Potions Lesson - A Guide
Disclaimer: None of JK Rowling's creations are mine (sniff).
* * * *
Leave the sunlit halls and descend to the dungeons.
Mind the steps,
for the light is poor.
The Potions classroom is shadowed
as if light here is resented.
Perhaps it is.
Go to your seat
Nod and smile Hermione, when Harry talks about Quidditch,
but do not jump
when the door bangs open
and Professor Snape sweeps in.
Tall and thin
Pale and grim
(how often does he wash his black hair?)
He wonders aloud if the class will learn anything useful today
(he sneers at Neville)
Or if some students will think they know more than the teacher
(do not react when he looks pointedly at you)
Draco will snigger as he often does.
You will stare back at the Professor's eyes,
tempted to see if any humanity is there in their chilly blackness,
entranced by the low-pitched purr of his voice.
But hold his stare
Until he sneers and looks away.
You may be warmed by the faint look of respect in his eyes,
but it would not be wise to reveal this.
Pay attention in the class
Be discreet when you help Neville,
for the professor is aware of your kindness to others
and is scornful.
(Yet he is drawn by it, and to you, like a dark, poisonous flower
that cannot help but turn its petals to observe the sun as it sails across the sky)
When he asks a question raise your hand; but not too often.
When he hands back an assignment to you
Thank him politely, though he may glower as if high marks are unworthy of you.
Do not show pity in your eyes
For the seething bitterness you see in him
Don't smile at him,
or dwell overlong on how it would feel to touch him.
To be held close.
Remember you are a Gryffindor
And that he is a Slytherin.
But at the end of the lesson
The others relieved to leave..
Take the apple from your bag
Picked from a sun-warmed orchard
Red and full of sweet juice.
Approach his desk
He is writing and will ignore you
Until you place the apple before him.
And his eyes will meet yours in disbelief
Devoid for once of bitterness...
As you turn to leave
He will say your name,
As if it is a new word for him.
It will be his way of saying