1. Severus Snape
I woke with a groan on the first day of classes for my fifth year at Hogwarts. I really didn't want to be trapped in class all day with blood-purist scum like Rosier and the other mini-monsters. I wondered, not for the first time, why I hadn't begged the sorting hat to put me anywhere but Slytherin. Yeah, the dorm was beautiful, and my father had calmed down about me "not supporting tradition", but was it really worth dealing with all these potential dark lords? Not that most of them had any real potential at all... but every one of them were muggle hating bastards drowning in the Dark Arts.
I got dressed in my school robes, not bothering to hide my multitude of scars now that I had a private dorm room. Usually private rooms like this one were reserved for prefects, head girls, and extremely excellent seventh years, but after a particularly nasty fight with my dorm mates last year, Headmaster Dumbledore had quickly moved me to a private dorm. He had claimed that it was a punishment for not getting along with my fellow snakes, but everyone knew that the muggle-loving old wizard had learned that I had been defending some muggleborn named Evans and rewarded me. The worst part was that I'd never met Evans. I'd just cursed anyone who said anything bad about muggleborns. Or anything I didn't like the sound of. Just the word "Mudblood" muttered in my earshot could end you in the hospital wing for the night.
I stepped in front of the mirror to look myself over. My father would have been proud. My aristocratic Malfoy good looks were highlighted by my emerald jewellery and deep green silk blouse. The silver tie at my throat was definitely not school issued and shimmered incandescently in the torch light. The black pencil skirt I chose fell several inches beneath my knee and my robes were some of Madame Malkin's finest work. My platinum blonde hair was perfectly arranged and fell to my waist. My silver eyes, only slightly different colored than my brother's stormy grey, were highlighted by my pale skin and I couldn't help a grin. I looked fantastic. My father would be proud.
By the time I made it to breakfast, everyone else had already gotten their schedules. I took a seat next to a greasy vulture of a boy who I thought was named Snape and took the schedule that had appeared in front of me. I seemed to have a lot of classes with the Gryffindors this year... even classes that were usually just for Gryffindors like Transfiguration.
"Malfoy, right? Desari Malfoy?" The vulture beside me asked, keeping his voice low so no one else could hear him.
"What do you want?" I asked briskly. I had learned the hard way that the only way to stay alive in Slytherin was to be a bitch to everyone. If you weren't they would walk all over you.
"I'm Severus Snape." He said softly.
"Congratulations on learning your name." I mumbled, scooping some food onto my plate without paying attention to what it was.
"I, uh, just wanted to say thank you for defending Lily at the end of last year. Everyone else is calling you a blood traitor, but Lily... she's not the average muggleborn. She's special... and well, thank you." Snape the vulture whispered so softly I almost missed it.
I turned and looked him over. By all appearances he looked like an average boy. He obviously hadn't gotten his good looks from a family like Malfoy or Black. Probably some half-blood family. How had he managed to make it into our house? He wasn't a blood purist. He wasn't from a Slytherin family. He wasn't anything special. "Well, I'm not the type to judge based on blood. Besides, from what I hear, Evans is probably a descendant of some lost Prewitt. She's a good student and a proficient witch. Not to mention that god-awful red hair."
"You hear right. Lily's a great witch. We've been friends since childhood." He said softly with a reverent tone to his voice. I could tell that he was in love with her, just from this short conversation.
"Severus, it's not a good idea to talk about your Gryffindor lover like that when you're talking to another Slytherin. Most of us would string you up for the whole common room to see. Luckily for you, I don't care." My voice was no longer the cruel imitation of my father. Now I spoke almost as if I was talking to my brother.
"You're not like the other Slytherins, Desari. I know you won't hold it against me just because of who her parents are." Severus looked at my schedule over my shoulder as I started to eat. "We only have potions together. How'd you manage that?"
I shrugged "It seems that the professors have also deemed me non-Slytherin. I have every core class with the Gryffindors."
"Maybe you should ask for a resorting. Dumbledore allows those when they get requested." Snape said in a solemn tone.
"The sorting hat made its decision five years ago." I said glancing up at the head table. "It considered me for Ravenclaw, but it said that my true thirst was for power. It said that I was more Slytherin than most of the people here. When I didn't outright refuse, it called my house."
Severus thought about my words for a few minutes. It wasn't like I'd told him anything that could hurt me, but at the same time, it was something that most people didn't know. "I asked the sorting hat to put me in Gryffindor." He confessed. "It told me that I would be an outcast and called Slytherin. I didn't have any time to argue."
His confession was a good deal juicier than mine. Especially since I knew that he was in love with this Lily Evans character. I felt the need to give him something more. I sorted through my thoughts quickly. "I almost did the same. I'm a Malfoy though. I didn't have the courage to ask. I was scared because of how they reacted to Sirius Black. No one clapped for him. No one accepted him with open arms like the Slytherins would have."
"Desari, is there any way that you and I could be friends?" Severus asked softly as if he was shy.
"I don't see why not. You aren't scum like the rest of my house." I shrugged, keeping a straight face like I had been taught. It meant a lot to me. I'd never had a friend before, but I couldn't let him know that. That would be too juicy of a secret.
Severus just nodded silently and stood up. "It's almost time for class. You should get going."
I stood as well and sighed. I hadn't eaten much during my talk with Severus, but I hadn't been all that hungry either. I glanced at my schedule. First class today was transfiguration. I wouldn't see Severus again until double potions tonight.
My day went by fairly quickly after that. As I had seen earlier, all of my classes had been packed with Gryffindors and during most of them, I had been forced to sit with one. In Transfiguration I had sat next to James Potter, an arrogant, though in a way charming boy from the quidditch team. In History of Magic I had ended up with Sirius Black, though the two of us hadn't said a word to each other. Even Charms class I had been seated with Lily Evans. She too had thanked me for standing up for her at the end of last year, but we hadn't talked much.
Professor Slughorn placed me at a table with my new friend Severus Snape. He usually paired Slytherins with Gryffindors, but there weren't enough Lions to go around. Or at least that's what he'd claimed, but I couldn't help but notice that Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin were seated together at the back of the class. I wondered idly why he would chose to leave Severus and me together if it meant pairing up two people who were obviously friends.
"Who can tell me the effects of Girding potion?" Professor Slughorn asked gazing across the gathered students. I stared evenly back at him. He was still the same oversized, Santa Claus looking man he had been last year, and I sincerely hoped that he had given up on adding me to his "collection" of excellent students. I had never liked the jolly type of personality he had.
"It may be consumed to increase one's endurance for a considerable number of weeks." Severus said sourly after realizing no one else was going to answer. I figured that most of the students hadn't known the answer in the first place. "I would like to warn those who would experiment with this potion that the maximum dose is no more than two vials." The second part of his answer was said with a glare aimed at Sirius Black.
"Very good, Mr Snape. Five points for Slytherin." Professor Slughorn smiled in the general direction of our table. "I would like the class to read the chapter on this potion and take careful notes as you will be brewing this in your next few lessons. There will be extra credit for those of you that would like to turn in said notes at the beginning of the lesson on Tuesday morning."
Severus and I sat in a comfortable silence as we each wrote down our notes. I couldn't help but notice that he rarely bothered to glance at his textbook. He must have read it quite thoroughly before the start of the term. I, on the other hand, hadn't bothered to read my textbooks beforehand. I had a nearly perfect memory and had little worry that I wouldn't excel in Potions class. Usually I was ahead of the majority of class by the first couple of weeks anyways. Slughorn claimed it was because I was a natural, but honestly, it was because I had learned most of this material already in the private lessons that Father had dictated that I needed.
Severus had finished his notes about halfway through the class, and by the time I had finished, I could feel his eyes on me. I turned to him with a smile as I slid my book into my bag. "Yes, Severus?"
Severus reddened slightly. "N-nothing. I just was noticing that you're very meticulous with your note-taking. You even wrote in some things that weren't in the book. Have you studied Girding potion before?"
I chuckled thinking back to my strict tutor last summer. "Yes, actually. I, uh, had a summer apprenticeship with the potion master who runs that apothecary in, uh, the one in Knockturn Alley. My father arranged it for me after the fight last term. He taught me a lot I suppose. Including most of the stuff that we'll cover in class this year."
Severus's face twisted up slightly with jealousy, but in a moment's time it had been replaced with a friendly half smile. "Well, it sounds like you had an interesting summer. I wish I could say that mine was equally as entertaining."
"Yes, well, it was actually a punishment. He thought the potion master could teach me about responsibility and respect for my house." I laughed half-heartedly. "Little does Father know that I happen to love potions. In fact, I plan on opening my own apothecary after graduation. I was thinking that Hogsmeade could sure use one."
Snape thought for a moment. "Yes, perhaps it could. I plan on becoming a potions master as well. I think I should like to teach though. Drill some sense into thick skulls like Potter and Black."
"I think you would make an excellent potions master, Severus. You're very meticulous yourself. Dedicated too. I noticed that you barely glanced at your book as you took your notes." I nodded to his parchment which was very beautifully organized if you could look past his horrible handwriting.
Severus shrugged, but I could tell that my words had stroked his ego. "Oh, my mother insisted that I know what I'm doing before coming to school. She seems to find my grades a bit lacking."
I laughed aloud at that. Severus was smart and cunning, like any good Slytherin would be. I highly doubted that his grades were any lower than he wanted them to be. Well, in potions class at least.
The next few days flew by in a flash of homework and more homework. The teachers seemed to think that we had been given too long of a vacation this year and with each class my pile of homework and essays grew. Severus and I hadn't had time to hang out much, other than during meals, and I found myself missing his snarky comments about Potter and Black. During one particularly Black bashing dinner conversation I found myself wondering idly what Severus would say if he knew that Black and I were supposed to get married after graduation. Of course, I had no intentions to marry some man I barely knew just because my father had dictated it, but still, it was supposed to happen.