"Hey, Hermione," Harry said, nudging his best female friend who was reading as they waited for the sorting to start.
"What?" Hermione snapped, irritated by the interruption.
"Does that guy look familiar to you?" Harry asked, pointing to the new face seated among the faculty. "I could swear I've seen him somewhere before..."
"No!" Hermione exclaimed in a shocked whisper. "Dumbledore wouldn't! He couldn't!"
"Couldn't what?" Ron asked, wondering what the fuss was about and why all of the muggleborns and most of the half-bloods were suddenly having hushed conversations like Harry and Hermione were.
"Dumbledore couldn't have been so utterly...utterly stupid as to hire Magneto!" Hermione explained, causing Dean Thomas to go pale enough to almost be mistaken for white as he realized that the "Magneto lookalike" whose resemblance he was commenting on to Seamus could very well be the real thing. As far as most people who weren't Dumbledore's nutty followers were concerned, Dumbledore was batshit insane enough to pull a stunt like hiring the man who was the most wanted person on the planet to teach students. Considering the previous year and the year before, no offense to Lupin who was a good teacher in spite of that whole Werewolf thing, hiring Magneto would've been par for the course.
"Dumbledore's really topped himself this time." one of the older students at the end of the table said in the sort of awed shock one would reserve for a train wreck as his muggleborn friend finished explaining exactly who the new addition to the Staff Table was.
"We're going to have to watch our backs with this one," Draco said in a voice that wasn't meant to carry beyond the Slytherin table where he now ruled the roost since the lot who'd previously ruled it had finally graduated. "My father told me that the Minister told him that our new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor killed fifteen Deatheaters with a piece of sporting equipment back in 1973."
There was a slight snerk sound from one of the younger halfbloods who clung to the edges of his social group hoping that association with him would cause others to overlook his lack of blood purity.
"Something funny Amistad?" he asked, glaring at the fourth-year in order to express his displeasure at having his moment interrupted by the likes of him.
"Nothing, nothing at all...sir." Amistad said a little too obsequiously, leaning away from him.
"Good." he said. He could always deal with Amistad later when there were no teachers watching.
Before he could get back to cementing his reputation as a leader who cared for the safety of those in his circle, he heard a mutter of "Sporting equipment" and a snerk from Amistad. It would seem that the boy would need a lesson on respecting those who had given their lives for the Dark Lord's noble cause...
As he turned to speak with his closest circle, a halfblood who sometimes associated with Amistad but didn't associate with him and his asked Amistad what was so funny. "Baseball stadium" was clearly some sort of muggle code, because the other halfblood had also started shaking in silent laughter. When a halfblood who really didn't belong in their house but had been sorted here anyway asked the second halfblood what was so funny, the halfblood whispered something in her ear in which the words "Baseball stadium" were present. This girl too had started laughing, and not nearly as quietly as Amistad or the other half-blood.
"Killed them with a baseball stadium!" the girl exclaimed between her peals of laughter.
Strangely, rather than sharing in on the joke that only someone who'd lived with muggles could understand, the other muggleborns and halfbloods in the school seemed utterly horrified. Several nervous glances were shot towards the head table where the new Defense Professor was sitting, being very obvious about pretending to have not heard the girl's laughter.
Rather than giving the girl a warning that would silence her laughter, Professor Snape was sitting in his seat chugging down something that, based on its color, was either a heavy-duty Calming Draught or industrial strength floor cleaner. Based on his expression, it was very possible that the good professor didn't care which it was at the moment.
Severus Snape sat in his happy yellow cloud of calmness. He knew there was something he should be worrying about right now. Something to do with impending doom. Impending doom that was going to be taking it personal with him if it ever found out he'd been the one to kidnap it and bring it here. Impending doom that didn't matter. He was calm, and if he died...Oh well, it didn't matter.
Looking around the room so he wouldn't be focused on the Impending Doom that was sitting nearby, he found himself looking at something at the Gryffindor table that usually sent his blood-pressure skyrocketing into the stratosphere and hatred churning and roiling in his gut. Right now, all he could feel about that something was a vague sense of "Fuck it, it doesn't matter", and continuing to look at the normally annoying something or other at the Gryffindor table set the Calming Draught in his blood to singing, making him feel better and better. Something that made him feel that good couldn't possibly be an enemy.
"Hi Harry!" he said, waving at his friend, before laughing at the utterly horrified look he got from his friend in return.
It was at that moment that the school's newest students started shuffling in. He vaguely remembered this being the start of a very tedious process, and he could feel his happy yellow cloud beginning to dissipate around the edges. Maybe there was something else he had on him that might make the time pass more quickly and not kill his happy cloud?
Rifling through his pockets, his hand touched a small phial and his mind sent up a warning. Something to do with hallucinogenic side-effects when this potion was mixed with the Calming Draught he had taken.
Well, fuck it. he thought as he knocked back the contents of the little phial.
There are two great things about being a Potions Professor he thought as he watched the walls turn sparkly rainbow colors and start to melt. One, I can brew some quality shit, and Two, I can do it all on the school's dime.
"Merlin!" Ernie MacMillian exclaimed. "Is it me, or is Professor Snape stoned out of his gourd?"
"I'd have to be stoned out of my gourd too in order to sit next to the likes of HIM!" Justin Finch-Fletchley replied, pointing at the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor who was seated a seat away from Professor Snape, realizing who he was pointing at, swallowing, quickly lowering his finger, and sitting on his hands.