Severus Snape was the biggest prankster Hogwarts had ever seen. No one knew. If ever asked many would proclaim it was the Weasley Twins, perhaps the Marauders, or some other group that came through almost every year. But if one looked closely over a certain eighteen-year time period, they would come to notice a key thing about each of Hogwarts pranksters … they all joined the Potions Club.
Every year it was the same. Twice a week the group met up within the dungeons, taking up one or two of the classrooms. The first week Professor Snape discussed potions safety and the purpose of the group: To expand upon and incorporate your knowledge of potions. Soon, the time turned into brewing as you pleased from a list of approved potions. It was always the same. By the third week of just brewing students stopped coming. By the forth, one or two stopped. And by the fifth, no one else left. It was the sixth week that was always the turning point and those who stayed every year knew what to expect. And eagerly awaited the fateful words.
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is …..” Every first year always looked confused. It was a familiar speech. One they all knew and had pulled them into immediate attention just weeks ago. The older students were giving that very attention with an eager anticipation radiating off them. “Ice cream.”
The first day that week was spent learning how to brew ice cream of whatever flavor one could think of. It was a simple thing and meant for personal enjoyment. With the follow up day, they could create whatever ice cream based dessert they wanted. Sometimes they shared with the staff, sometimes the desserts were sent up to the Great Hall for dinner the following day. And sometimes, in making the desserts their Potions Master would teach them how to subtly craft a simply trick that would surprise whoever enjoyed it – the Headmaster can still be found laughing to this day at his lemon drop ice cream turning into a ballet before his very eyes.
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is …..” The older students stood eagerly as they noted the absence of the younger years. No one underage had been permitted into the room and they were intrigued. What could be the task this week if they were the only ones allowed to brew. “Moonshine.”
They spent the first day learning what they needed to. Ranging from the various strengths and consistencies to flavors. Every one of them groaning during the lecture about proper consumption. But by the time they started they were having the time of their lives. Snape informed them the final results would be used in a staff get together and who ever generated the best results would get to enjoy a bottle of firewhiskey (under direct supervision of course). The results were infamous amongst the staff. Transfigurations imbedded moonshine. Charmed bottles that did a variety of things when you drank from them (including one that begged you to leave it alone as you poured). The staff never knew who was behind the various pranks on their parties, especially as Snape managed to look surprised with nearly every invention of his club.
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science,” The younger students looked confused as the older students smirked. It was a tradition, to have at least one that the older students got to guide the younger ones on. And it was, usually, the same. “Of Play-doh.”
The first day they played with muggle play-doh. Leaving some of the wizard raised children intrigued by the prospect of such a thing. Then they learned how to make it, or at least how muggles did, and then they learned how they were going to make it. The second day the students paired off and the older ones helped the younger ones create what they wanted. Each year the batches were large enough for the enter school to enjoy. Anything from color-changing play-doh to versions that never kept it’s shape to talking play-doh filled the halls of Hogwarts for weeks after they enjoyed this club meeting.
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is cupcakes.” The students were excited. They learned about the normal method for making a cupcake before learning how to use a cauldron to do so. The second day they repeated the process only permitted to do more than just make a single cupcake. No one will forget the time the Headmaster started dancing in the Great Hall singing loudly. Or when Minerva McGonagall stood before all and proclaimed Gryffindor unfit to win the Quidditch cup. There was the time every student’s hair changed colors, constantly dancing around in a kaleidoscope of colors.
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is lemon drops.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is pet treats.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is cookies.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is decorations.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is candies.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is hygiene products.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is fizzy drinks.”
“You are here to learn the subtle art and exact science that is make-up.”
On and on the club meetings went. Constantly something new and constantly challenging them to utilize all their magical knowledge. Books. Toys. Legos. Puzzles. Board games. Anything and everything was brought in. But before they were done, Severus Snape researched everything. Making sure to know what games could absorb a potion and magic without being destroyed. Learning the best ways to incorporate things into a book so that it wouldn’t lose it’s text. And, ultimately, making sure to test it out at just the right times so as to not bring notice to himself.
The staff never stopped talking. Bringing up the Headmaster turning into a coot during a welcoming feast (rather perfect timing on the Weasley twins, they received ten points apiece for taking the blame). Those who had been present learned to only discretely discuss the time that Minerva found herself reacting to a catnip charmed cat toy. Hagrid still laughs about the time he was able to talk to Fang as a result of a gift of candies (a yearly delivery that has become immensely helpful in his handling of various creatures). Flitwick had nearly lost it the day that he found all the decorations he had gathered dancing away and refusing to listen to him, setting to their own displays (he still used some of them throughout the school to this day).
Every year the staff was exposed to various pranks and tricks. Harmless moments to lighten the hectic nature of their lives. They could never figure out which students were behind it. And in time they never came to bother, the investigations becoming more of a challenge to see who would discover the secret. When they really thought about it, really discussed when these pranks arrived at Hogwarts they denied the possibility. After all, the only pranksters during that time were the Marauders and, clearly, they were gone. It left only one person and he was far too serious for such things. The man always reacted as if he’d been singled out whenever one of the pranks landed on him.
Severus Snape was the biggest prankster to ever come to Hogwarts. And no matter where he was after the war, be it the afterlife or a far off obscure potions shop, the students of Hogwarts kept up the tradition of Potions Club in honor of his name.