"Beats pickling ... things. What's he need with all these jars of pickled ... whatevers? I can't believe they made Snape a teacher. Greasy git."
"I can't believe Greengrass grassed on us. I wish we could teach her a lesson."
"Lesson ... hmmm ... I'm getting an idea. Remember last year, Slughorn showed us those potions at the beginning of the year?"
"Snape's following the same syllabus. Can't have had time to change it, can he?"
"You want to steal some of the Polyjuice?"
"No. The Amortentia."
Eyes widening at the glorious possibilities for revenge, she took one of the small pickling jars and a lid. "Check if the coast is clear."
Persephone Greengrass ran down the dungeon corridor to burst into the Potion master's workroom. "Thank Merlin you're here!" she cried passionately, chest heaving from exertion.
Inside, Severus Snape stood slouched over a worktable with an open book on it, a cauldron, and a neat array of items prepared for use. A curtain of lank hair hung down, shielding his face, until he suddenly turned toward the door at the disturbance.
"Miss Greengrass. Are you having some difficulty with today's assignment?"
"Assignment? Oh, that. No. I mean, this is so much more important."
"And this would be?" Snape asked, looking very skeptical. He stood up straight, pushed his hair back, and glared expectantly.
"I suddenly couldn't wait another minute to tell you how I felt, Severus. You don't mind if I call you Severus, dear? After all, I've known you back since you were still in school here. I can't believe you are a teacher already. Oh!" Persephone suddenly looked horrified and put her hands over her mouth. "Of course I can believe it. You are so smart and were always so great at Potions, of course they'd make you a teacher. I'm so sorry I sounded like I didn't think so."
Severus could only stare at her in shock.
"Please tell me I have a chance; I know I can make you forget Lily. She could never have understood you like I can!" With that declaration, Persephone flung herself at Severus. She threw her arms around him, pressed her body fully against him, and kissed as deeply as she could.
Severus stood as if Stupified for several heartbeats, then took Persephone's wrists in his hands and pushed her to arm's length.
"Oh, Severus, you are so strong." Persephone paused, gazing at Severus in rapture. "You know, your nose is really amazing this close up?"
"I really think you'd better be getting back to your dorm, Miss Greengrass."
"No! You can't deny our love, Severus. It's bigger than both of us. Let me give you everything I have. I want you. Take me, Severus!"
"Here?" He looked disbelievingly at the worktable, and the tips of his ears went faintly pink.
"Oh, Merlin, yes! I've watched your hands in class. They way you slice and chop, every movement so graceful. I've been dying to feel those hands on me. Take me right here on the table, Sev; do me like a potion!"
She tried to throw herself into his arms again, but he held her firmly away from his body. Severus stared into her face with narrowed eyes and did not say anything for a long moment. The pink spread.
"Exactly when did this overwhelming attraction for me manifest, Miss Greengrass?"
"Just a little while ago. I don't know how I could have been so stupid not to realize how brilliant, how wonderful, how sexy you were, right from the beginning. I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you."
He pushed her over to a chair.
"Sit here. Let me brew you a ... contraceptive."
Persephone's eyes widened, if possible, even more. "You are so brilliant, Sev."
Severus winced. "Just sit here and don't move. Don't speak, if you know what's good for you; you wouldn't want me to get it wrong."
"Oh... right. Okay."
Persephone watched Severus in rapture. He was brewing just for her, and every tiny movement was fascinating.
Severus carefully moved the ingredients and items he had out aside. He took out another cauldron and selected various ingredients from the cupboards.
He moved efficiently between the two cauldrons, speaking idly to himself as he worked. "Please pardon me for working on something else at the same time. I have to prepare this demonstration potion for the fourth-year class tomorrow. I imagine there will be little time to work on it later."
Persephone's breath caught at the implication. Her eyes went starry as she imagined how they would spend the evening.
"I really don't know why Slughorn had this on the syllabus. I don't think we should really be teaching children to brew this sort of thing. Of course it isn't really dangerous, but the boils are quite uncomfortable, I understand. Long lasting too," Severus remarked idly. "Ah, there we go," Severus took a ladle and filled a small goblet from one of the cauldrons.
"Drink," he said, putting the goblet to Persephone's lips.
Persephone gazed up at him with soulful eyes as she drank the potion from his hand.
A few seconds later, she was staring up at Severus in growing horror. A deep red blush rose up her neckline and went all the way to the roots of her hair.
"Feeling more yourself, now?"
"Urk..." Persephone choked.
"Please don't concern yourself, Miss Greengrass, it isn't your fault. I would very much like to know, however, who you believe played this prank on you?"
"I ... uh ... I couldn't say," Persephone replied, but her eyes narrowed speculatively.
"In that case then, I shall leave you here for a few minutes to recover yourself before you go back to your dorm room."
Severus fiddled some items on the workbench, including a clean ladle and empty phial and stopper, then slouched through the adjoining door into his office.
The next evening found Severus working at his desk and conversing with his office fireplace.
"I'll see what I can do about that nasty condition those students have, Madam Pomfrey, but it may take a while. The antidote is very tricky; it could take several days to brew."
"Several days! But Severus..."
"I understand, Madam Pomfrey, those pustules must be very painful, but really, you can't rush proper brewing."
"Well, just please get it to me as quickly as you can."
"Of course." Severus leaned back, put his feet back up on the desk and smirked as he drank his tea. "I'll get right on it."
Picking up the sixth-year syllabus from his desk, he drew a thick line through the first week where it said "Amortentia."
AN: Thanks to Rose of the West for feedback and general enabling.