With Special Guest Appearance by Aristide Rémi
|Scene Title||Orally Forbidden|
|Synopsis||The Ministry of Magic has deemed it necessary that all students attend a refresher course in potions-ingredient identification. Snape is just thrilled.|
|Date||November 20, 1995|
|Watch For||Wrathful Snape, intelligent Cianan, STUPIDLY SUICIDALLY brave Pierrick, clever Claire, irritable Merrick, cheerful Avery, non-singing Rene, cranky Harry, sniffing-not-wafting Bean, forthright Ron, and Egbert letting the cat out of the … bag. Also, a book of poetry.|
It is time for Potions Class. It has been decided, possibly by someone other than the instructor of the class that all students need a refresher course in ingredient identification and preparation. To that end, Severus Snape has set out several phials, bottles containers and bags of — stuff. They are laid out in three separate groups, one of which is quite large. The ingredients are in straight, perfectly aligned rows, labeled only by one letter and number each. For instance, the large group is labeled A1 - A… something, and the next largest is B1-B…something, and the smallest, which contains only a few containers, are labeled with Cs. The professor himself is not present in the room, at least not at the moment.
Following dutifully the line of fellow Ravenclaw' that file in to the Potions classroom, Cianan gives the table full of ingredients only a brief look before he sets himself into the first available seat. And, immediately pulls out his notebook and quill, to begin writing out which ingredients he recognizes and which he doesn't. He is, for the most, pretty quiet. This is hardly unusual. That the Professor isn't there yet hasn't even really dawned on him.
It hasn't been all /that/ long since Pierrick's careful apology to Snape over the matter of his detention, and so maybe he can be forgiven for not leading the line of Gryffindors trailing in behind the Ravenclaws. Instead, he's somewhere mid-pack, sort of skulking along, being invisible in the inimitable way only a Gryffindor without a magic cloak could possibly manage. The ingredients laid out on their tables gain a more than cursory look, however; Pierrick helps himself to a seat, and begins trying to work out why they're in the groups they're in.
The Slytherins head in appropriately; respectfully and whispering amongst themselves in a few different groups. They mostly seem to blend together, though most are either separated by year, social gathering or both. The Quidditch team seems to have polarized since the Sutton-Malfoy fight; Draco, Crabbe and Goyle are on one side of the group of snakes and Claire and the entire rest of the team on the other. It's unclear as to how she won them over, considering what they were fighting about, but it might have something to do with the fact that she's talking animatedly while Malfoy has his nose in the air. She didn't, actually, manage to break it. Spotting Pierrick, she whispers to Rene, "Just whatever you do do not sing under your breath anything in French. You might end up getting murdered or losing a hundred points. Not sure which one is worse, really."
Snake-keeper Merrick — or rather, Slytherin Keeper Merrick — is laughing under his breath at that, having heard the story through, let us say, alternate channels. Claire gets a friendly punch in the shoulder, from one easily-bruised teammate to another, and then — at the very last possible minute — Merrick veers away from his team- and house-mates to sit next to his twin sister, instead.
Merrick's twin sister has just sat down, in fact. Avery Leighton was a few steps ahead of Pierrick despite being a year behind, and while she had been talking to a few of her classmates, she still didn't seem inclined to wait to see where anyone else sat before sitting down in the first seat that seemed to have a good angle of the room just the way she wanted to be looking at it. That seat happens to be next to Cianan, and so soon the Ravenclaw's table is now plus two other people. "Mind if I sit here? Of course you don't, you don't know me and have no actual reason to mind it," Avery says to Cianan before bothering to actually let him answer, settles her things and starts talking to Merrick instead. "What's funny?"
Rene trails along with some of the older students that he comes in with, leaning up to listen to Claire when the girl whispers to him. He scoffs from his chest, pulling his braid over one shoulder to fidget with its curves. "I have been learning my lesson, thanks to Professor Noble…" He mutters back, willing to take a seat with those he came in with, for lack of a better place. "If I sing anymore, it is in my free time. And- not- in the halls." Rene swallows once. He learned his lesson about getting jiggy in the halls between classes.
Potions is bad enough without extra refresher classes, so when Harry comes trudging into the dungeon he is not exactly filled to his eyebrows with boundless joy. With the look of a teenager with a lot of important things on his mind (read: the same expression most teenagers have), he takes his place at a bench as far towards the back as possible. He cranes his neck to look at the ingredients arrayed with enigmatic letter and number codes and frowns. He reaches into his book bag and withdraws his Potions text, flicking through the pristine (and in some places, untouched) pages.
Busily watching more and more and more students file in, Cianan first raises a hand to acknowledge seeing Claire. And then, finds the other seats at his table quite neatly snagged. "Uh…" Clever answer, yes? Not that one seems warranted since Avery has apparently decided for him. "By all means…" he manages, after a few seconds of stunned silence. It probably helps that most of his house-mates have (as usual) abandoned him to their own devices and are sitting way up front. Already trying to suck up.
Bean follows Rene in, keeping his boyish chuckles mostly to himself. He sits down next to Rene, of course, then looks up at the collection of bottles, bags, phials and other assorted containers on the table. "Wonder what we're supposed to do with them," he asks his friend as he gets quills and ink out, preparing to take notes as usual. "Noble's an excellent teacher, Frenchy. Much better than the guy we had at the first. I liked Moody, but I also like learning without having to worry if I'm gonna be frightened and not make it to the loo on time."
With a dramatic flourish of robes and stride, Professor Snape enters the classroom, the door banging shut behind him. "Settle down, class," he intones, striding to the front of the class and standing behind the display of ingredients. "Today's lesson," he begins, eyes roving from student to student, "has been mandated by the Ministry of Magic as a refresher course. It seems students have not been paying attention to their lessons on ingredient identification. Therefore, we shall conduct a little experiment to see how you fare at this skill. You will, with a partner — of my choosing …" Here he narrows his eyes as he looks directly toward the Gryffindor section of the class, "identify at least three-quarters of these fine potions ingredients correctly."
He gestures grandly at the row of ingredients, continuing the instructions. "The distinctions are necessary. A primary rule that shall be observed unless you wish the most dire of consequences is this: I know that some of you have not progressed beyond the need for identification by oral means, however, in this classroom, anyone attempting to divine the answer by taste shall receive a Troll for the class period and a trip to Madame Pomfrey. She shall have to suffice since we have no Healers with their specialties in the mind present at our fine institution."
Along with the Gryffindors enters one Ron Weasley, no doubt in company with his best mate, Harry Potter. He moseys his way into the classroom, noticing the absence of Snape — good stuff, he thinks to himself. There's that much longer he doesn't have to look at his greasy mug. Turning his eyes to the various ingredients, he doesn't let them linger long before he's turned away and is making his way back to his normal seat at the back of the classroom. "Wonder how many points Snape will be able to take from Gryffindor this cl—" oh god, there he is right now. Falling into line, the youngest of the Weasley sons quiets down, resisting the urge to give Snape a rude gesture that would make his mother blush. Instead, he simply returns the look he gives the Gryffindors.
The third-shortest Slytherin male waves at the other two, and Merrick manages to murmur something that absolutely does not sound like 'French songs — I told you that half of the story, right?' to his sister. It sounds, in fact, an awful lot like twin cant, for some unfathomable reason — and then one of his two favorite teachers is showing up and making jokes. It's awfully hard for Merrick not to laugh more, but he manages to keep his expression more-or-less in line.
"That means you too," Egbert mutters absently, sitting off to the right and keeping his voice low. Who's he talking to? Oh, there it is: one arm cradling a cat sitting in his lap, even as the other jots down a couple of quick notes. "Brought you along because you insisted, not so you can make yourself sick looking for dessert. Again."
Harry rolls his eyes a little, the glance from Snape enough to tell him exactly how this lesson is going to go. As the Potions Master carries on, the Boy Who Hated Potions Class leans sideways and mutters under his breath with his face canted down so it's harder to see his lips moving. Secretly, he whispers to Ron, "Figures. See you after class then, yeah?"
Was that a — a joke, that Snape just made? Pierrick isn't sure if he should believe his ears, or if he's translating that correctly. If it was a joke, it was a terribly dry one — but then, his father's sense of humor was quite dry, as well. Pierrick looks at the piles of ingredients laid out, once again, and — dare we say — starts to brighten up a little. He's pretty sure he knows at least almost three-quarters of them, himself. He might just do okay today.
"Blimey!" Bean whispers. This sounds like fun. He grins at Rene. "Wonder who you'll get paired with?" He sets his quill aside and gazes up at the row of ingredients. "I can see a few already. I remember them from my reading." He pulls out his potions text and starts thumbing through it, much like Potter. However, unlike the other boy, his book looks well worn.
Avery rolls her eyes at whatever it was Merrick said, and doesn't reply with anything more than a thin-lipped smile. She has this deeply certain prediction that Snape is not going to pair her up with Merrick, just to make her life difficult, even if the Potions professor might like him. She does have this guy on her other side, though, a Ravenclaw she doesn't know and might as well actually answer at least a little: "Good that you actually said that then, because if you'd ended up saying no anyhow I would've probably been a bit disappointed. I like this seat. I'm Avery. This is Merrick."
An idle hand-wave from Merrick, which is sort of like a friendly hello, and then Merrick is busy skimming his gaze over the room, to try to figure out who the professor is most likely to settle him with. Not him, not her, not him — please not her, she smells like cabbage — hmmm. So many choices.
Meanwhile, a Hufflepuff fourth-year, one of the French students — this one by the name of Aristide — is leeeeaning over to look at Egbert's lap decor. "Who's that?" he whispers, somewhat more loudly than he realizes. "Aren't you worried he's going to get into a cauldron or something?"
Rene is apt to sweat a little more about the actually identifying things, rather than being set with someone else in the class. A social little creature, moreso than one able to memorize lists and items. "No idea. Hopefully, an older student. I am not very good with ingredients. You know that." He shrugs once, keeping his voice down even after Professor Snape has finished his introduction to the lesson.
Cianan would totally feel used, if he knew that Avery was sizing him up just because she might get stuck with him for the assignment. But, he has no idea! Thus, in pleasant ignorance he actually seems a little surprised when he's addressed again. "Yeah, it's a good angle. To see everything from here, I mean." Agreeing, in his own way, about liking these seats. "I'm Cianan." is added, in a bit of a whisper. Both Avery and Merrick are given a but of a not of greeting.
Claire? Well, Claire's — there. She has a seat and is sitting in it. Looking over notes, where she has actually drawn various leaves and roots and things written around them. Apparently, she is not really rubbish at this class. Her textbook is still in her bag, as Claire is very much a do-it-yourselfer.
"The distinctions are necessary," Snape repeats. "Those ingredients which are labeled with an A are distinguishable by sight alone. Do not open their containers. You may move the container gently to see the viscosity of liquids, the thickness of grains, et cetera." He pauses to reach down, pulling out four more phials which remain behind in a separate row. "Those labeled with a B are easily determined by smell. A word of caution: do not breathe in fine grains if you can avoid it. Many of these ingredients will still take effect with a deep breath of them." He gazes out across the room again. "The third and final group for identification are these which require touch to determine their natures. You may sample a very small portion. However, ascertain what you may quickly, and return the ingredient to the bottle." He's written off the small samples of those ingredients. Oils from fingers mess a few of them up.
"Here are the pairings. There will be no substitutions." He opens his mouth to begin to list off the groups, and spots the cat. "Torrington!" He leans forward, looking down at the familiar. "Kindly remove your animal from the classroom. If he were to imbibe any of these substances, you would be giving him to me to discover the uses of feline fur." He'd be dead. "When you return, you may pair up with Mister Tyler." He gestures at Cianan, then continues down the list. "Mister Potter," Snape begins, drawing the name out as usual. "You will pair up with Mister Leighton," Merrick, that is. "Perhaps he will be able to assist you in identifying more of these than you may have drawn on the covers of your notebooks while waiting for Quidditch practice or adoring fans." He strides out from behind the desk, pairing others off, including matching Aristide up with a Ravenclaw student. "Mister D'Allemange, pair up with Miss Leighton." He gestures to Avery.
"Mister Legume, perhaps you may assist Mister Remi in his continuing quest to improve his potions skills." He finishes pairing up all the students, then turns to Ron. "Weasley, you and Miss Sutton shall work together." With that, he heads toward the front of the room again. "You may use your texts and notes. If your own text does not contain the ingredient, you may borrow from another pair, provided you return it posthaste." He falls silent, waiting in expectation for the students to move.
Oh. Great. Of course Snape is in a bad mood today — probably at the prospect of losing various ingredients, and having a Ministry-required class to teach besides. Merrick manages not to wince noticeably, at least, before a quick knuckle-tap with Avery, and then he's gathering his books up off his table once again. This is not how he wanted to spend this class! He wanted to actually learn something, not be paired up with the Boy Snape Hates!
On the other hand, Merrick thinks, and brightens a little as he gets up and wanders over to join Harry, maybe this means that Snape actually trusts him, to keep Potter in line. That could be kind of useful to know.
Pierrick frowns a little as he listens through Snape's lecture, but the explanation of why the ingredients are grouped in the way they are clears up a good bit of his expression. And it's a good thing that Snape manages to clarify which Mister Remi he means, when, as Aristide and Rainier find their own partners in due time. (Oddly enough, they didn't get matched with each other.) Pierrick is now left to realize that he has been paired up with someone who is — well — short doesn't really begin to cover it, does it. At least he's pretty sure he can identify most of the ingredients…
Egbert glances over toward Aristide, biting his lip. "This is Teal, he — " and then he's cut off by the professor's orders. "Yessir. Been trying, sir." Uncommonly kind of you not to take off points, sir. He mouths a silent 'sorry' to Cianan before ducking back out, quickening his pace as soon as he reaches the open corridor. "I should put you in a cauldron," he adds, speaking over the cat's mrowled objections, "an empty one, but if it teaches you to keep out of them — "
On the bright side, at least he isn't the only oddball in the classroom at the moment. Cianan sets his eyes on the familiar first, and then Egbert, giving the other lad a slight smile to acknowledge his mouthed apology and that they'll be working together. He gathers up his text and notebook, preparing to move a desk over so that the two can start comparing notes perhaps. Not without a glance back at the pair of twins though; an expression of curiousity there for a moment.
Harry again rolls his eyes; he may be in danger of them rolling out of his head entirely considering how much of it he is doing this lesson. Merrick gets a brief look that may be construed as 'it could be worse'. He doesn't do much more than grunt an hello, flipping through the pages of his book as he glances up at the ingredients.
And now it's time to stand up! So much for Claire's adventures in sitting. Books shoved back into bags, she heads for the back and where Ron Weasley is. A fifth-year Gryffindor: her partnership option could definitely have been, well, worse. A lot worse, considering some of the present faces. Like Malfoy. Let's not ever put her with Malfoy ever again. "Hi," she says, once she actually makes it back there. "I do actually know most of this stuff, I promise."
"Yeah," Ron responds to Harry, turning his eyes back toward Snape. Sounds like this is going to be a fun class…. except, no, it really will not be. What class — no, what TIME with Snape is fun, really? Whether it's detention, the courtyard, or here in his very own classroom, Snape is not nice to the Gryffindors. Such is a life, though. With one last look to Harry, Ron moves his stool to the side a little bit so the newly arrived Claire has room to seat herself. "Hi," he offers back, smiling slightly. "Oh, that's good, because I don't, really." The ginger leaves it up to Claire to determine whether he's joking or not.
Merrick eyes Harry coolly, his own notebook open to a clean page. Wait for it… wait for it — — Now! "Were you actually thinking of working together, as we were instructed, or were you hoping I'd pretend I wasn't actually here?" he asks Harry, in an altogether mild tone.
GAME: Save complete.
Gathering his feet up under him again, Rene makes to find said miss who has become his partner, silently hoping that she is not as half-into potions as some of the lions can be. As he goes to meet Avery, he finds himself flipping open his book- though if it is to read something, or to make sure that the letters have not bled from the pages, is debatable. "I don't think we've met, really." He chirps to her, extending his hand. "You are Merrick's sister, then?"
Julian, the very little boy, moves over to sit with Pierrick. "Hey, I know you." Of course he does. Every kid in the school knows Pierrick now. "You any good at potions?" He grins as he holds up his dog-eared book. "This is gonna be a cakewalk," he offers. "You wanna start with the feeling ones, or the bigger batch?"
"I was," Harry says, his apathetic look turning to a frown that may be bordering on a scowl, "But with that much smarm? It'd probably be like ignoring a troll in a broom cupboard." Many Gryffindors could attest that Harry has been a little out of sorts recently, but why? That's not common knowledge. He drops his textbook on the desk (noisily) and flips it open to a page full of diagrams and artist's impressions of varying ingredients, "Let's hurry up and get this done. I wouldn't want to keep my fans waiting." He glances up at Snape before turning back to his work.
Wait. Wait — Does this mean there's a Slytherin other than Professor Noble who doesn't think Pierrick is a rank incompetent fool? Cue his eyes widening, for a moment, before he grabs his own notebook once again, and offers the kid a grin. "The potions, yes," he agrees. "Not irritating the professeur — that, I am working on. I am more confident with the visuals," he admits. "Do you want to show me all the ones I don't know, once I have shown you the ones I do?" It's faintly teasing, and also — actually — earnestly complimentary. Julian's the one who thinks it's going to be a cakewalk, after all. Pierrick thinks it's more likely to be, well, a pie in the face.
"No, I don't think we have." Avery stands to shake hands, smiling sociably — welcomingly, even — once Rene speaks to her. "But I bet you know him, yeah, I am. He probably talks trash about me all the time, though at least you're not in his year so you've probably not heard the worst trash." Her vest pocket, suddenly, squeaks — she hisses at it, and it goes quiet, but not after moving a little bit. Crap. Don't notice, Snape, don't notice. Despite talking about talking trash, though, she is still smiling. "I think I accidentally wrote some of my potions notes in Ancient Runes, though —" Hopefully she can still read them. She is showing all the enthusiasm most of her yearmates don't, at least!
Merrick's assessment of Harry is going rapidly downhill. "I have no idea who you're talking about, with the 'smarm'," he says sharply. "But if you think the only person — You know what, forget it." It's Merrick's turn to roll his eyes. "Some of us happen to actually look around and see more than old grudges," he mutters under his breath, and reaches into his bag to pull out — a book of poetry? How odd, except for how the poems are all informative mnemonics for remembering which potions ingredient is which. His artistic talent isn't too bad; Avery's poetry is far, far better.
Claire is not going to take any chances — but instead of bothering poor Ron about it, she just laughs. "Okay, so you'll just follow along with me, then. Or make it up. And then I can check over what you made up. Making it up always looks good in classes where you don't have to turn anything in, you know? Just make it look like you're doing things and writing stuff down."
Rene is too used to people having animals or things in pockets- if he takes much notice of Avery's moment with her hidden companion, he does not say anything about it. "You left them? Or- wrote them in the class?" He looks dubious, trying to see what she may mean- only to be both surprised and a little disappointed. That means he can't really read those ones, after all. "I see. Well-" He opens his own book, peering between pages. "-my personal notes are mostly in French, so I suppose that we are even." If a bit drawn back from progress, this way. Sigh.
"Are you finished?" Harry asks, looking at Merrick as though he's suddenly burst into song in the middle of class. He glances in the general direction of Ron, giving him a 'can you believe this?' look before turning his attention back to the book. Hmm, that one looks a little like that over there …
"Do you even realize," Merrick tells his book of poetry, since obviously Harry, standing right there, couldn't possibly be paying attention to him, "that there are people in this world who care about things other than you, yourself, your pride, and the giant chip on your shoulder? No? Right, then. I'll be sure to tell Avery and Professor Snape that their expectations about you were dashed and hopelessly fulfilled, respectively." Sopophorous beans, frozen Ashwinder eggs, Runespoor eggs, lacewings, moonstones, porcupine quills…
"Mister Potter, if you cannot keep your attention on your work, perhaps you would like to spend a detention learning the skill." Snape doesn't issue the detention, but does threaten with it. "Perhaps, since simple courtesy is beyond you, Mister Leighton will be able to, in this very small period of time, demonstrate a sample." His normal venom is there, but today, for some reason, it's overlaid with another layer or two. Something is bothering him above and beyond the normal annoyance.
One of the 'sight only' plants, A3, in fact, has small flowers shaped like a … hood or cowl. A phial in the same section, A7, is a thick, green liquid that seems to warm the small container it is in. Another phial, B2, has small round things inside it. No scent is given off, but the little pieces … rattle a bit. Two containers, the color of both very similar, though B3 is more dusty orange and B4 has a few pink highlights, smell nearly alike, though 3 is much stronger than 4.
Still out of breath, but now unencumbered by an all too curious familiar, Egbert walks back in and takes a quick look around before heading back to his seat. Oh, good, at least he hasn't missed the entire exercise. "I think that one's just regular blades of grass, isn't it?" he offers to Cianan. "Wouldn't put it past the professor to throw in a red herring or two." Not to mention the actual red herring, which he picks up and promptly sets back down at arms' length.
The youngest Weasley son looks at Claire, more than a little confused. Make it up? In Snape's class? If she wants a death sentence, surely she could just go jump into the great lake or something, maybe venture out into the Forbidden Forest alone. He'll make stuff up for Professor Trelawney's class, sure, but Snape's? No sir. Not at all……. .. not that he really does that good anyway. Which may or may not have to do with the Professor himself, but that's for another day. Catching Harry's look out of the corner of his eye, it's with a slight sense of exasperation — not because of Claire, as she seems perfectly alright, but more because of what Snape is making them do — and it's the Weasley's turn to roll his eyes. "Okay," Ron says, shrugging slightly as he turns his attention back to Claire. "I mean, I know some — not as much as Hermione — but enough, I reckon."
"Well, I'm not sure I can read them is the thing," Avery keeps talking, brightly despite the subject matter. "I mean, I think I can. I guess I thought this was a good idea when I was doing it, though now I feel awfully stupid about it. Except I know that's wolfsbane," she tacks on at the end, gesturing at A3 once she's given it a closer look. "And so I'm not going to pick it up. I think that orange one could potentially also get someone killed but I might be wrong."
"I think that one there, with the cowl shaped flowers… thats wolfbane." Cianan settles right in to identifying the sight items, squinting at the stuff that looks like it might just be plain grass. "It could be a test at that. Let's look through the text just in case. Maybe it's just cut up differently to seem like grass. A closer look might tell." he muses, nose wrinkling at the mention of real red herring. "I'm not looking forward to taking a whiff of the scent ones. Should we get that over with?"
Rolling her shoulders, Claire sets on 'ignore the notes and just stare at the stuff' mode and sits down. She boldly picks up B2 and rotates it a little in her hand, speculating, "Looks like eggs, kind of acts like eggs. Except it might be seeds. Thoughts?"
Julian nods, his expression a little grim. "Yeah, probably best. Some of the scent ones are probably pretty pungent. Which one should we start with?" He frowns. "Maybe this one over here?" He picks up one close to the end of the row, opening it and taking a small sniff. "Damn! That's potent!"
Pierrick is frowning, too, and winces away from the cloud of smell — potent indeed! "Maybe," he suggests tentatively, "we try not sniffing directly? I do not think either of us, we are wanting our noses to turn into something… different." He's also thoughtful, for a moment, and suggests, "Fluxweed, I think."
"Bundimun secretion," Harry says, pointing at the phial full of thick, green liquid - as though he's displaying intelligence solely to spite Snape. In truth, he just happens to have flicked onto a page that contains a detailed picture and description of the substance. All the same, Harry is not about to keep himself from taking advantage of luck. He grits his teeth and writes it down in his notebook, practically cutting through the parchment with the tip of his quill. If steam could come out of his ears without the aid of a magical malady, it probably would be.
Merrick doesn't look entirely pleased at being singled out by Snape; it's Harry's fault, that's for sure, and that's a single, short sharp glare leveled in Harry's direction, too. Hardly Malfoy-level, but then, he doesn't have five years of irritation under his skin. "Certainly, Professor," he answers. Let's see — well, B3 and B4 are right here… "Ginger," he answers. "Three is dried, four is fresh."
"You wrote them down and don't know how to read them? What use is that?" Rene pauses to scan things. "I know moonstones anywhere, at least. My stepmother wears them." Rene looks a little sheepish at first, soon able to fall into line with Avery between the pages and what is laid out for them on the tabletops. "Scarabs are easy." Rene picks up one of the vials to smell it tentatively, though he chuckles afterward. "Just pomegranate juice."
Egbert makes a face, but nods to Cianan. "Let's split them up, that way we'll have time to recover between them." Leaning forward, he squints at the nearby set of jars, eventually picking one up and waving it under his nose. "Doxy egg, I think. And hang on, is that scurvy grass? It should have some kind of a lemony orange scent if it is."
"Got four petaled flowers of some kind on em?" Cianan peeks over at the possible Scurvy grass. "Yeah, that looks about right." he agrees, reaching for a baggie of what looks like poison ivy to snuff at, but with the carrot scent… "Lovage." He sounds relieved. Really. Some of the other stuff here makes him nearly turn green, even after years of potions class. "Wonder why the Ministry suddenly decided we need a refresher class. Did someone screw up a potion real good or something?"
"Language, Mister Legume," Snape chides lightly. He remains in place, eyes traveling across the room, noting the students' reactions to the different ingredients. He still keeps the phials in front of him close at hand. One container holds a gray fluid with the consistency of cooking oil. That one seems to be held in a stasis field. The other three are similarly kept, one protected from light, one sealed in a dark container, and one wrapped in a white cotton substance. They are very rare ingredients, only there for display.
Certain students, as they pass by him, get his approval only demonstrated by the lessening of the tension in his expression, or a quick nod if they are doing extremely well. Others, mostly Gryffindors and a few Hufflepuffs, get narrowed eyes, and the full bearing of his scowl. "No, Mister Parkon, do not shake that container that vigorously. It will have disastrous effects." He reaches over, taking the offending phial from the boy's hands, and sets it back down. "You have surely gotten enough information from that ingredient. Move along."
"I…" begins Ron, looking down at the maybe-eggs-maybe-seeds ingredients. Going off of the size of the eggs he sees at home from the chickens, he decides that these, are in fact, seeds. Yes. Right? Yes. "I'm gonna go with seeds," Ron says. Is he intentionally trying to make the Slytherin's work harder, or does he really see seeds?
"Oh, it's ginger root, maybe? So that's not really lethal," Avery puts down the offending mystery vial again, without actually daring to sniff it. "And I'm pretty sure I can, actually, but they're not too helpful right now. I don't see anything that matches these just y—" And then, apparently, she does, for Avery cuts herself off and points. "Billywig stingers. Don't touch them. Those blue eyesores."
Merrick is on his way back to his seat when he sees Claire and the Weasley shaking around a vial of — "Cockroach eyes," he whispers to Claire behind her back. Teammates have to stick together, except for when they're Malfoy. He gets back to work.
Pierrick has already proven his truly suicidal nature when it comes to Potions class, and dealing with Snape, and that is probably the only explanation any of the students could possibly accept for why, after a time, he sets down his books and approaches Snape's desk, and those three mysterious vials. "Professeur," he begins, very respectfully, and then swallows once, hard, adam's apple bobbing in the ridiculous way of sixteen-year-old boys everywhere. "If I may," and he nods to the vial of 'cooking oil'. "Erumpent fluid, I think." Confidently, at least. He points, in turn, to the other three, finger far away from touching any of them: "Exploding ginger eyelashes, flying seahorses, and Wiggentree bark." Is he right? Who knows.
"Correct." Snape gives Pierrick a quick nod, then pulls his attention away from the young lion before he's forced to acknowledge the Gryffindor's skill. The assertion already crosses a line for him. The students will spend the rest of the period identifying the ingredients in the front row. For the most part, they ignore the rarer ones he's holding in front of him.
If Pierrick maybe floats a little, as he walks back to his seat, he does it subtly and without bragging, or in fact pointing it out to anyone at all. Nobody was paying attention to him, surely; nobody would have wanted to see him killed and eviscerated all at once, would they? If they'd been watching, they might have had to clean up after his death! This probably does make up for the fact that he only can identify about half the things left over, and desperately needs Julian's help to finish up the rest of the list.