Severus Snape was having a really horrible day. It started with his 3rd year Hufflepuff/Slytherin class when one of his own Slytherins, Damion Markenson decided it would be a fun idea to toss salamander eyes into a Hufflepuff girl's Shrinking Solution, causing a pea green sludge to explode all over the poor girl. Not only did the girl lose every stitch of clothing on her body, but every inch of hair as well. She had to be transferred to Saint Mungo's for treatment and he had to watch one of his own be expelled from Hogwarts for the first time in history.
After that fiasco, he had discovered that someone had drank the last of the Earl Grey in the staff room and hadn't bothered to restock it.
He was in the blackest of moods after discovering that.
He made his way to the Great Hall for lunch, hoping the house elves had some tea for him or he would not be held responsible for his tongue if someone looked at him the wrong way.
As he came to the top of the stairs leading to the Great Hall, he was one of a dozen witnesses to see the bane of his existence, Harry Potter knock Draco Malfoy arse over kettle with a brutal punch to the blonde's nose. With Potter's anger to fuel his gesture, the Slytherin 6th year landed hard and went sliding across the hall, only to stop, unconscious and bloody at Snape's feet.
Snape's rage knew no bounds."POTTER!"
he roared, storming over to the boy, to just now notice the suffocating aura of the boy's very formidable magic surrounding him like a shield. Those green eyes he attributed to his one-time love, Lily, were practically glowing in anger.
"Yes, Professor Snape?" the boy stated in an eerily calm voice. If Snape hadn't known any better, he would have thought he was speaking to one of his Snakes.
"What is the meaning of this?" he hissed.
"He started it!" Ron, standing at Harry's side, instantly snapped out. Potter's other sidekick, Granger, was nodding frantically where she was pressed up against the wall.
"Quiet, Ron." Harry stated, instantly stilling his friend. He had yet to remove his gaze from the angry professor standing in front of them.
"Why do I not believe you, Potter?" Snape scowled.
"Believe what you will, sir." the boy stated, his voice steady, "The Dark Tosspot may be dead, but I will no longer stand for any of his former...'colleagues'...maligning my mother's name, memory and reputation."
Snape felt his heart stutter to a stop at those words. "What did you say?" he whispered.
"You are skilled in mind reading, sir. You would know a true memory from a false one. You have my permission to see what occurred."
Severus was surprised at this, even as both Granger and Weasley tried to urge their friend not to let Snape of all people into his head.
"All right, Potter. Let's see it." Faster than a striking snake, Snape had wand in hand and was launching his spell at Potter before anyone could think to stop him.
He was instantly plunged into Potter's mind, a barren landscape that had no beginning and no end. Much different than what the boy had managed when he tried to teach him years before."I've done some studying, sir."
Potter whispered, his voice echoing across the winds as small swirls of dirt."Where is this memory, Potter?""The tumbleweed at your feet, sir. Just step on it and you'll see it."
Surprised, Snape glanced down to see that there was indeed a tumbleweed at his feet. Feeling a bit silly, he raised his leg, his foot hovering over the dry wooded ball before he brought it down with a quick jerk. There was a flash of light and he found himself embedded in the memory.
Harry had ensconced himself in the library to finish his Transfiguration essay. Despite the fact that he was considered the Man-Who-Killed-Voldemort, and Ron kept telling him he could get anything he wanted just by flashing his name, it wasn't who Harry was. He valued hard work and getting things on his own merits and didn't want to be handed everything on a silver platter. As his test scores proved for his first half of his 8th year, it was a sound philosophy and even Hermione was a little disheartened that his grades were somewhat better than her own.
"Mr Potter, lunch will be starting soon." Madame Pince called out to him, as he was the only one there.
"Thank you, Madame Pince." Harry nodded, getting to his feet and packing up his belongings. As he headed out the door, Hermione, Ron and Neville met him coming from their dorms.
"Studying again, Harry?" Neville asked.
"Revising my Transfiguration essay." Harry stated.
"Do you need me to look it over?" Hermione piped up, eager to get a peek at his work. Harry shook his head, not feeling the least bit guilty at the disappointed look that stole over her features.
"No thanks, Hermione. Madame Pince checked it over for me while I was working on it. She said it was probably on par with my father's work."
"Oh." she muttered.
"I don't know why you bother. You're worse than Hermione." Ron complained.
"And I told you before, Ron. I want to make my parents proud of me, wherever they are. I refuse to slack off anymore just to smooth ruffled feathers." Harry stated, giving Hermione a pointed look.
"Barmy, you are." Ron scoffed, pushing past them.
"Ignore him, Harry. He's angry that McGonagall pulled him into her office this morning and told him he's in severe danger of failing out of Charms and Transfiguration." Neville snorted.
"Bet Mrs Weasley wasn't happy about that."
"Oh that's right, you were at Quidditch practice!" Neville exclaimed. "He got a howler at breakfast. Unhappy doesn't even begin to cover it."
"Ouch." Harry groaned.
The two of them chatted amicably as they made their way to the Great Hall. Neville had become the type of friend Harry began to appreciate the past 2 years; non-judgmental, supportive, and just there when Harry needed to see a friendly face. He was a much better friend than Ron and on more than one occasion, Harry wondered why he never saw that in their first year.
They had just reached the landing leading to the Hall when they were waylaid by Draco and his band of sycophants.
"Hey, Potter!" he called out, a nasty smirk gracing his features. Harry looked at Neville and rolled his eyes. Neville stifled a laugh.
"What is it, Draco?" Harry sighed, startling the blonde man slightly by the use of his given name. A nudge from Pansy got his thoughts back on track.
"What's this I hear about your mother being a whore?" Hermione gasped in shocked outrage on Harry's behalf and turned to look at her friend. Harry hadn't moved a muscle but his eyes had gone the color of dark emerald. Even Neville got a sudden dark look on his face, totally out of character to his kind nature.
"Want to run that by me again, Malfoy?" Harry stated, his tone calm, but his stance tense.
"Oh you didn't hear? It's all over the castle that your mother spread her legs for any Death Eater who wanted it. I hear Snape was top of the list. I mean, who knows. Maybe you're not even a Potter." Draco chuckled, his friends finding this absolutely hilarious.
"You shut your mouth, Malfoy! Lily Potter was more of a mother than your own!" Ron shouted, having come to see what was keeping his friends. Hermione was still staring at Harry, who hadn't moved a muscle, but for a tiny tic at the corner of his mouth.
"Clear off, Weasley!" Draco snorted. "Or would you like to hear about how your own sister does it for any man with a pair between their legs?"
"Why you f-!" Ron cried, ready to draw his wand. Harry's arm shot out and caught Ron's wrist in a vise-like grip. "Let go, Harry!"
"No, Ron. You're already in enough trouble with your mum as is." Harry stated. Hermione was seriously becoming worried. There had been no inflection in Harry's voice. She'd never seen her friend like this and it scared her.
"That's right, Weasley! Run and hide under mummy's skirts like the good little boy you are! This is grown man talk." Pansy giggled.
"So, Potter...or should we call you Snape? How does it feel knowing your own mum was the castle slut? I wonder if she did them all one at a time or went for a whole ?" Draco taunted, looking at his friends. He turned to taunt Harry more, and his eyes widened at the fist that swelled into his immediate vision. Unimaginable pain shot through his face as his nose was broken...and he blacked out completely when a second punch landed on his stomach, breaking a rib and knocking him out cold. [He would wake up in the hospital wing two days later, ribs and nose bandaged the muggle way and an Auror at his bedside, arresting him for assault, abuse and maligning the ancestry of not one but three Ancient and Noble Houses (Potter & Black - which Harry was head of both, and Weasley - of which Arthur was the current head of, and much older than the line of the Minor House of Malfoy).]
-End of Harry's Memory-
Severus removed himself from the memory, knowing it to be a true memory and not a fabricated lie. His rage knew no bounds and he whirled on the spot toward his Slytherins. He had noticed that although Blaise Zabini had been with the group, he took no part in the taunting, a credit to his upbringing.
"Mr Zabini...please take Mr Malfoy to the hospital and then inform the Headmistress that she is needed immediately."
"Yes, sir." Blaise nodded, pulling out his wand to conjure a stretcher. The dark-skinned boy looked at Harry and gave him a slight nod of acknowledgment. Harry simply nodded back.
"Ms Parkinson...tell me how many points are currently in the Slytherin Hourglass?"
"3742, sir." Pansy answered promptly, sneering at the group of Gryffindors.
"Excellent, because that is the amount of points I will be removing from..." it was so silent then, you could hear a pin drop, "...Slytherin for their BLATANT disrespect of an Ancient and Noble House!" he snarled, causing his house to jump in fright and Ron's mouth to drop open in shock. It was the first time in history anyone could remember Snape, of all people, removing so many points from his own house. "How DARE you malign the memory of Lily Potter, the woman who gave her own life for her child, that same child that kept you from servitude to the most evil, foulest man on the face of this planet!" Snape's voice had risen during his speech, drawing the attention of the students and staff who were still in the Great Hall. They crowded into the hall to watch the total annihilation of Slytherin house by its enraged Head. "If I had my way, I'd expel each and every one of you and snap your wands right in your face before kicking you out the door because not one of you are even worth the air you breathe to speak her name!"
"Severus!" Minerva exclaimed, coming into the hall. "What is going on?"
"Do something with them Minerva! I wash my hands of them! They've barely survived a war and I will no longer pander to their egos! What they have just done is UNFORGIVABLE!
Consider this my resignation as Head of Slytherin, effective immediately!" And in a swirl of robes, Severus turned and marched away, his head held high with pride.
"Professor Snape?" Harry called out. Severus paused and turned to look at him. "Thank you, sir." And Harry bowed to the man with total respect, Neville copying the move right beside him. A heartbeat later and the other Gryffindors, Ron included, were doing the same.
"Your mother meant the world to me, Harry." he stated, surprising everyone with the use of Harry's name. "And I will let no one malign her memory or her sacrifice." Severus nodded before he continued on his way.-Fin-