I Don't Remember

Differences and Dealmaking


I didn't see Granger again for a week. A part of me still held out hope that by my next class with her, she'd be better integrated. The rest of me merely prayed I could hold out for the year.

When the students piled in, I knew in a single glace things hadn't changed. The smile on Granger's face was sickeningly plastered on, something that no one else in the room seemed to notice as they chatted at her. As they took their seats, I walked around to the front of my desk. They became silent instantly. It cheered me up somewhat as I began to speak.

"Today we will be adding the powdered bicorn. Be advised that the term 'pinch' does not suggest you need to use the whole horn- anymore than a pinch and you will have to start again. I do not suggest you do, as this takes 1 month to make, and you will not be permitted to slack on your next potion due to mistakes from this one.

" As this is a small step, I expect everyone working on their potions to present to me one and a half feet on the use of Polyjuice Potion by the end of the lesson. Also, given that next week is the last before the day we add our final ingredient and then test them, I expect your next lesson to be taken writing three feet on who you will be Polymorphing into, what piece of them you will be using, and how you plan on using your 1 hour as that other person. Please note: I will not allow anyone to Polymorph into anyone without their permission, and fully intend to make sure no one does exactly that."

My eyes scanned the room. A few people gulped. I took this to mean my words had sunk in quickly. "You may begin."

As I moved to sit back down, my pupils scurried to their cauldrons, then to the table where the said power was, in a large bowl, surrounded by small glass plates. I'd designed it to be up to them to measure, and thus, their responsibility if they failed.

As I sat down, so did Granger. I hadn't even noticed her pull up a chair. She dropped her book bag on the floor next to my desk and looked at me expectantly. I took the hint and handed her the previous classes' homework to grade. "You want to do this?"

She looked at the others. "I don't know what else I would do."

I had no response for that. Instead I got to work. After a few minutes of silence, I ventured a question. "Still prefer this to talking to people your age?"

Her quill paused for a moment, before continuing it's track along the parchment. "You're not too far from my age anymore, Professor."

I looked up quickly, a scowl already in place on my face. Her oblivious look was too innocent to be genuine. "You're being curt, Granger."

"Apologies, Professor Snape." I went back to my papers.

Soon, it was quiet except for the sounds of feather quills on papers. Normally I enjoyed such dulcet tones, but today I was uncomfortable. I wanted to blame it on how my 'good friend' Minerva had made me feel at breakfast, but somehow, that wasn't it. I looked over at Granger, silently reading the works of whatever student was in front of her. I wasn't about to make casual conversation, but perhaps there was another way to open her up.

"Are you talking at all with Potter and Weasley?"

She resonded without even a glance. "They're doing well, and are going to try and come to Hogsmeade village this weekend."

I tried to sound casual. "Would you like some company?"

That made her look at me. I pretended not to notice. "It might help make the visit seem more like a school function and attract less attention to your meeting."

She looked thoughtful. I practically watched her make the decision. "Thank you. Yes, I would like the company."

The bell rang. Students got up and handed in their scrolls, which I sorted into a drawer in my desk. Each gave Hermione a smile, and then walked out of the room. No one stayed to wait for her, but she didn't seem to mind. Finally, she picked up her bag off the floor.

"I'm not sure why you're doing this for me, sir, but I thank you." She slung her satchel over her shoulder. "Where should I meet you?"

"Be in front of my office after breakfast at 10. Are you planning on being long?"

She nodded. "I'd like to spend the day, if I could." Inwardly I scowled. To her, I replied, "That will be fine. Until then, Granger."

She smiled and walked out of the room.

I was still pacing when the students for my next class arrived.

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