Sorceror's Stone/Philosopher's Stone

« Ah, yes, » he said softly, « Harry Potter – our new celebrity. »

« You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making, » he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word – like Professor McGonagall, Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. « As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses… I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach. »

« Potter! » said Snape suddenly. « What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood? »

Snape’s lips curled into a sneer. « Tut, tut – fame clearly isn’t everything. »

« Let’s try again. Potter, where would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar? »

« Thought you wouldn’t open a book before coming, eh, Potter? »

« What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane? »

« Sit down, » he snapped at Hermione. « For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite. Well? Why aren’t you all copying that down? »

« And a point will be taken from Gryffindor House for your cheek, Potter. »

« Idiot boy! » snarled Snape, clearing the spilt potion away with one wave of his wand. « I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire? »

« Take him up to the hospital wing, » Snape spat at Seamus.

« You – Potter – why didn’t you tell him not to add the quills? Thought he’d make you look good if he got it wrong, did you? That’s another point you’ve lost for Gryffindor. »

« What’s that you’ve got there, Potter? »
It was Quidditch Through the Ages. Harry showed him.
« Library books are not to be taken outside the school, » said Snape. « Give it to me. Five points from Gryffindor. »

« Blasted thing, » Snape was saying. « How are you supposed to keep your eyes on all three heads at once? »




« Be that as it may, fighting is against Hogwarts rules, Hagrid, » Snape said silkily. « Five points from Gryffindor, Weasley, and be grateful it isn’t more. Move along, all of you. »

« The Restricted Section? Well, they can’t be far, we’ll catch them. »

« Oh, I thought we’d keep this private, » said Snape, his voice icy. « Students aren’t supposed to know about the Philosopher’s Stone, after all. »

« Have you found out how to get past that beast of Hagrid’s yet? »

« You don’t want me as your enemy, Quirrell, » said Snape, taking a step towards him.

« You know perfectly well what I mean. »
An owl hooted loudly and Harry nearly fell out of the tree. He steadied himself in time to hear Snape say, « – your little bit of hocus pocus. I’m waiting. »

« Very well, » Snape cut in. « We’ll have another little chat soon, when you’ve had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie. »

Snape was standing there.
« Good afternoon, » he said smoothly.
They stared at him.
« You shouldn’t be inside on a day like this, » he said, with an odd, twisted smile.

« You want to be more careful, » said Snape. « Hanging around like this, people will think you’re up to something. And Gryffindor really can’t afford to lose any more points, can they? »

« Be warned, Potter – any more night-time wanderings, and I will personally make sure you are expelled. Good day to you. »

Snape’s Riddle:

Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,
Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the drinker back instead,
Two among our number hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.
Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore,
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:
First, however slyly the poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine’s left side;
Second, different are those who stand at either end,
But if you would move onwards, neither is your friend;
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,
Neither dwarf nor giant, holds death in their insides;
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first site.

Chamber of Secrets

« Or maybe, » said a very cold voice right behind them, « he’s waiting to hear why you two didn’t arrive on the school train. »

« Follow me, » said Snape.

« In! » he said, opening a door halfway down the cold passage and pointing.

« So, » he said softly, « the train isn’t good enough for the famous Harry Potter and his faithful sidekick Weasley. Wanted to arrive with a bang, did we, boys?’ »

« Silence! » said Snape coldly. « What have you done with the car? »

« You were seen, » he hissed.

« ‘Two Muggles in London, convinced they saw an old flying car over the Post Office tower.. at noon in Norfolk, Mrs. Hetty Bayliss, while hanging out her washing… Mr. Angus Fleet, of Peebles, reported to police' » …six or seven Muggles in all. I believe your father works in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office? » he said, looking up at Ron and smiling more nastily. « Dear, dear… his own son. »

« I noticed, in my search of the park, that considerable damage seems to have been done to a very valuable Whomping Willow, » Snape went on.

« Silence! » snapped Snape again. « Most unfortunately, you are not in my house and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power. You will wait here. »

Snape looked as though Christmas had been cancelled. He cleared his throat and said, « Professor Dumbledore, these boys have flouted the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, caused serious damage to an old and valuable tree… surely acts of this nature… »

« I, Professor S. Snape, give the Slytherin team permission to practice today on the Quidditch pitch, owing to the need to train their new Seeker. »

« If I might speak, Headmaster, » said Snape from the shadows. « Potter and his friends may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, » he said, a slight sneer curling his mouth as though he doubted it, « but we do have a set of suspicious circumstances here. Why were they in the upstairs corridor at all? Why weren’t they at the Hallowe’en feast? »

« But why not joint the feast afterwards? » said Snape, his black eyes glittering in the candlelight. « Why go up to that corridor? »

« Without any supper? » said Snape, a triumphant smile flickering across his gaunt face. « I didn’t think ghosts provided food fit for living people at their parties. »

« I suggest, Headmaster, that Potter is not being entirely truthful, » he said. « It might be a good idea if he were deprived of certain privileges until he is ready to tell us the whole story. I personally feel he should be taken off the Gryffindor Quidditch team until he is ready to be honest. »

« Excuse me, » said Snape icily, « but I believe I am the Potions master at this school. »

« Silence! SILENCE! » Snape roared. « Anyone who has been splashed, come here for a Deflating Draught. When I find out who did this… »

« If I ever find out who threw this, » Snape whispered, « I shall make sure that person is expelled. »

Both of them swung their wands up over their shoulders. Snape cried: « Expelliarmus! »

« Time to split up the dream team, I think, » he sneered. « Weasley, you can partner Finnigan. Potter- »
Harry moved automatically towards Hermione.
« I don’t think so, » said Snape, smiling coldly. « Mr. Malfoy, come over here. Let’s see what you make of the famous Potter. And you, Miss Granger – you can partner Miss Bulstrode. »

« Finite Incantatum! » he shouted.

« A bad idea, Professor Lockhart, » said Snape, gliding over like a large and malevolent bat. « Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest spells. We’ll be sending what’s left of Finch-Fletchley up to the hospital wing in a matchbox. »
« How about Malfoy and Potter? » said Snape with a twisted smile.

Snape moved closer to Malfoy, bent down and whispered something in his ear. Malfoy smirked, too.

« Don’t move, Potter, » said Snape lazily, clearly enjoying the sight of Harry standing motionless, eye to eye with the angry snake. « I’ll get rid of it… »

« Now, now, Malfoy, » said Snape, though he couldn’t suppress a thin-lipped smile. « Professor Dumbledore has only been suspended by the governors. I dare say he’ll be back with us soon enough. »

« Hurry up, I’ve got to take you all to Herbology, » barked Snape over the class’s heads.

Snape gripped the back of chair very hard and said, « How can you be sure? »

« Just the man, » he said. « The very man. A girl has been snatched by the monster, Lockhart. Taken into the Chamber of Secrets itself. Your moment has come at last. »

« I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn’t had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested, » said Snape. « Didn’t you say that the whole affair had been bungled, and that you should have been given a free reign from the first? »

Prisoner of Azkaban

« Settle down, settle down, » said Professor Snape idly.

« Weasley, cut up Malfoy’s roots for him, » said Snape, without looking up.

« Change roots with Malfoy, Weasley. »

« Now, » said Snape, in his most dangerous voice.

« Potter, you can skin Malfoy’s Shrivelfig, » said Snape, giving Harry the look of loathing he always reserved for him.

« Orange, Longbottom, » said Snape. « Orange. Tell me, boy, does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours? Didn’t you hear me say, quite clearly, that only one rat spleen was needed? Didn’t I state plainly that a dash of leech juice would suffice? What do I have to do to make you understand, Longbottom? »

« I don’t remember asking you to show off, Miss Granger, » said Snape coldly, and Hermione went as pink as Neville. « Longbottom, at the end of this lesson we will feed a few drops of this potion to your toad and see what happens. Perhaps that will encourage you to do it properly. »

« You should have finished adding your ingredients by now. This potion needs to stew before it can be drunk; clear away while it simmers and then we’ll test Longbottom’s… »

« Everyone gather round, » said Snape, his black eyes glittering, « and watch what happens to Longbottom’s toad. If he has managed to produce a Shrinking Solution, it will shrink to a tadpole. If, as I don’t doubt, he has done it wrong, his toad is likely to be poisoned. »

« Five points from Gryffindor, » said Snape, which wiped the smiles from every face. « I told you not to help him, Miss Granger. Class dismissed. »

As Professor Lupin came in and made to close the door behind him, Snape said, « Leave it open, Lupin. I’d rather not witness this. » He got to his feet and strode past the class, his black robes billowing behind him. At the doorway he turned on his heel and said, « Possibly no one has warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instructions in his ear. »

« Fascinating, » said Snape, without looking at it. « You should drink that directly, Lupin. »

« I made an entire cauldronful, » Snape continued. « If you need more. »

« Not at all, » said Snape.

« Headmaster? » It was Snape… « The whole third corridor has been searched. He’s not there. And Filch has done the dungeons; nothing there, either. »

« All searched… »

« Have you any theory as to how he got in, Professor? » asked Snape.

« You remember the conversation we had, Headmaster, just before – ah – the start of term? » said Snape.

« It seems – almost impossible – that Black could have entered the school without inside help. I did express my concerns when you appointed- »

« This lesson began ten minutes ago, Potter, so I think we’ll make it ten points from Gryffindor. Sit down. »

« He says he’s feeling too ill to teach today, » said Snape with a twisted smile. « I believe I told you to sit down? »

« Nothing life-threatening, » he said, looking as though he wished it was. « Five more points form Gryffindor, and if I have to ask you to sit down again, it will be fifty. »

« As I was saying before Potter interrupted, Professor Lupin has not left any record of the topics you have covered so far- »

« Be quiet, » said Snape coldly. « I did not ask for information. I was merely commenting on Professor Lupin’s lack of organisation. »

« You are easily satisfied. Lupin is hardly over-taxing you – I would expect first-years to be able to deal with Red Caps ad Grindylows. Today we shall discuss – werewolves, » said Snape.

« Miss Granger, » said Snape, in a voice of deadly calm. « I was under the impression that I was taking this lesson, not you. And I am telling you all to turn to page three hundred and ninety-four. » He glanced around again. « All of you! Now! »

« Which of you can tell me how we distinguish between the werewolf and the true wolf? » said Snape.

« Anyone? » said Snape, ignoring Hermione. His twisted smile was back. « Are you telling me that Professor Lupin hasn’t even taught you the basic distinction between – »

« Silence! » snarled Snape. « Well, well, well, I never thought I’d meet a third-year class who wouldn’t even recognise a werewolf when they saw one. I shall make a point of informing Professor Dumbledore how very behind you all are… »

« That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger, » said Snape coolly. « Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all. »

« Detention, Weasley, » said Snape silkily, his face very close to Ron’s. « And if I ever hear you criticise the way I teach a class again, you will be very sorry indeed. »

« Very poorly explained… that is incorrect, the Kappa is more commonly found in Mongolia… Professor Lupin gave this eight out of ten? I would have given it three… »

« You will each write an essay, to be handed in to me, on the ways you recognise and kill werewolves. I want two rolls of parchment on the subject, and I want them by Monday morning. It is time somebody took this class in hand. Weasley, stay behind, we need to arrange your detention. »

« Yes, Headmaster, » said Snape.

« And what are you two doing here? » said Snape, coming to a halt and looking from one to the other. « An odd place to meet- »

« Indeed? » said Snape. « You have a habit of turning up in unexpected places, Potter, and you are rarely there for no reason… I suggest the pair of you return to Gryffindor Tower, where you belong. »

« So, » he said.

« Come with me, Potter, » said Snape.

« Sit, » said Snape.

« Mr. Malfoy has just been to see me with a strange story, Potter, » said Snape.

« He tells me that he was up at the Shrieking Shack when he ran into Weasley – apparently alone. »

« Mr. Malfoy states that he was standing talking to Weasley, when a large amount of mud hit him on the back of the head. How do you think that could have happened? »

« Mr. Malfoy then saw an extraordinary apparition. Can you imagine what it might have been, Potter? »

« It was your head, Potter. Floating in mid-air. »

« What would your head have been doing in Hogsmeade, Potter? » said Snape softly. « Your head is not allowed in Hogsmeade. No part of your body has permission to be in Hogsmeade. »

« Malfoy is not having hallucinations, » snarled Snape. « If your head was in Hogsmeade, so was the rest of you. »

« Can anyone confirm that? »

« So, » he said, straightening up again. « Everyone from the Minister for Magic downwards has been trying to keep famous Harry Potter safe from Sirius Black. But famous Harry Potter is a law unto himself! Let the ordinary people worry about his safety! Famous Harry Potter goes where he wants to, with no thought for the consequences.’ »

« How extraordinarily like your father you are, Potter, » Snape said suddenly, his eyes glinting. « He, too, was exceedingly arrogant. A small amount of talent on the Quidditch pitch made him think he was a cut above the rest of us, too. Strutting around the place with is friends and admirers… the resemblance between you is uncanny.’ »

« Your father didn’t set much store by the rules, either, » Snape went on, pressing his advantage, his thin face full of malice. « Rules were for lesser mortals, not Quidditch Cup-winners. His head was so swollen- »

« What did you say to me, Potter? »

« And did the Headmaster tell you the circumstances in which your father saved my life? » he whispered. « Or did he consider the details too unpleasant for precious Potter’s delicate ears? »

« I would hate you to run away with a false idea of your father, Potter, » he said, a terrible grin twisted his face. « Have you been imaging some act of glorious heroism? Then let me correct you – your saintly father and his friends played a highly amusing joke on me that would have resulted in my death if your father hadn’t got cold feet at the last moment. There was nothing brave about what he did. He was saving his own skin as much as mine. Had their joke succeeded, he would have been expelled from Hogwarts. »

« Turn your pockets out, Potter! » he spat suddenly.

« Turn out your pockets, or we go straight to the Headmaster! Pull them out, Potter! »

« Indeed? And you’ve been carrying them round ever since? How very touching… And what is this? »

« Surely you don’t need such a very old piece of parchment? » he said. « Why don’t I just – throw this away? »
His hand moved towards the fire.

« So! » said Snape, his long nostrils quivering. « Is this another treasured gift from Mr. Weasley? Or is it – something else? A letter perhaps, written in invisible ink? Or – instructions to get into Hogsmeade without passing the Dementors? »

« Let me see, let me see… » he muttered, taking out his wand and smoothing the map out on his desk. « Reveal your secret! » he said, touching the wand to the parchment.

« Show yourself! » Snape said, tapping the map sharply.

« Professor Severus Snape, master of this school, commands you to yield the information you conceal! » Snape said, hitting the map with his wand.

« So… » said Snape softly. « We’ll see about this… »

« Lupin! » Snape called into the fire. « I want a word! »

« I certainly did, » said Snape. « I have just asked Potter to empty his pockets. He was carrying this. »

« Well? » said Snape.

« Well? » said Snape again. « This parchment is plainly full of Dark Magic. This is supposed to be your area of expertise, Lupin. Where do you imagine Potter got such a thing? »

« Indeed? » said Snape. His jaw had gone rigid with anger. « You think a joke-shop could supply him with such a thing? You don’t think it more likely that he got it directly from the manufacturers? »

« That’s right, » sneered a cold voice from the wall behind Lupin.

« I found this at the base of the Whomping Willow, said Snape, throwing the Cloak aside, careful to keep his wand pointing directly at Lupin’s chest. « Very useful, Potter, I thank you… »

« You’re wondering, perhaps, how I knew you were here? He said, his eyes glittering. « I’ve just been to your office, Lupin. You forgot to take your Potion tonight, so I took a gobletful along. And very lucky I did… Lucky for me, I mean. Lying on your desk was a certain map. One glance at it told me all I needed to know. I saw you running along this passage way and out of sight. »

« I’ve told the Headmaster again and again that you’ve been helping your old friend Black into the castle, Lupin, and here’s the proof. Not even I dreamed you would have the nerve to use this old place as your hideout- »

« Two more for Azkaban tonight, » said Snape, his eyes now gleaming fanatically. « I shall be interested to see how Dumbledore takes this… he was quite convinced you were harmless, you know, Lupin… a tame werewolf… »

« Give me a reason, » he whispered. « Give me a reason to do it, and I swear I will. »

« Miss Granger, you are already facing suspension from this school, » spat Snape. « You, Potter and Weasley are out of bounds, in the company of a convicted murderer and a werewolf. For once in your life, hold your tongue. »

« KEEP QUIET, YOU STUPID GIRL! » Snape shouted, looking suddenly quite deranged. « DON’T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! » A few sparks shot out of the end of his wand.

« Vengeance is very sweet, » Snape breathed at Black. « How I hoped I would be the one to catch you… »

« Up to the castle? » said Snape silkily. « I don’t think we need to go that far. All I have to do is call the Dementors once we get out of the Willow. They’ll be pleased to see you, Black… pleased enough to give you a little kiss, I daresay… »

« Come on, all of you, » he said.

« Get out of the way, Potter, you’re in enough trouble already, » snarled Snape. « If I hadn’t been here to save your skin- »

« Don’t ask me to fathom the way a werewolf’s mind works, » hissed Snape. « Get out of the way, Potter. »

« SILENCE! I WILL NOT BE SPOKEN TO LIKE THAT! » Snape shrieked, looking madder than ever. « Like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck, you should be thanking me on bended knee! You would have been well served if he’d killed you! You’d have died like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black – now get out of the way or I will make you. GET OUT OF THE WAY, POTTER! »

« Thank you, Minister. »

« Thank you very much indeed, Minister. »

« As a matter of fact, it was Potter, Weasley and Granger, Minister… »

« Black had bewitched them, I saw it immediately. A Confundus Charm, to judge by their behaviour. They seemed to think there was a possibility he was innocent. They weren’t responsible for their actions. On the other hand, their interference might have permitted Black to escape… they obviously thought they were going to catch Black single-handed. They’ve got away with a great deal before now… I’m afraid it’s given them a rather high opinion of themselves… and of course Potter has always been allowed an extraordinary amount of licence by the Headmaster- »

« And yet – is it good for him to be given so much special treatment? Personally I try to treat him like any other student. And any other student would be suspended – at the very least – for leading his friends into such danger. Consider, Minister: against all school rules – after all the precautions put in place for his protection – out of bonds, at night, consorting with a werewolf and a murderer – and I have reason to believe he has been visiting Hogsmeade illegally, too- »

« No, Minister. By the time I had come round they were heading back to their positions at the entrances… »

« All unconscious by the time I reached them. I bound and gagged Black, naturally, conjured stretches and brought them all straight back to the castle. »

« You see, Minister? » said Snape. « Confunded, both of them… Black’s done a very good job on them… »

« I suppose he’s told you the same Fairy Tale he’s planted in Potter’s mind? » spat Snape. « Something about a rat, and Pettigrew being alive- »

« And does my evidence count for nothing? » snarled Snape. « Peter Pettigrew was not in the Shrieking Shack, nor did I see any sign of him in the grounds. »

« Miss Granger, HOLD YOUR TONGUE! »

« You surely don’t believe a word of Black’s story?’ Snape whispered, his eyes fixed on Dumbledore’s face.

« Sirius Black showed he was capable of murder at the age of sixteen, » he breathed. « You haven’t forgotten that he once tried to kill me? »

« …only hope Dumbledore isn’t going to make difficulties, » Snape was saying. « The Kiss will be performed immediately? »

And then, as they both took a fourth piece of chocolate from Madam Pomfrey, they heard a distant roar of fury echoing from somewhere above them…


« OUT WITH IT, POTTER! » he bellowed. « WHAT DID YOU DO? »


« YOU DON’T KNOW POTTER! » shrieked Snape. « HE DID IT! I KNOW HE DID IT-« 

Goblet of Fire

« It’s no one’s fault but Potter’s, Karkaroff, » said Snape softly. His black eyes were alight with malice. « Don’t go blaming Dumbledore for Potter’s determination to break rules. He has been crossing lines ever since he arrived here- »

Snape made a soft noise of impatient disbelief in the shadows.

« And what is all this noise about? » said a soft, deadly voice.

Snape pointed a long yellow finger at Malfoy and said, « Explain. »

« Hospital wing, Goyle, » Snape said calmly.

Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, « I see no difference. »

« Let’s see, » he said, in his silkiest voice. « Fifty points from Gryffindor and a detention each for Potter and Weasley. Now get inside, or it’ll be a week’s worth of detentions. »

« Antidotes! » said Snape, looking around at them all, his cold black eyes glittered unpleasantly. « You should all have prepared your recipes now. I want you to brew them carefully, and then we will be selecting someone on whom to test one… »

« Yes? » said Snape curtly.

« Potter has another hour of Potions to complete, » said Snape coldly. « He will come upstairs when this class is finished. »

« Very well, very well, » Snape snapped. « Potter, leave your things here, I want you back down here to test your antidote.’ »

« Very well! » said Snape. « Potter – take your bag and get out of my sight! »

« …don’t see what there is to fuss about, Igor. »

« Then flee, » said Snape’s voice curtly. « Flee, I will make your excuses. I, however, am remaining at Hogwarts. »

« Ten points from Hufflepuff, Fawcett! » Snape snarled, as a girl ran past him. « And ten points from Ravenclaw, too, Stebbins! » as a boy went rushing after her. « And what are you two doing? » he added, catching sight of Harry and Ron on the path ahead.

« Keep walking, then! » Snape snarled.

« Filch? What’s going on? »

« Peeves? » said Snape softly, staring at the egg in Filch’s hands. « But Peeves couldn’t get into my office… »

« Of course not, » snapped Snape, « I heard banging and wailing- »

« –I was coming to investigate- »

« -and when I passed by my office, I saw that the torches were lit and a cupboard door was ajar! Somebody has been searching it! »

« I know he couldn’t, Filch! » Snape snapped. « I seal my office with a spell none but a wizard could break! »
« I want you to come and help me search for the intruder, Filch. »

« Filch, I don’t give a damn about that wretched poltergeist, it’s my office that’s- »
Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.
Snape stopped talking very abruptly.

« Shut up! » Snape hissed to Filch.

« It is unimportant, » said Snape coldly.

« A student, I daresay, » said Snape. « It has happened before. Potion ingredients have gone missing from my private store cupboard… students attempting illicit mixtures, no doubt… »

« You know I’m hiding nothing, Moody, » he said in a soft and dangerous voice, « as you’ve searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself. »

« Dumbledore happens to trust me, » said Snape, through clenched teeth. « I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office! »

« You don’t have the authority to send me anywhere! » Snape hissed, letting go of his arm as though angry with himself. « I have as much right to prowl this school after dark as you do! »

« Potter, » he said quietly.

« Potter! » Snape snarled. « That egg is Potter’s egg. That piece of parchment belongs to Potter. I have seen it before, I recognise it! Potter is here! Potter, in his Invisibility Cloak! »

« Meaning what? » snarled Snape…

« I merely thought, » said Snape, in a voice of forced calm, « that if Potter is wandering around after hours again… it’s an unfortunate habit of his… he should be stopped. For – for his own safety. »

« I think I will go back to bed, » Snape said curtly.

« Fascinating though your social life undoubtedly is, Miss Granger, » said an icy voice right behind them, « I must ask you not to discuss it in my class. Ten points from Gryffindor. »

« Ah… reading magazines under the table as well? » Snape added, snatching up the copy of Witch Weekly. « A further ten points from Gryffindor… oh, but of course… » Snape’s black eyes glittered as they fell on Rita Skeeter’s article. « Potter has to keep up with his press cuttings… »

« ‘Harry Potter’s Secret Heartache’… dear, dear, Potter, what’s ailing you now? ‘A boy like no other, perhaps…' »

« ‘…Harry Potter’s well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart upon a worthier candidate.’ How very touching, » sneered Snape, rolling up the magazine to continued gales of laughter from the Slytherins. « Well, I think I had better separate the three of you, so you can keep your minds on your potions rather than your tangled love lives. Weasley, you stay here. Miss Granger, over there, beside Miss Parkinson. Potter – that table in front of my desk. Move. Now. »

« All this press attention seems to have inflated your already overlarge head, Potter, » said Snape quietly, once the rest of the class had settled down again.

« You might be labouring under the delusion that the entire wizarding world is impressed with you, » Snape went on, so quietly that no one else could hear him, « but I don’t care how many times your picture appears in the papers. To me, Potter, you are nothing but a nasty little boy who considers rules to be beneath him. »

« So I give you fair warning, Potter, » Snape continued, in a softer and more dangerous voice, « pint-sized celebrity or not – if I catch you breaking into my office one more time- »

« Don’t lie to me, » Snape hissed, his fathomless black eyes boring into Harry’s. « Boomslang skin. Gillyweed. Both come from my private stores, and I know who stole them. »

« You were out of bed on the night my office was broken into! » Snape hissed. « I know it, Potter! Now, Mad-Eye Moody might have joined your fan club, but I will not tolerate your behaviour! One more night-time stroll into my office, Potter, and you will pay! »

« Do you know what this is, Potter? » Snape said, his eyes glittering dangerously again. « It is Veritaserum – a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets for this entire class to hear, » Snape said viciously. « Now, the use of this Potion is controlled by strict Ministry guidelines. But unless you watch your step, you might just find that my hand slips » -he shook the crystal bottle slightly- « right over your evening pumpkin juice. And then we’ll find out whether you’ve been in my office or not. »

« Enter, » said Snape, in his usual voice.

« I’ll talk to you after my lesson, Karkaroff- » Snape muttered.

« After the lesson, » Snape snapped.

« What’s so urgent? » he heard Snape hiss at Karkaroff.

« Put it away! » snarled Snape, his black eyes sweeping the classroom.

« We can talk later, Karkaroff! » spat Snape. « Potter! What are you doing? »


« What are you doing here, Potter? »

« What is this rubbish? » said Snape, his black eyes glittering. « What are you talking about? »

« The Headmaster is busy, Potter, » said Snape, his thin mouth curling into an unpleasant smile.

« Didn’t you hear me, Potter? »

« It’s coming back… Karkaroff’s too… stronger and clearer than ever… »

« Crouch! » Snape said, stopping dead in the doorway. « Barty Crouch! »

« There, » said Snape harshly. « There. The Dark Mark. It is not as clear as it was, an hour or so ago, when it burnt black, but you can still see it. Every Death Eater had the sign burnt into him by the Dark Lord. It was a means of distinguishing each other, and his means of summoning us to him. When he touched the Mark of any Death Eater, we were to Disapparate, and Apparate, instantly, at his side. This Mark has been growing clearer all year. Karkaroff’s, too. Why do you think Karkaroff fled tonight? We both felt the Mark burn. We both knew he had returned. Karkaroff fears the Dark Lord’s vengeance. He betrayed too many of his fellow Death Eaters to be sure of a welcome back into the fold. »

« Him! » he snarled, staring at Sirius, whose face showed equal dislike. « What is he doing here? »

« I am, » said Snape.
He looked slightly paler than usual, and his cold, black eyes glittered strangely.

Order of the Phoenix

« Settle down, » said Snape coldy, shutting the door behind him.

« Before we begin today’s lesson, » said Snape, sweeping over to his desk and staring around at them all, « I think it appropriate to remind you that next June you wll be sitting an important examination, during which you will prove how much you have learned about the composition and use of magical potions. Moronic though some of this class undoubtedly are, I expect you to scrape an ‘acceptable’ in your O.W.L., or suffer my… displeasure. »

« After this year, of course, many of you will cease studying with me, » Snape went on. « I take only the best into my N.E.W.T. Potions class, which means that some of us will certainly be saying good-bye. »

« But we have another year to go before that happy moment of farewell, » said Snape softly, « so whether you are intending to attempt N.E.W.T. or not, I advise all of you to concentrate your efforts upon maintaining the high-pass level I have come to expect from my O.W.L. students. »

« Today we will be mixing a potion that often comes up at Ordinary Wizarding Level: the Draught of Peace, a potion to calm anxiety and soothe agitation. Be warned: If you are too heavy-handed with the ingredients you will put the drinker into a heavy and sometimes irreversible sleep, so you will need to pay close attention to what you are doing. »

« The ingredients and method » – Snape flicked his wand – « are on the blackboard » – (they appeared there) – « you will find everything you need » – he flicked his wand again – « in the store cupboard » – (the door of the said cupboard sprang open) – « you have an hour and a half… Start. »

« A light silver vapour should now be rising from your potion, » called Snape, with ten minutes left to go.

« Potter, what is this supposed to be? »

« Tell me, Potter, » said Snape softly, « can you read? »

« Read the third line of the instructions for me, Potter. »

« Did you do everything on the third line, Potter? »

« I beg your pardon? »

« I know you did, Potter, which means that this mess is utterly worthless. Evanesco. »

« Those of you who have managed to read the instructions, fill one flagon with a sample of your potion, label it clearly with your name, and bring it up to my desk for testing, » said Snape. « Homework: twelve inches of parchment on the properties of moonstone and its uses in potion-making, to be handed in on Thursday. »

« I have awarded you the grades you would have received if you presented this work in your O.W.L., » said Snape with a smirk, as he swept among them, passing back their homework. « This should give you a realistic idea of what to expect in your examination. »

« The general standard of this work was abysmal. Most of you would have failed had this been your examination. I expect to see a great deal more effort from this week’s essay on the various varieties of venom antidotes, or I shall have to start handing out detentions to those dunces who get D’s. »

« Fighting, Potter, Weasley, Longbottom? » Snape said in his cold, sneering voice. « Ten points from Gryffindor. Release Longbottom, Potter, or it will be detention. Inside, all of you. »

« You will notice, » said Snape in his low, sneering voice, « that we have a guest with us today. »

« We are continuing with out Strengthening Solution today, you will find your mixtures as you left them last lesson, if correctly made they should have matured well over the weekend – instructions » – he waved his wand again – « on the board. Carry on. »

« Fourteen years, » Snape replied. His expression was unfathomable.

« Yes, » said Snape quietly.

« Obviously. »

« Yes, » said Snape quietly, barely moving his lips.

« I suggest you ask him, » said Snape jerkily.

« I suppose this is relevant? » Snape asked, his black eyes narrowed.

« No marks again, then, Potter, » said Snape maliciously, emptying Harry’s cauldron with a wave of his wand. « You will write me an essay on the correct composition of this potion, indicating how and why you went wrong, to be handed in next lesson, do you understand? »

« Sit down, Potter. »

« I was supposed to see you alone, Potter, » said Snape, the familiar sneer curling his mouth, « but Black- »

« I am here on Dumbledore’s orders, » said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, « but by all means stay, Black, I know how you like to feel… involved. »

« Merely that I am sure you must feel – ah – frustrated by the fact that you can do nothing useful, » Snape laid a delicate stress on the word, « for the Order. »

« The Headmaster has sent me to tell you, Potter, that it is his wish for you to study Occlumency this term. »

« Occlumecny, Potter. The magical defence of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one. »

« Because the Headmaster thinks it a good idea, » said Snape smoothly. « You will receive private lessons once a week, but you will not tell anybody what you are doing, least of all Dolores Umbridge. You understand? »

Snape raised an eyebrow.
« I am, » he said.

« I suppose because it is the Headmaster’s privilege to delegate less enjoyable tasks, » said Snape silkily. « I assure you I did not beg for the job. » He got to his feet. « I will expect you at six o’clock on Monday evening, Potter. My office. If anybody asks, you are taking Remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my class could deny you need them. »

« I am in rather a hurry, Black… unlike you, I do not have unlimited leisure time… »

« How touching, » sneered Snape. « But surely you have noticed that Potter is very like his father? »

« Well then, you’ll know he’s so arrogant that criticism simply bounces off him, » Snape said sleekly.

« Oh, but why don’t you tell him so? » whispered Snape. « Or are you afraid he might not take the advice of a man who has been hiding in his mother’s house for six months very seriously? »

« Speaking of dogs, » said Snape softly, « did you know Lucius Malfoy recognised you last time you risked a little jaunt outside? Clever idea, Black, getting yourself seen on a safe station platform… gave you a cast-iron excuse not to leave your hidey-hole in future, didn’t it? »

« Why, yes, I suppose I am, » said Snape.

« Six o’clock Monday evening, Potter. »

« Shut the door behind you, Potter. »

« Well, Potter, you know why you are here »’ he said. « The Headmaster has asked me to teach you Occlumency. I can only hope that you prove more adept at it than Potions. »

« This may not be an ordinary class, Potter, » said Snape, his eyes narrowed malevolently, « but I am still your teacher and you will therefore call me ‘sir’ or ‘Professor’ at all times. »

« Now, Occlumency. As I told you back in your dear godfather’s kitchen, this branch of magic seals the mind against magical intrusion and influence. »

Snape looked back at him for a moment and then said contemptuously, « Surely even you could have worked that out by now, Potter? The Dark Lord is highly skilled at Legilimency… »

« It is the ability to extract feelings and memories from another person’s mind- »

« You have no subtlety, Potter, » said Snape, his dark eyes glittering. « You do not understand fine distinctions. It is one of the shortcomings that makes you such a lamentable potion-maker. »

« Only Muggles talk of ‘mind reading.’ The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter… or at least, most minds are… » he smirked. « It is true, however, that those who have mastered Legilimency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their feelings correctly. The Dark Lord, for instance, almost always knows when somebody is lying to him. Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie, and so utter falsehoods in his presence without detection. »

« The Dark Lord is at a considerable distance and the walls and grounds of Hogwarts are guarded by many ancient spells and charms to ensure the bodily and mental safety of those who dwell within them, » said Snape. « Time and space matter in magic, Potter. Eye contact is often essential to Legilimency. The usual rules do not seem to apply with you, Potter. The curse that failed to kill you seems to have forged some kind of connection between you and the Dark Lod. The evidence suggests that at times, when your mind is most relaxed and vulnerable – when you are asleep, for instance – you are sharing the Dark Lord’s thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord. »

« It appears that the Dark Lord has been unaware of the connection between you and himself until very recently. Up till now it seems that you have been experiencing his emotions and sharing his thoughts without him being any the wiser. However, the vision you had shortly before Christmas- »

« Do not interrupt me, Potter, » said Snape in a dangerous voice. « As I was saying… the vision you had shortly before Christmas, represented such a powerful incursion upon the Dark Lord’s thoughts- »

« I thought I just told you not to interrupt me, Potter? »

« Do not say the Dark Lord’s name! » spat Snape.

« Dumbledore is an extremely powerful wizard, » Snape muttered. « While he may feel secure enough to use the name… the rest of us… »

« You seem to have visited the snake’s mind because that was where the Dark Lord was at that particular moment, » snarled Snape. « He was possessing the snake at the time and so you dreamt you were inside it, too… »

« It seems so, » said Snape coolly.

« I told you, » said Snape, rigid in his chair, his eyes slits, « to call me ‘sir.' »

« It is enough that we know, » said Snape repressively. « The important point is that the Dark Lord is now aware that you are gaining access to his thoughts and feelings. He has also deduced that the process is likely to work in reverse; that is to say, he has realised that he might be able to access your thoughts and feelings in return- »

« He might, » said Snape, sounding cold and unconcerned. « Which brings us back to Occlumency. »

« Stand up and take out your wand, Potter. »

« You may use your wand to attempt to disarm me, or defend yourself in any other way you can think of, » said Snape.

« I am about to attempt to break into your mind, » said Snape softly. « We are going to see how well you resist. I have been told that you have already shown some aptitude at resisting the Imperius Curse… You will find that similar powers are needed for this… Brace yourself now… Legilimens! »

« Did you mean to produce a Stinging Hex? » asked Snape coolly.

« I thought not, » said Snape, watching him closely. « You let me get in too far. You lost control. »

« Flashes of it, » said Snape, his lip curling. « To whom did the dog belong? »

« Well, for a first attempt that was not as poor as it might have been, » said Snape, raising his wand once more. « You managed to stop me eventually, though you wasted time and energy shouting. You must remain focused. Repel me with your brain and you will not need to resort to your wand. »

« Manners, Potter, » said Snape dangerously. « Now, I want you to close your eyes. »

« Clear your mind, Potter, » said Snape’s cold voice. « Let go of all emotion… »

« You’re not doing it, Potter… You will need more discipline than this… Focus, now… »

« Let’s go again… on the count of three… one – two – three – Legilimens! »

« Get up! » said Snape sharply. « Get up! You are not trying, you are making no effort, you are allowing me access to memories you fear, handing me weapons! »

« Then you will find yourself easy prey for the Dark Lord! » said Snape savagely. « Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked easily – weak people, in other words – they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter! »

« Then prove it! Master yourself! » spat Snape. « Control your anger, discipline your mind! We shall try again! Get ready, now! Legilimens! »

« What happened then, Potter? » he asked, eyeing Harry intently.

« Realised what? » said Snape sharply.

« What did you say? » Snape asked quietly…

« And why, » said Snape slowly, « would you ask such a thing? »

« I have told you not to say the Dark Lord’s name! »

« There are many things in the Department of Mysteries, Potter, few of which you would understand and none of which concern you, do I make myself plain? »

« I want you back here same time on Wednesday and we will continue work then. »

« You are to rid your mind of all emotion every night before sleep – empty it, make it blank and calm, you understand? »

« And be warned, Potter… I shall know if you have not practiced… »

« Get up, Potter. »

« That last memory, » said Snape. « What was it? »

« No, » said Snape softly. « I mean the one concerning a man kneeling in the middle of a darkened room… »

« How do that man and that room come to be inside your head, Potter? » said Snape.

« A dream, » Snape repeated.

« You do know why we are here, don’t you, Potter? » said Snape in a low, dangerous voice. « You do know why I am giving up my evenings to this tedious job? »

« Remind me why we are here, Potter. »

« Correct, Potter. And dim though you may be… I would have thought that after two months’ worth of lessons you might have made some progress. How many other dreams about the Dark Lord have you had? »

« Perhaps, » said Snape, his dark, cold eyes narrowing slightly, « perhaps you actually enjoy having these visions and dreams, Potter. Maybe they make you feel special – important? »

« That is just as well, Potter, » said Snape coldly, « because you are neither special nor important, and it is not up to you to find out what the Dark Lord is saying to his Death Eaters. »

« Yes, Potter, » he said, his eyes glinting. « That is my job. Now, if you are ready, we will start again… »

« One – two – three – Legilimens! »


« Reparo! » hissed Snape, and the jar sealed itself once more. « Well, Potter… that was certainly an improvement… »

« I don’t remember telling you to use a Shield Charm… but there is no doubt that it was effective… »

« Let’s try again, shall we? » said Snape.

« On the count of three, then, » said Snape, raising his wand once more. « One – two- three – Legilimens! »


« Explain yourself! » said Snape, who was standing over him, looking furious.

« You are not working hard enough! »

« You are lazy, and sloppy, Potter, it is a small wonder that the Dark Lord- »

« What the- ? » he muttered.

« Did you see anything unusual on your way down here, Potter? »

« You’re late, Potter, » said Snape coldly…

« So »’ he said, « have you been practicing? »

« Well, we’ll soon find out, won’t we? » said Snape smoothly. « Wand out, Potter. »

« On the count of three then, » said Snape lazily. « One – two –  »

« It’s all right, Draco, » said Snape, lowering his wand. « Potter is here for a little Remedial Potions. »

« Well, Draco, what is it? » asked Snape.

« How did he get in there? » Snape demanded.

« Very well, very well – Potter, » said Snape, « we shall resume this lesson tomorrow evening instead. »

« You – wait, » he panted, staring up at James with an expression of purest loathing. « You – wait… »

Snape let out a stream of mixed swearwords and hexes…

« I don’t need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her! »

« Having fun? »

« So, » said Snape. « So… been enjoying yourself, Potter? »

« Amusing man, your father, wasn’t he? »

« You will not repeat what you saw to anybody! » Snape bellowed.

« Get out, get out, I don’t want to see you in this office ever again! »

« Whoops, » he said softly. « Another zero, then, Potter… »

« You wanted to see me, Headmistress? » said Snape, looking around at all the pairs of struggling students with an expression of complete indifference.

« You took my last bottle to interrogate Potter »’ he said, surveying her coolly. « Surely you did not use it all? I told you that three drops would be sufficient. »

« Certainly, » said Snape, his lip curling. « It takes a full moon cycle to mature, so I should have it ready for you in around a month. »

« Really? » said Snape, showing his first, faint sign of interest as he looked around at Harry. « Well, it doesn’t surprise me. Potter has never shown much inclination to follow school rules. »

« I have already told you, » said Snape smoothly, « that I have no firther stocks of Veritaserum. Unless you wish to poison Potter – and I assure you I would have the greatest sympathy with you if you did – I cannot help you. The only trouble is that most venoms act too fast to give the victim much time for truth-telling… »

« I have no idea, » said Snape coldly. « Potter, when I want nonsense shouted at me, I shall give you a Babbling Beverage. And Crabbe, loosen your hold a little, if Longbottom suffocates it will mean a lot of tedious paperwork, and I am afraid I shall have to mention it on your reference if ever you apply for a job. »

« Potter! »

« What are you doing, Potter? »

« Put that wand away at once, » he said curtly. « Ten points from Gryff- »
Snape looked toward the giant hourglasses on the walls and gave a sneering smile.
« Ah. I see there are no longer any points left in the Gryffindor hourglass to take away. In that case, Potter, we will simply have to- »

« Professor McGonagall! » said Snape, striding forward. « Out of St. Mungo’s, I see! »

« What? » snapped Snape. « Oh – well – I suppose… »