“Hello Sir," I greeted politely. “What can I do for you?”
“Mr Potter," he snarled, looking down on me. “I came to give you and your brother these letters.”
I made no move to take them, instead looking at him suspiciously. “I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name, Mr...?”
“It's Professor Snape," he snapped. “Now take the damn letter.”
He managed to force it onto Harry, who eagerly opened the letter but I just let it fall to the ground. Who knows, maybe touching it would bind me to a magical contract.
“If this is the Hogwarts acceptance letter, I decline," I said, crossing my arms defensively.
“Don't be stupid, of course you'll come to Hogwarts," he answered, looking as if he hated that fact himself.
I pretended to glance at Harrys letter. “There it says that we 'have a place' at Hogwarts, not that we're obliged to go there.”
“Oh, now the great Potter is to fine for Hogwarts? You want to go to a different school? You want to have private teachers?" he spat.
“Actually, I would rather just stay in the non-magical world, thank you very much," I stated coldly.
Snape blinked. “And just why would you want to do that?”
“Because this magical world seems to be full of dangers that I would like to avoid.”
Snape seemed to be shocked at the idea of a Potter wanting to avoid danger.
is the safest place in the world," he finally, although
reluctantly, replied. “Of course if you're too weak
“No, we'll go!" Harry interrupted him. “Come on Charles, this will be great.”
“Harry, don't fall for his provocation! Yes Professor Snape, we're too weak and we-”
“That's nonsense! You're really strong, brother you can vanish things and, and make them float and you can even burn a hole into a stone wall just using that lighting-thing!”
“God, shut the hell up," I scolded him and put my hand over his mouth. “I don't want to go to Hogwarts and I will not! If you want to go and get yourself killed, go on, but leave me out of this!”
I could see Snape watching us closely. I was clearly not what he had expected.
“You don't seem to understand the situation very well," the potions master said. “That stupid oaf might not have had the opportunity to explain it to you. Your parents were killed by one of the most dangerous wizards of the century but he couldn't kill you. His curse backfired and now he's gone. You are famous for his defeat in the magical world. Although of course, technically you didn't do anything. There is nothing special about you.” Another sneer. “Still the wizarding world wouldn't leave their little heroes alone. Even if the press left you, the Dark Lord still has his followers. Maybe he'll even come back to power one day and then he'll hunt you down. Hogwarts, as much as you may despise the idea, is the only place you're safe.”
“First: That's not true and second: If it were, then why were we left with a bunch of magic hating muggles?”
wouldn't do for you to get an even bigger head were you to be raised
“Then why the hell not an orphanage? A nice unsuspecting muggle family? Dumping us on a bloody doorstep with people who would never love us, people who would lock us into a cupboard under the stairs although they have two perfectly fine empty bedrooms left and barely feed us, that is far more then just preventing us from getting a big head!”
“Now you shut up you little brat! You think you're so much smarter then the greatest wizard of the world? You're with your relatives because there are protections around the house, protections that are bound to your blood.”
“Oh yeah, because we always stay in the house! Because we aren't frightened of our own relatives, because we don't spend every free minute in school or on the playground or the park just to avoid meeting those horrible people! You can't tell me that it's such a great secret where we live! I noticed plenty of people wearing those robes in the last years that would bow to us or come shake our hands in the middle of the street, obviously wizards. If those Dark Lord followers or even he himself would want to kill us he'd have absolutely no problem doing so. For me it seems my chances to survive are far better if I don't give this Dark Lord a reason to kill me by learning magic. He wouldn't have a reason to target an insignificant muggle boy, right?”
Not even Snape could argue with that logic. “You'll still go to Hogwarts. School is mandatory for every magical child.”
you ever listen
“You are weak and a coward! And incredibly stupid too if you think the Dark Lord will leave you alone just because you can't defend yourself. He'll kill you!”
do that anyway!" I screamed. I was now fuming in anger. I hadn't
planned on using that trump card but it seemed I had to. “Me or
Harry will be threatened by a mountain troll, attacked by a dragon,
almost eaten by a Cerberus and cursed more times then I could count
and that's just our first year at Hogwarts! We will be dead before we
can even end our seventh year there!”
“Oh, and how would you know about that?”
“Because I saw it! Because I dreamed of the magical world ever since I was six years old! At first it didn't make sense to me but then Hagrid came here exactly the way I had seen him coming, speaking exactly the words I had heard him saying. I just know that the rest will come true too if I let it happen.”
Snape scowled at me. “You honestly mean to tell me that you're a seer?”
Harry who had watched our shouting match fearfully, dropped in now
too. “Wait, you can see the future?”
“Only occasionally," I answered.
“Is that how you knew that Dudley would go to Smeltings? Or that Mrs Fig would break her leg? Is that how you avoided trouble all the time like that time in the zoo? Why haven't you ever told me?”
“Harry, you didn't even believe magic existed. Besides, I only see one possible outcome. Things that will happen if I don't change it. But I do know which dangers await us at Hogwarts. Even if I changed enough to get out of them there would just come more that I couldn't predict. Either way I'd end up dead. My chances are far better if I change my name, move to the States and get a nice wizard there to erase any traces that could be used to locate me before beginning my nice, normal muggle life.”
“You're actually serious about that," Snape realized confused. “I'll admit, the magical world may be more dangerous then the muggle world. But that's alright because we can heal almost any damage far better. If you're really a seer – and I pretty much doubt that since there hadn't been a seer in your family for centuries – then I see how those visions could scare you. But even if the headmaster is senile, the forest full of deadly creatures and half the teachers part of a political order that will turn the school into a fortress of war when the time comes, it's still Hogwarts. You will enjoy it there. You will enjoy magic. It's in your nature.” He actually managed to sound kind of wise.
“Err, I'm sorry but I'm not sure if I want to go there either anymore," Harry whispered.
“There will be no discussions," Snape said, now sneering again. “You will go to Hogwarts just like anyone else. If you want to be muggles so badly you can just get yourself expelled – but not by causing trouble. Just perform some magic during the next summer holidays while being in your house. The first time you'll get a warning from the ministry, after the second time you'll get expelled, your wand snapped and you can live as a muggle.”
“Yeah sure," I sneered, “if we manage to survive until then.”
That day Snape dragged us with him to buy our school supplies. Harry, never ever having been even in a big muggle mall couldn't get enough of the sight. I noted dully that everything looked just like in the movies. Snape, or Hagrid for that matter didn't exactly look like the actors that played them in the movies but they came pretty close. Diagon Alley however I felt as if I had seen it numerous times so it was just kind of boring. After all, which guy my age really liked shopping? Harry couldn't understand why I wasn't excited and Snape too looked at me suspiciously but I didn't care.
“How are we supposed to pay for all of that?" Harry asked glumly after some time.
“Inheritance," Snape answered tight lipped, leading us to Gringotts.
“I've been wondering about that," I whispered, making sure Harry couldn't hear me who was looking at a shop for racing brooms. “Petunia doesn't work at all and Vernon is of average intellect at best, he can't possibly earn that much money in a company that sells drills. Yet they're somehow able to afford to buy their son all kinds of expensive presents. He got a computer, a second television, a racing bike, a cine-camera, sixteen new computer games and a videorecorder for his last birthday. Normally a family of their standard could only afford one of those presents a year but he gets things like that both to his birthday and to Christmas while all we get is an old pair of socks. Not that I'm complaining but I do wonder whether or not the Dursleys have been paid by wizards for taking care of us? Because if they were I'd like to make sure this money goes straight to us from now on. We might actually be able to get three meals a day out of it.”
expression was unreadable. “You have to talk about that to you
“You've met them, Sir, they would never admit such a thing. If you can't tell me I'm wrong I'm going to ask the goblins as soon as we reach Gringotts.”
“Well then, go on!" he snapped. We had just reached the white building.
“Oh, I will," I whispered. “If you would be so kind to take Harry down to the vault to get some money? I'll talk to the goblins in the meantime.”
“Don't you want to see how much money you got?”
“I'm sure the goblins can give me the exact number.”
Snape actually nodded curtly. “We will fetch you later, then.”
The potions master took a very confused Harry with him while I made my way to the counter alone. Maybe the books did Snape wrong after all. After getting over his idea of a doppelganger of James maybe he could be an ally. Don't mistake me. I hate that guy just as much as I hate every other HP character. Who ever told him that loving Lily Potter made up for being a murderer, torturing innocent muggles and being overall despicable had to have been high on sugar. Besides I wasn't even sure if it could be considered love when one was the cause of mortal danger to the two people Lily loved most (or three now, I guess) and still pleading for her to be spared. Had Snape succeeded Lily would have likely just committed suicide. After killing Snape, of course.
So yeah, I hated Snape but that didn't mean I couldn't appreciate him as an ally on my quest to bring some sense into the potterverse. Other then most of the characters here he was actually kind of sane. One just had do become spiteful when being around those people.
“May your gold always flow," I greeted the goblin at the counter, wondering if those fanfiction-induced speeches would actually work.
The goblin looked down at me with something vaguely resembling respect. Wohoo.
I explained my problem to him.
children from magical families are officially wards of the ministry
unless adopted," the goblin sneered. “Magical relatives
normally perform an adoption if they take in a child. It hardly ever
happens that magical children are sent to a muggle family. In that
case whether or not they get any money from their inheritance depends
on the parents will.”
“Could I perhaps see my parents will?" I asked politely.
“You'll have to make an appointment for that.”
“Then I would like to do that. I can only come back within the month or during holidays, though.”
“There won't be a chance before Christmas.”
Christmas it is. Oh, and would it be possible to do some kind of
inheritance test too? I wish to look at my family tree.”
“Why would you want to do that? I can assure you, you look very much like a Potter to me.”
“Oh no, it's not about that. I would just like to know whether or not I have some kind of dormant magical heredity ability and if so, where it comes from.” It was my only hope. In case I wasn't a horcrux it was still possible that Lily really was from some kind of long line of squibs originating from Slytherin like it sometimes happened in fanfictions. That and I had to check who was older, Slytherin or Peverell. Because I was definitely related to Voldemort through that second line. Let's hope I could trace my blood back to Slytherin. If they were really such blood purist they should be related to all magical families in Britain including the Potters.
“We can make an appointment on the 26. December, 11 o'clock.”
“That would be perfect. Thank you very much. I look forward to meeting you again.”
I only had to wait another couple of minutes until Snape and Harry came back from the vaults, my brother carrying a bag of galleons with him.
“Oh Charles! You won't believe it, there is so much money in there and...”
I kind of spaced out, nodding and making incomprehensible noises here and there while we went to Madam Malkins.
“Try to not to act too stupid," I told my brother, knowing we would meet Malfoy in there. “Which includes making enemies before the school year has even started by being impolite. Even if other people do it.”
Harry looked at me confused but as soon as he stood next to Draco Malfoy (I was on Harrys other side and so he didn't get a good look at me) he understood what I meant.
After some chatting and Harry realizing how little he knew about the magical world, Draco noticed Snape who had been buying parchment and quills.
“What is my godfather doing here?" he wondered aloud.
“He's helping us with our shopping," Harry explained.
“Really? Why aren't you with your parents?”
“Oh, sorry. But they were of our kind, right?”
“She was a witch and he was a wizard if that's what you mean.”
“Oh, good. I really don't think they should let the other sort in, do you? They're just not the same, they've never been brought up to know our ways.”
At that I couldn't hold it any longer and released a silent laugh.
“You think that's funny, do you?" he asked angrily, leaning back to get a look at me. I watched with amusement as his eyes grew wide when he saw a 'second' Harry Potter. Being the Slytherin that he was he quickly connected the dots.
Harry and Charles Potter!”
“Yes," I replied, “and you just made the mistake to insult us. After all, we haven't been brought up in magical ways either.”
Malfoys cheeks became pink. “I didn't mean it like that!”
“Oh, did you not?”'
“Well, you're from a pureblood line. You have a responsibility. If anyone would have reason to integrate as fast as possible it would be you two.”
“Oh, so you actually meant that you didn't think they should let muggle-raised children allow to attend Hogwarts without teaching them wizarding culture beforehand?”
I smirked. “I totally agree with you on that one. Hell, Harry has never even heard of Hogwarts before he got his letter," I teased and nudged my brother.
That's not fair, you haven't heard of it either.”
“Of course I have. I have seen it, remember? Practically grew up there.”
Soon after Snape entered the shop and after a quick discussion with Draco we paid our new clothes and Snape dumped us in the book store while he brought potions ingredients from the apothecary. Harry was rather silent the whole time.
like to look at some other books not on the list," I said after
Snape came to get us. “Harry, what do you think about going to
Eyelops and to get yourself an owl?”
“An... an owl?" he repeated incredulously.
“Yeah, sure. In my visions I always saw you with an owl. A big, white one named Hedwig. You'll have to wait another two years until you meet someone you can actually write to, but she'll be able to keep you company. Professor Snape, we could meet up at Ollivanders later. That way we waste as little time as possible.”
As predicted Snape wanted to get this over with as much as I did so he agreed but insisted on staying with me and making sure I didn't get myself any cursed books.
Just to keep my disguise I brought two books on divination that sounded interesting. Snape wanted to prevent me from buying the book Curses and Counter-Curses saying it was to advanced.
“I have seen another first year casting the Petricifus Totalus this year so I'm sorry but I'd like to learn the counter! Besides our Defense teacher is going to suck this year. And the next too. Believe me, I need all the reading material I can get.”
Just to make a good impression I brought another book on the effects of different preparation of magical ingredients and which went well with which and which would explode on one another. Also I brought a book on modern magical history. And of course, a book about occlumency. I had absolutely no intention of letting either Voldemort or Dumbledore know about the future.
Snape actually refrained from insulting me for the rest of the trip after that.
Later on we met at Ollivanders and now I was really curious. After all there could only be one holly and phoenix feather wand left, right? I insisted that Harry went to try out the wands first and fair enough, the scene played exactly the way it was supposed to.
“Now, Charles Potter it is...", Ollivander said, coming towards me. "Let's see which wand will chose you. I'm sure we'll find the right wand for you too. Let's try this one, spruce and dragon heart string, eleven inches, very good for charms.”
The moment I touched the wand immediately a shower of silver and gold sparks were emitted. I couldn't help but laugh. I must have been the easiest costumer Ollivander had had in years and I was chosen by a wand that couldn't be more common. No exotic wand core, to mysterious history, no exceptional powers. If that wasn't a change!
the way back to muggle London Harry finally couldn't resist his
questions any longer. “Those people we met in the Leaky Cauldron
earlier... and this boy in Madam Malkins... Why do they all know who
we are? Why are we famous for something we can't even remember?
Especially me... I mean, Charles is a seer and really good with magic
already, but I'm just normal.”
“Hey!" I protested, “you're the one with Voldemorts brother wand, not me!”
“You know who!”
“I don't know who...”
Snape shuddered. “He means the Dark Lord. His actual name is Lord Voldemort but no one says it because people are still afraid.”
“I can think on a lot of nasty jokes about that nick name, by the way," I snickered.
is nothing funny about the Dark Lord," Snape said
“Sure not. Hey, how many killing curses do you need to kill a baby? Shush, don't say it, the Little Lord is still figuring it out!”
Even Harry cracked a little smile at that while Snape gave me a look that clearly said I had just lost all my plus points with him.
“But still – I don't know any magic. I don't know what Quidditch is or... Or Slytherin and Hufflepuff.”
"Nobody knows what a Hufflepuff is", I muttered with a smirk.
“Quidditch is a stupid and dangerous wizard sport," Snape said.
“Naturally you're gonna be awesome at it," I smirked. “Whole school is gonna love you just for that.”
“And Slytherin and Hufflepuff," the Professor continued glaring at me, “are Hogwarts houses. There are four of them. Slytherin for the ambitious and cunning, Hufflepuff for the loyal and kind, Ravenclaw for the studious and knowledgeable and Gryffindor for the brave and strong-hearted.”
“Oh, and don't forget that Gryffindor is for the foolish and suicidal, Ravenclaw for the stuck-up know-it-alls, Hufflepuff for the weak and naïve and Slytherin for the traitorous and evil. That is, if you look at prejudice.”
“I bet I'm gonna be a Hufflepuff," Harry said sadly. “I'm really not that good at anything.”
“Yeah? Well, I'm gonna be Slytherin. Does that mean I'm gonna be a Corpse Cruncher and join the Dark Lord?” I sneered. “No, you'll either be Slytherin, like me, or Gryffindor. Depending on your choice you're either gonna be murdered or commit suicide. And, mind you, if it's gonna be the second I'm so not going to help you. Although, if that reassures you, I'm not going to help with the murdering part either. I think.”
Harry did not look reassured.
It was my goal to change that godforsaken story line, at least for as long as I had to stay in this world. So I wouldn't sit around doing nothing. That meant Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, the more passive houses, were out for me. No way in hell I was going to Gryffindor so that really left only one choice. As for Harry, well he hadn't heard that nonsense from Hagrid that there wasn't a witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin (except for Pettigrew. Duh.) and that Voldemort was one while Dumbldedore was a Gryffindor. So now he didn't really have a reason to keep the hat from putting him where he belonged. On the other hand if Harry really had developed an inferiority complex because of me he might even become a Raven or a Puff.
“Is there any house where I wouldn't end up dead?" Harry asked miserably.
“Well," I though aloud, “you see, when I have a vision I can't always say if it's about me or about you, partly because we look so much alike but also because even if someone calls us we're just both 'Potter', you know? So it doesn't necessarily have to be you who dies. It could be me too. Which is kind of more likely 'cause I don't get any pictures from beyond seventh year. So I suppose you should just go where you're being sent and be good with it. We can always make sure we get expelled before the really hard core stuff begins.”
“Oh yeah thanks," Harry said sarcastically. “that's, that's really cheering me up.”
“Always a pleasure.” As a matter of fact I was not afraid of dying. I wanted to live a normal peaceful live but if I couldn't have that dying was my next favorite. After all there was a more then likely chance for me to get into my real world if I did. And if I didn't... well that would suck but I refused to let myself be lead around like some stupid children's books character only to never be able to enjoy my happy ending because... Well, because it wouldn't feel real. I couldn't see Harry as my brother although we were twins, who normally had a really strong bond. Then how would I ever be able to, for example, love a girl here? They were either so boring and insignificant they weren't even mentioned in the book or I had heard so many horror stories (thanks, ff.net) about them that I couldn't possibly bring myself to even coming near them.