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Without Your Armor by StephanieJ
Chapter 17 : After the Potions Class
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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Devanshi was slightly worried, she feared Snape had noticed the two vials she had filled with her sleeping potion. She had tried so hard to make it unnoticeable but this wretched wizard seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.

Whilst the girl tried to think of the worst things he could do to her for taking too much of her own potion, Snape closed his eyes. The exchange student shifted her eyes around the room, wondering what her professor was plotting. The girl watched as the potion’s master opened his eyes, a smile coming to his face. This worried Devanshi more. Perhaps she could stash on of the tubes somewhere, no it was too late for that, now what could she possibly do?

“Your manner of dress is disgusting. You are disgracing Hogwarts and yourself by dressing that way.” Snape broke the silence, “You look ridiculous.”

The girl stood offended and upset. She did all she could to resist the urge to turn away from the Professor’s cold stare. Snape was pleased with himself as he saw the girl’s cheeks turn red and her eyes brim with tears.

“Honestly, if someone wanted to see that much skin they should be paying for it.” The cruel man didn’t know when to stop (not that he would have if he did).

Devanshi’s face now burned with embarrassment and anger. Her jaw dropped slightly, she could not believe he had addressed her in such a manner.

“I’m sorry,” Devanshi finally said, her voice quivering, “are you saying I dress like a who.”

“Out of respect for student/professor boundaries,” Snape cut off the girl, “I am not saying it. But if I see you running around half naked again, I won’t be so kind as to say something in private. And I might not be so discrete either.”

The young witch had to hold her eyes open wide open so the tears would dry up, she refused to give him the pleasure of watching her cry. She refused to let him see how much his words had affected her. She swallowed trying to push the lump in her throat into her stomach. As much as Devanshi wanted to tell Snape what she thought of him, she knew if she talked she would burst into tears.

“Put on your robe,” Snape cut the knife deeper, “and then go put on a proper uniform.” The man moved so that he was no longer blocking the exit.

Devanshi placed her book on the desk nearest to where she was standing and let her robe flow open as she held it in front of her. In one swift movement the American flung the robe around and placed her arms into the sleeves, she did not clasp it shut. She grabbed her book again and hurried to the door flinging it open.

~~~

Harry, Ron and Hermione flinched as the door banged against the wall. The echo rang through the corridor. Devanshi walked hurriedly out of the classroom. She did not look at the students waiting for her instead she jerked her face away from them.

When she heard them rising to their feet she started to jog. There was no need to embarrass her self in front of them as well. The tears had refused to dry up and were now staining her cheeks. The lump had not reached her stomach, she felt as though she had thrown it up.

Snape walked out slightly into the hall to watch the retreating girl. Inwardly, he was amused and proud of himself. Outwardly, he was glaring coldly at her before looking over at the three students.

Ron and Harry looked as though they were going to jump the older wizard. Harry even had his sleeves pushed up to his elbows. Ron’s fists were clenched so tightly by his side that he would have drawn blood, if his fingernails had been long enough.

Hermione’s reaction was feminine, she looked at him as though he were a parasitic growth on the face of the earth. Her glare was more dangerous then it had ever been before.

“What did you do to her?” Hermione demanded, “You greasy, wretched, poor excuse for a man!” Hermione did not wait for any sort of answer, as she went off down the hall after Devanshi. The two boys knew better than to actually act upon their loathing of Snape. They followed Hermione.

Snape could not help but feel even happier, somehow, that had been more satisfying than taking 100 points away from Gryffindor.

~~~

Devanshi had at some point started to run. She didn’t remember when she had started to run only that she pushed herself. Her cursed robe felt like a parachute billowing out behind her.

When her lungs burned and her legs quite moving was when she stopped running. There was no need to explain she was lost, running wildly through a castle you’ve only known for three days tends to have that effect. She leaned against the cold stone wall and took slow deep breaths.

Her head throbbed as much as her legs did. Her brain had been running in the opposite direction as her body. All of the things Devanshi could have said or done that would have put that ugly man into his proper place entered her mind.

She pushed her book onto a nearby window ledge. The girl slipped out of her robe and dropped it onto the floor. She kicked the ugly thing away from her, though it turned out to be more pushing it with more with her toe.

She brought her gaze to the window and looked longingly at the shimmering black lake. Devanshi didn’t care about how dangerous it, more than likely was, she missed swimming.

Letting out a sigh, the student turned away from the window, she wasn’t ready to begin finding her way back to known corridors yet. She slid down the wall and rested her butt on the floor, a glare settling upon the discarded robe. Her hand reached out and brought the black heap next to her side.

The young witch searched through the robe with ever increasing frustration. She was looking for something and could not seem to find it. Finally with a great sigh of relief Devanshi pulled out a bottle. It looked as though it was some sort of prescription bottle, but there was no white label, just an orange bottle with a white cap. To open the container she pushed on the lid and twisted, childproof.

The blonde girl was careful to place the cap on top of her robe. She tipped the bottle and a handful of teal oval pills fell into her open palm. After putting all but one back into the bottle, she looked at it was much contempt. I hate taking these things dry, she thought. Despite this fact the girl popped the pill into her mouth and threw her head back with a hard swallow. She looked as though she was going to be sick. She put the cap back onto the bottle and pushed it back into the robe.

Devanshi then pulled out two vials both containing a mauve watery substance. It didn’t matter what Snape thought, she knew she made her potion perfectly. The confidence that the girl had in her potion making abilities would take more than a couple minutes of evil words hissed in her ear to break.

The knowledge the witch possessed of potions allowed her to know exactly how she’d have to mess up in order to make the concoction deadly. These would surely not kill anything. She pondered her two vials flipping them over in her hands.

Giving into her time constraint, the student placed the potion onto the floor and stood up, her robe coming with her. Honestly, the damned thing wasn’t that offensive, the fact that it inhibited movement was the only qualm she had with it. Devanshi placed her robe on and bent down picking up the containers.

She placed one back into her robe pocket but kept the other out to ponder over some more. Her face must have looked down right frightful, for out of no where there was a small, surprised voice.

“Hey.”

“Jesus Christ!” Devanshi jumped expecting to see Peeves, the poltergeist Ron had taken time to warn her about. Instead she saw an emaciated boy; his eyed rimmed in black and looked sunken in, his Gryffindor robes barely clinging to his body. “What are you doing here, Neville?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” the shy boy made a tired attempt to defend himself.

“I got lost,” Devanshi was now smiling, the only face she cared to show people, “Now what’s your excuse?”

“I was talking with Professor Sprout, her office is down the hall,” Neville pointed his thumb to the direction he had come from. “You’re eyes are puffy, want to talk about it?”

Neville was not familiar with Devanshi but he did know that Hermione liked her and he could trust Hermione to have good taste in people. To his surprise Hermione’s friend gave out a huge sigh and held up her bottle of potion, which looked as it should have.

“Potions, that damned bastard.” The American always enjoyed a chance to rant. Her wizard comrade was shocked by her language. He reached his hand into his own robe and brought forth his flask of pink goop.

“I don’t think you have much to worry about,” He looked a bit sick before slipping the bottle back into his robe. Devanshi smiled, she stopped herself from explaining to him what he had done wrong, though it was rather simple. “Is that really why you were crying?”

Devanshi’s stomach lurched at the word ‘crying’. She brought her free hand to her face and wiped at the tried tears.

“Is it really so obvious?” She joked.

“Kinda” Neville now felt awkward, all ready this year he was the shoulder to cry on. He had made it this way, if he knew about other people’s problems he had a chance to ignore his own.

“Oh well, Snape felt the need to drive the stake as deep as he could after class.” To the girls surprise, Neville looked sick and yet thoroughly pissed off, he looked down at his shoes.

“I appreciate that.”

“Appreciate what?”

“You, pulling Snape away from me.” It hurt that he needed someone to save him from the professor. She didn’t even know that Snape was his worst fear, or had been until this past summer. Hermione’s friend hadn’t known any of that but still she purposefully banged her knife when Snape harassed him. “I think I might be able to get potions if he wasn’t always trying to mess me up.”

He brought his eyes back up to meet the girls. Neville was surprised to see she was beaming, though her eyes looked as though she was about to cry again. She didn’t say anything and this only made it worse for the wizard.

“You took the brunt of it for me,” He stammered trying to get something more than teary eyes, “and I appreciate that.”

The boy had accomplished in getting a different reaction, Devanshi threw her arms around the wizard’s waist and buried her face into his shoulder. Her shoulders shook with small sobs.

“Thank you,” She cried into his shoulder.

Once again another boy stood stunned by her embrace. Neville placed his hands on her back and patted it. It was what his grandmother had done when he was younger and cried. The hard faced woman never bothered to stop Neville’s tears, which came mainly after visiting his parents.

“Well!” Devanshi was now cheerful again. “Why don’t you show me how to get back to the Great Hall?” She pulled away from Neville as quickly as she had started her hug.

“Er, K.” Neville waited while Devanshi turned to get her book from the ledge. She had the vial clasped tightly in her hand. She turned and gestured for Neville to show the way. She waited for him to get a small lead before she slipped the vial into her pocket, some how it was now a pink goop instead of the mauve apple juice it had been moments earlier. Devanshi stepped quickly to catch up with Neville. The master of small talk started working her charm as the boy knowingly steered them to the Great Hall.

~~~

The trio stood dumbfounded. Harry and Ron had no trouble catching up to Hermione, but the problem had been where Devanshi had gone. She had bounded up the stairs and off to unknown places at the speed of light.

Being good friends they had gone looking for her. They had even taken a walk all the way to Hagrid’s hut and back without a trace of the exchange student. Even Hermione’s insight to how females normally behave had failed them - Devanshi had not been in a single one of the bathrooms. Standing outside the Great Hall they heaved a collective sigh. The first day of classes was only halfway over and all ready it was too much.

Their empty stomachs forced them to enter the Great Hall and participate in lunch. All of them filled their plates with chicken wings and chips.

“Well it’s not like we didn’t look for her,” Ron tried to calm Hermione, who was now more afraid of Devanshi finding them. “If she wanted to be found, we would’ve found her. She was the one to run away from us.”

Though Hermione seemed comforted by this, her fear was still realized. Devanshi came into the Great Hall, with Neville by her side. The trio could not decide if they should feel bad that Neville had succeeded where they had failed, and found their friend despite the fact he hadn’t even been trying.

Hermione jumped up when she saw them and rushed over to Devanshi. There were no longer stains of tears left on the young witch’s cheeks, all signs that she had let herself cry were now gone. Hermione looked as though she wanted to talk to her friend in private, but allowed her comrade to sit at the table and start to eat lunch.

“All right there, Dev?” Ron asked as she took a seat opposite the two boys.

“Yup.” Devanshi went for fruit and salad as her choice of lunch. Devanshi was a bit selective of what she would eat in and on her salad and made her self preoccupied with this. The three looked at her with much interest, they soon realized they would not get an answer unless it was asked for.

“Well?” Harry would have loved for anything to hold against Snape. Though there were very few things that might get Snape thrown out of Hogwarts, it was plausible the information Devanshi had would get the professor into some form of trouble. It dawned on Harry that he didn’t even know what actions, if any, were taken against professors who slipped up.

“Well what?” The girl asked back as she started to peel an orange.

“What happened?”

“I got lost.” It was not that she didn’t know what Harry was looking for, but it was that she did not want to go into it.

“Of course you did, but what did Snape want?” Harry might as well have crawled across the table for he was leaning so far into it. Devanshi’s cheeks flushed, she managed to keep her smile, but her now sad eyes betrayed her.

“He wanted to commend me for my marvelous potion!” The witch joked, it wasn’t appreciated. “Anyway, what have we got this afternoon?”

“Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Hermione gave the answer, no matter how much she was burning to know what had happened, she admired Devanshi for still being focused on school.

“You can’t just blow it off,” The boy who didn’t give up ignored the poor attempt to change the subject. “What did he do? It might be something we could report to Dumbledore.”

“He didn’t do anything!” The frustrated girl allowed her voice to rise. “He bitched me out for being late to his class and causing a disturbance! He said ‘We expect more than that of Hogwarts students, if you can’t live up to our standards then maybe you should go back to Salem.’ And I got a bit upset because I’ve never been told I wasn’t fit to do something before.”

Devanshi was amazed at what a wonderfully believable lie she had blurted out. She was filled with a renewed happiness, no one was going to doubt that is what had happened.

Harry was a little disappointed at what he had learned had transpired in the potions classroom between the exchange student and the professor. If hurting someone’s pride was enough to get a professor in trouble at Hogwarts than Severus Snape would have been kicked out a decade ago.

A bell sounded the end of lunch, groups of students groaned as they headed off to their classes. The group of Gryffindor fifth years watched the food disappear off the table, even Devanshi’s half eaten salad. There was nothing they could do but get up and go to their afternoon classes.

~~~

Gryffindors had transfiguration with the Hufflepuffs and Defense Against the Dark Arts with Ravenclaws. The class right after lunch break was Transfiguration. If anyone longed for the head of their house to treat them like Snape treated the Slytherins, it was the Gryffindors in Transfiguration. McGonagall showed no favorites ever – in fact in their first year she had taken 150 points from her own house.

Today’s lesson was turning field mice into face clothes. Lavender and Parvati were downright in fits about having to use what used to be a mouse to wash their faces. Devanshi had told them about some of the things she had done at her school for Transfiguration. She always had a tough time, finding the animals themselves for more useful then any of the objects she could turn them into.

In Transfigurations, Devanshi was short of being expert compared to the lot of them. Even Hermione’s face cloth was not as elegant as Devanshi’s. When the girl noticed the eyes staring at her, she gave a crooked smile.

“Them crazy Americans.” The witch blew off her talent. She took a corner of her cloth and started swishing it around the top of her desk. Seamus Finnegan glanced enviously over at his bored desk mate’s face cloth. When looking down at his own he thought the hem still looked a bit like a tail.

“Well she did tell us on the train that they focus a lot on Transfiguration,” Hermione was explaining to Lavender and Parvati. Harry and Ron smiled to themselves, they knew Hermione was trying to explain away why someone was better than her.

“Very good, Miss Moira,” Professor McGonagall was checking on the attempts of the students. Once the young witch’s cloth was looked over she set out to making a mouse again. She didn’t un-transfigure the animal but instead she formed her cloth into the shape of a small mouse. Seamus laughed when the girl started moving her cloth mouse around.

Because most of the class was spent taking notes, the bell did not ring long after they had made the actual transfigurations. Devanshi, ashamed and hurt by what Snape had said about her fashion, had yet to remove her robe since the corridor. Even still, McGonagall placed a hand lightly on the girls shoulder and asked for a quick word in private.

Now it stood that Devanshi was once again in a classroom alone with one of her professors. The outfit she had been so proud of had caused her so much trouble.

“Now, Miss Moira,” McGonagall had started to approach the subject softer than Snape had. “I wanted to talk to you about you outfit.”

“I know,” her arms were folded in front of her chest as a defense mechanism, as long as she knew what was coming she had no problem controlling her reaction to it. “Professor Snape was so kind to point it out this morning.”

The girl’s professor looked a bit shocked, perhaps even a little angry. The young witch had trouble reading exactly what the twisted face of the older woman meant. Knowing that McGonagall was deputy headmistress, Devanshi wished to herself that she had just gotten Snape into some form of trouble. If she were back in America she would have known for sure. The exchange student was one of the first to admit that the United States had become far too sensitive about many issues. A male teacher wouldn’t have dared to say anything about her outfit back in Salem that would have been grounds for sexual harassment. Alas this was Britain and Devanshi had no idea how their sexual harassment policies worked.

“Well,” McGonagall went on, “Let us see that you take care of the matter then. You may go.”

Devanshi gave her Professor credit for trying to be a disciplinary figure, but to the girls dismay her professor had made no sign that Snape would hear a word about sexual harassment.

“So what was that about?” Ron asked when Devanshi had exited the room. The girls shrugged and started Harry and Hermione.

“She heard about the trouble I had with Snape,” Devanshi found herself telling a half truth, “wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.” Two half truths make a whole truth! The girl pushed on “said something about making Gryffindor look bad.”

That held the other students over as the group walked along to their next class. One student was brooding about what to do with her obnoxious professor. The young witch was not sure how she would get her revenge, only that she would.


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