Harry lay down on his bed in Gryffindor Tower.
"Ron?" he asked.
"What, Harry?" Ron groaned from his bed, his voice muffled as his face was in his pillow.
"What do you know about Professor Snape?" Harry asked.
"Fred and George say he's the meanest teacher here. He's done some pretty mean stuff, too. He favors the Slytherins and bullies the Gryffindors. Everybody except for the Slytherins hate him. Why do you ask?" Ron replied.
"Well, he's the one who collected me from the Dursley's." Harry explained. "He was pretty mad when I told him that all I knew about my parents was their last name was Potter, which is pretty dumb, I know. But he only ever talked about my mum, Lily. He didn't seem too fond of my dad, James. Anyway, he didn't seem like the meanest teacher here. He's kind of intimidating, I know, but I wouldn't say mean..." Harry trailed off.
"You're going to be eating your words tomorrow." Ron said, finally taking his head off his pillow and sitting up. "We have Potions first thing. You'll see."
On that ominous note, all five boys in the dormitory laid down, the other three at a complete loss as to what Harry and Ron were talking about, having come in just after Harry started talking.
The next morning, it soon became apparent to Harry that Ron was wrong. When they got down to Potions, Snape let them in, banging the door behind him.
"There will be no wand waving or silly incantations in this class." he began. "You are here to learn the subtle art of Potion making. I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even put a stopper in death. If you aren't as much of a group of dunderheads as I usually have to teach." Hermione was sitting on the edge of her chair, looking desperate to start proving she wasn't a dunderhead. Harry rolled his eyes and returned to taking notes.
"Potter!" Snape's voice rang through the dungeon classroom like a gunshot. "Pay attention!"
"I'm sorry, sir, I was taking notes." Harry said.
Snape strode around to look at his parchment, as if not believing for an instant that he was actually paying more attention than the rest of the class. Seeing the notes, he sniffed, and walked back to the front of the room.
By the end of the lesson, it became apparent that Harry was quite good at Potions. Almost better than Hermione Granger. Snape seemed unsurprised by this, and Harry got full marks. This made him feel rather proud.
"Wow, Harry. He's never been that nice to a Gryffindor before." Ron said in a mystified voice as they walked away, heading towards Transfiguration.
"He was that nice to me the entire time this summer. We even had a water fight in the Leaky Cauldron, after he dumped a bucket of water on me to wake me up." Harry said, grinning at how mystified Ron was.
"Wow." Was all Ron said.
Harry just laughed, and they were just able to reach Transfiguration on time.