A/N: Forgive me, my readers. It has been far too long, and no doubt you all probably got tired of waiting for the next scene. Hopefully, this will make up for that. I don't think I mentioned it in the first scene, but White Rabbit Asylum deserves some of the credit for this story. We often collaborate, especially when I'm stuck and can't think of what to write next.
And, without further ado...
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Harry Potter this, Harry Potter that… it wasn't even the end of the first week and my quota for the year had been used up. I couldn't go through one bloody class hour without hearing someone mentioning his damn name. I had barely even seen the boy since the opening feast.
It wasn't as though I had been avoiding the boy. I simply hadn't sought him out like his many admirers. Since the Sorting, I had been dreading the inevitable, but nonetheless, I was slightly surprised when I reached his name on the register. I glanced up and found Harry Potter almost immediately, sitting at the back of the class and looking quite nervous. I had a pretty good idea of the sort of things he'd probably heard about me from the older students, and so the trepidation was to be expected. A few students, noticing that I had paused at his name, followed my gaze and stared in awe at the "Boy Who Lived".
"Ah, yes," I said softly. "Harry Potter. Our new – celebrity."
His expression turned puzzled and… faintly annoyed, as though he to were sick of that sentiment. I shook that inkling off. There was no chance that he wasn't enjoying every minute of the spotlight… he only looked faintly annoyed because Draco Malfoy, and his body guards Crab and Goyle were sniggering.
I finished taking roll call and fixed them all with my cold gaze, watching as a few shrunk back into their seats. The Slytherin's had nothing to worry about of course… it was everyone else that I detested. Especially the Gryffindor's.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making," I began in a cold whisper. It was my start of term speech… for those indolent children and novices to magic. And, as usual, no one dared to interrupt me. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses… I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderhead as I usually have to teach."
By this point, half the class seemed terrified, and the other half looked eager to prove that they were not dunderheads, which was, once again, usual. Potter seemed to deviate from either group, however, simply exchanging looks with the Weasley boy beside him.
James likely would have done the same...
I couldn't resist, and I didn't particularly want to. "Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
The hand of one girl - Granger, was it? - shot into the air, but Potter looked at me as though I had flobberworms crawling out of my ears. Admittedly, the question was a bit tricky, not something I'd expect the typical first year student to know. But then again, I rationalized that Harry Potter was, for all intents and purposes, not typical.
"I don't know, sir," he said finally.
Of course I hadn't really been expecting an answer… But that didn't stop me from sneering at him.
"Tut, tut – fame clearly isn't everything," I said now thoroughly enjoying myself. The brunette girl was still holding her hand high in the air, but as I wasn't actually looking for an answer, I ignored her.
"Let's try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a Bezoar?"
Granger's hand shot into the air again, looking a bit like she was trying to dislocate her shoulder. But again, the boy merely gaped wordlessly for a few seconds.
"I don't know, sir."
"Thought you wouldn't open a book before coming, eh, Potter?"
I could have stopped then. In fact, any more questions would likely be seen as overkill, but...
He simply stared back at me. It was, for the entire world, as if James Potter were looking at me with Lily's eyes. It was almost physically painful. Lily would have known the answer, and James would make some sort of snide remark...
I couldn't resist giving him one last chance to prove that he wasn't entirely like his idiot father, one last chance not to disgrace those emerald eyes. "What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
I barely registered that the Granger girl had leapt out of her seat at this question, as I was still focused intently upon the boy's reply... or lack thereof.
"I don't know, sir," he said quietly. "I think Hermione does, though, why don't you try her?"
That was it. There was James looking out at me from Lily's bottle green eyes. My attention was now drawn to the still standing girl, cursing her for standing. Cursing her for knowing the bloody answer. Maybe then…
"Sit down," I snapped at Granger. She sat down almost immediately looking scared. I turned my cold gaze back on the boy, loathing his existence. "For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite." I paused staring at them all. "Well, why aren't you copying that down?"
There was a sudden rummaging for quills and parchment as the students proceeded to follow my instructions. Over the noise I added, "And a point will be taken from Gryffindor House for your cheek, Potter."
He looked at me as if he couldn't understand why one earth I was being so mean to him. I held back an eye roll with difficulty, then set about putting the class into pairs around their cauldrons and instructing them to make a boil-curing potion. That should be a manageable task, even for Ja- Harry Potter. Potter. There wasn't really a difference, was there?
Apparently Potter didn't have much trouble with it, but, predictably, another Gryffindor did. Neville Longbottom, who's parents likely would have been ashamed were they still in their right minds, managed to melt one of his classmate's cauldrons, resulting in a general and widespread panic as the potion spread across the floor.
Something like this happened most every year, but it never got more enjoyable. The boy himself had been drenched with the solution, moaned in pain as angry red boils started to spring up all over his arms and legs.
"Idiot boy!" I snarled, clearing up the spilled potion with a wave of my wand. "I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire?"
A whimper answered me, reaffirming my assumption as correct. Boils started to appear upon his face and I noted that it was high time he left for the hospital wing.
"Take him up to the hospital wing," I spat at his partner, Seamus Finnegan who was looking slightly bewildered.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of Potter, who was trading slightly worried, though amused, looks with Weasly. As if his own potion were any better - it had turned a nasty shade of purple.
In another moment, the boy would probably make some sort of "witty" comment to earn him the admiration of his peers, just as James would have done, and I didn't think I could put up with that without gagging.
I rounded on him. "You - Potter - why didn't you tell him not to add the quills?" I snapped, and his face immediately fell, much to my satisfaction. "Thought he'd make you look good if he got it wrong, did you? That's another point you've lost for Gryffindor."
Instantly I watched his expression swim with resentment. He opened mouth as if to argue. Oh? Going to tell me off? I waited, with almost bated breath… waiting for him to prove how much like his father he really was.
But it never came…
Instead he flinched and shut his mouth, looking determinedly down at his cauldron. The Weasley boy beside him muttered something that sounded like a warning into his ear, but I couldn't catch the words.
As the class filed out a few minutes later, I refused to look at the boy, although he stared at me on his way out the door as if he couldn't quite comprehend the reason for my existence. I was tempted to dock a further point from his house, but restrained myself.
It was going to be an interesting year. I would have him in my class once a week, for double Potions. And if I was going to have to watch him so critically to keep that arrogance under control, very little teaching would get done. Still, I had often wished that some teacher would have done the same for his father, so perhaps it was a necessary service to the community. Though I couldn't deny that it was fun as well.