It was easier to blame the students than to explain to them why their antics were not in the slightest bit amusing. It wasn't even an option, after all. He continued down the aisle towards Ron Weasley, who was holding the burnt out carcass of a wizarding firecracker, no doubt from the Twins, which he had just set off. None of these idiotic children could understand why Snape was truly angry. How could they?
The students saw a grouchy old man, who they assumed had never known any happiness in his life or had a single friend, upset at the idea of the orderliness of his classroom being disturbed. There were traces of truth in that, but for all the wrong reasons than the students thought. Not that they thought much to begin with, but the little thought they did have definitely didn't include the deductions it would take to realize that Snape wasn't mean just to be mean, or mean because he didn't know better, or even mean because he hated the students. No, contrary to popular belief, none of these were the reasons he was now shaking Ron by the scruff of his second-hand robes and shouting in the poor boy's face.
Snape could reasonably understand this lack of deduction in most of his classes. They knew nothing of the Professor outside the few hours a week they were forced into his company for their Potions lessons. This particular class, though, really could know better if they wanted to. No one had ever cared to want to rationalize Snape however, because to rationalize something was to get to know it, and that was the last thing anyone wanted to do with Snape.
The reason this particular class should know better was because it was his Double-Potions with the Slytherins and Gryffindors. Basically every Slytherin student from fourth year up knew that Snape was a supporter of the Dark Lord, and a great number of them even knew he was in fact a Death Eater. Snape also knew that the Gryffindor half of the class was also largely aware of his affiliations, and moreover, the Trio knew of his affiliation with the Order by now as well. Of all the students in the school, those three should know the kind of pressure Snape was under, and yet it was that same Trio that continually aggravated him. Not only did they aggravate him on a professional student/teacher level, with their continued idiocy and pranks in school, but on a personal level because they of all the students had a chance to truly appreciate and rationalize Snape, and they seemed the most determined not to.
It wasn't that Snape wanted to be their friend, or have their pity, or any such nonsense. But was it really so much to ask for them not to bring firecrackers to disturb not only his class, but his fragile state of nerves? Of course not. That was too much to ask. They were far too self-righteous and irrational. And to top it all off, all the other teachers and Order members practically kissed their arses on a daily basis.
Snape was now physically throwing Ron out the door of the classroom into the hallway, deducting many house points and arranging some kind of tedious detention. Truthfully, the anger was so easy and comfortable by now that Snape let his mind wander most of the time, totally unaware of the vitriol he vomited all over his students. Oh well, whatever, back to the lesson at hand.
He walked leisurely back to his desk and sat down with a heavy sigh. Snape picked up his favourite marking quill and nudged some essays around on his desk. He glanced up and realized the entire class was staring at him, some with horror, some with anticipation, and the rest with a mixture. Interesting. What had he said?
Snape furrowed his brows and drudged the past few minutes up to the front of his memory...
The firecracker went off with a series of siren-like wails and loud poppity-pops, brilliant flashes of green and white light, and a copious amount of smoke quickly covering Ron and Harry at their work table. Snape, who had not gotten a wink of sleep the night before, was immediately sent over the edge. His very last nerve had not only been broken, but completely ripped asunder. Images from the Death Eater raid in the wee hours of the morning came crashing back to him. Flashes of green and white Unforgivable Curses and the copious amounts of smoke as the Muggle-supporters were burned alive assaulted his senses as the firecracker spun around the classroom. Snape cringed, his hand on his wand before he even realized it, his body practically propelling itself towards the devil-child.
"Mister Weasley, do you have any idea what you are doing? Do you have even an ounce of brain in that ridiculous red-coiffed head of yours?"
The child cowered, his lip quivering like an infant. Yes, Snape remembered the infant. A little witch maybe four years old, cowering in front of him as he held her mother in a Cruciatus. Macnair came by and lazily cast a brilliant green Avada Kedavra on the mother, and damn her to hell, the little child crawled over and hugged Snape's leg. He had just tortured the girl's mother within an inch of her life, and the snotty nosed brat came to him for protection, lovely. He kicked the child away, appalled. He grabbed Ron by the scruff of his robes and dragged him towards the door.
"You idiot child! Don't you realize where I've been all night? Don't you realize where I go every night? How many Unforgivable Curses I've cast? Do you think even for a second that I hesitate anymore? And you have the unmitigated gall to come into MY classroom, disrupt MY silence, and test MY patience?"
Now he was throwing Ron into the hallway, just like he'd kicked the child away. The sullen little blond-haired witch started crawling towards him AGAIN! This was not happening. He nudged the girl away with the toe of his filthy boot and sneered through the silver mask. She looked up at him with big blue eyes, Ron was looking up at him with big blue eyes, and then Macnair had turned back towards him and the girl with raised wand and there was another brilliant green light obscuring his vision.
"I watched her die! Her disgusting little snot covered hand was still on my fucking boot! Don't you understand? Do you ever stop and think, Weasley? I would deduct a hundred thousand house points if I thought it would ever get through your troll-sized pea-brain! I would give you ten years' worth of fucking detentions if it would do you any good! But it won't! It never will, will it? I am out there every single fucking night with them while you sit in your god damned little four-poster bed making moony eyes at the Boy-Who-Lived-By-Sheer-Dumb-Luck and then you come into MY classroom with one of your firecrackers? I think not! Get out of my sight! NOW!"
Snape's face paled as he realized what he'd said in front of the whole class. He'd never lost control like that before, never. This was not good. He cleared his throat and looked around lazily.
"Well then..." His voice was incredibly quiet after the loud firework and his heated monologue. "Class dismissed." He'd never seen the students move faster to get out of his sight.
He once again analyzed what he'd said and decided that, at least, it could have been worse. Snape hadn't said anything incriminating against himself that he could remember, well besides that he had cast Unforgivables. He hadn't killed the child after all, he'd said as much. And for the children of Death Eaters in the classroom, he hadn't admitted that he didn't like his role in the events. And lastly, for the stupid Trio, he hadn't said he enjoyed it either. Really all he had confessed was that he was tired, had had a hard night, and wasn't in the mood for Ron's idiocy. None of this should have been big news to anyone, really. Yes, it could have been much worse.
However, that he'd said anything at all of last night's events was appalling in itself, an "unforgivable" of a different kind. Too bad Dumbledore probably wouldn't let him Obliviate the whole classroom. Alas, what was done was done, and there was no sense worrying about it now. On the plus side, Snape thought to himself with a small creepy smile, he now had over an hour to himself. He quickly gathered the messy pile of essays on his desk and headed into his office for a little afternoon nap.