"If you want to know what war is, I suggest you ask our Mediwitch. She will take you through the grades of battlefield triage." Snape said, "I will defer to her tutelage and experience, but - as I know from past experience, not all of you will talk with her -" Snape looked around the room, finding eyes and glaring until they turned earthwards. Harry didn't recognize the eyes, so he figured it was probably something Slytherin related. Did the Slytherins have some method for avoiding the Mediwitch? How Harry would have loved to know that first year... or second... or third...
"Normal triage, as is practiced at St. Mungos, is saving the person who is hurt worst. When someone is bleeding out, nearly everything stops so that they can fix them." Snape nods slowly, "This is the normal way healers work, the way Mediwitch Pomfrey will behave if there's a Quiddich injury, or something else of that severity. Or even, as there has been, a brief skirmish, such as what happened at the World Cup."
"In war, everything changes." Snape snarls, "The person least injured gets healed first - as they can be back fighting the quickest. Mediwitch Pomfrey has let hundreds, if not thousands of people die under her care." Snape shakes his head his hair getting into his face, before being swept out by an annoyed hand. "This is the true perversity of war - that it can distort even the gentlest - the healing arts themselves!"
The words rung into the silent room, as Snape's inky eyes cast a dark shadow over everyone in turn, his lanky body slowly spinning on his heel, as his eyes caught the gaze of every student in the room.
Snape collected himself, "Please don't ask Prof. Tonks the same question - she wasn't there." Snape's eyes pinned a random Hufflepuff, and he said strictly, "Now as to the actual coursework. It would appear that some of you need a refresher on shields, as your dodging ability last class was dire indeed. Pair up, and start casting. Stinging Hexes verses Protego, to start. You may vary both spells if you can reliably (that's three times) cast both."
And they got to work. Harry wound up paired with Ernie, who was a decent, if not inspired, combat mage. As such, he was still having trouble with the shield, particularly the timing. Harry didn't try to give instruction, just narrowed his eyes a bit and thought about it. He could always give instruction later in the DA. For now, it was Snape's classroom - and there's the man himself, Harry thought, as he tugged Ernie aside (away from Harry's quick-cast Stinging Hex), looking down at the boy and conveying details. As Snape stalked off, Harry started casting again, and Ernie's timing did seem to be improving... marginally, but the more he worked on it, the better he got.
[a/n: Lecture over? Well, it's gotta be, as I moved on. Second post today. Leave a review?]