Eh... looking over it, it feels a bit forced, but I totally wanted to do this as setup for the later joke.
Herbology was in the largest of the hogwarts greenhouses on the grounds, and stepping into the building was like being transported miles away into a rainforest, the space within the building had been expanded far beyond the norm.
Luckily for the students, the lecture area was just inside the main entrance under a metal pavilion coated with vines. Underwhich there were wrought iron, wire-framed chairs, behind wooden tables that each held clay pots and dirt.
As wild as the growth was outside the little pavilion, the space under it was clear of vegetation. Harry imagined there must've been some sort of magic placed on the structure to prevent it from being overgrown.
Professor Snape, strolled into the greenhouse, his steps punctuated by the squelching noise made by the thick dragonhide boots suctioning against the loamy earth. He had a ruddy complexion and was wearing a dirty greenish brown apron. Without much more than a glance at the gathered class, the professor started with roll call. He barely paused when he reached Harry's name, if only to mutter something about celebrities under his breath.
"You are here to learn the subtle nature, and exact science of Herbology," started Professor Snape. He spoke carefully, making sure to pitch his voice to be heard over the sound of life growing all around them, "as this class deals with things that can take years to grow, many of you may hardly believe it's magic. But you will learn to treat every plant in my class with respect. From the most mundane flower, to the most dangerous tentacula."
There was some snickering from the direction of a dark haired boy on the far side of the greenhouse.
"Mister Zabini, I take it you wish to volunteer your services this evening reviewing the basic safety lessons?" said the Professor.
"No, professor," said Blaise Zabini.
"That wasn't a request, Mister Zabini. I only give one warning. Herbology is as dangerous a subject as any other taught at this school, and you will respect that or find yourself short one of the primary subjects required to graduate," Snape said. "I don't expect you all to understand the subtle strength of the ancient treant, nor the beauty of the bleeding tooth fungi. I could teach you of plants that would ensnare your senses, how to cultivate roses made of living silver or gold, or even the golden fruit of the tree of youth, if your thumbs aren't as brown as I feel the must be."
Silence followed this speech, students exchanging glances unsure of what to make of the Professor. Surprisingly despite the prickliness of the introduction, Neville seemed to be the only one to both understand the speech and agree with every word.
"Potter!" said the professor suddenly. "Name one of the properties of the Elysian Asphodel."
Elysi-what Aspho-what-now? Harry glanced over at Neville who was staring at him intently with this expression, like he knew the answer and was desperately restraining himself from blurting it out.
"Elysi-what, sir?" said Harry.
Snape's nose twitched.
"Elysian Asphodel — and here I thought, surely you would know." For all intents, the Professor appeared to have narrowed the world down to just him and Harry, that he wasn't sure if the professor would have noticed if half his class wandered off into the foliage around them.
"Let's try again. Potter. What is the difference between buttercup and spearwort."
"Uh, color?" said Harry.
Snape give a low snort, "Think you're clever do you Potter? What is the difference, Potter, between belladona and banewort?"
"Is that a trick question, professor," said Harry quietly. "I think Neville or Hermione could answer better than I."
"But, I asked you Mister Potter, not them," he snapped. "For your information, Potter, the Elysian Asphodel produces a powerful soporific that when moderated by wormwood is part of a potion you will learn about later. Coincidentally, spearworts are a subset of the buttercup plants and also known as ranunculus flammula. As for belladonna, it is a member of the nightshade family, while banewort interestingly enough is a name used for both nightshades and spearworts." Snape rocked back on his heels as if just now noticing the class was still there, "Well? Why aren't you all copying this down?"Return to: Alternative Hogwarts
Posted: 2018-01-27 12:13:44 -6 gmt