NB: This is set in an alternative universe where Lily Evans never married James Potter and turned him down for that 'one fateful' date. As a result, Snape never became a death eater, Voldemort chose Neville Longbottom as the chosen one, and Hogwarts is a much different place…

Intrigued? Read on….

All characters, concepts and situation belong to JK Rowling and all rights remain hers at all times. Please do not reproduce this story without express consent of myself, if you do, i will find you, then transfigure your eyebrows into caterpillars and your nose into lettuce. Then you will look like Voldemort, and that would be a bloody shame now, wouldn't it?

The Potion Masters Girlfriend

Chapter One

It was a quiet Monday afternoon in the dungeons.

Today's lesson was not a practical one but one that required only the students to read from a text book and summarize into their own words in preparation for an essay that was to follow.

The cauldron on Severus Snape's desk simmered softly as he marked a batch of essays from the fifth years, and judging on the current piece it was not an enjoyable task. So far he had pointed out not only mistakes that should have had a first year blushing but had to correct the spelling of 'Cauldron' and 'Boomslang'.

Sighing as he crossed out another attempt at the world Cauldron, he looked up to see a Ravenclaw passing a note to a Hufflepuff on the opposite bench.

"Collins, I assume those are your notes and that you are assisting Miss. Roper with your infinite Knowledge of the uses for Quicksilver in potion making... " Snape began quietly, knowing that at once that all eyes in the room would be on him, flicking anxiously between the culprits and himself. "...In fact, why don't you read out what you have there, you may even, amazingly, be able to teach me..."

A few of the Hufflepuff students managed a minor chuckle at their class mates expense.
"...Sir, I..."

"No?" Snape held out his hand and with a flick of his wand the note came sailing into his open hand.
As he delicately unfolded the piece of parchment, he wrinkled his nose in disgust as the inky black hearts on it spoke of undying affection.
"Ah yes, here it is..." he began. "Hayley, please meet me behind Greenhouse number three at 5.30
today and I will show you my...-" Snape looked at Mr. Collins who was now slowly receding behind his desk as the people in the class chuckled at him. "...Yes, well...as interesting as your social life is, Mr. Collins, I regret to inform Miss. Roper that the invitation no longer stands as Mr. Collins will be in the library, de-doxyfying the curtains."

The class chuckled as Snape tapped the note with his wand causing it to incinerate at once.
"...Quiet."

At once, the class got back to work as Snape left a lingering glance over the pair of love-birds at the back of the room before getting back to his grading.
A few moments later the bells rang and the students began to pack away.

"For Friday, I want a 32 inch essay on the uses of Silver in potion making-" He paused as students began to groan. "Despite Thursdays Quidditch match, late night celebrations and Butter beer hangovers will not suffice as suitable excuses."

The students all filed out as Mr. Collins came forwards.
"...Sir?"

Snape shot him a dark glance.
"What is it?"

"Nothing..." Collins mumbled and walked swiftly from the classroom.

Snape continued to scribble on the parchment until soon it resembled a very poorly constructed crossword. There was a brief rap on the door.
Snape looked at the door and lowered his gaze a foot or so as he saw Professor Flitwick.

"Filius..." he remarked silkily, returning back to the essay.

"Severus." he squeaked. "...Come to invite you to the three broomsticks!"

Snape looked at him with mild interest.

"...In the considerable time you have known me, Filius, when have I ever ventured to the local taverns?"

"...Well, err, never." Flitwick chuckled nervously. "But it is a faculty thing, it is the headmaster's birthday after all!"
Snape didn't raise his eyes from his quill as he dipped it into the pot and continued to mark it.

"Well, as much as I would love to attend, I have essays and a detention this evening."

"Come now Severus. I am sure we could get you out of your classroom for at least one drink!" chuckled Flitwick. "Besides, who was the detention for?"

"Collins." he muttered, laying the essay aside to dry. "Passing notes in class. One detention to be served in the library, this evening."

"Collins eh?" Flitwick mused. "Well, let Madam Pince supervise and come for a drink."

"And deprive Madam Pince of a place?" Snape answered swiftly. "I could not..."

"She doesn't drink." Flitwick answered just as swift.

Snape had to admit, he was out of legitimate reasons for not attending.

"...I-"

"Excellent it starts at Six! See you there!" And with that Flitwick waddled out.

Severus sighed furiously at not being able to think of an excuse good enough to excuse himself from an evening of awkward social conversation with locals of Hogsmede and the faculty who he rarely dealt with in his free time. No doubt most of Albus' favourite, and now rich students would be there...All of the wizarding world Glitterati would be there. The more he thought about it, the more he resented being unable to find a valid excuse not to go.

Packing up his immediate work he walked out of his classroom as the students walked to their designated spots he walked to the staff room and placed his papers on the nearest desk before tapping the kettle hanging above the fireplace and watching it whistle.

Snape had never really been a social person. Even in his youth he preferred to shy away from parties, even ones in which his own house participated in, in favour of going up to his dorm and curling up with his books and notes.

Often Lucius Malfoy, prefect and general heartthrob of the house would appear, his long white hair dishevelled, lipstick and a lopsided grin plastered to his face inviting him to join in the festivities. That McNair had decided to charm dung beetles to stick to the fat ladies portrait and that he should go watch, but Snape had no inclination to go and revisit that place where months before the most important person in his life had told him she never wanted to speak to him again.

It was easier, and much less painful to be alone and it had worked perfectly well for him for the past twenty odd years.
Pouring himself a cup of tea he went to his usual arm chair and sank into it, finding the essay he had started marking in his classroom and continued.

"Longbottom, Neville…" he muttered. "The boy who lived…"

"Really Severus, do you believe all that they say?" came a soft wheezy voice.

"Headmaster…" he began, knowing the tone at once. "I believe they are throwing a party for you tonight…"

"Indeed they are, The Three Broomsticks. I believe that it will be quite an event." he chuckled, folding his copy of the Quibbler and surveying Snape from over
the top of his chair. "Might we have managed to part you from your stack of essays?"

"Indeed." repeated Snape, barely looking above the page that was littered with ink blots and corrections. "Just this once, head master…"

"Yes, I do hope your house will behave themselves. Today I caught Mr. Malfoy trying to set fire to Mr. Weasley's broom."

"…Which Weasley?" asked Snape idly.

"….Does it matter, Severus?" Albus asked, his eyebrows meeting.

"Not really. I trust you gave him a detention headmaster?" Snape continued, looking to Dumbledore.

"I had no need. Mr and Mr Weasley managed to administer a sort of poetic justice of their own that seemed fitting. I believe Mr. Malfoy is at the hospital wing now, getting the rest of the broom removed…"

Snape nodded idly and continued to look through the essay.

"I have heard rumours, Severus, that Lucius Malfoy has been trying to 'recruit' you."

"Recruit me, headmaster?" Snape asked carelessly, though he knew what the old man meant.

"Do not try and fool me, Severus. You know what I mean. Voldemort."

Snape winced at the use of the dark lords name.

"He who-must-not-be-named is dead." Snape replied coldly.

"After what happened in The Chamber of Secrets-how can you believe that?" Albus asked.

Perhaps Severus did not want to believe that he was back. After all, the last time the death eaters came calling Severus took refuge in the school he had grown up in, teaching potions and secretly desiring the D.A.D.A position but forever being passed over for it. Being a dab hand at potion making, and an expert in the dark arts had made him quite a commodity, and as his old potions master often said in letters written to him: 'You can only say 'No' to these people so many times'.

Hiding behind the robes of Albus Dumbledore did not enthral him with much masculinity, after all, using a geriatric wizard who was far more powerful than you for protection was hardly the mark of a man who was strong and brave, but one who was afraid and fearful.

"…You know you will be safe here, old friend." Dumbledore smiled kindly, and returned to his paper. "It should be quite an occasion. Of course, Horace has rounded up half of his favourite students. Most of them at least…" he continued.

'Great' thought Snape. 'More from Gwengog Jones on the match that made her career, or more from Dirk Creswell and how well he's doing at the ministry or-'

"-Evans might be there…"

"Wait…" Snape said quickly, his black eyes focusing on Dumbledore. "…What did you just say?"

"…Lily Evans might be there. Professor Slughorn will be most anxious to show off his star pupil."

"…Lily Evans?" Snape asked, feeling both unease, and joyous breathlessness.

"One and the same, Severus." smirked Dumbledore, his eyes knowing and shining with mischief, watching something short of light and happiness trying to break through the coldness in Snape's eyes. "Apparently, sometime this week she received an award for 'Young potion maker of the year' and has been offered a position in Hogsmede as junior potioneer at Tukes' Tonics and Tinctures."

But Snape wasn't listening, he had heard the words he swore to himself never to speak again, and to think of only in self-flagellation. The girl who had stolen his heart and neglected to return it. Now a woman, who might grace the party this evening.

Suddenly, the social occasion this evening was more daunting, yet more tempting than ever.