Harry Potter had finally achieved his dream. He had become an Auror. Even several years into the job it hadn’t grown old. He still enjoyed unrooting evil wherever it lay. Even if that place happened to be in his office. But he had searched all over again and surprisingly hadn’t found any. Ugh. He’d have to return to the paperwork he hadn’t finished yet. Who knew that to stop one evil wizard meant at least a week’s worth of paperwork. It was almost enough to make him wish he had become a Hogwarts Professor instead. He started to think in more detail about what class he’d teach. Of course it’d have to be Defense Against the Dark Arts. Or maybe he could coach Quidditch. But certainly not Potions. Anything but Potions. He had started to plan out his first year’s curriculum when knock on the door interrupted his pleasant daydream.
“Hello, Mr. Potter. I’m sorry to disturb you but I have some unfortunate news. The Minister of Magic has issued new guidelines for all Aurors, and I’m afraid in your case there’s been a bit of a snag.”
“What do you mean? My record has been excellent. I’ve stopped four neo-Voldemort death cults in the past year alone.”
“Yes, your actions as an Auror have been nothing short of legendary. But the guidelines reflect your earlier qualifications. You see, the Minister is now requiring all Aurors to have passed their Potions O.W.L. with a grade of Outstanding. And our records show that you merely received an ‘Exceeds Expectations’ on your Potions O.W.L.”
“What! Potions?! But I don’t even ever use potions. Why is that suddenly a requirement?”
“Yes, I know it may seem somewhat arbitrary. But the Minister feels that knowledge of Potions is an integral part of every wizard’s life, and that an Auror must set an extremely high example in that regard. So unfortunately you will be put on suspension pending your successful completion of the Potions O.W.L.”
“This is preposterous.”
“Don’t worry too much. Although lately dark magic has been at an ebb, the Auror Office is aware that your skills are invaluable. Given that, we’ve seen fit to provide you with a tutor, one of the greatest Potions instructors in the history of magic. He’s currently teaching at Hogwarts, but he’s agreed to take you on for tutoring for the next month. He feels that should be sufficient time for you to learn enough to pass the O.W.L.”
What could Harry do but grudgingly agree to return. In any case, he thought, it would be good to visit the site of his greatest victory. He certainly loved to remember that epic battle. The glow had only recently started to wear off. When he arrived he found that little had changed from his days as a student. Griffindor was still clearly the best house, and Slytherin the evilest. Though he realized he had forgotten the names of the other two. Oh well, it didn’t really matter. After getting settled in he was anxious to meet the Potions professor that would be tutoring him. He certainly didn’t remember anything from that class. It was a wonder he had even achieved ‘Exceeds Expectations’. Presumably, since he was such a persona, it would all be a formality. He walked over to the Potions classroom and waited outside while the class finished. After all the students left, he stepped inside and walked over to the lectern. A dark figure in robes was leaning over it, scribbling fiercely on a scroll. The figure didn’t seem to notice Harry until he suddenly stepped on a loose alembic and toppled over. As he pull himself up he saw the feet of the professor approach him and looked up to find a familiar face. The surprise caused him to shoot straight up into the air.
“What!? Snape! I thought you were dead.”
“You think that I would die so easily, Mr. Potter? This just further shows how foolish you really are. I have to say I’m not surprised you’ve been forced to return here for more schooling. I never thought that Aurors that hadn’t completed their seventh year were any good.”
“So it’s to be like old times, is it Snape? Come now, tell me how you survived.”
“A simple matter. That was not me that died; it was Neville Longbottom, who had taken a Polyjuice Potion to look like me.”
“That’s impossible. Neville was with me during the Battle of Hogwarts. I saw him kill Nagini and stand up to Voldemort.”
“Don’t be silly, Mr. Potter. You know as well as I do that Neville could never do any of those things. That was me, transformed to look like Neville with another Polyjuice Potion.”
“I can’t believe it. Just how much of that Polyjuice Potion is there? It seems to be causing all sorts of confusion.”
“No one said being a wizard was going to make life simple. Now, are you ready for your first lesson?”
It was going to be a long month.