***~~~*** He had better hurry if he didn’t plan to be late for class. And he definitely did not plan to be late for class. Defense Against the Dark Arts, with Gryffindor, was to be held on the third floor that Tuesday. He rushed up another flight of stairs. “Should be bloody against the rules, having class in a different room every day!” He muttered to himself, angry that the headmaster allowed such nonsense. Professor Comett began teaching at Hogwarts in Severus’ third year, so one would think he’d be used to her little oddities by now, but alas, he was not. Starting with her fifth years, her OWL years, Professor Comett thought it made sense to change the location of every class on a whim, because “If ever you need to defend yourself against such dark magic as I have seen, you will need to be entirely prepared, which means being able to perform to the best of your abilities in any setting, whether or not it is a place in which you are comfortable.” “I’m going to be late!” Severus exclaimed, dashing up the last few stairs to the third floor (making sure to jump the trick stair, of course). The tower clock’s chimes let him know that class was beginning at that moment, and he was, indeed, late. He darted down the corridor towards the room-of-the-day, when suddenly— “Peeves! Get out of here, Peeves!” That fat brainless poltergeist, with his ugly orange bowtie and huge stupid grin, was floating about four feet about Severus’ head, a large tin tub of water in his fat transparent hands. “Don’t do it! Don’t do it Peeves, so help me, or I’ll—” But it was too late. Peeves turned over the bucket, and ice cold water rushed down from the ceiling, soaking the fifth year student. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the bucket crashed down after it...landing right on Snape’s head. “Ahoy there, what is this?” Severus heard someone say behind him, and he froze. He recognized that voice—but why wasn’t he in class? “Lookie here, James!” The voice of Sirius Black called out. “What have we got?” Severus wrenched the bucket off his head and turned to face his adversary, James Potter, whose reverberating laughter cut through Severus like a steak knife slices through butter. “Clear off, dunderheads!” Severus said hotly, but the pair only laughed harder. “What do you know, come late to class, and get a free show in the corridors!” Sirius glanced up at the still hovering poltergeist. “Thanks much, Peeves, for brightening our dreary day!” "Shut it, Black!" “’Bout time you got a shower, eh, Severus?” said Sirius, laughing. “Should be thanking Peeves here, really. Of course, next time you might do with a bit of shampoo and some soap.” He was laughing so hard there were tears in his eyes! "Too right!" Agreed Potter, sniggering. "A bit of shampoo could certainly help the appearance...And maybe a bit of magic too?" "A nose job, you think, James?" Asked Sirius, raising his wand. "Don't you dare! You'll be expelled!" Warned Severus, wringing out his sopping hair. "I don't think I'd be able to perform the spell, so you'd best do it chum! I'm laughing a bit too hard for that!" “It’s hardly a time for hysterics, James,” said a third voice, as Remus Lupin rounded the corner. “Go on, get to class. We're late enough as it is.” “Oh, come on old chum!" Protested James. "Let us enjoy the lad a bit—er, I mean, we’re only trying to help!” "Yeah!" Sisius raised his wand again. "Let us help!" “Sirius,” said Remus warningly. “I was made prefect for a reason, and I do not want to have to take points from my own house, nor do I wish to assign you detention. Come on, let’s go to class. We’re late.” “Alright, alright,” James conceded, smiling. “Class it is. Coming, Snape?” Snape said not a word, but merely glared at the trio. “Let’s go.” Black said, and let his friends down the hall and around the corner to the classroom. Peeves flew off after them, blowing raspberries. “Dammit!” Severus cursed, tossing his soaking books to the floor. “Dammit, Dammit, Dammit, Dammit, Dammit.” “What’s the matter?” Another voice. Another Gryffindor? Snape whirled back around angrily to come face to face with...Lily. Lily Evans, the kind, pretty girl he so often admired from afar. “Do you need a hand? I’m a prefect, I could—” “No, it’s alright. I just need to dry off and all—I’m late for class...” “I know, Severus. I’m in your class.” She called him by name! For a brief second, he felt the urge to smile, but, remembering Potter and Black’s obnoxious jokes and reverberating laughter, he held back. “Grab your books and hold them close to you,” Lily said. She was smiling at him, but not in a mean way, not in a teasing way. In a nice way. She really had a beautiful smile. “Go on now, get your books.” Severus picked up his books and held them to him. Lily picked up her wand and with three sharp flicks and the words “Wasser Werde Gegangen,” he was dry. “There now, isn’t that better? If you’re still coming to class, I can give you a pass, it's part of my prefect privileges. Come on.” He started to follow her, but then he paused. The whole class must have heard about his misadventures with Peeves, and they were probably still laughing at him now. Did he really want to go to class? But, oh, to walk in with Lily Evans, to see the look on Potter's face...Everyone knew that James fancied Lily, but that she refused to have much to do with him...To walk in with Lily Evans, like friends, and see Potter’s face... “Severus?” Class it is. “Coming, Lily.”
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