out he noticed Ron and Hermione falling back by the door and waiting for him, but Harry waved them away because what he needed to do he had to do by himself. Holding on to the little courage he had left he walked up to the front of the dungeons coming to stop in front of Snape's desk and waited silently for the other to notice although a small part of him was really hoping he wouldn't.
"Yes, was there something you wanted Mr. Potter?" The small part of Harry that wished he wouldn't be noticed was crushed instantly at the sound of his Potions professors' cool toned sarcasm etched in his every word.
"Yes actually there was." Harry was mentally doing a happy dance when he heard his voice come out sounding so calm before continuing, "I was wondering if I might ask you something…"
Snape finally looked up from the essays in front of him and stared Harry down for a moment as though trying to figure out whether or not this was some kind of trick. He continued to stare Harry down and when it became obvious that Harry wasn't going anywhere he decided to respond. "Well hurry up and get on with it. I don't have all day to spend waiting on your every whim. Unlike most people, Potter, I am not at all enthralled by your supposed fame." he quipped angrily.
Harry forced himself to bite back his tongue. 'You're here to ask him a favor and it won't do you any good to go aggravating the man' he reminded himself.
"I know that I am not the brightest or most skilled at potions-" Harry started but was unable to finish seeing as Snape decided then was the perfect time for a well placed snarky comment.
"Why yes, I do believe that bit of news may just be the surprise of the century."
"Look this is hard enough as it is without your self-deprecating humor. So can you please just let me say this?!" Harry snapped angrily.
Snape looked relatively surprised at Harry's outburst, but more so by the fact that the golden boy was able to use a word like self-deprecating in a sentence correctly. And so without further ado Snape motioned with his arms for Harry to continue with whatever it was that he wanted to ask, now relatively intrigued.
"Thank-you." Harry said nodding. He took in another calming breath to strengthen his resolve. "Like I said, I'm not the best at potions and I don't pretend to be, but I was hoping that you'd do something for me. It's sort of a big favor and I reckon you might say no but it would mean a lot to me if you'd at least take the time to consider it. Under the circumstances, I thought it would be a good idea if you'd well…err…consider teaching me everything it is that you know about potions." Harry spoke quickly the last bit coming out in a squeaky voice that he barely recognized as his own, he didn't dare look up to see the man's reaction instead he kept his unnaturally tomato red face down to the suddenly very interesting floor.
Snape was shocked to his very core, of all the things for his very least favorite student to ask of him this certainly was on the bottom of his list, in fact it wasn't even on his list. He continued to stare as Harry who was pointedly ignoring his gaze, an expression of bewilderment written plain across his normally stoic face.
Though Harry took his stunned silence as a no and immediately began to plead his case. "I'd work really hard and never question you no matter what. And I'll follow the direction closely and carefully and I'd-"
"And what brought on this sudden interest in potions?"
"I need to know everything possible for what's coming…" Harry said softly though his words were heavy with an unsead meaning.
"Surely someone of your caliber would not need to seek the help of us lesser people who are not as famous as you…" Snape sneered his eyes flashing with a sudden spark of anger.
Harry let out a dry humorless laugh before looking Snape in the eyes for the first time since he had walked up to him at the end of class. "All those years ago when I was only a year old I didn't do anything special. The only reason I lived that day was because my mother protected me with her love. During my first year here when I saved the Sorcerer's Stone was the same thing, my mom's love protected me. And in my second year my victory was handed to me by Fawkes and Dumbledore. Then there's last year where I survived out of sheer dumb luck only, and only because both my, and Voldemort's wand got their Phoenix feathers from the same Phoenix; Fawkes." At the end of Harry's small impromptu speech the two stood in a relatively awkward silence as Harry waited for Snape to say something, anything.
"Why are you telling me this?" Snape asked his voiced stripped of all malevolence and the condescending edge Harry had never heard him talk without.
"Because this time I don't think I'm going to be able to survive with just my own brand of dumb luck. I'm going to need to use all of my sources." Harry said smiling grimly.
Snape surveyed him a bit longer in the uncomfortable silence before saying something, "It would seem that you are very lucky to have met for surely you could not have come to such a logical decision by yourself." Snape's voice had finally regained his it's note of superiority. "When exactly were you hoping to have these little tutoring sessions?"
Harry shrugged thinking for a moment "Well not on Wednesdays, because that's when McGonagall is training me in transfiguration. And Tuesdays wouldn't work because that's when Flitwick is studying Charms with me. Would Saturday's work for you?"
Snape watched Harry for a long moment his expression undeterminable "And you're really serious about this?"
"Oh yes, most definitely sir, I'll try my hardest and then some." Harry answered grinning as he already took the question as his answer.
Snape suppressed the urge to roll his eyes at the typical Gryffindor response. "Well alright then, you will arrive at my office promptly at 7:00am, we will have much to make up for, after your previous four years of abysmal potions practicing. Although, as much as it pains me to admit (and it truly does pain me) I do believe that if your gusto remains after our first session you may be able to make them up."
A large smile spread across Harry's face without evening acknowledging the insult Snape had cleverly thrown in. He had been so terrified that Snape would deny his request with some scathing remarks about Harry's stupidity and physically boot him out of the classroom, laughing all the way. "Thank-You sir, so much you won't be disappointed." Harry cried all but running out of the room intent on telling Ron and Hermione the good news.
"You actually asked Snape for extra lessons willingly?" Ron gasped out after he was able to move his previously immobile lips that Harry feared for a moment never would move from Ron's look of shock and horror.
"Well I think it's a wonderful idea." Hermione commented a broad smile upon her face. It was obvious she was teeming with pride at Harry's accomplishments that day.
They were sitting in Gryffindor common room after dinner, when things had begun to wind down, and the only other people in the room were two third years and a fourth year conversing quietly in the corner.
"But, its Snape," Ron cried with disgust laced within every word. And Harry was instantaneously reminded of the reason why he had kept this a secret in the first place. "Couldn't you have asked Hermione to coach you in potions instead, I mean she is the best in the class."
Hermione fixed a hard glare on Ron, "Professor Snape is a more than eligible teacher at Potions, and a much smarter choice then me. If I am any good in potions, it's because he taught me it. And Professor Snape may have taught me everything I know, but certainly not everything he knows." Hermione hissed angrily at Ron, before turning her attention back on Harry with a perfectly pleasant smile on her face.
Again Harry vaguely wondered whether or not Hermione was bipolar. But he didn't dwell on this thought for long instead he choose send his bushy-haired friend because Ron was now looking flustered and as though he had nothing else that could help him argue his case.
Instead Ron stared disbelievingly at Harry before finally choking out, "Well I still think Snape's a ruddy teacher and that he'll be absolutely horrible to Harry on Saturday". Both Harry and Hermione ignored this and luckily it happened to be Ron's last words on the subject. This was much to Harry's delight, because he did not feel like getting into any arguments with Ron, especially not when he was already in such a good mood.
Harry stared up at nothing as the thoughts in his head ran rampant and his heart beat hard in his chest. Today was Saturday and it seemed that the whole week went buy in a flash without Harry truly ever experiencing it. The full weight of his decision and Snape's answer hadn't hit him until mere moments ago when he had woken from a strange dream of some obscure corridor. And now Harry was for lack of a better term 'freaking out'.
A million different scenarios of how things could go were running through his head and none of them were good, rather most of them ended with him being kicked out of the classroom, or much worse, Hogwarts. Though there was one much to Harry's utter disturbance/delight that ended in an explosion from a miscalculated potion ingredient that led to the death of both Professor Umbridge and Draco Malfoy.
Harry glanced down at his watch and was shocked to realize that it was already 6:30; he hurriedly got dressed and went down to the great hall for breakfast. He wasn't surprised to see that no one but him and a few Ravenclaws were at breakfast considering how early it was and sat down to eat. Though he filled his plate with his usual scrambled eggs sausage and toast, he only nibbled slowly at the toast, the only thing his stomach could manage.
And when the toast was all gone and there was no other reason for him to remain at breakfast he slowly made his way down to the dungeons, dread filling up in the very pit of his stomach. The dungeons felt much colder than they used to, maybe it was because it was morning, but Harry felt it had more to do with his private lessons from Snape.
It seemed as though it took him mere seconds to reach Snape's door and Harry couldn't help but feel that it somehow happened much too quickly. And so mustering up every ounce of valor he had left, Harry forced himself to reach his hand up and turn the accursed door handle. Slowly and timidly Harry opened the door and stepped into Snape's private office the ball of dread at the pit of his stomach not subsiding one bit. In fact it only seemed to be getting worse as he closed the door behind him and waited for his private lesson with Snape.
On top of Snap's desk there was a single cauldron set up waiting for Harry a long with some ingredients. And Harry could see that just behind his desk was none other than Severus Snape.
"On time I see Mr. Potter" came Snape's condescending tone "I'm surprised you even showed up." Snape waved him closer to the desk without looking up at Harry.
'Well of course I showed up, I'm the one who asked you for the held remember' Harry forced himself not to say. This was not an easy feat at all, considering the way Snape spoke to him. Instead Harry merely walked closer to the desk, his once abundant anxiety burned away by his own defiance. Honestly it was stupid of him to be so afraid of Snape; after all he was nothing but his greasy old potions professor.
"The first thing that you need to know is that I highly doubt you will ever be able to become highly skilled in the act of potion making, I can however teach you to be at least adequate. The first thing you will have to get through your thick skull it this; Potions are not an exact science, in which you constantly follow directions. Rather potion making is an art, one which you use the directions as mere guidelines to help you create potions that should always be unique to others. This, however is something not many children here at Hogwarts can master, although I will attempt to teach it to you" Snape's voice held an emotion Harry had not often heard, only once at the very first day he met Snape and he spoke of potions as an art then to.
Harry nodded his understand and waited a moment longer for Snape to tell him what he was going to be doing first.
"Today Mr. Potter, you will be making for me a potion that can cure boils." Snape said indicating the cauldron and ingredients set out before Harry and the small list of instructions scrawled on to a spare piece old parchments.
"Excuse me Sir, I don't understand," Harry said staring confusedly at Snape "This is a first year level potion."
Snape stared at Harry for a moment and rose one slender eyebrow "Did you think that I was making a joke when I said that we would be making up for your previous years of horrid performance in the art of potion making?" he asked his tone daring Harry to comment back.
Harry said nothing not wanting to admit that, that was exactly what he thought about what Snape had said the day before. Instead he set to work on his potion making sure to closely follow the directions and not make one mistake.
"I'm finished Sir." Harry said softly not long after when he had begun.
Snape looked the potion over for a moment before looking up at Harry. "Congratulations Mr. Potter for following the directions exactly as they were written." for a moment Harry felt lighter than air, he had finally done something write, sadly this feeling was short lived. "Which is exactly what I told you not to do." with a wave of his wand Snape had made everything in the cauldron disappear "Start again." he instructed.
And so Harry did start again over and over, he tried again and again but every time he thought he did something right, Snape cleared out the cauldron and made him start again.
With a sigh Harry looked at the simmering green liquid in the cauldron on what felt like his 1000th attempt. Slowly with his wand he began to turn it clockwise four different times and counter clockwise five different times as per the instructions. But this time for some reason Harry turned it once counter clockwise then clock wise completely steering away from the instructions. Then he added the dried bat wings, the last ingredient to the potion as the third and contined stirring. He didn't understand why he was doing it this way but it somehow felt right.
"Why did you do that Mr. Potter?" Snape asked his tone undecipherable.
"I-I don't know…" Harry stammered softly thinking for sure that Snape would kick him out for daring to stray from the directions.
"Why did you do that?" Snape asked again in the same tone.
"I'm sorry" Harry apologized hoping that if he did it would somehow make Snape less angry.
"Why are you apologizing" Snape asked his face was blank and his tone was devoid of any emotions, Harry couldn't tell how much trouble he was in.
"I messed up the potion" Harry said looking at the floor determined not to catch Snape's eye.
"How did you mess up the potion" Snape's voice stayed the same and this did nothing to ease Harry's worry.
"I didn't follow the instructions" Harry voice was confused, wondering why Snape was asking such an obvious question.
"Why didn't you follow the instructions" at this question Harry looked up at Snape as though seeing for the first time. Why was Snape asking him all these questions why wasn't he being thrown out? Though confused as he was Harry still answered the question.
"It felt right" Harry said lamely.
"You are dismissed Mr. Potter" Snape said turning his back on Harry with the tiniest flash of a smile that disappeared so quickly Harry was unsure on whether or not he actually saw it.
Confused Harry stood there for a moment staring at Snape's back, he opened his mouth once to say something but couldn't think of anything so he just closed it back.
"I said you may leave now" Snape said turning to look at Harry who was staring dumbly at him.
"B-But I and you what" was Harry's articulate answer.
"Are you having trouble finding the door" Snape asked with every bit of his usual sarcasm.
"No" Harry said angrily "I just don't think it's fair that your no longer going to tutor me because of one little mistake.
"Who said that I was no longer tutoring you, and who said that what you did was a mistake." Snape asked coolly.
"But I didn't follow the instructions I added the dried bat wings third when it was supposed to be the very last ingredient" Harry all but yelled frustratingly.
"And why did you do this" Snape asked calmly as though Harry's hadn't yelled.
"Because well I just its" Harry paused for a moment finding it almost impossible to put what he was feeling together in words. "Something told me it was right" he said softly
"And there is your answer, you finally learned the first lesson I was trying to teach you; follow your instincts" Snape said
"But my instincts could have been wrong" Harry said desperate for something, anything to justify his outburst.
"However that scenario of your instincts being wrong is completely irrelevant to the situation at hand because your instincts were right. Now I suggest you hurry to the great hall because I think that dinner maybe ending soon" and with that Snape again turned his back on Harry finishing up whatever he had been doing before.
Harry realized then that they'd been at this all day and that he was completely famished. Not to mention exhausted, he really could use some food. So Harry turned on his heel not looking back headed towards the great hall, his mind still buzzing with what had just happened.
It was rather odd, him trying to convince Snape that he was wrong, and Snape trying to convince Harry that he was right, it was a rather interesting turn of events. 'Ah well' Harry thought to himself 'I suppose there's nothing left to do except wait until next Saturday.