Well that must come as a relief, Ms. Bred.
'By now it was nearly a certainty, but yes, it's comforting to know they haven't forgotten Hufflepuff.'
All well and good, but it's the fourth exemplar of an unspectacular build. By now the children must be bored out of their gourds.
Know a lot about boring children, then, do you, Severus? Minerva chuckles.
Fleetingly, he gives her a dirty look while a certain ginger thinks suitable thoughts about professionalism in light of all the students present, but Severus merely replies with a smirk. Why, when they aren't blowing cauldrons sky high, I'd argue that most children are. Boring. The apprentice DADA mistress has to bite her cheek to keep from laughing, but Minerva catches the expression and shoots her a reproving look all her own. The Transfiguration Professor is so adept at them, she may as well have a mastery in the subject. Severus ignores the witches' silent exchange; it's hardly the first. After eleven years of teaching, he informs them a touch smugly, I feel eminently qualified to make that claim.
Severus, for all the complaining you do, how do you imagine Pomona must feel?
Truthfully he probably spends as little time as humanly possible wondering about Pomona's feelings, or those of most of his colleagues, for that matter, but as Minerva's raised the topic...
A small voice pipes up, interrupting before he deigns to reply. Just as well as it was doubtless another scathing comment that was unlikely to contribute to the festive spirit Albus seems so intent on conjuring. (Proof, to Severus' thinking, were any still required, of the Headmaster's decidedly questionable priorities.) In the Potions Master's defence, it should be noted that it had been an exceptionally trying term, what with the petrifications and threats, and the fact the blame was laid squarely at the feet of 'Slytherin's heir' quite naturally hadn't improved his lot in the slightest.
It's so unfair, really, the way some Houses get all the attention and some are so rudely neglected.
Your lack of self awareness, Miss Granger, is simply stunning. There's at least one woman at the table who can't help thinking she wouldn't mind the circumstances overmuch for the chance to hear him call her stunning, although a smidge less sarcasm might be welcome; Miss Granger, however, doesn't appear to be of the same opinion. She may yet grow into it. That a Gryffindor, of all people, should have the gall to comment on the disproportionate notice some parties receive...
She bristles noticeably. I never claimed we didn't get more attention. Every Slytherin in the building would readily agree they most certainly have done, time and again, the House cup theft of the previous year still too fresh in all their memories. The rest of the Houses seem to be more... forgetful.
Minerva smirks and offers her support, She's correct, she never said any such thing, Severus. Don't put words in her mouth.
Rallying, Hermione takes up her position once more, I simply meant some don't receive similar consideration, and as Head of Slytherin, Professor, you can hardly complain about not having more than your fair share of the spotlight.
He has two words for her that he has no intention of voicing (not 'bugger off', although it's a close second choice and ever so tempting), having no desire to remind anyone present of 'Slytherin's heir' and reopen that can of worms this morning. But they're emblazoned in his mind as surely as if someone had seared them there with a Flagrate, and he is thinking rather poorly of her much vaunted intelligence just at the moment. Quite. Because being almost thoroughly ignored is so much worse than near universal revilement.
Minerva at least has the grace to look a bit chastised at that. Not much, mind, but that was probably more than he'd had any right to hope for given the personalities involved. He'll take the win. The chances Miss Granger would see the light, or any of her little Moggie friends for that matter, were so slim as to not be worth contemplating.
The conversation soon turns to other topics, and Severus finds himself in the unenviable position of wishing school were in session. This utterly barmy idea of Albus' to sit together with the students over the holidays... It's putting him off his feed most effectively, and he hadn't any weight to spare. He's just feeling angry that he's been made to wish for the term instead of simply being able to enjoy the hols in peace when a certain ginger leans over to whisper, 'You know full well a good third of the House prefers notoriety to obscurity. Especially as you have to actually care about someone's opinion to mind if they think poorly of you,' she laughs softly.
Well *I* know that, and you know that, but they don't. He indicates the Gryffindors seated closest with a barely perceptible nod of his head. Besides, the remaining two thirds suffer rather a lot for the negativity. Arguably more, depending on the aspects considered. It artificially limits options, significantly, for too many of them, and I doubt there's a one who appreciates that.
She concedes the point, there can be no argument, and he smiles a small smile most present would miss. There are advantages, nontrivial ones, to dealing with other Slytherins, aside from the fact she seems to know enough to pass him the syrup without his asking.
A good dollop in his porridge, and already things are looking better.
Now if he could only find a way to jinx Albus' infernal Mistletoe to rain some of that very same syrup on its unwary victims, perhaps they'd soon be shot of the magical parasite, improving things all the more. Possibly, with a spot of luck, the DADA mistress in training might have some suggestions to make...