Severus Snape woke the next morning to a deeply unamusing report on what the Defense Club had covered the day before.*
Leave it to Potter to expose Snape's deception.
The worst thing was? Snape couldn't even bring himself to be properly furious with Potter. He, himself, was to blame - one didn't leave loose cannons alone without doing the mathematics. Potter was likely to dig, to try and figure out everything. Even when it wasn't useful, wasn't necessary, wasn't appropriate.
Within himself, some quiet, disused portion of him disagreed with the "not necessary" aspect. Snape well knew why Potter was so blasted inquisitive. Why he wouldn't let things drop, come heaven with all his rage and hell with all her fury. It was the same watchful part of himself that needed to understand everyone, student, teacher, mentor - everyone he interacted with.
Snape didn't want to admit that Potter had actually been helpful by unraveling something Severus Snape had said. Had taught.
Severus Snape had expected his Slytherins to catch the inconsistency, and perhaps to come to him for more guidance. He'd wanted to use it as a wedge, where possible. If his students could be convinced that he was looking out for them, they might trust him in a crisis. And listen to him in the midst of the schemes the Dark Lord's minions devised. Every single Death Eater was a schemer, so being embroiled in schemes was merely life. Still, there were schemes that had promise, and ones that would end with all the co-conspirators dead. A few schemes had ended with the co-conspirators taking each other's lives. Old magic was obscure, so those with ambition occasionally wound up crucified for their daring.
Snape girded himself in his standard teaching robes. Invisible to all but the keenest of eyes, his robes were a crafted illusion over stouter, more plebian robes. He wouldn't wear his good robes to student brewing hour. Besides, these had an element of practicality to them that he liked. Ordinary acids and bases tended to be repelled from their coating. It was, however, a tad unfortunate that they were bright orange in color (something about magical resonance that he hadn't cared to understand in more detail.), and had this very annoying tendency to make noise whenever you moved an arm. Hence the illusion.
[a/n: spoilers below.
* House elf taking notes. Has had one on shift for decades. Generally just sits there, used to be a very plum position.
This chapter is a blatant thank you for the recent reviews! More reviews get you more story.
Do you mind all the Snape chapters? Like them better than Harry's?
Back to Harry next chapter. Oh, yes, and a seemingly-for-no-reason cranky Snape.
(by the way, see the title here. Snape does realize that leaving Potter alone is like walking away from a boiling cauldron. When angered enough, Snape's willing to tell the world to piss off. That doesn't mean he is unaware of the expected consequences.)
The line about hell and heaven is a hat tip to William Congreve's The Mourning Bride.
Actual Quote: Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.
And the bonus to having bright orange robes charmed black, is that when some complete dunderhead (worse than Longbottom) actually dispells the glamour, Snape can rage at them about dyeing his robes Bright Orange.
To which, Albus Dumbledore will just shoot him a quelling look, and then sit in resigned silence while Snape removes All Points Ever Earned.
To the people reading this aloud at a hospital: Do you read the author's notes too? I do hope so!]