Chapter 1 : Kids!
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What’s the Matter with Kids Today?
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the Harry Potter world or the song "Kids" from the musical Bye Bye Birdie.
Summary: On the 20th anniversary of "Snape's Worst Memory", Harry's class is annoying Snape more than they usually do. Slightly AU.
Notes & Rants: This is my first story on this site, I hope you all like it. This does not entirely follow canon but I tried to keep it close. This is the 15th challenge from zylaxidia’s "A Myriad of Challenges" (FF.net) and was also inspired while watching a video by ayekatsasami on Youtube. So, basically, I had a lot of inspiration for this story. Thanks to both of them, Jo, and the creators of Bye Bye Birdie for giving me a ready-made fan fic.
What’s the Matter with Kids Today?
Severus Snape had never liked children.
It was true that some were better than others, such as Draco Malfoy, not being pesky and having fairly decent parents. It was also true that some were worse than others. That Granger girl for instance, continually getting points for Gryffindor and needing so many bloody facts before she’d believe anything she was told. It couldn’t be denied that it was unpleasant to have to deal with Draco’s pure-blood mania and watch him call others that dreaded M-word while Granger was perfectly content to do things by herself and be ignored, which he appreciated.
Harry Potter was in a league of his own though. He had the same face, the same voice, and the same annoying tendencies as his prat-of-a-father James. He was even named after that git for Merlin’s sake! He did have the exact same eyes as his fabulous mother though, with bits of her personality too. Lily’s eyes on James’s body only were a painful reminder of the friend he had lost, more than that, losing the woman he loved to the man he detested. It was only the fact that he had given Dumbledore his word to protect Harry that kept him from hexing that boy when he strutted down the halls.
It was also his promise to Dumbledore that got him stuck with all of this bloody children day in and day out too. With it being exactly twenty years since he had yelled at Lily on that horrid day after the Defence Against the Dark Arts OWL, his double-agent role becoming more stressful, and Dolores Umbridge becoming more annoying it was not shaping up to be a good day.
I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they say?
With emotions running high as their OWLs began, the students did not seem to realize that their Potions Master was not in a good mood. If they did notice, they didn’t seem to pay attention or care, asking last-minute questions about their exam.
"Sir, could you, er, explain this again?" asked a girl, trying to put her hair up into a ponytail and nodding to a page in her textbook. As an afterthought, she added, "Please?"
A boy at the cauldron across from the girl stopped picking up his spilled beetle eyes long enough to yell, "Professor Snape! Is this right?" After peering into his cauldron for a few seconds, he continued, "It looks pretty close to what they have in here. I think. So that means that its all right, right?"
At that moment Snape felt something brush just past his ear, which was followed by a loud roar of laughter and the sounds of high fives from behind his back. He made a wild grab to reach whatever it was, but missed. Turning in his chair, Potter caught whatever it was almost lazily. It took a second for Snape to realize what it was. When he realized that it was a feather in Potter’s hand and that a quill had been thrown at him, he turned around to see who shot it. All of a sudden there was a scurry for books, parchment, or ingredients around the class. Trying to remain calm, he said one word. "Enough."
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
The harshness of his voice made the class instantly silent. "Moon, if you’re going to ask a question pay attention to the lesson. I don’t want to have to run through it again because you were too focused on your hair to listen to what I’m saying. I’ll take ten points from Ravenclaw." Lillia Moon looked utterly confused, raising an eyebrow and mouthing "what?" as Snape turned to his next victim.
"MacDougal," he began, and Morag MacDougal gulped. "You should notice that your steam isn’t consistent and the potion is light blue, not light purple. I think it would be safe to say that if you gave this to somebody they would be poisoned. Not exactly the desired result, is it? You should’ve been able to tell me that yourself, so I believe taking five points from Hufflepuff should be sufficient."
"But… but… sir…" MacDougal stammered. "Don’t you think that it’s a bit harsh to do that since I really didn’t know and all and --"
"Stop talking before I make it ten," Snape interrupted. Knowing he was going to enjoy the next part, he turned slowly. "Potter, tell me why you find it necessary to be a show off in class?" True, Potter had probably just saved the person in front of him from getting a quill in the back of his head but twenty years ago he had seen the other Potter boy catching a Snitch just before he lost his friendship with Lily. Seeing that Potter wasn’t about to say anything he sneered. This was easier than he thought. "Since you can clearly see you are in the wrong, I don’t think we should have a problem with Gryffindor being down ten points because of you."
Ignoring the protests from most of the students he continued. "Since I’m pretty sure that nobody is going to confess to throwing a quill at the professor, you will all have detention later on in the week. And yes, I know that you have your OWLs coming up but since you don’t seem too intent on studying now, you mustn’t need to study at all."
Ignoring Granger’s hand raised perfectly still in the air, we went to his desk. "You lot will try and behave yourselves for once. Only minimal talking is necessary, if at all."
While we're on the subject…
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Snape was happy to finally hear the class get to work. The students reviewing resulted in many mixed fumes, low voices, and scratching of quills on parchment. Enjoying the silence, he started to flip through papers. Most of the students got either a "P" or an "A" on their papers. It was truly amazing how dumb some of them were. The more papers he graded, the more he began to wonder why anybody could truly want to be a teacher.
There was that pesky Granger girl again, getting another "E" on an essay. For most others, it probably would have been an "O", he could admit it, but if he could pick between the two it was a definite "E".
Then there was Weasley, with his annoying red hair, was lucky to pass. "Scraping an ‘A’, should probably send word to his parents that he’s right on course to fail." The thought of finally being free of him was enough to nearly make Snape smile. He and Potter were stuck together like glue, if one didn’t want to take the class then surely the other one wouldn’t either. No longer having to deal with teaching Potter would be enough cause for celebration, even on this horrible day.
When Snape finally got to Potter’s essay, he was counting on another fail. It would be like his father all over again, so arrogant and cocky to think that he wouldn’t need to study to get an "O" in everything. It was clear that the boy, despite having such a "great" father and a wonderful mother, just wasn’t good at potions. It was a pity really, since Lily’s only child took after her idiot husband in looks and in talent.
He finally came to a conclusion. Kids these days were stupid.
Why can't they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
In his generation they had been much smarter. Take Lily for example. She had always managed to get an "O" in potions. She was the one who gave him a run for his money throughout school, ever since first year. She was also funny, kind, and gorgeous and managed to balance being a prefect or Head Girl and the Slug Club. If she could get an "O" in nearly every class, surely somebody could get an easy "O" in his class.
He could admit that even Potter and Black had been smarter than a lot of these students. It pained him to say that, but he had to admit that it was true. At least they, at 15 or 16, could distinguish between potions that had been taught to them the year before.
He must have been given the job as Potion’s Master while the school was full of idiots as a punishment. For what he wasn’t exactly sure, since he had to deal with losing the girl he loved and spending so much time by the Dark Lord’s side. Plus, protecting the Potter boy for years was difficult enough. Was it really necessary to try and explain how to concoct a potion to people as thick as Crabbe and Goyle too?
What's the matter with kids today?
I've tried to raise him the best I could
Sometime while he was starting to feel more and more sorry for himself, he had stopped paying attention to his class. It couldn’t last for long though, as he barely had time to get lost in memories before there was a loud explosion from the side of the class. Jerking his head up, he saw several students covered in sticky, bright red potion. The students, three girls and two boys, looked up at Snape, waiting for a reaction to seeing his students and classroom floor covered in red liquid.
"Did any of you pay attention when I explained the safety measures?" he looked at the five messy students one by one, quizzically looking into each of their eyes. "It seems not, if you did you wouldn’t be dripping with potion. Five points from each of your houses for carelessness and not paying attention. Hopkins, an extra ten from you for possibly causing injury to your fellow students." Wayne Hopkins, a shy Hufflepuff boy, flushed a deep pink. "You will all go to see Madam Pomfrey before anything exceptionally horrible happens to you. Now!"
The students hurried out of the classroom, hoping that they wouldn’t get into any more trouble if they left as soon as possible. After cleaning up the still bubbling red liquid from around the class, he turned to the remaining students.
Laughing, singing, dancing, grinning, morons!
Snape was not impressed to see that the fifth years were either talking to their friends or trying, and mostly failing, to suppress laughter or smiles. Giving a few students whacks on the heads with books as he passed them, he made his way to the front of the class once more. "I suppose that you all think it would be amusing to see your fellow students being hit with possibly dangerous materials?" his voice was quiet, but cold and clear. Seeing a student, even a Hufflepuff, being laughed at and embarrassed by other students did not sit well with him, especially twenty years after his own embarrassment by the lake. "I would have thought that fifth years such as yourselves would have shown a bit more maturity than you bunch seem to be capable of."
He saw several confused faces as he glanced at his students. He had never shown any form of positive emotions towards any of the students out of Slytherin before. Deciding that it was probably best to not annoy him, he still heard several people mumble something along the lines of "yes, Professor".
Within moments of the bell ringing many people had jumped up, packed their things in their bags, and left the class. Trying to organize his own desk, Snape turned his back on the remaining students and began to put the essays he was in the process of marking into a neat pile. After several seconds, he got a feeling that somebody was watching him pack up his things. Turning around, he saw Harry Potter, who was giving him a look that was a mix of confusing and knowing. That frustrated Snape, Potter knew what he had been thinking as he tried to stop the students from laughing at those who had been covered in potion. "Is there something you want Potter?"
Harry, still searching Snape with the vibrantly green eyes he had inherited from his mother, shook his head. "Then leave." Potter made no signs of moving, which prompted Snape to start talking again. "Do you not understand simple instructions Potter or do you have something you are going to say." Looking as though he desperately wanted to say something but deciding against it, Harry Potter walked out of the dungeons.
And while we're on the subject…
Kids! They are just impossible to control!
Kids! With their awful clothes and their rock an' roll!
To avoid contact with Potter again, he waited a couple minutes before leaving. He tried to made his way to the Headmaster’s office quickly, though it was much more difficult than he had anticipated. It seemed that everywhere he went, the students were being loud and obnoxious. There were dungbombs going off left and right, several members of the Inquisitorial squad were fighting with other students everywhere, plus he had to stop a few snogging couples in the corridors.
By the time he reached the gargoyle outside of Dumbledore’s office he had a collection of items that he had gotten on his way up from the dungeons. The items, which included several bags of dungbombs and two Fanged Frisbees, were accompanied by the signatures of four snogging couples and three pairs of fights that involved Inquisitorial squad members. After helping a second year Ravenclaw who had been hexed by a much older Slytherin, he sighed. Taking a final fifteen points off of Slytherin, he said the password to the office.
Why can't they dance like we did?
What's wrong with Sammy Caine?
What's the matter with kids today!
When he got up the stairs he was greeted by Dumbledore, who was sitting at his desk talking to some of the old Hogwarts headmasters and headmistresses. Smiling, he gestured to one of the seats in front of him. "Hello Severus. May I ask what has brought you up to my office at this time of day?"
Ignoring the invitation to have a seat, Snape strode up to Dumbledore’s desk. "Sir, could you answer one question?"
"Of course Severus," Dumbledore replied, leaning back in his chair. "Though I believe you just asked me your one question, you may ask another."
Snape gave a forced smile before dumping the items he got on the way up on Dumbledore’s desk and giving him the pieces of parchment bearing the signatures of the wrong-doers. "Sir, what is the bloody problem with kids these days!?"
So there you have it, Snape’s annoyance with children on one particularly annoying day in his life. I would really appreciate it if everybody who read reviewed this, all comments are wanted, with good or bad (or mixed) reviews. You had a longer time than expected out of my day, why not give me a couple minutes of yours? Suggestions, constructive criticism, and stating what you liked about it are highly appreciated so I can improve future stories.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to hear from you.