Snape's dark eyes sparkled with a malicious glee - though Harry suspected if he got Snape to talking, he'd find a different person underneath - someone a lot more battle-weary than anything. "It's been one thing for me to ask you to think of your friends dead in this war. That's simple reality. Some people standing in this classroom will die."
Snape crossed his arms, "But mark me, and mark me well. If I find a single one of you producing such barbarities as these - you won't ever sleep soundly again. Run past the sun, hide on the dark side of the moon. It won't save you."
"This was a choice," Snape said, gesturing towards both photographs, "and an exceptionally poor one on multiple levels. Anyone care to explain why?"
Malfoy and Ron both spoke up, somehow managing to be completely clear despite speaking over each other.
"It's Horrible! Disgusting! Twisted," Ron fair shouted, his face red - Harry thought it was shame, rather than actual anger.
Malfoy's voice was soft, precision cadence rolling off his tongue, "It's counterproductive. Death's one thing, but this? No one will ever surrender. This is past fear, into hatred."
Hermione's voice was soft as well, "You sound as if you're quoting Machiavelli."
Snape cut in, his voice quiet as a sharpened knife, "Draco Malfoy wouldn't quote a muggle author of any sort. Still, he does have most of the point. The rest is aptly described by the sense of outrage inherent in Weasley's words."
"War should be about following orders, not about exceeding them with excessive cruelty." Snape said, his gaze raking the class, "However, if you haven't the stomach to face up to the sheer brutality that man is capable of..." Snape gestured sharply, "There's the door. There's still time, dwindling though it may be."
No one moved. Harry thought that a few might have considered it if people weren't looking. Certainly, if he wasn't - if Hermione, if Ron, he might have considered just walking. He'd fought a basilisk - let them call him a coward - they'd called him everything else. Didn't make it true, did it?
"There were those that made an enemy of me at Hogwarts." Snape said, his lithe body dancing through the gaps in the crowd.
"They died before me, and not by my hand." Snape said, his teeth flashing suddenly in a broken, twisted grin. "More's the pity."
Harry felt time stop. Snape had just lied. Not just that, but he'd just lied in an incredibly obvious way. How did he expect to get away with it? Maybe, maybe he didn't? What in the hell was Snape doing?
Harry'd had enough of shouting at Snape. At least, with this, it wasn't urgent. He'd give himself a bit of time to sort out what questions he even wanted to ask...
[a/n: Harry missed Snape announcing "There will be no homework. Calming droughts are available at the Infirmary, please don't bother me with requests."
Leave a review? What do you think Snape's up to? Were you expecting him to comparatively give Weasley and Malfoy a pass? Did you really expect him to have them hug and make up in class?]