Chapter 3: Off To Hogwarts
Discalimer: I totally forgot to do this when I posted the first chapter so here it is now. I wish to God I owned this but I don't and am therefore poor.
Off To Hogwarts
The morning of September 1st, Severus Apparated Harry and all his belongings to the Brocklehursts' home, as he had a lot to do in preparation for the students' arrival later that day.
'I'll see you tonight, Harry,' Severus said before Apparating away.
Harry took his trunk and pets into the house where an extremely excited Mandy jumped up and hugged him tightly. Harry didn't react at all to the arms around him.
'What are you wearing?' asked Delilah, eyeing Harry critically once Mandy released him.
Severus had taken Harry shopping one day because all Harry's clothes could be counted as rags. Harry had expressed dislike for wizarding robes so Severus took him to Muggle London rather than Diagon Alley. Harry had been bought a whole range of combat trousers, dress trousers, jeans, t-shirts and shirts. He was currently wearing a pair of baggy black jeans with a black silk shirt and a pair of doc martins.
'Clothes,' was Harry's droll reply.
'Are they new?' asked Mandy. 'I like them. Can I get some clothes like that, Mummy?'
'No,' said Delilah firmly.
'But, Mum,' Mandy whined.
'No,' Delilah repeated. 'You already have perfectly good clothes.'
Mandy pouted. 'It's not fair,' she sulked. 'Harry got new clothes.'
'Harry has never had new clothes before, sweetie,' Delilah said gently. 'Don't you think he deserves them?'
'Well, yeah,' Mandy admitted. 'But his are way cooler than mine.'
Delilah rolled her eyes. 'Go get your trunk, Mandy,' she ordered.
Still sulking, Mandy stomped away and Delilah turned to Harry. 'Now,' she began before shrieking in fear as Harry's falcon suddenly took flight.
'Caellum won't hurt you,' Harry said.
'You sure?' Delilah asked fearfully.
Harry nodded once. 'He just likes to frighten people,' he said.
Delilah looked doubtful and not at all relaxed. 'Do you have everything, Harry?' she asked.
Harry nodded once before turning his head up towards Caellum. He watched the falcon fly around for a while, until Mandy returned with her trunk.
'Do you have everything?' Delilah asked her daughter.
Mandy rolled her eyes. 'Yes, Mummy,' she said impatiently. 'Can we go now?'
Delilah smiled. 'Yes we can,' she said, opening the front door.
Mandy almost ran to the car in her enthusiasm, tapping her foot on the ground when her mother wasn't quick enough for her tastes. Harry followed behind his "friend", his face its usual blank mask. Delilah locked the front door behind her before helping the two children heave their school trunks into the boot of the car. Having done that, Delilah ushered the pair into the back seats before climbing in herself and starting the engine.
The drive to the station wasn't a particularly long one but Mandy pestered Delilah the entire ride. She kept asking the time, how long 'til they arrived and whether Delilah was taking the quickest route or not. Eventually Delilah told her daughter to shut up, which caused the small girl to start sulking again.
Finally, they arrived at the station. Harry and Mandy each got a trolley for their trunks and the three of them set off.
'We have to pass through the barrier between platforms nine and ten,' Delilah read aloud from the instructions Severus had given her. 'It's a magical barrier so Muggles can only pass through if they are holding onto someone with a magical core. Mandy, give me your hand, sweetie.'
Mandy reluctantly let her mother hold her hand while the three of them ran through the barrier onto a platform teeming with people. Mandy and Delilah looked around in amazement. Many of the adults were wearing brightly coloured robes and pointed hats. Some witches were waving their wands over their children to neaten their appearances. Young children were running about screaming as they played popular magical games. The children starting at Hogwarts were eagerly chatting about the stories they'd heard while waving to childhood friends. Older students were claiming their favourite compartments and discussing their summer with their friends. Even older students were greeting their boyfriends or girlfriends with long, drawn-out kisses. Owls of all types hooted dolefully from cages while cats ran amok between legs. From somewhere near the middle of the platform, there was screaming as a tall boy with dark skin and long dreadlocks pulled the lid off a box to reveal a large tarantula.
The train itself was magnificent.It had a long, sleek, scarlet engine with gold trimming, and a long train of scarlet and gold carriages followed the engine,each holding about four compartments, two on either side. They had long, bench-like seats covered in scarlet velvet with gold embroidery. Harry looked at it with disgust evident in his eyes.
'Let's find you a compartment, then,' Delilah said, shaking off her awe.
She moved along the train, looking for an empty compartment. She eventually found one and helped the children situate themselves.
'I don't know how I'm going to get off the platform,' said Delilah with a small laugh.
'Oh, our mam can help there,' said a pretty Indian girl from the doorway.
'Yes, Mam will be glad to,' her identical twin sister added.
'Thank you,' Delilah said politely. 'What are your names?'
'Parvati and Padma Patil,' the girls chorused in unison.
'Pleasure to meet you, girls,' said Delilah. 'This is my daughter, Mandy, and her friend, Harry.'
'Mandy Brocklehurst and Harry Snape,' Harry added.
'Oooh, really?' one girl asked. 'I heard your father is a vampire. Is that true?'
'No,' said Harry shortly.
'Oh.' The girl looked disappointed. 'It would be cool to know a vampire.'
'May we join you?' her twin asked.
Mandy nodded and shifted over to make room for them.
'You know Pureblood custom?' one twin asked Harry.
'Yes,' Harry replied emotionlessly.
The girl's eyes lit up with enthusiasm. She stuck out her hand enthusiastically. 'Padma Patil, eldest daughter of Neev and Suhani Patil; unbetrothed.'
Harry bent his head and kissed Padma's knuckles. 'Harry Snape, heir of the House of Snape; unbetrothed.'
He pulled away from Padma to pull out his Feuds and Alliances book. Flipping it open he turned to the letter P to see with which families the Patils were allianced with and feuded with.
'Where did you get that book?' Padma demanded.
Harry's jaw tightened and he didn't answer.
'Answer me!' Padma demanded loudly.
'Oh dear,' Mandy muttered.
'Do not demand things of me, Miss Patil,' Harry hissed dangerously.
The three girls all recognised the danger and shut their mouths tightly. The moment they did so, however, a tall redhead barged into the compartment.
'I'm looking for Potter,' he announced loudly in an obnoxious voice.
'Potter isn't here,' said Parvati.
The redhead ignored her. 'You there,' he said, rudely pointing at Harry. 'What's your name?'
Harry ignored him.
'I asked you a question, boy,' the redhead said. 'I demand you answer me!'
In a flash, Harry was out of his seat and the redhead was pressed against the wall with his big feet dangling an inch from the ground and his throat being squeezed tightly by Harry.
'Name?' Harry growled.
'Ron Weasley,' the redhead choked out.
'I. Don't. Like. You. Weasley,' Harry growled. 'Do not ever come near me. Understood?'
The redhead barely managed to nod before he was tossed aside.
'Who are you?' Weasley gasped, clutching his throat.
'Harry Snape,' Harry replied.
Weasley's eyes widened dramatically and he scrambled to his feet, tripping over them as he left the compartment at a run.
They were left alone after that until a friendly witch came round pushing a lunch trolley.
'Did you want anything, dears?' she asked pleasantly.
Harry rose to his feet. 'Two pumpkin pasties and a hot cauldron cake, please,' he asked coolly.
'That's one Galleon, dear,' the witch said.
Harry paid and sat back down. Parvati bought some chocolate frogs while Padma bought a box of Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans. Harry refused the sweets offered to him but Mandy accepted eagerly and in return shared her Muggle sweets. Harry ate his own food in silence.
Just as they were feeling sleepy and contemplating a nap, their compartment door slid open again.
'I'm looking for a toad,' a girl announced bossily. 'Have you seen one?'
Mandy and the twins shook their heads. The girl looked pointedly at Harry. 'Well?' she asked impatiently.
'I've seen a lot of toads,' said Harry coldly, 'but probably not the one you're referring to. To whom does it belong?'
'Neville Longbottom,' the girl said. 'Not that it's any of your business.'
Harry rose to his feet. 'It is more my business than it is yours,' he spat. He looked at Padma. 'The Heir of the House of Snape wishes to converse with the Heir of the Ancient House of Longbottom,' he said to her.
Padma's eyes widened. It was a great honour to be asked to be led to converse with a fellow Pureblood Heir. Standing up, she curtsied. 'Yes, Heir Snape,' she said subserviently.
The bossy girl huffed. 'Really,' she said snobbily. 'Wizards are so arrogant.'
Padma took Harry's hand and led him out of the carriage. They wandered the train for a few minutes until they came across a round-faced boy with light brown hair and amber eyes.
'Heir of Longbottom,' Padma said, curtseying to the boy. 'I would like to present to you the Heir of Snape.'
Longbottom's eyes widened. 'Neville,' he said, inclining his head to Harry.
'Harry,' the taller boy said, repeating the gesture. 'Let's walk.'
Neville stuck his hands in his pockets while Harry put his behind his back, clasping them together.
'Snape is a fairly new family,' Harry began. 'We have almost no allies and just the one blood feud.'
'Continue,' said Neville evenly.
'In contrast,' Harry continued, 'Longbottom is an ancient family. You have many allies and almost as many blood feuds. In particular you are allied with the Ancient House of Potter.'
'What do you want, Snape?' Neville asked impatiently, stopping the taller boy in his tracks.
'Before I was Harry Snape I was known as Harry Potter,' Harry said bluntly. 'I propose the alliance between the Ancient Houses of Potter and Longbottom be transferred to between Longbottom and Snape.'
'I'll think about it,' said Neville, gazing directly into Harry's eyes. 'You need to prove to me, Snape, that you deserve this alliance.'
With that, Neville turned on his heel and walked away. Deep in thought, Harry went back to his own compartment only to find that Malfoy and two huge, burly boys were terrorising the twins and Mandy.
'Did I not make it clear last time, Malfoy?' Harry asked coldly.
Malfoy turned around and paled drastically when he saw the much taller boy.
'Crabbe, Goyle, that's Snape. He's the one that keeps threatening me.'
'Crabbe and Goyle, eh?' said Harry, smirking at Malfoy. 'Did you learn your House alliance history, boys?'
Crabbe and Goyle cracked their knuckles and nodded menacingly.
'Yeah,' Crabbe grunted.
'We're allied with the Malfoys,' Goyle grunted.
'And when did you ally with the Malfoys?' Harry asked, still smirking at a confused Malfoy.
'1939 when Grindelwald rose to power,' Crabbe grunted promptly.
'Same,' Goyle grunted.
'And what about the Prince family?' asked Harry.
'1839 when Ukwtakun rose to power,' Crabbe grunted.
'Same,' Goyle grunted.
'But the Prince family died out,' Malfoy butted in, looking smug. 'They haven't been around for three decades.'
'Au contraire, Malfoy,' Harry drawled. 'The Prince family is very much still around but under a different name.'
'And which name would that be?' sneered Malfoy.
'Snape,' said Harry simply.
As one, Crabbe and Goyle looked at one another before moving to stand either side of Harry. Despite their impressive stature, Harry still towered over both Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy started trembling, his face now grey.
'Leave,' Harry commanded.
Harry, Crabbe and Goyle sat down. All three boys were silent. Harry wore his customary blank mask.
'We're nearly there,' Padma finally said. Her voice was incredibly quiet to Harry's pleasure. He really disliked loud people.
Crabbe and Goyle left to get their robes to change into. The girls and Harry pulled their robes on over the clothes they were wearing.
The train came to a halt at Hogsmeade Station and the students all made a rush to get off the train. Harry, not wanting to be crushed, made the girls, Crabbe and Goyle hold back with him. They were the last to leave the train and had to hurry after a long trail of first-year students.
'Ev'ryone got 'ere alrigh'?' Hagrid called from the front of the crowd. 'Righ', four of yeh ter a boat.'
The twins scrambled into a boat together and, after a nod from Harry, Crabbe and Goyle followed them. Harry helped Mandy into a second boat before stepping in beside her. They were joined by Neville and the bossy girl.
'Yeh all need ter keep very still,' Hagrid shouted once they were all situated in boats. 'The boats tip over very easily an' the Merpeople in the lake ain't very friendly.'
Mandy looked fearfully over the side of the boat, reaching for Harry's hand and clutching it tightly.
'Yeh all need ter duck 'ere!' Hagrid shouted again.
Everyone ducked. Some, like Mandy, only had to lower their heads while others, like Harry, had to bend in half rather painfully. The pain was worth it, though, as they rounded a corner and saw the castle for, in most cases, the first time.
'An' there she is!' Hagrid called proudly. 'Hogwarts.'
The castle truly was a magnificent sight. Set upon a cliff, the castle towered domineeringly over the village of Hogsmeade at its base. The grounds covered the majority of the surrounding cliffs, the grass growing magically. Greenhouses perched precariously along one side of the central courtyard, though this couldn't be seen from where the first-years were. The lake covered an entire cliff itself and must have been magical to create a stream but to stay as still as glass. The windows were all glowing yellow in the dark of the evening, creating a pretty effect. Most of the children oohed and ahhed at the sight, though there were a few that remained impassive, Harry one of them.
The boats took them right to the edge of the lake on the grounds where they all disembarked and stood shivering for a moment while Hagrid did a quick headcount to ensure he hadn't lost anybody.
'Righ',' he eventually shouted. 'Follow me.'
He walked them across the dark grounds and up a set of stone steps to a pair of huge wooden doors. Hagrid raised a huge fist and pounded on the doors three times. There was a moment's wait in which most of the children fidgeted anxiously. Then the doors slowly creaked open to reveal a tall woman in dark green robes with a matching pointed hat. She gazed down sternly at the first-years through dark brown eyes. Her steel-grey hair was pulled back in a tight bun at the nape of her neck. She was holding herself stiffly and it was intimidating the fidgeting students.
'They're all 'ere, Professor,' Hagrid said proudly.
'Good,' the woman responded in a clipped Scottish accent. 'You know what to do.'
Hagrid nodded and entered the castle, presumably to fulfil another task. The woman continued to stare down the children.
'Who is that?' Mandy asked Harry in a whisper.
Harry was silent for a moment. Then, 'McGonagall,' he said shortly. And the woman's eyes shot to him, glaring intensely.
A/N: I am sorry it's so short but I promise the next chapter will be longer.
Please vote on the poll in my profile, it concerns with whom Harry will be paired in this fic. If you're at all interested at the moment the standings are:
Harry/Daphne Greengrass 16
Harry/Tracey Davis 12
Harry/Mandy Brocklehurst 10
Harry/Lisa Turpin 7
Harry/Susan Bones 3
Harry/Hannah Abbott 3
Harry/Sally Anne Perks 3
Harry/Lavender Brown 1
Thanks go to iGymnast for betaing this for me