Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: The first chapters will be shorter and non-romance, because they'll be canon and not pedophile-endorsing, respectively. I'll try to remember to mention it when that changes, though it should be obvious.

He could always tell the headaches the minute they stepped into his classroom. This one had a bounce in her step that matched the spring in her hair. She walked alone, but with a confidence that said she was used to it. Gryffindor colours confirmed his initial assessment. Smart, but probably disgustingly noble as well.

She looked fascinated, and as he watched her, he was astonished to see that her grin as she beheld the lacewing flies was one of recognition. Wasn't she Muggleborn?

Snape frowned at the green-eyed offspring of the smug James Potter and shut his spyhole with an irritable flick of his wrist. Time to make an entrance.

It was on Halloween that Snape saw Granger's wide-eyed wonderment give way to a less positive emotion. She was walking absent-mindedly, obviously thinking intensely about some tedious topic or another, when something the latest Weasley brat said to Potter jerked her out of her reverie. Her face crumpled while Snape watched, and she quickened her pace to escape the flood of individuals crowding into the Great Hall.

He contemplated stopping her to ask her exactly where she thought she was going, but he never got the chance. The same tide that the girl had managed to avoid swept him up and bore him away from her.

Later that evening, she stood in front of a crowd of teachers with shamed misery written all over her features. She was one of the worst liars he had ever met. As he had thought, she was also foolish and confused about the difference between bravery and stupidity. At least it beat having the best student of the year be stupid enough to attack a troll on her own.

And Potter was still alive. Goody.