Nobody ever asked my birthday

Fulminating Friction

Potions Class was perhaps not the best time to have House Gryffindor - the Bold and Dumb upset at their teacher.

Which, Snape thought, they were soon to find out.

Snape wouldn't have minded competent assassins. But these were schoolchildren - and he'd only trust Granger or Malfoy to be able to pull off an assassination, and, even then, knew they'd both be more minded to choose a Stable Solution, rather than use an explosion.

Well, the sixth years were his last class of the day.

The seventh years were his first, and though they were often talentless dullards, they knew enough to know that. Snape whirled into the room, his robes rippling behind him. He was acutely aware of the Gryffindors' glares.

He spun about at the front of the classroom. In a soft, dangerous voice, he spoke, "You would be well advised to recall the dangers of the Potions Classroom, and to discard immediately any plans at revenge." I am such a hypocrite. Snape thought with well-suppressed glee. I'd have told myself simply to plan with malice aforethought.* Then again, none of these students are half as good as I was. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I suppose I should be glad I've saved them that much.**

Minerva, and particular Pomona, had always failed to understand why Snape was so strict with his students. Not that Minerva wasn't strict, she just wasn't to the extent that he was.

If they weren't quaking in their dragonhide boots, they were plotting something.

This class had certainly gotten duller without Forge and Gred, Snape thought. However, at least this lot didn't put on airs. Had the often-rowdy twins been in the room, Snape would have donned his dragonhide under his robes, and paced about with his wand out.

He could certainly take a prank or two, particularly if 'well-meant', but everyone had a harder time predicting Potion Explosions' scale.

"Put your final samples in the rack, and you are dismissed." Snape said. He watched carefully as student after student approached him.

He'd expected the hate from the Gryffindors. What had Potter told them?

But... there was lambent curiosity in the Ravenclaws' eyes, and the Hufflepuffs seemed torn, indecisive.

The Slytherins slunk in the back of the classroom, letting the rest of the class leave first.

Snape gave them a baleful glare, which sent half the girls hurrying to the front to deposit their potions.

Eduardo merely raised a dark, bushy eyebrow at Snape, as he bowed and profferred his sample.

Willamina and Dorothy strode to the front of the class, "Why are you torturing Potter?"

Dorothy continued, spitefully, "Don't think this will rebound on yourself alone, Housemaster."

Willamina asked, bold as brass, "What is your game?"

Snape knit his fingers together, for a time, before responding, "That is a very fine question. When you have the answer, deliver it to my office."

If you set a Slytherin a puzzle to unravel, you concentrated their energy and passion on the task. It made it that much easier to sneak other mysteries right under their nose.

*By which, Snape means that planning unexpected outcomes in Potions class is a LOT of work, and cannot be done before lunchtime.

**Snape's pranks in the Potions Classroom were... splashy.

[a/n: Leave a review? There's a few things I could say here...

Snape has opinions about the Weasley Twins. What do you think they are?]