Severus Snape was at the High Table early, as usual. He rarely slept late, and with the early morning training regimen, that had become even more unlikely. He drank a cup of black coffee, and then another, in an early morning ritual that nicely disguised his perfect wakefulness. The school thought of him as a grump at the best of times (was that Dungeon Bat at the worst? Maybe Vampire? He'd quite lost track of the myriad nicknames)... Still, he appreciated time to plan responses to tricky situations, and having them dropped on him at daybreak was hardly conducive to that.
Severus Snape scowled into his bowl of oats (not quite porridge, Dutch Oatmeal was a fine rejoinder to Minerva's constant claim that Scotch was the best alcohol in existence). This would indeed be a Yule ball to remember. Last one had featured Cedric Diggory and Fleur Delacour, both fine figures that knew how to deal with fame, fortune, and the attentions of others.
This one would be markedly different. It would feature Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, neither of which seemed to have realized the essential practicality of finding someone, anyone, to romance - before the hordes tried to hunt them down. Snape was vaguely comforted by the knowledge that Granger was by Potter's side - there did need to be someone to notice if he'd been giving a Love Potion - or ten, at which point the effects would be entirely muddled, but still affecting him. Merlin save them all if Severus Snape had to save Harry Potter from a wayward lass.
Neither of the two boys were prepared for this, and so Severus Snape anticipated a unique treat.
After all, he'd never in seven years of Hogwarts been hunted by uncountable women. Of course, it was a standard adolescent fantasy, so some boys would be finding their world rocked at the seams.
And this is why Severus Snape spent the morning meal scowling into his breakfast cereal. Light forfend anyone see the dark Potions Master of Hogwarts laughing in genuine amusement.
[a/n: Preview of upcoming attractions. Also, be a dear and leave a review.
This is the third post of the day.]