Chapter 1 : Lesson to be Learned
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…Did he sneeze on him?
No. Snape did none of those things. Yet Ron was still sick and refused to believe it was anyone else’s fault except Snape’s. So why exactly did Ron blame Snape?
Simply put, it was Snape’s fault Ron was sick because he always held Potions class in the coldest, clammiest, most germ infested dungeon room in all of Hogwarts, that’s why. One could practically see the germs crawling over every surface in the dungeons.
Just moments ago, in the Gryffindor common room, Hermione Granger had tried to convince him that it wasn’t really Snape’s fault that he was sick. Simply being cold doesn’t mean you’ll get a cold, and besides it was the flu season, he could have gotten it from anyone. She tried to tell him that it was a bad idea to go to detention angry. But Ron knew. He knew it was Snape who had given him the cold even if he had no proof or motive. It just had to be Snape. He had a gut feeling that told him so. Snape was out to get him, just like he was out to get Harry. Oh, but Ron was ready, he knew that if anything ever went wrong, it was likely Snape who was at fault; either his or Malfoy’s. He supposed it could be Fred and George’s fault too, as they were always trying to prank him…but no! This situation was clearly all Snape’s fault.
He paused shortly as he reached the large, intimidating doors. Tonight was going to be torture and there was nothing Ron Weasley could do about it.
Snape was not pleased. Tonight he would have to sacrifice a preferred lonely night by himself to watching the Weasley Boy in detention. He loved nothing more than making students lives as unpleasant as possible, and that included giving them detentions, but tonight he was not in the mood to watch over the obnoxious and rude red-headed Weasley. Tonight he had a headache.
He sat down at his desk that was situated exactly in the middle of the dark, dank room underneath the bowels of Hogwarts. If he sat quietly enough he could relax to the sounds of the rats skittering around through the tunnels of the underground; or the sound of the water drip-dropping from the moist ceilings down to the slippery cobblestone floor. He smiled; a rare occurrence. This was where he felt at peace, and tonight, The Weasley Boy would ruin it.
His face contorted from his anger just from thinking about it. His fists were so tight that his knuckles turned whiter than imaginable on his pale skin. His breath became shallow and his black beady eyes were squinted tightly. He needed a solution to the problem that he was being faced with. But what could it be? How could he make this horrible predicament livable?
He massaged his temples wishing away his headache that was making it exceedingly difficult to asses the situation at hand. What a troublesome thing, a headache is, just like that loathsome Weasley Boy. How Snape wished to be rid of the both of them. He sighed, if only it were possible.
Suddenly he realized that it was indeed possible! Well, at least part of it was. While he could do very little about the horrible Weasley Boy he could at least make the night bearable by getting rid of his untimely headache. He scolded himself for his absentmindedness. He was Severus Snape, The Potions Master! Minor aches and pains never stood a chance against one who could brew concoctions and elixirs that many have never even thought to be imaginable. He could simply prepare the drought while carrying out the detention. It would help pass the time; there was nothing that Snape enjoyed more than making potions.
Just as he stood up and was about to head to the potions cabinet the dungeon doors swung open to reveal a very disgruntled looking Weasley. Instantly Snape glared at the boy. The hatred growing between the two of them was intense. Neither of them dared to speak to the other for as soon as their mouths were to open, curses where sure to fly out of them.
Snape dramatically pointed to a desk at the far opposite corner of the room, indicating that’s that where he wanted the Weasley Boy to sit. He nearly growled when he saw Weasley roll is eyes as he walked over to the desk. The Weasley Boy’s lack of respect made Snape’s blood boil. How could this little insignificant young man infuriate him so?
Snape whirled around to face the cabinet again and started to gather his needed ingredients. He heard the noise as he gathered the last of the potion vials. He slowly turned on his heels and glared at the Weasley Boy. Weasley remained oblivious towards the deathly glare and continued to tap his quill on the old wooden desk in an odd, irregular rhythm. He choked back a growl and stormed to his desk to set down the ingredients. Weasley unconsciously stopped tapping, his attention now focused on the Potions Master. Snape grabbed a bottle of cleaner and an old ratty rag from behind his desk and stormed to the desk which was occupied by the troublesome Weasley Boy. He slammed the container down on the desk causing Weasley to jump up in fright and then threw the rag at the boy. Without saying a word he dramatically pointed to a large assortment of potion bottles littered on top of an old wobbly table and sneered. It was obvious that the Weasley Boy would serve his detention by cleaning old potion bottles.
Each bottle was of a different shape and size and most of them were discolored from many of the potions that each one had held at some point in time. With closer inspection one could see that many of the potion bottles still held old potions in the bottom, most of which had turned moldy and rancid.
Ron’s face contorted into disgust. Snape always managed to serve the most horrible detentions ever! Ron would much rather serve ten detentions with McGonagall instead of one single detention with Snape.
On second thought, maybe just five…McGonagall could be very unpleasant if you caught her in the wrong mood.
With a sigh Ron headed towards the catastrophic mess of a task. He picked up a large round bottle with a long neck wide enough for Ron to slide his hand in. He sprayed the cleaner into the dirty bottle and began cleaning.
He was at his eighth bottle when his hand started to cramp up, and with a sigh, he rested his hand (inside the bottle of course, incase Snape were to look up at him it would seem as if he was still scrubbing). He had to scrub extremely hard to get all of the rotten potions out of the bottoms of each bottle which made the task exceedingly difficult. He began to regret each time that he had left Potions Class without properly cleaning up. It was one of those classroom rules that no one (except Hermione) bothered to follow. He never realized that someone had to clean all of the bottles after each Potions Class so that the next one could make their potions for the day. Of course, Ron would bet his entire collection of Chudley Cannon memorabilia that Snape used magic to get this monstrous task done.
He glanced up at Snape and saw that the Potions Master was making a potion of his own. He snorted when he realized that Hermione would be able to figure out what Snape was making just by seeing the ingredients he was using. Ron was, unfortunately, not that gifted and had no idea what Snape was concocting.
Snape looked very concentrated and absorbed in his potion making and for some reason Ron was feeling very mischievous despite his current situation. He really wanted to botch up Snape’s concentration in hopes of messing up the potion.
The idea hit Ron like a bludger to the head. He instantly stopped cleaning the bottle and slowly took his hand out of the bottle. He grabbed hold of the large bottle neck holding it for a moment. Then, without a second thought, he let go. It hit the cobblestone floor with a sharp clash! but much to Ron’s displeasure it didn’t shatter.
Snape must have put a minor protection spell on all of the bottles to help prevent against breaking. Ron couldn’t help but think it wise seeing as Neville had a habit of dropping things. He quickly looked up at Snape hoping to him fuming over a ruined potion but merely found him rolling his eyes in minor annoyance. Ron picked up the bottle with a sheepish look upon his face. It looked like Ron would have to try a little bit harder in his attempt to sabotage Snape’s concoction. He grasped the bottle one more time and lifted the bottle high above his head. Unfortunately for Ron, Snape saw this movement out of the corner of his eye and looked up from the boiling brew to see Ron smash the bottle to the ground with all of his might.
Snape was upon him faster than a Snitch hits the open air. Ron barely had time to asses the situation before he was grabbed up by the front of his robes and held up high into the air. Snape’s strength was only fueled by his hatred. He took his wand out of his pocket and raised it high above his head, pointed directly at Ron. The hate in Snape’s eyes was blatantly clear. Ron’s eyes widened in fear, this was how he was going to die. Right here—in the bowels of Hogwarts, in the room he despised the most. Snape was going to Avada Kedavra him and no one was ever going to find his body.
His mind flashed back to this morning during the breakfast post. He had received a letter from his mother this morning. It was short, less than one piece of parchment. She asked how things were going in school and if he was eating all right. Things were going good at home and she just wanted to hear from him. Instead of replying to it like Hermione had suggested, he stuffed it into his book bag to deal with it later. If only he had replied to it while he had the chance. He would have told her how classes where going, or that the food was good but not as great as hers, but most importantly he would have told her just how much he loved her.
This wasn’t how he wanted to go. He didn’t want to be known as the idiot prat who had pushed Snape over the edge. How pathetic was this? He was going to be killed over a broken potions bottle. He had crossed the line and now he was going to die for it.
Without warning Snape swirled around, and pointed his wand at the mess of broken glass on the floor. Soundlessly he cast the Reparo charm and the bottle returned to its former state. He turned his head around to face Ron again while still keeping his dramatic pose as to look more intimidating. Their faces were merely inches apart. Ron’s face was completely drained of color, it had turned ghostly pale; in fact, he now matched Snape’s pale features. His eyes were still wide with fear and his lower lip was trembling in fear. He had completely lost his composure.
Snape was in his element. His infamous headache, although still there, was no longer bothering him anymore. The Weasley Boy was terrified and Snape wasn’t even done yet. He sneered and nearly laughed when the Weasley Boy flinched. He looked back at the bottle on the floor and with another wordless spell he filled it up with the vilest and rank slime he could muster up. Even he was disgusted by the sour stench wafting up from it. With his wand he levitated the bottle to eye-level. He placed his attention back onto the Weasley Boy who was now quite confused by Snape’s current actions. He sneered again and without a second thought, Snape let go of the Weasley Boy’s robe and let him fall to the cold, hard floor. The Weasley Boy landed hard on his bum and looked up with a disgruntled look on his face. The bottle was now directly over the Weasley Boy’s head. Snape could see in the boy’s anger that he was about to loose it. Before the coming obscenities could be uttered Snape flicked his wrist causing the bottle to flip upside down letting all of its contents run out all over the Weasley Boy’s open mouth.
Ron could not believe it. He had gone through a wide range of emotions in just a few moments. He had felt the loathing and anger towards another human being, the fear of upcoming death, the confusion of something unexpected, and complete and utter disgust. So much for Hermione’s teaspoon theory.
He was now on his hands and knees spitting up the foul sludge. He feared the rancid taste would never leave his mouth. It tasted like rotten eggs and pickle juice with the consistency of old chunky milk. It was nearly enough to kill his appetite.
After a couple of dry-heaves he was finally done. Exhaustedly, he slowly turned over so he was now sitting awkwardly on the floor and looked up at his Potions Professor. Snape had his arms crossed and was looking down at him. Ron thought he looked funny, like he was fighting the urge to smile, but that was impossible because Snape didn’t know how to smile. It was a long moment before either of them moved. They just stared at each other daring the other to break.
Many thoughts were running through Ron’s mind as this death-glare went on. When he finally got out of here there were some things he would do. First of all, he would apologize to Hermione for teasing her about always following proper classroom cleaning etiquette. Secondly, he would tell Harry never to upset the Potions Master unless you wanted to be utterly humiliated. Lastly, he would find the letter that his mother had mailed to him and write a long and detailed response back to her. He would tell her all about his classes, reassure her that he was eating just fine, complement her on what a great mother she was and tell her how much he loved and appreciated her.
It was just after that last though flittered through his mind that Ron looked down, defeated. Snape sneered, pointed to the dungeon door and then walked away. Detention was over, the lesson was learned.
Thank you for reading Lesson to be Learned I hope you enjoyed reading it. This was really fun to write and I thank Elysium for creating the challenge that inspired me to write this.