“When you’re in love, you know you’re in love, no matter what you try to do,
You might as well resign yourself to what you’re going through…”
Severus picked up the pace, cloak billowing behind him as his boots clicked across the cold stone floor. What the hell are those damn Hufflepuffs up to now, he thought. Having a party in my dungeon? He reached the doorway and stopped, then leaned on the door jamb with his arms folded and surveyed the scene in front of him, waiting for his class to notice his presence.
“I love your love action, love’s just a distraction,
No talking, just looking, watching your love action…”
Nymphadora Tonks was sat on a worktop with her arm resting lazily against a silver box, from where the music appeared to be coming from, talking animatedly with some of her peers. She had, as usual, changed her hair, and was wearing lace fingerless gloves and many necklaces and bangles over her school uniform. Severus gave a small cough, and the whole class looked up. Nymphadora stopped mid-sentence, her eyes widening as she halted the music and began scurrying behind her desk, hiding the silver box underneath.
“Sorry to interrupt the party, Miss Tonks,” he spoke smoothly, “but in case it had escaped your notice, my classes start from the moment I enter the dungeon. Five points from Hufflepuff for disrupting the class.” He stalked to the front of the room, flicking his wand to the blackboard where a piece of chalk started writing in his neat, spidery handwriting.
“Awww, sir,” she complained. Snape’s penetrating black eyes stared at her and he raised a sinister eyebrow.
“Want me to make it a round ten points, Miss Tonks?”
She shook her head, and Snape regarded her cynically. “I see you’ve fallen victim to whatever fancy dress craze has grabbed your attention this week. Did your hair blunt your scissors so badly you couldn’t finish the cut?” he sneered.
He was referring to her black, asymmetrical hairstyle, which was short on one side and long on the other. Some of the class tittered. Tonks just smiled at him. Being a Metamorphagus meant that insults regarding her appearance washed over her like water off a Thestral’s back.
“It’s the same style as Phil Oakey from The Human League, sir. Come to think of it, you have a similar kind of look going on.” The class sniggered openly at this. Snape scowled. He didn’t know who this Oakey person was and being put at the butt of a joke whilst unaware of what the joke actually was riled him no end.
“Fascinating though your unique sense of fashion is, you know full well that jewellery is not allowed in my class. Another five points from Hufflepuff.”
Tonks mouth fell open with the injustice as all around her, her fellow classmates groaned loudly. Snape tried hard not to let the smirk rise to his lips. Truth was, he was fond of Tonks and grudgingly admired her originality. She was also very good at Potions, but he would never show favouritism to any student who wasn’t a Slytherin, and she made it far too easy for him to deduct points. Luckily for her, from what the other professors had said about her performance, she gained as many points for her house in other subjects as she lost in his classes, so it all evened out in the end.
“Today you’ll be making the Sanicurus Potion. This is a basic potion which should be the staple of most first aid kits and can be used to cure mild headaches, fever, inflammation, influenza, menstrual pains and cramp.”
He noticed her face move to an expression of rigid defiance, and he knew once again she would concentrate hard to make the best potion she could in this lesson to spite him. One of the reasons why he enjoyed ribbing her so much was that she would come right back at him with brilliance. Some students cowered and fell to pieces under such direct needling but for Tonks, it only gave her fire in her belly to prove him wrong.
At the end of the lesson, Snape swept around the dungeon to collect samples to grade as usual. He stopped in front of Tonks’ cauldron last and she looked up at him. Her expression was half defiant, half seeking approval.
“Once again, your Potion work is thankfully infinitely better than the style of your hair,” he drawled, and stoppered a little of the draught in a small glass flask as Tonks smiled to herself. He wasn’t such a bad old stick really, she thought.
Author's note: I'm a huge Human League fan, and a huge Snape fan and wanted to combine the two! Then I worked out that Nymphadora would have been at Hogwarts in the early 80's and she seemed like the kind of funky girl who would appreciate good Muggle electropop :)
Lyrics c/o The Human League, from the song "Love Action".
The name of the potion "Sanicurus" comes from Latin prefixes: "Sani-" (health) and "Cur-" (take care of)